Sunday, September 30, 2012

When Your Hoth Gets Attacked, K-3PO Might Be The Protocol Droid To Save Your Rebels!

The Good: Decent detailing, Generally decent articulation, Cool accessory
The Bad: Lack of eye detailing, Slight balance issue.
The Basics: The K-3PO is a decent staple figure to bulk up your Rebel toys.

The protocol droids in the Star Wars franchise make for real easy toys, given how the actual droids were all cut from the same mold. The thing is, most of them are just recolored C-3PO figures and because there were only minor improvements in articulation through the different generations of the figures, there is actually little reason for Hasbro to keep upgrading them. As a result, for all its faults, the K-3PO figure from the Power Of The Force line is fine for those who want to bulk up their droid collection.

For those unfamiliar with K-3PO, it was the white 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 white, and only appeared in the background, with no lines.

The 4" K-3PO figure is a very basic supplemental Star Wars action figure.


The K-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 3/4" tall and is a very basic protocol droid. 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.

K-3PO does not have a costume and it is cast in monotonal white plastic that is then enhanced with gray and red detailing in the torso. 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. K-3PO is also enhanced by a black splotch on the chest that makes it look like it was shot there.


The K-3PO comes only with a scanning device. The 2 1/4" long device has two antennae and a brown strap. It is accented with silver-gray highlights for all of the knobs and buttons. This generally fits the color scheme of the droid. Its left hand is not actually open enough to hold the scanning device, but its right hand easily holds the strap.

As a Power Of The Jedi figure, K-3PO also features a Jedi Force File. The little magazine has pictures and describes K-3PO habits, abilities, enemies and provides ideas for play with the figure. The Jedi Force File appeals to trading card collectors as well as toy enthusiasts.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and K-3PO is good in that regard. The figure is mildly articulated and it has only average balance when on its own. K-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! The K-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.


K-3PO is part of the 2000 Power Of The Jedi 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 K-3PO is a distinct improvement as far as balance, detailing and accessories from other, earlier protocol droidsThis figure is a good idea for those creating a whole army of Star Wars figures, but is in no way essential, which is probably why it has not increased at all in value over the last decade. It is hard to imagine how this figure might be improved upon, save with more articulation.


The K-3PO Echo Base Protocol Droid is good, but in no way extraordinary, but cool for enhancing a larger Hoth Rebel scene.

For other Power Of The Jedi figures from The Empire Strikes Back, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Bespin Escape Princess Leia
Dagobah Darth Vader
Bespin Escape Lando Calrissian
Bespin Capture Han Solo
Bespin Guard


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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