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Never Forget - The ICMG Petition

Entertainment Earth

R1-G4
(Tatooine Transaction)

Hasbro has seen fit to ignore some pretty character-rich scenes from the classic trilogy over the years.  For some time it was the infamous Cantina in Mos Eisley, and others would claim Jabba’s Palace is still sparsely populated (I would disagree, but there’s so many other figures from Jabba’s bachelor pad that I’d still love to see done!).  Still, another scene that hasn’t been touched on too much for its droid-rich character environment is the “Purchase of the Droids” scene in A New Hope…  Lots of cool oddball droids, but very few figures to show for them. A pretty nice Gonk Droid, and a sad excuse for R5-D4 just don’t cut it, but Hasbro’s latest creation of an R1-G4 (Tatooine Transaction) figure really does make one drool for more droid figures from Hasbro.

This spiffy R1 droid is a big hunk of plastic. He’s heavy, semi-poseable, and very accurate in sculpt and deco…  It’s pretty much what you would want from this figure, and fills a neat void next to your Jawa army. Read on for all the astro-navigation goodness this droid delivers…  Well, all he’d deliver if he were real, I guess.

Anyway, just read on…  This was a fun one to review.  J

PROS

Sculpt:  Not much one can complain about here…  Hasbro has a good knack for sculpting its droid figures to a tee, and they really did here with R1-G4. The figure has lots of scuffs, scrapes, dings, dents, and all the other general damage you’d expect of a droid who’s seen some hard days at the hands of disgusting Jawas. 

On top of the heavy-duty damage this fellow has seen over his (quite obvious) many years, there’s plenty of raised details and separate pieces molded into the figure. This figure sports a nice large hose and distinct “skirt” piece around the base, and several raised areas that represent electronic detail. The dome and body have some nice little grasper arms sculpted separately, as well as hoses, and some other added details to the dome area.

A nice subtle detail some have noticed is the treads underneath the figure…  Ever wonder how R1-G4 gets around without the Jawas moving him? Now you know…  He has a little track of treads underneath his body to get him from point A to point B.

One separately molded/added piece to the top of the dome isn’t accurate though, and that will take a slight point off in the Cons portion of the review. Few have noticed this, including Hasbro it seems, but I’ve seen this pointed out by a few people at various forums. I doubt I would’ve even noticed it had I not read about it elsewhere.

Articulation:  Short of this figure having working treads of some sort, his articulation is about what you could expect…  He’s not an overly complex character, so he’s not really able to do much, or be posed…  The droid lends itself to only limited articulation, but Hasbro did its best to make him as poseable as possible. Good for them on that point. 

The figure sports the following articulation:

-1 rotating “head”/Dome
-1 partially turning lower torso joint
-2 extending “grasper” arms (neat little feature I might add)

Like I said, it’s not a TON of articulation, but for this figure it’s about as good as you’re going to get. It makes you see why the R1 model was superceded by the R2…  R1 is like the Ford Pinto of droids, I think. Not a particularly hot model, but he translates into a figure with lots of character. 

Decoration/Paint Application:  This figure sports some good paint applications overall, as the droid had a good bit of intricate detailing like straight lines, odd patterns, and splotchy damage marks…  Hasbro nailed them all pretty well on the figure I have, so I can’t complain much.

The figure has 3 yellow rings that circle the body at 3 different points. Mine are as straight as possible on the dinged-up body, and look pretty great. Like the lines on an old car, they conform to the dents like they were there all along, and took as much abuse as the body itself did. Pretty cool looking weathering there.

A strange series of patterns on the dome and body have scratches and scrapes in them, and the proper detailing appears all over the figure. The dome’s colors are a grey shade, and the body has various white markings. They’re all quite well done. I noticed the yellow details appear around several raised areas of my figure as well, and I don’t see much of any bleeding or missed spots. This is pretty good considering the thinness of some of these spots the yellow covers. 

Other details include black paint on a hose, a skirt piece that’s a lighter shade than the body, and LOTS of silver specks and flecks all over the droid that illustrate some heavy usage over the years. Many of the larger silver marks are set in the heaviest dents and dings in the figure, and really look quite well there.

Overall, the figure has a great paint job. Considering this is an area in which Hasbro sometimes does well, yet sometimes falls woefully short (depending on the figure), it’s refreshing to see this figure get the due respect that it deserves.

CONS

Accessories:  Unfortunately, R1’s not sporting any accessories…  I’d say that this is probably the biggest detractor to the figure. You get Zip, Zero, Zilch with this guy. While he’s not a small figure, he’s also not Ephant Mon sized, so an accessory of some sort would’ve been appreciated, though I’m not even sure what could be included, aside from perhaps a Jawa. 

A sleeping Jawa like those seen outside the Cantina (Drunk Jawas as I like to call them) might have been a nice nod though…  I’ve always wanted one of those Drunk Jawas, and that would’ve been a perfect little additional to add, even if it wasn’t really for this specific scene. In the end though, this figure looks good in his packaging, and fills it out, but it just feels slightly dull after opening him and you have nothing but a big old droid there in front of you. 

My point? It’s always nice to get a little extra accessory with any figure, no matter how dull.  I felt the same way about the Dignitary figures, which only came with a stand. With creative accessory pack-ins, Hasbro can really impress the consumer for a minimal amount of additional cost (especially if it’s something they’ve already sculpted and have on-hand - like say, the Galoob Mousedroid?).

The “Antenna” Thing:  There’s a weird little silver antenna-like thing on the dome…  No big deal, right? It’s just part of the figure, right?  Well, no it’s not. I guess Hasbro added this on because they didn’t have enough reference material to work off of, so this makes the figure slightly “inaccurate” to it’s screen appearance, I guess, which you’d notice if you watch the film closely.

I didn’t even originally notice this myself, until it was later pointed out to me that the antenna thing isn’t an antenna at all.  It’s actually the hoist device the Jawas used to lower R1 down to the Tatooine desert, to try to pawn him off onto the Lars family.  Very strange that Hasbro didn’t have other reference materials that didn’t include the hoist in them.  I know when working on a custom, I tend to use every reference picture I can possibly find.  It’s a shame Hasbro has this semi-minor blemish on an otherwise great figure.

Still, it’s not a huge deal to me, and it won’t have a seriously negative effect on my overall opinion though. It’s just rather disappointing to have a single flaw like that stand out at you on this guy.

OVERALL

R1-G4 (Tatooine Transaction) is already proudly displayed in my little Tatooine nook, which was previously filled with mostly Tusken Raider customs and army builders. So it’s nice to add some more color to that section, to go along with Beru’s butterfly collar on her 1970’s duds. R1 really does stand out, mixed in there between some Jawas, Sandpeople, and the Lars family members. 

Now all we need is for Hasbro to crank out the remaining droids from that line-up, and of course the Sandcrawler, and we’ll be set for some serious used droid selling action! Uh, yeah, it’s pretty dull when you think about it, but R1 still made such a great figure!

So keep your eyes peeled for R1, as it was initially released back in late December. I’ve run into him a couple times in just the last month, so hopefully you can still find him in your area too. He’s a good figure for anyone to add to their collection, so I can’t help but recommend you pick up R1-G4 as soon as you can!

JJ

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