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The Vintage Collection

See-Threepio (C-3PO) - TVC - Basic (VC06)

Name: See-Threepio (C-3PO)
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC06
Source: Expanded Universe (During the Events of Clone Wars Volume 2)/The Empire Strikes Back**
Availability: August 2010*
License: Hasbro

* Wave 1 of The Vintage Collection was available at some retail stores as early as June 2010
** C-3PO's features are directly inspired from The Empire Strikes Back

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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 he strangely grows on you in very positive ways. The tragic thing is that most collectors won't have the patience to allow this interest to grow. He absolutely fails to impress in some areas like the non-vacuum metalized finish or his bizarre and random removable plates), but he comes with some really neat features, awesome in fact, that make it extremely hard not to like him. He definitely doesn't have the capability to impress and satisfy the entire collective audience, but we bet that many will be very happy to get him in their collections and even more will be picking him up based on the clamoring of others. And it is only once you start playing with him do you realize just how well he was designed. The sculpt is a miraculous design. Although his removable panels may create an aesthetic isn't entirely ideal, there is no denying that See-Threepio (C-3PO) impresses us more than we can express. In comparison to some of the awesome action figures we have been getting over the last few years, See-Threepio (C-3PO) will absolutely come in secondary. This is a shame because he is meant to bring something new to the action figure table that we really haven't seen with him to date. Of course he isn't perfect. For example, his parts may not fit precisely and show some gapping, but the symmetry of his body plates are far from askew and line up together very well, especially for their small size. The thigh plate in particular is a little squirrely, but the rest stay in place extremely well even after they are removed the first time and replaced. We think that the engineering department was attuned to the needs of this figure. We would have loved to see some finer aspects tightened up, like his face plate for example, but the good news is that overall there is very little to complain about here. Because of the removable face plate, he really doesn’t resemble the onscreen character that well and we think that this was an action figure that would have been much better served were it released in pieces more like others in the popular Build A Droid series, or at the very least this figure should have come with an interchangeable head sculpt without the removable face plate. That's just our two cents. (We love the Build A Droid figures and we think the mold for the 3PO protocol droid was just phenomenal. But we digress.) It's not that Hasbro hasn't tried with See-Threepio (C-3PO) because they absolutely have. It's just that U-3PO in the Build A Droid collection was just made so well that many collectors will forsake this all new attempt. That would be a mistake. Regardless, this action figure is definitely likeable 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 sixteen points of articulation. His rotating shoulder cuffs add two extra points and since all they really only do is swivel, it isn’t too much 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 still claim and remain firm in our opinion that See-Threepio (C-3PO) is a tad too small. This droid 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 really don’t know what has happened here aside from the expected shrinkage at the factory level with the plastics and we find it unfortunate. It's s shame that Hasbro has taken a new approach with the scale of this character this late in the line, even if it is accidental and not intentional. 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 really don’t know, but we think that Hasbro needs to think a little more clearly when releasing another 3PO protocol droid in the main 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 exactly what they did. We don't mean to harp over U-3PO but that droid was probably the most perfect 3PO droid for the line and it seems as if Hasbro is not that inclined to use it over and over again. This is a very big shame, but we will let it go, especially for the purpose of comparing it to this version of See-Threepio (C-3PO) because it isn't fair. This is meant to be a completely different take on him. We may have to get over the fact that it would have been much more exciting to get a gold painted version of U-3PO in this vintage package than what Hasbro decided to release here. (We should also note that we are also stuck on movie accuracy too, and this is not what Hasbro had in mind here.) This is not a figure that will be the definitive update for any movie sourced C-3PO unfortunately. That being said however, Hasbro did give him some very specific features that source him directly to The Empire Strikes Back. (More on that in a moment.) It just may be hard for some to accept that this is the version of See-Threepio (C-3PO) we got for the collector-focused line. Please allow us to reiterate. This figure has really grown on us.

We have sourced this figure to the Expanded Universe, specifically to the Clone Wars. But his play features also directly source him to The Empire Strikes Back, specifically in two scenes, one where Chewbacca is starting to put him back together (with 3PO's removed back plate and all) and 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. Anyway, our best guess remains that See-Threepio (C-3PO) is based from somewhere within Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars Volume 2. And besides, this action figures looks relatively "cartoony" thanks to not receiving a vac-metalized finish so this may be the best place to designate him. (We're reaching here, folks.) This is the scene where it's documented when he received his new gold plating, so it makes the most sense that this action figure is somehow inspired from that period in Star Wars lore. And with the changing of the dull and mismatched plating to the updated gold plating would result in him showing his Episode I “naked” self. We can’t think of any other situation where this “look” would exist. If something like this doesn’t bother you, then you are perhaps much more mentally stable than us, but 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 a line that boasts itself as The Vintage Collection.) But those grumbles aside, C-3PO has some really cool surprises. His head and torso come apart in separate pieces and his back plate also can be removed to show some control buttons. His right leg can also be removed and he can hold it quite well in his left hand. These are the aspects of the figure which give him movie-specific characteristics and for that we are thankful. And it's just some of the things that make us start to adore this figure. So, See-Threepio (C-3PO) may be bittersweet, but he certainly isn't a disappointment in The Vintage Collection. We warmly welcome him even if he is different than any C-3PO to date. Hasbro has given the figure enough to be very interesting. Again, we would have preferred a vac-metalized body, but the method they used works for him. See-Threepio (C-3PO) may or may not exceed your expectations, but there is no denying that this is a version we just haven’t seen before in the basic figure line. And that is what is making us fall for him hard. Hopefully you'll allow yourself to warm up and appreciate it him. He is indeed a surprise favorite of ours.

Collector Notes

See-Threepio (C-3PO)

Status: See-Threepio (C-3PO) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 16 points

Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 swivel shoulder cuffs, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, ball-socket torso, 2 swivel legs, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

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)

Date Stamp: 2009

Assortment Number: 97578/97568

UPC: 653569498704

Retail: $7.99 USD

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

See-Threepio (C-3PO)

The Vintage Collection Wave 1
Dengar (VC01)
Leia (Hoth Outfit) (VC02)
Han Solo (Echo Base Outfit) (VC03)
Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) (VC04)
AT-AT Commander (VC05)
See-Threepio (C-3PO) (VC06)
Dack Ralter (VC07)
Darth Vader (VC08)
Boba Fett (VC09)
4-LOM (VC10)
(Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot (VC11)

Added: July 8, 2010
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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