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Never Forget - The ICMG Petition

Entertainment Earth

R2-D2
(Dagobah Training)

The Original Trilogy Collection offers up a ďnewĒ version of a figure that we see pretty often anymore. R2-D2 (Dagobah Training) gives us the first carded version of R2 when he looks like he was emptying Port-O-Potties for a day and a nice improvement over the pack-in R2 that came with the Dagobah X-Wing. Sure he carries on the OTC tradition of reused/rehashed parts, but in the end itís what you ultimately get that says whether itís a good figure or not. I mean, you re-release the ďImperial OfficerĒ figure in grey instead of black, and I guarantee you people go ga-ga buying him up in droves to build an Imperial Technician army.

Itís all in the eye of the beholder right? Well, this eye beholds an improved version of a figure, but nothing is perfect eitherÖ Nothing that turned out to ďbe all that it can beĒ, as our armed forces friends may say. So what is there to like, and what is there to hate? Well thatís the eternal question that my reviews answerÖ And as the NEW banner says, Iím gonna bring you ďThe GoodÖ The BadÖ & The UglyĒ that this R2-D2 figure brings to your collection.

Read on, and enjoy.

PROS

Sculpt: The 2002 Saga R2-D2 that came out was laden with an ďactionĒ feature of lights and sounds, and really thatís not too bad. R2-D2 gets lots of figures left and right. Some of them are great, and some are so-so, but that Saga light-up R2-D2 was pretty neat for what it was. To make it even more impressive was that it was a rehash of a rehash (its origins come from the Power FX R2-D2 from the POTF2 line, actually). In the end itís a nice sculpt though.

The panels are all raised or sunk just right, so the figure has depth. On astromechs this is pretty paramount of importance, as itís really the only way to make this figure stand out. Some would argue that his dome panels are inaccurate, as they werenít really sunk in as much as they are on the figure (or at all on the actual prop, really, since theyíre flush with the body), but in the end itís an effective technique on something this small. Itís the best way to show all the intricate panels and things.

One little thing of note, is how the sculptor of this figure designed the battery compartmentís cover into the body lines of the figure. This is smart sculpting actually, and largely goes unnoticed. The figureís designer made it so the access to the batteries would be as unobtrusive as possible to the figureís looks. Sure you can notice it (namely the screw piece that holds it in place) but itís the effort that gets the grade.

Itís not terribly complex, but it works, and thatís all one can ask for from this figure in the end. The figure is even pretty old on top of it all, and it still holds its own against some top-notch figures coming out lately. It shaped up pretty great, so letís leave this ďProĒ at that then.

Light and Sound Feature: This is a neat little extra to any action figure I think, especially when it sounds good and isnít exactly obtrusive to the sculpt (for the most part). Old R2 here has neither problem actually. The rear-panel where the battery compartment is (and where you remove said batteries) has clear lines where you take it apart, but as noted in the critique of the sculpt, the panel lines match up with the battery compartmentís cover so itís as unnoticeable as it possibly can be. Thatís a nice touch. Again, it doesnít hinder the sculpt.

The other key though, is how does the sound actually sound, and how do the lights actually look. Well, it looks and sounds pretty darn great on this figure, which is nice because Hasbroís efforts with this feature (sound especially) have fallen somewhat flat in the past.

The sounds R2 makes are vast and varied actually, and while a little metallic sounding, you canít expect perfection, and theyíre still pretty clearly R2-D2. I counted I believe 8 to 9 unique effects in him too, and the red light/eye on the figure blinks and lights up in unison with the sounds. Thatís a pretty nicely done feature within the figure. The one effect I liked the most was his ďscreamĒ which to enact this one youíve got to hold the button down a while. I consider that pretty great, and since his being spewed across the swamp was one of my favorite moments, then itís much appreciated to have this sound.

Another small detail is the way the figureís button to activate the feature is a panel on the front of R2 that is perfectly flush with the figure. Again, another nice job of hiding the means of making the figure work, as with the battery compartment in the back. A very simple and effective way of keeping the figure looking great and making him function easy enough.

If I had a gripe though, itíd be how the feature hinders the head, and weíll get to that later.

Poseability: For what he is, you can get some poses out of him. Hasbro has him articulated at the shoulders and ankles, so Iím not going to break him down with my usual listing of articulation points. Heís not heavily articulated, and heís missing a 3rd leg (again something I consider a ďConĒ weíll touch on later) but he is sporting the ankle articulation which is pretty important.

Why is it important though? Well, one of R2ís well-known poses from his time on Dagobah is standing on his tip-toes to see inside Yodaís hut. If you have a Yodaís hut to have R2 stand at a window and peer into, well then youíve got a nice R2-D2 to do it with. I dig that about this figure.

Heís winning no awards, but heís pretty good. The center leg on R2 is my only disappointment here.

Paint/Deco: Nothing to go nuts over really, but Hasbro didnít stray from the lines either, so I give them their props on this figureís paint applications. I will say though, it looks like R2 played in a septic tank more than he actually rolled around in mucky swamp water, but the effect of how he looked on Dagobah is clearly felt since he was a royal mess till the rainwater cleaned him up somewhat (Why did he spit out what appeared to be chewing tobacco though? Iíve always wondered what that was exactly).

Heís a nice mix of silvers, blues, a lighter blue, a couple flecks of black and orange, etc., and a hideous mess of brown that only a used pair of depends would be able to emulate. Blech! But a good Blech.

Hasbroís use of the blue on the panels of R2 came off clean, and I donít see any that smeared or strayed onto the silver portions of his dome or the white of his body. Good job there. The silver vents on the button for the feature are particularly nice to me, as they feature blue between them that really highlights that tiny portion of the figure with a nice paintjob. Actually there are quite a few panels that sport some intricate detailing of silver and blue really.

His dome has a couple spots of black and an orange dot on his one eye-socket looking thing on the back of his head. Again a nicely done little paintjob.

The brown wash on him to simulate the mud is a HUGE step forward compared to the pack-in R2-D2 from the Dagobah X-Wing. That figure looked more like he had been pushing a lawnmower and got some grass clippings on him, whereas Dagobah R2-D2 here actually looks like heís seen some swamp buggy action, and thatís what counts. His brown wash is wiped on nicely, and leaves white shining through to show the droid underneath as if the mudís wiping off him somewhat.

CONS

No Poseable Dome: The articulationís nice, but the feature does hinder the domeís ability to move. Unfortunately I think that it really didnít have to be this way, as if the wiring were done properly, the dome could still retain SOME movement. That would be a nice improvement on this figure I believe since the domeís one of the only points of articulation you can claim on an astromech, but thatís neither here nor there.

Itís nice having an R2 that lights up, but the things you have to seemingly give up to get it really arenít much fun. It hurts the figure as a toy in its own way, so itís got to be labeled a negative here.

No Middle Leg: Kind of like the dome there, when astromechs have no retractable center leg, then Iím disappointed. The retractable leg feature was something the modern line created, and a great stride forward in astromech fun, so when itís omitted for another feature itís kind of sad. With that said though, the feature just isnít possible with the leg there unless they make it completely removable so it just snaps onto the bottom.

That though, is the problem. Why no removable center leg for R2? Well, this is just going to be one of those things weíll have to wish we would have gotten as an accessory. R2 would certainly be a little more interesting anyway.

Accessories: R2 basically has nothing more than a base thatís reused from the other Dagobah figures.

Sure it interacts by snapping onto the other Dagobah bases, and thus you can create a little swamp floor for the figures to stand around on. Thatís a neat concept, and Iíd like to see it taken further, however R2 comes with absolutely nothing else, and thatís a huge disappointment. As noted above, a removable 3rd leg maybe wouldíve been nice, for instance.

That said, why not something else? For instance, why not the lamp Yoda took, or the accessories packed with the Dagobah X-Wing that everyone seems to want but which never saw release other than with that ship. What about Lukeís boxes he floats perhaps? A neat feature even wouldíve been if the base could make boxes float. That would be a base that is a little more useful than one rehashed from another figure anyway. It would make R2 just something more interesting.

OVERALL

Nothing to write home about as figures go. R2 comes with nothing, and other than the paintjob and the removal of his middle leg, thereís not a lot new. Still, a paintjob can go a long way to making a ďnewĒ figureÖ Or one thatís seemingly new anyway. Thatís the deal with this version of R2. You get a figure you already have thatís painted up special, and sports some nifty sound effects.

Thatís cool though, in its own way. If I had one major gripe about him, itís the accessories. With so much being ďoldĒ about him, the least Hasbro couldíve done was include something exciting to entice buyers. They didnít, and thatís a big negative.

I say if you can wait, get one on clearance. Heís relatively abundant it seems, so thatís a possibility. The lack of accessories really hurts this figure in my opinion, and while I give a relatively indifferent review on him in the end I wish I hadnít bought one right away like I did. Hasbro and retail got my $5 though, so alas it isnít coming back. The rehashing of figures is a great thing I think, but only in certain instances, and when something NEW is offered up to make it interesting. R2 didnít have that too much unfortunately.

Heís a nice improvement to the pack-in though, so thatís something. But heís not got the middle leg, or the poseable dome. Heís got no accessories, but his paintjobís vastly superior to the pack-in. Heís just one of those figures you canít say you were dying to get, but you also canít say you donít want it entirely either.

Buy at your own risk I guess. No complaints to me if you feel like he took $2 off you or something though.

 

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