The Good: Decent detailing, Generally decent articulation
The Bad: Lack of eye detailing, Slight balance issue.
The Basics: The R-3PO figure is a decent supplemental droid, but hardly an essential Star Wars figure, which might be why no one is in a rush to improve upon the one from the Original Trilogy Collection!
Sometimes, as I go through a box of my action figures (I have been unboxing them lately so I can reorganize my collection and make cuts based on what might not be moving with me!) I encounter one that I have absolutely no memory of buying or being given to me. Today, that figure is R-3PO. R-3PO was produced for Hasbro’s Original Trilogy Collection and it might well be the only version of the protocol droid.
For those unfamiliar with the R-3PO, it was the red protocol droid seen momentarily on the ice planet of Hoth at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!). It was the same model as C-3PO, save red, and only appeared in the background, with no lines.
The 4" R-3PO figure is a very basic supplemental Star Wars action figure.
The R-3PO is a good support figure for anyone's Star Wars action figure collection as it is a generic droid character. While there have been a slew of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and even Chewbacca figures, it is hard to play with more than one at a time without some serious suspension of disbelief. The figure stands 3 5/8" tall and is a simple reuse of the Original Trilogy Collection C-3PO. The figure is made almost entirely of hard plastic, which was a rarity for this line.
This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like the protocol droid. For this iteration of the protocol droid, Hasbro enhanced the detailing to the elbows, basically creating bars on the inside of the elbows and the outside as well. Both the mouth hole, eyes and torso wiring details have been enhanced for this sculpt. Otherwise, it is a pretty basic protocol droid sculpt.
R-3PO does not have a costume and it is cast in monotonal red plastic that is then enhanced with black detailing – most noticeable on the textured elements and the head – to make the droid seem worn and appropriately used. Hasbro provided enhancements to the elbows and torso detailing as well. I was not wowed by the color of the eyes or how bright they did not appear to be under usual lighting situations (i.e. when the figure is standing up, as opposed to tilted up facing lights). In general, though, this is an impressively-colored action figure.
The R-3PO comes only with its stand. The stand is a two and three-quarter inch long by one and a half inch wide by one-quarter inch tall gunmetal colored plastic stand. It features tabs which allow it to connect with other stands in the set and a peg which fits the hole in either of the R-3PO's feet. On the stand, the figure is completely stable and posable. The stands make these figures into display pieces and the R-3PO is a worthy one!
The four inch toy line was designed for play and R-3PO is good in that regard. The figure is mildly articulated and it has only average balance when off its stand. R-3PO has fair articulation, articulation is not a problem for the stiff-style protocol droid, but its balance is problematic. If the figure’s feet are moved out of a flatfooted position, this figure tips over. Still, when the figure is posed flatfooted, it is fairly stable, and on its base, it is solid! The R-3PO figure comes with only five points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints! He has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, and neck.
The elbows do not extend, but the figure's shoulder rotate up and down and given how this is a support character, this is not a serious liability for the figure. Otherwise, the joints are fine and any limitations on the articulation front actually service the idea of the protocol droid well.
R-3PO is part of the 2003 Original Trilogy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not very common at all, but largely recast figures that had been previously released by Kenner. Hasbro sought to improve the old figures by having a greater attention to detail, coloring and accessory detail and proportion. As such, this R-3PO is a distinct improvement as far as balance, detailing and accessories from other, earlier protocol droids. Released as Original Trilogy Collection figure #02, this figure is a good idea for those creating a whole army of Star Wars figures. It is hard to imagine how this figure might be improved upon, save with more articulation.
The Hoth Evacuation R-3PO is a decent supplemental droid figure and one that can enhance one’s larger Star Wars toy collection without leaving one wanting any form of upgrade to the figure.
For other 2003 Original Trilogy Collection Star Wars figures from The Empire Strikes Back, please check out my reviews of:
Deluxe Hoth Attack Wampa with Hoth Cave
#01 Hoth Rebel Trooper
#03 Hoth Attack Luke Skywalker
#13 Hoth Rescue Han Solo
#15 Executor Assault Admiral Ozzel
#17 Executor Meeting Dengar
#18 Executor Meeting Bossk
For other toy reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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