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The Black Series [Phase II]

R5-G19 - TBS [P2] - Basic (#01)

Name: R5-G19
Collection: The Black Series [Phase II]
Number: #01
Scale: 3¾"
Source: Expanded Universe (Return Of The Jedi Deleted Scene)
Availability: October 2014
License: Hasbro

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An R5-series astromech droid stands in the briefing room as Rebel Alliance leaders Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar outline the planned attack on the second Death Star.

Have we hit rock bottom as collectors when the opening figure for the collectors’ all-new line look is a poorly painted Build A Droid astromech droid? We should have been thrilled. The Black Series gets an aggressive transition visually for the 2014/2015 product year. Gone is the dull and drab orange-and-black line look and in its place is a card design that harkens back to the glory days of The Legacy Collection (the first blue phase), but better. It’s been rumored that a main character in Star Wars: Rebels (perhaps a disguised character) is a TIE Fighter Pilot, which is the reason that the updated line looks has become what it has. (Take that as you wish.) Whatever the reason, we’re just thrilled to see the orange and black go because the new packaging makes you feel like a Star Wars collector again. The figures are a completely different story however. It’s no secret. The Black Series has had a rough uphill battle. Poor initial wave choices and poor distribution has really halted the line's success. As a result, Hasbro's initial plans for The Black Series [Phase II] line has taken a back seat, and things that were planned have been canceled and/or delayed. Figures that were unofficially confirmed are now indefinitely in limbo. And the figures most of us expected to see, or have leaked on Hasbro's lists (that our eyes weren’t really meant to see) have been so completely shuffled that all of their fates are essentially unknown anymore. With Episode VII around the corner, it may be the most realistic to believe that Hasbro is just treading water until the new film explodes, which we all hope and pray reinvigorates Star Wars to unprecedented levels. (We’ll see.)

Oh yeah. So back to this figure. Apparently it was the will of the Force that R5-G19, a very simple Build A Droid figure, be cast as figure #01 for The Black Series [Phase II] line. Is it just us, or could there not be a more odd choice than this? Confirmed by Jedi Temple Archives at 2014’s San Diego Comic Con that this figure would indeed utilize the Build A Droid sculpt, we were however told a COMPLETELY different story at 2014’s NY International Toy Fair. Hasbro’s Jeff Labovitz and others who oversaw the Star Wars brand at that point confirmed that R5-G19 would be an all-new sculpt, despite the shown prototype being a Build A Droid sculpt as well. (They even confirmed that the figure shown was “just a prototype” and that we should expect an all-new figure.) Clearly all of this has changed. While we do appreciate the uniformity that the Build A Droid sculpt brings to the basic figure line, we felt that the time has come to introduce an all-new sculpt to the collecting community. We personally had high hopes, and now they’ve been crushed. Well, that might be an exaggeration. What some may not know, and not to kick Hasbro when they’re down, they’ve also picked the “wrong” droid (in our opinion) for The Black Series [Phase II] line as well. And their choice of card back image proves that this is indeed true. There are multiple astromech droids in the Home One sequence of Return Of The Jedi. And oddly enough there are a pair of R3 and R5 units that look similar to each other respectively on each side of the conference area. The ones on our left of the screen are visible in the film, but the ones on the right weren’t and weren't even known to exist until they were revealed by

As fate would have it, Hasbro designed R5-G19, the R5-series astromech droid we couldn’t see (all the way on the right side of the screen) for the basic figure line. Sigh. To date, only black and white reference materials of this droid are available (thanks to Hyperspace.) As such, this makes R5-G19 an Expanded Universe (Return Of The Jedi Deleted Scene) figure. With all of the astromechs that are prominently featured in the Star Wars films (Prequel Trilogy included), did they really have to choose the most obscure one? Even R5-C7 was visible in the Attack Of The Clones and that was a really tough character to find in Episode II! (For the record, we feel similarly about 2012’s SW [TPM 3D] Ewok Pack Toys R Us exclusive multipack. With all of the Ewoks from the film, did they really need to dig into the Expanded Universe for Ewoks?) So how did R5-G19 turn out? Hasbro already had the sculpt, so they should have had some extra pennies to throw towards a nice paint job, right? Wrong. R5-G19 is ultimately very disappointing. There isn’t a brush stroke of a final dirty wash on this droid and the maroon/burgundy colored panels and details it has are applied anywhere from neatly to sloppily. It’s thoroughly disappointing. Admittedly any new astromech droid is welcomed (and we don’t know why Hasbo IS NOT banging these out all the time), but R5-G19 is definitely a disappointment. We’re not sure if it’s a combination of things, or that it just falls flat and doesn’t offer anything more exciting than what we've already seen. But here are the facts: It’s the first figure in the second phase of The Black Series line. It couldn’t have a simpler paint job. It’s not in Return Of The Jedi. And there are dozens of “very visible” droids that got the shaft once again in favor of this figure. How do you think we all should feel about this?

Collector Notes


Status: R5-G19 is a repaint of the R5-series Build A Droid sculpt first utilized with 2009's TLC R5-A2 (Build A Droid) figure.

Articulation Count: 8 points (8 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel dome (1), swivel left leg (1), swivel right leg (1), hinge-jointed left ankle (1), hinge-jointed right ankle (1), rolling left leg wheel (1), rolling right leg wheel (1), rolling third leg wheel (1)

Accessory Count: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: 2008

Assortment Number: A7261/A5077

UPC: 630509246656

Retail: $10.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.



The Black Series [Phase II] 3¾" Wave 1 (Wave 6)

R5-G19 (#01)

Luke Skywalker (#02)

Darth Vader (#03)

Darth Malgus (#04)

Starkiller (Galen Marek) (#05)

Yoda (#06)

Added: September 22, 2014
Category: Black Series [Phase II], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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