Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Force be with you!
Initially released in 2010 as part of the inaugural wave of The Vintage Collection, and then repainted and reissued five years later for The Black Series [Phase II] line as C-3PO (#16), Hasbro proves they re-release this figure every half-decade. Another five years means that See-Threepio (C-3PO) probably needs to be re-released once again, so you should expect it. However, this time, the figure returns to its original packaging, albeit revised and refreshed for the 2020 lineup of The Vintage Collection. Will we see another reissue of this figure in 2025? Only time will tell. Our opinion of See-Threepio (C-3PO) has been on a steady roller coaster ride of emotion. We hated it. We apologized for hating it. We then loved it and raved about it. And now we’re a bit on the fence whether this figure should see release once again. Each time, Hasbro appears to improve on its paint job, and this time, they seem to have fixed how the faceplate attaches to the head, resulting in a closer fit for the photoreceptors to poke through the sockets. We still appreciate the remarkable efforts put in place to give the figure interactivity and screen-accurate features inside of a figure that it anything but that. A bit of a misfit in the toy line, See-Threepio (C-3PO) exemplifies the diversity of the super-articulated Hasbro Star Wars line, and how multiple sources can seamlessly blend to make many different types of Star Wars fans happy. Did anyone ever expect the protocol droid to have elements from the original Clone Wars micro-series mixed with some of Revenge Of The Sith, and mostly The Empire Strikes Back? Yes, neither did we. But we’re glad to have this figure.
The Vintage Collection’s See-Threepio (C-3PO) figure is a figure that may first appear a little too hard to swallow for many, but it strangely grows on you in positive ways. The tragic thing is that it’s likely most collectors won’t have the patience to allow this interest to grow. Most importantly, See-Threepio (C-3PO) fails to meet our demands is a specific area. The lack of vacuum metallization is frustrating. But Hasbro won’t do it anymore because of environmental reasons. Although the figure comes with some elegant features, excellent in fact, the lack of that shiny paint finish is disconcerting and permanently ruin the aesthetics of the figure. The figure can’t impress and satisfy the entire collective audience. Still, we bet that many will be very happy to get it added to their collections, and even more will be picking it up based on the clamoring of others (especially us). It is once you start playing with the figure that you realize just how well Hasbro designed it. The sculpt is an excellent design. Although the removable panels may create an aesthetic that isn’t entirely ideal, there is no denying that See-Threepio (C-3PO) impresses us more than we probably can express. When compared to some of the impressive action figures we have been getting over the last few years, See-Threepio (C-3PO) will undoubtedly come in secondary. But this realization is a shame because See-Threepio (C-3PO) ’s purpose is to bring something new to the action figure table that we haven’t seen with the character to date. This figure has that meaning and does that beautifully.
Of course, the figure isn’t perfect. For example, the parts may not fit precisely and show some gapping, but the body plates’ symmetry is far from askew and line up together very well, especially for their small size. In particular, the thigh plate is squirrely and falls off easily, but the rest stay in place exceptionally well even after you removed them and replace them. We believe that the engineering department attuned itself to the needs of this figure. We would have loved to see some of the figure’s finer aspects tightened up, like the faceplate, for example, but the good news is that overall there is very little to complain about here. Because of the removable faceplate, the likeness doesn’t necessarily resemble the onscreen character that well. The eyes are still sloppily applied. We think that this is an action figure that would have been better served were it released in pieces, more in line with others that were part of the popular Build A Droid series. At the very least, this figure should have come with an interchangeable head sculpt without the removable faceplate. That’s just our two cents. We love the Build A Droid figures, and we think the mold for the 3PO protocol droid was phenomenal. But we digress. It’s not that Hasbro hasn’t tried with See-Threepio (C-3PO) because they have. But U-3PO, also a figure in the Build A Droid collection, was made incredibly well. Does See-Threepio (C-3PO) pale in comparison? Will collectors forsake this figure’s all-new approach and attempt? That would be a mistake. Regardless, this action figure is likable nonetheless, and we think it takes some adjusting before you see its positivity and necessity in the basic figure line.
See-Threepio (C-3PO) comes with an impressive 24 points of articulation across sixteen areas. The rotating shoulder cuffs add two extra points, and since all they do is swivel, it isn’t too much here to get you excited. This super-articulation makes us rejoice, and it only helps to improve the quality (and to some extent the aesthetics) of this action figure. Some will disagree, but if we had a bone to pick with this figure, we would state and remain firm in our assessment that See-Threepio (C-3PO) is too small. This discrepancy is especially noticeable when beside 2019’s TVC Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (VC149) figure. See-Threepio (C-3PO) is about a quarter to a half an inch shorter than both the 2008 TAC C-3PX Build A Droid figure, and the 2009 TLC U-3PO Build A Droid figure (and all other C-3PO action figures released to date). We don’t know why the design approach was to make the character significantly shorter than past efforts. Aside from the expected shrinkage at the factory level with the plastics, this figure shouldn’t have ended up this short in stature. It’s unfortunate. It’s a shame that Hasbro has taken a new approach with the scale of this character this late in the line, even if it is accidental. Has this been a figure that has seen delay after delay, and they just wanted to knock it out to get rid of it and off of their plate? We don’t know, but we think that Hasbro needs to ponder things a little more clearly when releasing another 3PO-series protocol droid in the main action figure line. It’s high time we finally get a truly definitive version of our beloved protocol droid in the 3.75” super-articulated action figure line.
Maybe it’s not for us to know why Hasbro didn’t use an already excellent and established template for C-3PO, but it is evident that they were slightly more concerned with giving this version of him a little more play value, and that’s what they did. We don’t mean to harp over U-3PO, but that protocol droid was probably a perfected 3PO-series droid for the line, and it seems as if Hasbro is not that inclined to use it over and over again. It’s unfair to compare this version of See-Threepio (C-3PO) to previous Build A Droid tooling because it’s apples and oranges. This release intends to differentiate itself from all other takes on this character. We may have to get over the fact that it would have been more exciting to get a gold-painted version of U-3PO in vintage packaging than what Hasbro included here. We should also note that we are stuck on movie accuracy too, and this is not what Hasbro had in mind here. See-Threepio (C-3PO) is not a figure that will be the final update for any movie-sourced C-3PO, unfortunately. However, that said, Hasbro gave See-Threepio (C-3PO) some specific features that directly source the character to The Empire Strikes Back. We’ll get to more of that in a moment, but let us acknowledge that no matter what, it might be hard for some to accept that this is the release of See-Threepio (C-3PO) we got for the vintage Kenner-inspired and collector-focused line like The Vintage Collection. But the focus should remain on the loose figure and what it offers collectors. We know it will grow on you as it has on us. Still, some feel it’s probably time to retire the figure’s tooling.
Not all will see eye to eye with us, but we’ve sourced this figure to the Expanded Universe. Specifically, we're linking this figure to the Cartoon Network’s Clone Wars micro-series, although there is no direct seen that shows C-3PO in this configuration. The sourcing is based on assumption. However, with all of the plating in place, the figure’s play features also directly source him to The Empire Strikes Back, specifically in two scenes. The first is from when Chewbacca begins putting him back together (with 3PO’s removed backplate) and the second from when R2-D2 is trying to get the Millennium Falcon into hyperdrive mode where C-3PO is holding his leg and crying “You haven’t finished with me yet!” We would have liked to see a wholly movie-specific version of C-3PO on a vintage-styled card back from one of the six films. (That means not as a hybrid of Prequel Trilogy and Original Trilogy underneath the gold-plated armor.) In short, we would have preferred for them to abandon the removable plating from his front side. We estimate this figure’s source from scenes where See-Threepio (C-3PO) shows off his shiny new plating after removing a cloak, as seen in Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars Volume 2. And besides, this action figure looks relatively “cartoony” thanks to not receiving the much-requested vac-metalized finish, so this may be the best place to designate the character. (We’re reaching a bit here, folks.) This scene documents when C-3PO received the new gold plating, making the most sense that these scenes somehow inspired the creation of this figure. It’s a fertile period of Star Wars lore.
The changing of the dull and mismatched plating (from Episode II) to the updated gold plating (from Episode III) would result in C-3PO showing the character’s Episode I “naked” self underneath. We can’t think of any other situation where this “look” would exist. If something like this doesn’t bother you, you are perhaps much more mentally sound than us, and don’t let such things bother you. Still, we wish that Hasbro would reserve these “fancy” interpretations of the most popular Star Wars characters for other avenues (and especially not include them in a line that boasts itself as The Vintage Collection.) But those grumbles aside, See-Threepio (C-3PO) has some cool surprises. The head and torso come removable and come apart in separate pieces, and the backplate also can be removed to show some control buttons. The right leg is also removable, and the figure can hold it quite well in the left hand. These are the aspects of the figure which give it movie-specific characteristics, although it is the gold right leg that the character is holding in the film, and not the left silver one. You have to let some things go, people. These “play features” make us adore this figure. So, See-Threepio (C-3PO) may be bittersweet. It might be a disappointment to some collectors for a The Vintage Collection addition. But we warmly welcome the figure, even if it’s different than any other C-3PO action figure to date. Hasbro has given the figure enough to be fascinating. See-Threepio (C-3PO) may or may not exceed your expectations, but there is no denying that this is a version we haven’t seen before in the basic figure line. Surprisingly, this figure is still a favorite for us.
Editor's Note: Hasbro re-released The Vintage Collection See-Threepio (C-3PO) (VC06) figure in May 2020 with a significant number of changes. Updates include: (1) revised color of gold plating deco, (2) different color deco for parts underneath of plating, (3) closer placement of faceplate to photoreceptors to assist the aesthetics of the head sculpt (4) refreshed 2020 packaging with different graphics (5) corrected font style for name "pill"
Review Status Update: The original publication date of this review is July 8, 2010. It was subsequently updated with a new Photo Gallery and revised General Analysis and republished on June 3, 2020 after Hasbro reissued the figure.
Status: See-Threepio (C-3PO) is an all-new figure. Hasbro re-released the figure in 2020 with significant changes.
Articulation Count: 24 points (16 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head* (1), swivel left shoulder plating (1), swivel right shoulder plating (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), ball-socket torso* (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee* (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 4
Accessory Details: removable face plate, removable chest plate, removable right thigh plate, removable back panel – each panel has amazing detail on the underside portion (*head, torso and right lower leg are removable)
Date Stamp: 2009
Card Back: The Empire Strikes Back
Name: See-Threepio (C-3PO)
Assortment Number: 97578/97568
Retail: $7.99 USD
Card Back: The Empire Strikes Back
Name: See-Threepio (C-3PO)
Assortment Number: E9572/E5912
Retail: $12.99 USD
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