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Never Forget - The ICMG Petition

Brian's Toys

R2-D2 (Droid Factory Flight)

By: Jesse (Jesse James) McCracken

I come before you today with a review so scaryÖ A review so wrought with terrorÖ Reviews SO horrid that you will scream like a little girl!

OK, this figure is bad, but he isnít really THAT badÖ I mean, heís not the end of the world, because at least we have R2 with Holo Leia, right? Heís just a bad lil toy in the here and now. Heís not "up to snuff" as they say.

Still, I did squeak once a little when I was going over him for the reviewÖ This R2-D2 Droid Factory Flight is just a nasty, cheap, ugly little figure. And no, unlike Ephant Mon he wasnít INTENDED to be this way.

This R2 is probably one of the all time weakest figures Iíve ever seen from Hasbro. Thatís no small feat when you consider heís being ranked up with such memorable figures asÖ

Princess Leia (1995, "Monkeyface" Leia)

The 1st Rebel Fleet Trooper (And you think I trash the NEW one!?)

Lobot and his funk-a-delic pose

And most of the April 23rd figures from last yearÖ but I digress.

Iíve heard people refer to him as a "Happy Meal Toy", and honestly I canít disagree with that too much. Put your $5 figure allowance back in your wallet and walk away slowly (And if you are one of the designers/sculptors of this figure and are reading this review, grab a Kleenex and try not to take this personally).

Basically, weíre in for a doozey of a letdown on this one, folks, so on with the berating!

Pros (this will be short)

Accessories: The only accessories you get with R2 are his blast effects, which attach to his boosters. The effects are clear blue and snap on easily enough. Theyíre new, and seem accurate so no complaints from me there. Iím always a fan of the blast effects personally. Hasbro can do these up really nice sometimes (Pit of Carkoon Fettís blast effects rock!)

If I had a gripe about accessories with this figure, Iíd say this figure didnít come with much, and he doesnít. What would you include though really? The Deluxe 3POís head is my only suggestion as an "extra", but it would hamper the interactive playability Hasbro was shooting for (You buy the Deluxe 3PO set too and make the toys interact) so I say itís as much a "Pro" as this figure is going to get.

Iíll toss this loser figure a bone I guess.

Action Feature(s): "What!?" you say? You cannot believe that Iím actually nominating the action feature as a plus? Well, believe it or not I amÖ Only because it works as it was intended. Itís not exactly interesting really, but it does work.

Hereís the gist of the thing. R2ís got a rope that runs through his body on some mechanism. At one end he has his tow magnet he used to pull the Deluxe 3poís head along the arena floor, and on the other end itís tied to his sensor scope which fits into R2ís dome.

When you have the tow magnet, and sensorscope open on the figure, you can pull holding both ends of the rope, and R2 goes up and down on the rope.

Um, yayÖ I guess.

Not interesting really, like I said, but it does have a 2nd "concept" to it where the rope also can tow the Deluxe C-3POís nogginí along the arena floorÖ Kind of neat that Hasbro was at least thinking this figure could pull double duty.

As such, Iím gonna label the action feature as being better than what some are that Iíve seen, and it works so itís going to go in the "Pro" column for me.

Hey, this figure doesnít have much "Pro" about it so I had to try and balance this out somewhat.

Let me say, the fun stops right around here though.

Cons (See, I told you that would be short)

Sculpt: Well letís start off with a general synopsis of this little buggerís sculpt

The bodyís not the best work by Hasbro on an astromech droid (Not as crisp as say R2-Q5 which I hold as the pinnacle of astromech sculpting), and the head is down right laughable. And R2ís domed nogginí is just hideous to look at. In all fairness though, the deco doesnít help this sculpt at all either. Read on for that "con" though.

The sculpt is new, but itís definitely a downgrade from past astromech sculpts. Personally, I would not have minded a "flying R2" had Hasbro just gone with something simpleÖ Reworking R2-Q5ís sculpt to have removable (Or even hidden) thrusters would have been neat. Hasbro went a different direction though, and hit a dead-end if you ask me. Hell, Iíll be honest here and say that if they had reworked the Episode One R2 somehow, I wouldíve been a little more impressed since it at least looked a tad better.

R2ís dome here is easily his main downfall in sculpt though. That thing really is just sad when compared to the crisp lines and details of the more recent figures. It seriously resembles something youíd get from a Happy Meal toy; it is that plain and simply atrocious looking. This is easily the WORST sculpted R2 dome, and the deco doesnít help it at all, like I said. Some areas where a recessed line would show some effort arenít even touched upon by the sculptor, and then other areas where a raised or recessed line was sculpted are done so in what seems like some excess. This sculpt just doesnít seem as "crisp" and real looking as say the lines on R2 w/Holographic Leia (Arguably the best R2-D2 figure ever). The Holo Leia R2 didnít even have the recessed head panels, yet the decoration was still straight, accurate, and other lines and details sculpted on the dome really were done well.

Dare I say R5-D4ís figure was superior in sculpt? Yes, I dare! Howís that for a cheap shot!

Deco: Again, this figure is just NOT an impressive thing to look at in sculpt, nor decoration. And like I said above, a bad deco doesnít help a poorer sculpt in the slightest. Decoration is an area Hasbro can sometimes make up for a weaker/inaccurate sculpt (Compare the 3-pack Dr. Evazan to prototype images of the Wal-Mart Exclusive Cantina Dr. EvazanÖ A simple paint job made that Evazan sculpt look 100% different and better).

My R2 I got has a few "attempts" at detail with various paint colors on the dome, but they come off having that "happy meal toy" look that I mentioned earlier. The panels on the dome are the worst though, as they are uneven, and just simply do not give the R2-D2 the "depth" to the domeís sculpt that one has come accustomed to in figureís like R2-Q5 or R3-T7. Even R2 w/Holo Leiaís painted on panels looked better and more realistic, as the paint used appears more to match the film on that figure, not to mention theyíre all even and perfectly placed.

A major flaw I noticed in the deco is that R2ís "eye" is the same silver of the dome, and not the proper black color of the films. This is a noticeable flaw I found, which really just reinforced the "cheap" look to this toy. Thereís something unprofessional about it that makes it just not hold up, and thatís whatís so disturbing on this figure. Hasbroís set benchmarks that this figure didnít come CLOSE to achieving.

The rest of R2ís body has some silver and blue details, but theyíre hardly anything to give this figure a thumbís up for. Itís really very plain, and in some cases, simply unattractive/inaccurate. There were attempts at mixing in various unique colors though, so thatís something good to note I guess. A violet shade here and there can be seen, which did show some kind of effort was made. It isnít enough to make up for the obvious flaws though.

Action Feature(s): I know, I know, I knowÖ I listed this as a pro, but Iím notorious for listing it as both sometimes, and itís my column so I can do what I want. So there!

The reason I listed it as a "pro" was because the intended features DO work. The thrusters retract when you pull the 3rd leg down, and they arenít really noticeable either. The rope mechanism does pull R2 up and down too, so that feature works as well. The rope also can be used as a "tow" for pulling 3POís nogginí along the floor.
The reason I listed the action features as a "con", though, is that the features take away from the figure in other areas. The rope runs through the 3rd leg making the leg pretty useless, and the retractable thrusters cause the outer 2 legs to be immobile. These things detract from the figure enough to make it just overall weaker toy in my opinion, and as such I gotta list them down here in the big, fat, negatory column.

Basically, these features cause some of the following problems this figure suffers from in the articulation department.

Articulation: Canít rave about what isnít there, and thatís a problem with this R2.

The legs are molded to the side of the body, which renders them completely immobile. This is due to a feature where you pull the 3rd leg down (And it only moves SLIGHTLY) and it pulls the 2 thrusters into the figureís legs. Personally, give me removable thrusters and posable legs. That wouldíve made me happy, but I guess this "neat" idea of hidden thrusters would be lost then. I can see where Hasbro was a bit "stuck" at how to make this feature work and retain articulation though, so on one hand I can see where they made their decision. On the other hand, I just donít like what they did so I canít give it any sort of praise really.

The dome on R2 is poseable, and even moves a full 360 degrees. Thatís pretty impressive considering the rope piece of the action feature actually goes through the body and dome completely. Thatís a good side to the figureís articulation I guess.

The only other area of articulation is then the 2 feet on the outer legs, which are poseable, but really thereís no reason for them to be other than maybe the "bent toe" flight pose that R2 pulled off when he flew around the droid factory. Itís nice to see the thought was there, though I still feel this figure is grossly under-articulated. And they do bend for the flight pose, which is this figureís "gimmick".

With all the poesability of recent astromechs though, I really am disappointed with this R2ís. The lack of articulation makes him not even very great for customizing. That is something that I believe keeps astro droids flying off the shelves for retail personally.

Overall

Well folks, that review was a rough one, let me tell you. Iíll be honest, I wouldnít have even bought this R2 if it wasnít new, and my new duties here at JediDefender.com didnít require me to have something new to review.

Under any other circumstance, Iíd have left this one on the pegs, as Iíve now seen it 3 times, and it may be a peg warmer someday. Then again itís in these new "in limbo" cases, so who knows. Iíd have otherwise left this guy on the pegs to get him during a clearance sale or something though.

I canít say heís bad for little kids maybe, as his feature does work, but itís really rather dull to any adult. Like I said, the lack of a poseable figure really makes this one even kind of lame for customizers. I remember the flying R2 from Episode Oneís line not exactly flying anywhere either, and I really believe that itís because a gimmicky astromech doesnít lend itself to good customizing. Shelf-warmer it then may be.

This R2-D2ís biggest flaws really are the lacking paint applications, and the weak sculpting job from Hasbro. Sculpt is an area Hasbro generally excels at, and they just did not show the same effort in this toy that they have in others. With paint, itís 50/50 if youíre going to get a decent figure or not anymore. This case went with the lesser 50 I guess.

I canít even say if much of anything wouldíve saved this R2 though, really. It would just have to be a completely different toy to get my seal of approval.

My final verdict on R2-D2 (Droid Factory Flight) is thumbs down, on pretty much every level. I suggest you save your $4.99 for an army builder, sandwich, or anything else you can spend $4.99 on though.

To Hasbro, I can only suggest not doing anything like that again because it is just such a poor figure when compared to pretty much anything in the modern line, and DEFINITELY when compared to anything on the shelves right now.

JJ

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