Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Despite The Proportions Being Way Off, The Power Of The Force C-3PO Stands Up!

The Good: Great coloring detail!
The Bad: Poor collectibility, Ridiculous sculpting in the chest area.
The Basics: C-3PO looks a bit more buff than usual in the Power Of The Force incarnation, but the figure holds up surprisingly well through the years!

For those who did not collect the Star Wars action figures beginning in 1995 when the latest product line began with Kenner's Power Of The Force line, you might be unaware of the quirks of late-'90s action figure development. Apparently, back in the day, accuracy was not as important as idea and for some reason, top-heavy action figures that looked more like musclemen were more valued than fidelity to the original source material. Nowhere is that more potentially ridiculous than with C-3PO. The droid, cast in the original Power Of The Force line has broader shoulders and a more bulky upper torso than the beanpole droid ever did in the movies. And yet, the figure holds up fairly well with the tests of time and is actually worth recommending as a cheap C-3PO figure for fans!

For those unfamiliar with C-3PO, he is the droid who opens A New Hope (reviewed here!). The gold metal robot is aboard the Tantive IV when it is attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer and is boarded. C-3PO retreats with R2-D2 to Tatooine, setting off the downfall of the Empire.

The 4" C-3PO figure from Kenner is cast in beautiful gold plastic and looks good even after fifteen years, though there are later recasts which are more accurate to the droid from the movies.


C-3PO is the droid seen throughout the Star Wars Sextet and the Power Of The Force figure is his standard, Original Trilogy, gold appearance. The figure stands 3 3/4" tall to the top of his head. C-3PO is a humanoid robot cast in shiny, reflective, gold plastic. The figure is cast inaccurately to have a more bulky - if it were human, it would be muscular - torso and upper body than C-3PO actually had, though otherwise the sculpt is very accurate, with the arms bent.

This C-3PO is cast in reflective gold plastic that looks very accurate to the character. The luster does not fade over the years, so this C-3PO looks very cool, though it will carry fingerprints if one is not careful! Kenner properly colored the stomach area black with blue and red wires for detailing. This is a very clean version of C-3PO.


C-3PO is a protocol droid and comes with no accessories.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and C-3PO is fair in that regard. The figure is poorly articulated and lacks significant articulation, though he also has hands that are cast so he couldn't hold any accessories even if one wanted him to. In addition to low articulation, C-3PO is not poseable at all. If the feet are moved even slightly out of a flatfooted position, this figure tips over, though flatfooted he is remarkably stable for a figure with such a wide center of gravity. He comes with only six points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints. As a result, he rotates at the groin socket, shoulders, neck, and waist. The elbows do not extend or bend.


C-3PO is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. C-3PO was ridiculously overproduced, appearing on at least two different cards as an identical sculpt. In other words, C-3PO is a poor investment and it may often be found dirt cheap. But more than that, because the figure has been resculpted several times, the Power Of The Force version has never held its value enough to get back up to its original issue price.


Despite the issues with the sculpt and overproduction, the Power Of The Force C-3PO is harder to tip over than most figures from the same era and can be a good support figure for those looking to get a shiny protocol droid figure on the cheap!

For other Star Wars: A New Hope figures in the "Power Of The Force" line, please check out my reviews of:
Momaw Nadon
Ponda Baba
Death Star Gunner
Cantina Aliens 3-pack
Death Star Escape 3-pack
Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page on the subject for an organized list of all the figures and toys I have reviewed!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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