The Good: Great sculpt, Decent accessories, Nice detailing, Collectible value.
The Bad: No sounds (some later models did have them!)
The Basics: A well-detailed R2-D2 figure with pretty great accessories for such a limited character, the Power Of The Force R2-D2 from the Freeze Frame collection is just about perfect!
There are some Star Wars action figures that one needs very few of because there are so few things that the toy companies may do to either get the figure right or screw it up completely. In fact, some might argue that the entire prequel arc of C-3PO was so the merchandising arm of Lucasfilm would actually have something they could sell of the character. Similarly, the little droid R2-D2 is a character most fans will only need one or two of because there are so few variations that actually have real differences or worthwhile qualities to them. Some might have come away from my review of the new R2-X2 figure (available here!) with the idea that I did not like R2 droid figures. Not true; I just find many of them redundant. For the standard Star Wars Trilogy, the ideal R2-D2 figure is arguably the Power Of The Force R2-D2 with retractable claw and buzz saw. This R2-D2 was only available in the Freeze Frame collection and remains one of the most sought after R2-D2 toys on the market.
For those unfamiliar with R2-D2, it is the droid, which first appeared working for Princess Leia in A New Hope (click here for my review of the film!). R2-D2 is programmed by Leia to bring the Death Star plans to the Rebellion and while Luke, Han and Obi-Wan are on the Death Star, the little droid assists in getting the trash compactor shut down so the heroes are not killed.
The 4" R2-D2 figure is decent and having at least one is pretty much essential for ever Star Wars toy enthusiast!
R2-D2 is a barrel-shaped white and blue droid, seen working for the Rebellion from early in A New Hope. The figure stands 2 1/4" tall to the top of its silver-domed head. R2-D2 is molded to have the surface details of the various compartments and light fixtures that the droid is seen with in the movie. The robot, though, is showing some wear and what makes the Power Of The Force R2-D2 so good is that it features realistic wear on the front drum of the droid. There was an earlier, clean R2-D2 which fits the bill for a solid, dependable-looking R2 unit figure, but for the R2-D2 that journeyed from Tatooine to the Death Star to Hoth and Dagobah, this is the active droid that fans want! The figure is made entirely of hard plastic.
This toy is a great sculpt, looking exactly like the droid, except for the button needed to activate his sensorscope and the hole for placing the accessories in! Otherwise, this figure is wonderfully cast to include only two of the robot's legs - the central guiding foot is not included on this sculpt! The dome of R2-D2 is made in a shiny silver plastic that looks very clean and all appropriate details on R2-D2 are painted an appropriate blue or black, depending on the console/port. This R2-D2 looks good even after fifteen years and does not seem to suffer from Kenner’s aging white plastic problem where the figures cast in white plastic yellow. This is especially nice for fans and collectors as this has therefore remained one of the most popular droid figures on the market.
R2-D2, simple robot working covertly for the Rebellion that it is, comes packed with only two accessories, which both fit into a port hole on the barrel of R2-D2. R2-D2 comes with a claw and a little saw accessory. The claw was seen in The Empire Strikes Back when R2-D2 tried to grab Yoda’s lamp and the 1” gray plastic accessory will actually hold onto tiny accessories from other toys. The little circular saw is like the one R2-D2 revealed it had when it helped to free Princess Leia from Jabba the Hutt and Salacious Crumb. Both accessories are simple, made of soft plastic and are light on both casting and coloring details. These are designed more for play than display and they fit tightly into the hole in R2-D2’s main frame. As well, both accessories fit the color scheme of the probe which comes out of R2-D2s frame as well.
As part of the Power Of The Force toy line, R2-D2 was given a Freeze Frame action slide. This is a very simple slide (like for a slide projector) which features a frame of R2-D2 with C-3P0 in the control center of the Death Star working to turn off the trash compactor!
The four inch toy line was designed for play and R2-D2 is great in that regard. The figure has as much articulation as the little droid can have and this R2-D2 is exceptionally well-balanced. R2-D2 lacks significant articulation in general, but the figure is accurate for the droid from the film! When the figure is posed flatfooted, it is solid as far as the balance goes! It comes with only three points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints. R2-D2 has joints at the shoulders and head. This robot’s head appropriately turns one hundred eighty degrees. In addition, the barrel rotates on the “shoulder” joints for posing it in different ways. The playful little droid may be posed in more outlandish poses on playsets because of the holes in the soles of its feet. They may be stuck in pegs on various playsets.
This R2-D2 figure features various droid-related features. In addition to the head swiveling significantly, R2-D2 has a spring-loaded sensor scope on its head. By pressing a button on the back of its head, a blue panel shoots out with the little camera-like box on the stick, just like in The Empire Strikes Back! As well, this R2-D2 has the interface probe which may extend out from the barrel-shaped portion of its body simply by twisting the droid’s head. When the head is turned 90 degrees, the probe extends out of its body. This is pretty neat for play enthusiasts. As well, the central foot may be pushed up into the body or pulled out for more posing options!
R2-D2 is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. R2-D2 was not, however, overproduced for the demand. Even though there are several subsequent figures R2-D2 figures, this one is the only one that comes loaded with as many accessories. As a result, it seems to be one of the harder Power Of The Force figures to find. Even so, probably because the figure was so often recast, this R2-D2 is a poor investment and it may often be found inexpensively and might well be better for fans looking to play than make money eventually off it.
R2-D2 is a close-enough to perfect figure because the droid is solid, looks correct and comes with all of the accessories one might reasonably expect a droid figure to come with. The playability and Freeze Frame make this cooler than even some of the R2-D2 figures that come with working sounds and lights!
For other Star Wars figures, please check out my reviews of:
Attack Of The Clones Nexu
Power Of The Force Nien Nunb
Saga Collection Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.