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The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2)

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 ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2).

ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2)

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.

 

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2)

Is there a definitive modern counterpart to 1982’s ESB ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2)?

2022’s TVC ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2) (VC234).

 

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

Yes. Hasbro added this figure to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION lineup by choosing the correct card, but unfortunately chose an inferior figure to include inside. Many collectors will not consider this release as definitive as a result. Previously, 2004’s VOTC Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Extension Arm), was the closest match, but it is obsolete by today’s standards.

 

Does THE VINTAGE COLLECTION release completely satisfy the modern counterpart to 1982’s THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2) figure?

No. Sadly, we’re still going to have to wait for Hasbro to add a better or higher-quality figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION because we make this assessment.

 

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?

The card is accurate, but it’s arguable if we have a definitive sculpts in our collections that they could use. It may be time for a “from the ground up” update for R2-D2. There are many solid to fantastic toolings of R2-D2 in the 3.75-inch basic figure line today, but they all fall short somewhere. So, Hasbro may need to spend a little extra time perfecting this version of R2-D2 for THE VINTAGE COLLECTION to get it perfect.

 

What does Hasbro have to do so we can check off “ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2)” from our Vintage Vs. Modern checklists?

The requirement is currently (and temporarily met) with this release. But Hasbro still needs to pack the best version of ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2) into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION they can produce so it comes with the proper periscope feature. It’s important to note that the Kenner figure came with a periscope and not a sensorscope accessory.

 

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

2022’s VOTC ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2). -1 year ago

2004’s VOTC Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Extension Arm). 17 years ago

1982’s ESB ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2). 39 years ago

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