Power Droid - Kenner - Vintage Star Wars (1978)
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The Vintage Collection

R5-D4 - TVC - Basic (VC303)

Name: R5-D4
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC303
Source: The Mandalorian
Availability: December 2023
License: Hasbro

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A battered astromech droid, R5-D4 has had a long operational span bouncing around various owners on Tatooine for decades. Now, he resides in Docking Bay 3-5 of Mos Eisley Spaceport in Peli Motto's employ.

Wow. It only took Hasbro 27 years, but they FINALLY corrected R5-D4 in the action figure line. And we’re talking about every scale, from 3.75-inch to the 12-inch line. We received our first modern R5-D5 figure in The Power Of The Force “2” line. Hasbro then released a couple of versions after that, including 2011’s TVC R5-D4 (VC40) figure, but every single one has a crucial detail missing: the three vertical panels on its back were missing the red color. The Remote Control R5-D4 released in The Legacy Collection lineup was a reissued Japanese exclusive figure. However, that version has the corrected red panels. As far as a Hasbro action figure, this is the first corrected R5-D4 in the long history of the modern line. What a shame they released it with The Mandalorian entertainment logo. It would have been sweet if they reissued the VC40 version instead.... corrected. But that brings us to another more critical point. Hasbro is up to their new tricks. 2023’s TVC R5-D4 is the exact figure as 2011’s TVC R5-D4. So, once again, Hasbro is using the same figures with different VC cataloging numbers, which ruins the line’s integrity. We wish they would stop making this lousy approach. At best, 2023’s R5-D4 based on The Mandalorian should have come with the revised character photo and entertainment logo from The Mandalorian, but they should have kept (and reissued) the VC40 number for this action figure as well.

R5-D4 is one of our favorite astromech droids in the Star Wars galaxy. As collectors, we have seen this droid go through quite a metamorphosis that ranges from a horrid design (the 1996 POTF2 “attack” figure) to the fantastic repaint/retool (the glorious 2006 The Saga Collection R5-D4 (SAGA 032) figure). Many collectors resigned to accepting the Build A Droid tooling as the definitive astromech droid. We’re on the fence about it, but many are angry. You would think that in this modern day and age, The Vintage Collection would bring us the best version of R5-D4 yet, but unfortunately, it has not. Maybe they could produce an all-new astromech droid figure at this point. We miss stunning paint jobs, cool features like the pop-up “bad motivator,” and an overall better dome. It’s easy to be fond of the new R5-D4 while still being disgruntled that Hasbro didn’t choose a “better” version for release in The Vintage Collection, whatever that “better” version may be here. Hasbro is finding new ways to include the Build A Droid figures into collectors’ hands (like this figure and other mediums), but we’re unsure if they should replace better versions of “already” made characters. Again, your mileage may vary here. We know we’re so happy about the correction on R5-D4 that we will happily take it, no matter the format.

In our assessment, R5-D4 has a little way to go before we can call it definitive. But we have to give credit where credit is due. Hasbro made advancements by correcting one error specific to The Saga Collection version. There is a thin blue panel directly underneath the head of this droid, and Hasbro has managed to capture this detail in part on the paint operation for the Build A Droid release. For the 2023 release, the line is much more muted. This detail is essential and helps make R5-D4 pop a bit more. As a Build A Droid figure, R5-D4 rocks. But as a premium The Vintage Collection figure, we can’t justify the $16.99 MSRP. Again, we hope we are not implying this is a terrible figure because it isn’t. We’re unsure if so many Build A Droid figures should be part of the premium collectors’ line. Perhaps these figures should be reserved for an “army building” set. But we can tell you that R5-D4 looks impressive on a vintage Kenner-inspired card, even if it’s from The Mandalorian. And that almost makes the bitterness of R5-D4 being a Build A Droid figure much sweeter. We are now up to five unique R5-D4 figures (including the 1979 Star Wars R5-D4 vintage Kenner figure and the remote control figure) in the 3.75-inch line. That is a lot of representation over the years for R5-D4. This droid has always made Y-wings look all the better, and now it will work remarkably well in the droid socket of the timely Mandalorian’s N-1 Starfighter vehicle.

Collector Notes


Status: R5-D4 is a repaint of 2011's TVC R5-D4 (VC40) figure.

Articulation Count: 8 points (8 areas of articulation)

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

Accessory Count: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: F7322/F6878

UPC: 5010996124364

Retail: $16.99 USD

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

The Vintage Collection Wave 41

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Added: November 20, 2023
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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