Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Very Basic R2-D2, The Power Of The Force R2-D2 Is A Retrospective Loser!

The Good: Fair sculpt, Fair detailing
The Bad: No sounds (some later models did have them!), No collectible value, Under-articulated
The Basics: The Power Of The Force R2-D2 might have once been a decent staple droid figure, but he has since been (vastly) improved upon.

It is hard to do a lot with an astromech droid figure. In fact, Kenner and Hasbro – for a long time – bet that was how fans would feel about the droids. However, with improvements in the molding technology and, perhaps as important, increased special effects which suddenly made R2-D2 vastly more powerful in the prequel films, the sculpts became much more ambitious than the original R2-D2 figures. That is why the first R2-D2 in the current run of Star Wars action figures, the one from the 1995 Power Of The Force toy line, remains one of the early duds . . . though it did not appear bad at the time of its release.

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, but has since been improved upon and it is by seeing those improvements that the collector is likely to realize just how underwhelming this original figure actually was.


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 Power Of The Force R2-D2 is a clean version of R2-D2, which looks much like the droid after it has been cleaned up and repaired (at the very beginning or very end of A New Hope. The figure is made entirely of hard plastic.

This toy is a good sculpt, looking exactly like the droid, with its central foot down! 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 and has prevented it from devaluing as a result of simple age.


R2-D2, simple robot working covertly for the Rebellion that it is, comes all alone for its initial release.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and R2-D2 is fair in that regard. Unfortunately, R2-D2, at the time this figure was produced, was not the most active droid in the galaxy. As a result, the figure has as much articulation as the little droid was thought to have. 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, especially with the front leg resting against a flat surface! 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 three hundred sixty 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.

When the head of the droid is turned on this figure, it makes a loud clicking noise.


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 overproduced, but not quite as much as the other figures in this assortment. More importantly, this figure did not suffer from the proportion issues of the other figures in this release, so fans bought them up because it was the only one of the original figures that actually had the right look and shape for the character. Even so, the price on this figure has long since peaked and given that there are so many other R2-D2 action figures with more accessories and playable abilities on the market, it is impossible to recommend fans and collectors bother with this one. It makes, at the very least, for a poor investment.


R2-D2 is good, but subsequent R2-D2 action figures were all better, making this once superlative action figure obsolete.

For other R2-D2 and Star Wars droid figures, please check out my reviews of:
Power Of The Force R2-D2 with sensorscope
Original Trilogy Collection R2-D2 (Dagobah)
Discover The Force Destroyer Droid


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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