R4-M9 is a standard multiple-use droid used to control and repair vehicles and computers. An Industrial Automaton R4 astromech droid, R4-M9 was stationed on the Star Destroyer Devastator and used by the Empire to search the computer banks of the Rebel Blockade Runner Tantive IV, in order to find data on the stolen plans for the first Death Star.
What?! An astromech droid that isn’t black can work for the Galactic Empire? It cannot be true! Imperial astromech droid R4-M9 was a very long-awaited figure in the Star Wars basic figure line. If you’re honest with yourself, you may have believed that this droid was part of the Rebel Alliance, as most droids of an Imperial nature were usually black, or some flavor of black. Seen on the Tantive IV after the Rebel Fleet Troopers had been defeated by Imperial Stormtroopers, it didn’t get much screen time aside from that. But characters with the least amount of screen time make for some of the most interesting Star Wars action figures. R4-M9 set a precedent in the basic figure line. It was the first R4-series astromech droid made for the 3.75” scaled figures line. And Hasbro developed a completely all-new sculpt, not using parts from anywhere else, to make this character a reality. Overall, the figure came out great and included enough detail and articulation to make the most hard to please collectors happy. A droid with masculine programming, it’s probably alright to refer to R4-M9 as a ‘he’ since its “gender” has already been identified.
Part of the very last wave of the Power Of The Jedi line, R4-M9 was one of the more difficult action figures to find from this line. We personally never saw them at “big box” retail, but only in small novelty stores in the mall, for an elevated price no less. Again, the sculpt is excellent. R4-M9 comes with six points of articulation which include a swivel dome, two swivel legs, three hinge-jointed feet and a sliding third leg post. While the figure looks excellent, we do have to find some fault with the third leg. The post that slides in and out is much too long for the body cavity of the droid. As a result, the third and center foot will not go all the way up into the body and it’s unable to lay flatly. Admittedly, this “defect” is a little bit annoying. We don’t know why Hasbro felt that it was OK to release a figure with this issue, as it seems like it would have had a very simple fix: a shorter leg post. Other than that we find very little fault with the sculpt. The articulated feet give so many extra angles at which to pose the droid and it’s a tremendous benefit to have this flexibility. Older astromech droid sculpts never looked right when the third leg was down, whereas R4-M9 looks rather fantastic.
The paint job on R4-M9 is even better. Although simply marked with green lines here and there, Hasbro has painted them on very cleanly to give it a very streamlined appearance. Hasbro still thought that giving this figure a light port would be a wise decision, so one has been included here. Thankfully, it’s well disguised and doesn’t obstruct the aesthetics of the sculpt. There is a variation that few collectors know about as well. The holoprojector at the top of its dome originally came “unpainted” in silver. Corrected version came with that detail painted black. (Comparison shots are in our photo gallery.) Also, this figure was “re-released” in the Star Tours line (also in the Power Of The Jedi line look) with an eggshell blue color. However, it’s still unknown if this is meant to be the same Imperial astromech droid from A New Hope, because of the obvious color difference, or not. Clearly it’s the droid from Star Tours, but was that just a re-imagined version of R4-M9 from Episode IV? The question remains. Oh, and R4-M9 comes with a mouse droid accessory which nicely compliments the figure and reinforces its Imperial allegiances. That all being said, we love this figure. It’s not perfect, but it looks great and it’s from the Original Trilogy. Win-win.
Status: R4-M9 is a retool of 2001's POTJ R2-Q5 (Imperial Astromech Droid) figure. This time the figure comes with an all-new R4-series dome and an all-new third foot. The figure has also been completely repainted.
Articulation Count: 7 points (7 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel dome (1), swivel left leg (1), swivel right leg (1), hinge-jointed left foot (1), hige-jointed right foot (1), slide-out third leg (1), hinge-jointed third foot (1)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: mouse droid
Date Stamp: 2001
Assortment Number: 84455/84666
Retail: $5.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.