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The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK 2-1B

Welcome to another entry in our The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six column. Hasbro recently committed to collectors that they will be “focusing” on characters in The Vintage Collection that fall under “The Ninety Six” banner. If you’re new to this, it means that there needs a modern counterpart for every classic Kenner figure. Between 2020 and 2021, Hasbro’s made an admirable effort by focusing on these characters. But there is more work to be done, and we’ll figure out where we are step by step. Today we assess 2-1B.


Just a few notes: We’re right in alignment with Hasbro in our vintage Kenner database with the count. There are 21 figures under the STAR WARS banner, 29 figures under THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK banner, 31 figures under the RETURN OF THE JEDI banner, and 15 figures under THE POWER OF THE FORCE banner. (Sy Snootles, Max Rebo, Droopy McCool, and Blue Snaggletooth bring the number to an even 100 figures.)

Read our assessment, and then please add your thoughts to the comments. Let us know if you agree or disagree. If you’re a customizer, show us your custom definitive figure in the comments as well! Who knows? It might give Hasbro some ideas.



Is there a definitive modern counterpart to 1981’s ESB 2-1B?

1997’s THE POWER OF THE FORCE “2” [RED/GREEN] 2-1B Medic Droid is generally regarded as the closest placeholder (as sad as that is).


Has Hasbro added this character’s card art and action figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION? And is it definitive?

No. And it’s painful at this point.


Does THE VINTAGE COLLECTION release completely satisfy the modern counterpart to 1981’s THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK 2-1B figure?

We’re still waiting for Hasbro to add this figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION. It’s a high-priority addition for the line because the last time that Hasbro attempted this character was in 1997 (aside from THE VINTAGE COLLECTION re-release). Although an admirable effort for the time, we now need a definitive and modern counterpart to the vintage Kenner figure.


If Hasbro didn’t release the figure yet, do we have a near-definitive or definitive release of this character that can be added to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION as a straight repack, repaint, or with little retooling to update it?

No, not any longer. Hasbro reissued 2-1B in the Special Action Figure Set sub-line released at Target exclusives. But it’s out of scale with the rest of the line and sorely lacks articulation. Hasbro gave us the updated 2008 30 (77-07) 2-1B (Surgical Droid) (08 06) figure, but that model is based on the Prequel Trilogy. And it’s too small. We need an all-new figure from the ground up.


What does Hasbro have to do so we can check off “2-1B” from our Vintage Vs. Modern checklists?

Hasbro needs to tool an all-new action figure of 2-1B for THE VINTAGE COLLECTION.


The year and years elapsed (through 2021) since we last had this character in classic Kenner-styled packaging (vintage or modern)?

1981’s ESB 2-1B. 40 years ago.

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