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The Saga Collection

R5-D4 - TSC - Basic (SAGA 032)

Name: R5-D4
Collection: The Saga Collection
Number: SAGA 032
Source: A New Hope*
Availability: June 2006
License: Hasbro

* This version of R5-D4 is technically from Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones

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Escape From Mos Eisley

droid type: astromech

purchased by: Owen Lars

suffers from: bad motivator

Just as Owen Lars purchases this battle-worn astromech droid, the droid’s motivator blows a fuse. Disgruntled and dissatisfied, Owen asks for another R2 unit and selects R2-D2 after C-3PO recommends his services. Little does Owen know that his seemingly simple droid selection will turn out to determine the fate of the galaxy...

One of the greatest things about the vintage Kenner Star Wars era were the many obscure characters made into action figures in lieu of more popular characters never seeing the light of day until the modern era. How characters like Snaggletooth (whose “cobbling of two distinct characters” vintage figure technically doesn’t even exist at all in the Star Wars saga as is) and Death Star Droid were made in favor of the Rebel Fleet Troopers or Grand Moff Tarkin is beyond what we’re able to comprehend. But at the same rate we wouldn’t have had it any other way. 1978 through 1985 taught us what was important about Star Wars action figure collecting. It wasn’t about paint jobs and it wasn’t about how much articulation was stuffed into a sculpt. It was about the pure unadulterated joys of owning a piece of the films that changed our lives forever. So that is why R5-D4 from The Saga Collection is an emotionally inspiring action figure. We waited a long time for an acceptable update to be made in the neo-classic era and this little droid is here to plant itself firmly in your Star Wars action figure collection. Complete with a miniature “good guy” red hologram and a personalized action figure stand (we love these), R5-D4 is the consummate R5 unit as far as we’re concerned. But that’s probably because R5-D4 didn’t get the right treatment from the start in the modern era.

After the 1979 vintage R5-D4 (Arfive-Defour) figure, the very next version of him we got was 1996’s The Power Of The Force figure. A reworked version of the canceled “Attack R2-D2” figure, R5-D4 split open and housed a projectile-firing cannon. The outer legs were joined together by a plastic bar and the third leg was ridiculously out of proportion. Its only saving grace was the remarkable paint job it had (especially on the internal cannon). Still, even from the beginning that figure never satisfied collectors in any meaningful way. We had to wait almost a decade for Hasbro to step up to the plate and release an almost perfect modern counterpart to our beloved vintage figure. The Saga Collection’s R5-D4 action figure is a breath of fresh air and should satiate even the most discriminating collector. Based off of 2004’s VOTC Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Extension Arm) figure, R5-D4 has been given an all-new head sculpt that is just perfect and has also been given its trademark orange/red and blue details on its body to bring everything all together. We all know what a brilliant sculpt that version of R2-D2 is. The good news is that the sculpt actually works better here for the R5 units. Since an all-new dome has to be added for the R5 units, the issue of a shiny chrome dome goes away and you’re able to appreciate the figure as a whole so much better.

But the goodness doesn't stop with a perfectly accurate sculpt. R5-D4 is then finished off beautifully with a dirty wash. This final touch to this action figure is stunning and it’s something we wish all outside astromech droids would have on them. Whatever process Hasbro is employing here is unbelievably amazing. It is some of the most believable “dirt” we have seen on action figures in a very long time. The dirt seems to run (or drip) down the figure in spots. It's just superb to say the least. Many have noticed that R5-D4 is lacking the red color on the three vertical panels on its back. While this is certainly incorrect for its appearance in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, it’s not entirely inaccurate. So the interesting point we’d like to make is that this version of R5-D4 is technically based on the droid’s appearance in Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones and not the former. This of course is an extremely technical analysis and it doesn’t prevent us personally from putting R5-D4 next to our Sandcrawler in our displays. Hasbro is slowly but surely updating all of the vintage figures into modern counterparts. It’s only a matter of time before we’re all done. And then we’ll probably repeat the cycle again with whatever new technology brings our action figures to a new and improved level (perish the thought). Be sure to enjoy R5-D4, it’s unlikely that Hasbro can do better for this action figure and besides, this astromech is more than acceptable. It’s almost perfect.

Collector Notes


Status: R5-D4 is a retool of 2004's VOTC Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (With Extension Arm) with an all-new dome. The front panel has been glued down this time and the figure has been repainted.

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), left leg rolling wheel (1), right leg rolling wheel (1), center foot rolling wheel (1)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: removable antenna

Date Stamp: 2004

Assortment Number: 86780/85770

UPC: 653569123453

Retail: $6.99 USD

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

The Saga Collection Wave 5
Momaw Nadon (SAGA 031)
R5-D4 (SAGA 032)
Hem Dazon (SAGA 033)
Garindan (SAGA 034)
Han Solo (SAGA 035)
Luke Skywalker (SAGA 036)
Sandtrooper (SAGA 037)
Darth Vader (SAGA 038)

Added: September 24, 2011
Category: Saga Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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