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Never Forget - The ICMG Petition

BigBadToyStore.com

R2-D2 "Bar2-D2"
(Jabba's Sailbarge)

R2-D2 is one of those figures that Hasbro’s done to death, yet there are still some resculpts and new ideas that can eek out that impressive new obtuse little friend that not only wows us, but also draws in the kids who simply want an R2 figure.  Let’s face it, R2 is kid friendly.  He’s the intergalactic “man’s best friend”, and can calculate your commute to work like a portable On-Star system. 

“Bar2-D2”, as this figure has been dubbed by the fans, is in no short supply of fun for young and old collectors alike, and exemplifies the unique ability for Hasbro to adapt old sculpts with new accessories and features.  Their end result with Bar2 here is what some consider to be the best “basic” R2-D2 ever, and he fills the void of a bartending R2-D2 for our Jabba’s Palace dioramas that we’ve had for some time now.

There’s little that I would’ve changed personally, but one neat extra feature does come to mind.  Read on for the lowdown on Bar2 R2 here, and see just what a nice sidekick this figure makes for your collection.

PROS

Sculpt:  Utilizing older sculpts from past figures is fine when the sculpt is up-to-snuff with other recently released figures.  You can’t really pass off the original POTF2 Leia in today’s modern line without asking for major backlash from the collector community, but certain sculpts from the semi-distant past, or in this case the POTJ distant past, are easily among the best of the line so, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, ya know?

Bar2-D2’s sculpt appears to utilize the body, legs, and feet from possibly as far back as the R2-Q5 Imperial Astromech figure.  This is, by most people’s standards, the finest sculpt for an astro droid ever, so I say kudos to Hasbro for reusing it.  At the very least, the feet are reused, as the date stamps read 2001.  So I’m wagering the body is as well, and I’d even go so far as to claim the dome is the same as R2-Q5 with just a retooling to accommodate the drink spout accessory.

Overall then, the sculpt isn’t new, but the end result is still a high quality, high detail, and simply amazing sculpt that has stood the somewhat short test of time that it’s been used by Hasbro. 

Articulation:  As the sculpt is likely not new, we know what to expect with this figure’s articulation then as well.  The R2-Q5 figure I believe this to be based on had as impressive a level of articulation as one could expect on any R2 figure. 

The figure sports 6 total articulation points at the following locals:

-3 hinged ankle joints
-2 “shoulder” joints
-1 rotating dome
-1 extendable 3rd leg

That’s pretty decent for a droid as it is, and for an Astromech Droid, it’s pretty much as good as you could ever hope for. 

Paint Application:  Mine’s downright spotless actually…  The only bleeding I see is a little silver spreading off into some of the blue in a couple areas.

The figure sports a lot of colors too - from metallic blue shades, to the silver dome, to silver highlights on the body and legs, to red wire highlights on the feet, and even to the red/aqua/orange lights that adorn R2’s dome.  This figure is really quite colorful, and it sticks out among the other figures on the pegs at your local store.

Bar2-D2 sports a very clean decoration, though some could argue that he was a little more dirtied up in Jabba’s Palace, but really I think that’s picking of nits for the most part.  The figure looks good clean, and it really gives us the first truly poseable R2-D2 figure in a clean pattern.  Again, it’s the perfect “basic” R2-D2, easily replacing the R2-D2 w/Holographic Princess Leia accessory.  (For the record, that R2 figure boasted a slightly dirtied decoration and the droid restraining bolt specific to R2 from the Jawa scenes and Luke’s Garage)

Accessories:  Not that Bar2-D2 sports a LOT of accessories or anything like that, but he sports the most logical of them, and overall they turned out quite well. 

The first is the drink spout, which conveniently pops into a hole in the center of R2’s dome, just as the real drink spout seemed to in the film.  The spout’s actually quite detailed, featuring small hoses, a bracing arm that rests on the colored panels of R2’s dome, and the flared drink spout.  There is also the flipped up “lid” panel on R2’s peak of his dome, and it’s painted the appropriate blue. This is a remarkable little accessory in its own right, and it fits quite snuggly into the hole on the dome, so it doesn’t flop out or look awkward.

The second accessory is R2’s drink tray.  Painted in a brass paint, and sculpted with actually quite intricate detail (in the brass lacework on the supports that mount to R2’s shoulders), the drink tray is a pretty impressive looking piece.  A little dark wash might’ve brought out some more of the sculpt’s intricacies better, but as an accessory I can’t complain. 

The cups are sculpted to the tray itself though, and that is somewhat disappointing ultimately.  Still though, the tray is relatively sturdy, but pliable enough to bend the prongs that fit around R2’s shoulders so that they’ll get a snug fit without paint chipping, and still make the accessory easy enough to remove.  In the end, this accessory fits perfectly on the figure, and aside from the cups being molded to it, the whole thing’s just great.

The third accessory is the simple “Star Wars” rectangular figure stand that’s supposed to interconnect with other stands that are the same style.  Unfortunately, as with ALL the other stands, they don’t interlock properly because they’re not sculpted properly, and consequently they look terrible connected in the end.  Still, it’s a stand though (although Bar2 doesn’t need it), and that’s alright.

CONS

The Drink Cups:  It’s a minor thing, but I’ve seen others mention it, and I agree with them.  It would’ve been nice had Hasbro opted to make removable drink cups on R2’s tray.  They’re like tiny shot glasses it seems (R2’s a shooter girl?  Hah!) to me, and they’d make some REALLY small accessories…  Maybe even the smallest in the line had they been made removable.  Still, I’d have enjoyed seeing them done up this way.  It’s minor, and I don’t mind it as it is though, just a secondary thought to make R2 extra unique and “collector friendly”.

No Hidden Compartment?:  This is my only real “wish” that didn’t come true on this figure.  I’ve been sort of asking for this since I envisioned a Bar2-D2 figure many moons ago, and I think it’d make it a slightly more versatile figure that could’ve replaced the previously HORRIBLE lightsaber-launching version of R2-D2 from the Flashback wave of figures years ago.

Unfortunately, Hasbro didn’t see it fit to include a small opening compartment in R2’s dome with a Jedi Luke’s saber hilt to fit inside (perhaps with a little spring that lifts it up, but is held down when the compartment lid is closed?).  That’s a bit intricate and complex perhaps, but it would’ve been a really neat feature if you ask me, and it would’ve been wonderful to replace the abomination that is the aforementioned horrible Pop-up Saber R2.  Maybe they could’ve even included a metal saber hilt with detachable blade so those of us who love those lightsabers could’ve had one.  They have the molds as it is after all, and I’d have gladly replaced the recent Jedi Luke’s saber accessory for a metal hilt, removable blade version. 

I’m possibly going overboard on this, but I don’t believe so.  Given the reused sculpt for the most part, the extra work put into the dome would’ve made this figure extra special, and the PERFECT Jabba’s Palace R2-D2 in my eyes.

OVERALL

What can one say?  This figure is pretty darn great as it stands.  While there’s a couple things I would’ve done to improve it from a collector’s point of view, I can’t honestly say I’m bothered that those features aren’t included in the final figure.  This thing is good for a multitude of reasons as it is.  It’s a great “basic” and clean R2-D2.  It’s a great NEW version of R2-D2 due to the accessories.  It’s a great piece to customize as any poseable Astromech is (Repaints you Customizers, repaints!).  And last, it’s a nice R2-D2 to have on the pegs for both kids and adults to pick up. 

This figure’s relatively common in my area at the time that I’m writing this, but as I’ve seen with almost every wave since the Outlander Club wave, that could easily change in a hurry. Toys R Us has them a-plenty in my neck of the woods (Pittsburgh) though, so keep your eyes open and definitely grab one when you see it.  Well worth the $5, I believe.

JJ

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