Author Topic: New JD Review: R5D4  (Read 2241 times)

Offline Clones

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New JD Review: R5D4
« on: July 5, 2006, 05:08 PM »
Nice review Jesse, read on everyone, there's a button the homepage.
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Offline Reid

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #1 on: July 5, 2006, 05:44 PM »


Read Full Review Here

Good review JJ. Still haven't seen the Tatooine Wave in the wilds of retail.

Offline Jesse James

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #2 on: July 6, 2006, 01:03 AM »
Thanks guys...  :)  Ya know though I do get to post this stuff eventually though so you don't have to prod me on it. ;)

Anyway, new week and a new review...  Depending on my schedule here and that of my coworkers I should have another one up next week however it may take a slight break too.  It'll just depend on everyone's time is all.

This week we're taking a look at Hasbro's most asked for resculpt of all time I think.  Yes my implied ask for a new Fleet Trooper with every post on every forum I'm on doesn't even hold up to this figure who fans thought sucked from day one and haven't stopped asking for a new one since...

Irony of ironies is Hasbro's perfected this figure's style pretty much but one of the most noticeable ones of its kind in the films hasn't had a decent figure yet in the modern line.  Amazing...  I could only be talking about:

R5-D4  Clicky button, ready review...

The figure is pretty decent overall in this reviewer's opinion, but Hasbro does shortchange the fans a bit with it, and with Hasbro having a better astromech sculpt available to them in the E3 Sneak Preview Droid's sculpt, one can't help but wonder if this figure could not yet have been that much better.

That said, Hasbro mainly re-used the VOTC R2-D2 sculpt, even incorporating the "head turning" action feature to raise a "bad motivator" on this figure as opposed to a sensorscope.  The feature is nice though, and thank god for no blasters or missles on him this time.

The figure's sculpt isn't bad, I just feel the Preview droid was better overall...  And if we are to get the VOTC sculpt, I'm a tad annoyed when they glue the body panel onto the figure and refuse to include the "opened" body panel with little extender tool arms. 

Did R5 use them?  Of course not, but that's not the point...  This figure comes with no pack-in and it's mostly re-used stuff.  Hasbro makes out like bandits on it in the long run then, and even if they slipped the tool accessories into the packaging they'd still be using something they already have molds for and the figure would be an improvement.

Hell the Gonk Droid came with a treadwell pack-in...  The preview droid came with a holographic planet of Utapau...  Why can't R5 come with something too, to make the $7 for a pintsized figure a bit easier to choke down?

Still, this is a pretty great resculpt/repaint...  Hasbro nails the detail, the feature works great, and the 3rd leg is removable (if unfortunately not retractable, which is better IMO)...  I think they did the figure some justice, they just cheaped out a little to save that extra bit and any figure purchased in this day and age is just a little rougher to take with the less it has...  And R5 has nothing.

I think fans will be happy though and customizers will buy multiples to paint up because we've gone a long time without a good R5.  Now I just want Hasbro to repaint this badboy in sherbet orange for the Mos Eisley R5, as well as black, red, and white for Red Leader's R5...  :)  Must have repaints NOW!  But for god's sake include a repainted Hoth Box, or something...  Anything...  You're killin' us here with this price lately.
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Offline hcmv007

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #3 on: July 6, 2006, 10:38 AM »
I liked the figure, and have been looking for one for years, as it is a pain to make your own R5.  My only complaint is that the third leg is not retractable.  Still a good figure, but I wish they would not put the holo figures in there with it, that is why the price is so high on the figs.

Offline ruiner

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #4 on: July 6, 2006, 12:47 PM »
Yeah, he could use some pack-ins for sure.

You can't help but wonder if the newly tooled head is the reason for no accessories...??


Offline Jesse James

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #5 on: July 6, 2006, 04:54 PM »
Hard to say...  Still that's a ****** reason if it's the case considering this figure's 80% re-used parts as it is. :)
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #6 on: July 6, 2006, 05:13 PM »
Solid review.  Especially the details.  I've been a big fan of the astromech figures for some time.  I was somewhat irked that the R4-G9 body wasn't used for R5-D4.  A number of droid collectors regard the R4-G9 sculpt as one if not THE best astromech sculpt ever.   But being familiar with the wide range of astromechs, I understand the reason for the choice of the modified VOTC R2-D2 sculpt.  R4-G9 as well as R4-P17 and other R2 units that were in the Astromech 5-packs all had the same action feature.  As you would twist the dome, the center leg would retract into the body of the droid.

Where R5-D4 differs is that Hasbro decided to make the "bad motivator" feature.  By twisting the dome, you get the motivator popping out, and it's appears that because of that function that R5-D4 wasn't based on the R4-G9 sculpt.  The two features wouldn't work with one another, so I can see why Hasbro opted for the sculpt they chose.

As for the accessories?  Meh.  I think that this issue really needs to be addressed from the standpoint of scene specificity.  We never see R5-D4 using any of the utility arms, so I don't see where this is a big deal.  As for accessories, it might have been nice to have a small Jawa packed in with this droid, but then again it would be nice too if I won the lottery.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #7 on: July 6, 2006, 05:23 PM »
I think fans of the Preview droid's sculpt would've preferred something more "snap-on" in terms of the bad motivator rather than the retractable one but I was fairly happy with the VOTC sculpt enough to not have it cripple my opinion when reviewing the toy...  I prefer a retractable third leg to a retractable dome accessory but to each their own...  I think the dome feature is still nice for what it is so it didn't impact my opinion to the negative.

The issue of accessories is a matter of how you value your $1 I suppose...  For me, R5 is a $7 figure with little to show for it...  The GNK Droid came with a treadwell packed in yet that wasn't a necessity by any means really.  Similar in size, and the complexity of the GNK isn't far (if any) different by comparison, and it too required new toolings though not a complete overhaul...  Flash forward a couple months though and a similarly sized and resource consuming figure comes to market with no pack-in at all...

A Jawa would've been nice, but for my tastes I think I'd have liked the figure itself to be a step up in quality by slipping in the accessories built for the figure specifically.  Film-accuracy is something I see a lot of people cite as reason to not get a better figure, however when it doesn't impact the figure adversely I think the question of value outweighs it is all...  $7 for a Gonk with a treadwell and some bits/pieces, and $7 for an R5-D4 with some small accessories seems fair enough, especially with the lack of tooling anything new of course.

In an ideal world one would've gotten R5 and perhaps a white Treadwell or a small droid from the sale sequence, similar in construction and complexity to Treadwell perhaps without many moving parts, but something new specific to the scene. 

So I definitely think the parts would've been a nice extra to imply something is "worth" more without impacting the cost incurred by Hasbro save for the small increase to just include the panel and tool accessories.  Makes it more of a fun toy too overall I believe.
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Offline obi-dad

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #8 on: July 6, 2006, 05:35 PM »
Maybe I'm remembering wrong since no one has addressed it yet.  I really think the color is off on the strip right above the 2 red horizontal panals right below his dome.  Hasbro painted light gray, but I really thought it was blue or at least a darker color.   

Other than that... another great review Jesse.  I have to agree with Nicklab about not needing a removable panel for arms (though since Hasbro continues to maintain they make these just as much or more for kids instead of collectors, I'm sure kids would love that feature).  Here's where I agree with Jesse... I would love to see more (or atleast one) accessory.   How about any of the small droids in the line up (or minimally a Jawa, though... I would rather see some of the missing droids from the sale of the droids).  Considering this is 80% (or more) resculpt, then we should get more.  On the other hand, Hasbro also claims to balance out the cost/profit they make with figures by cutting profit on one figure and making more on others.  If we see the benefit on a really nice basic figure with articualtion and accessories (ewok deighty 3PO?) then I see no problem.  But, for most of 2006, we've missed out on a LOT of articulation.   I don't need accessories just for the point of having something, but if they are scene specific and accurate, then I'm all for them.
« Last Edit: July 6, 2006, 05:41 PM by obi-dad »

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #9 on: July 6, 2006, 10:59 PM »
Nice review, but I think I like the figure a little more than you did. I'm also not sure if I agree that the preview droid body is the best. Third leg aside, I think the the overall sculpt is more acurate in scale and detail. But that's just me.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #10 on: July 7, 2006, 02:46 AM »
Oh don't get me wrong Anton, I think I summed it up pretty well in the OVERALL portion that the figure is appealing to me.  I liked it a lot, so don't let my accessory issue dismantle my actual opinion...  The figure is quite nice... 

If there are however paint details I missed, it's simply because I'm not an R5 expert. :)  I think one of the forumites here pointed out that R5 is lacking red panels on the back of his head, something the vintage figure had but the modern doesn't, and I didn't even realize they were there in the film.  When paint patterns start to get intricate like on astromechs and some other figures, I'm bound to miss a detail here and there.

It's kind of like if Red Leader's R5 is ever made...  I'd be really winging it on how I felt the paint aps were.  They'd look good or bad to my eye only, and complete accuracy would have to go by the wayside because I'd be hard-pressed to say if it was 100% great or not...  It's so intricate.

Like I said though in my review Anton, I'm all set for two specific repaints of this figure...  The orange/white one from Mos Eisley and the Red Leader droid mentioned just above.  Accessory or not, it's a fine R5...  I still prefer the preview sculpt myself, but the VOTC isn't a slouch either.  I just prefer retractable leg features on astromechs compared to the dome being the feature.  Just a matter of reviewer's taste was all.  :)
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Offline Xander

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #11 on: July 7, 2006, 09:51 AM »
I like this review too Jesse, and like most reviews here, I like reading this much deeper analysis than I ever think about even when I have the figure already.  Good points about the reuse of parts I wasn't aware of. (I don't have all the astromechs).

I really like astromechs though as something to play with. Move around, throw at the cat, or just something to pick up and twist around. That's something I like about this one is that it feels solid. The clicking motion of the dome has a good satisfying play value, I think, because it feels solid like you could do it hundreds of times without it breaking.

The pop-up is a good reference to the movie, but I do wish it was a "pop-up" in that it shot up in one quick motion up for the range it has now, but not out.  The dome could be like a pop-goes-the-weasel thing, where you turn it, and then it suddenly pops up after a bit.   As it stands, this is still one of my faves of 2006.

Offline obi-dad

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #12 on: July 7, 2006, 01:22 PM »
If there are however paint details I missed, it's simply because I'm not an R5 expert. :) 

Neither am I and after looking at the side by side comparison with the missile firing atrocity, maybe that's why I thought there was a blue stripe above the 2 red panels.   I really don't know, but I guess I'm going to have to watch ANH now to find out.  Not that it really matters, but I do think it would look better with blue there, but I guess not if it isn't accurate.

Don't get me wrong Jesse, I am all for accessories and I know kids would have liked an utility arm coming out, especially since that was the sculpt they chose to reuse.   But, for me personally, I've wanted the complete Jawa Sale of the Droids lineup as far back as I started collecting.  And, since as you noted that 80% of this sculpt was already done for Hasbro, then I don't think it would have hurt to add any of the little small droids in there.   (Though personally, I would have loved the mining droid or resculpt Beru's treadmill droid for an accurate treadmill from the Jawa droid sale.   This is still one of my favorite figures from this year... along with most of the other Tatooine figures.   ;D

Offline Jesse James

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #13 on: July 7, 2006, 09:54 PM »
I agree wholeheartedly Obedad...  For me ideal is a small droid pack-in ala Treadwell with the Gonk or Treadwell with Beru...  That's 2 figures in one to me.

I'm not sure how many droids were in the scene...  The Mining Droid is a fairly large, but not too complex one.  Maybe it could be done as 2 or 3 pieces?  Though I'd sort of like it sometime in the future with a light-up feature but that's me.

The WED multi-armed treadwell droid is cool but seems large and complex enough to warrant its own figure.  I'm not sure how many droids would be suitable pack-ins that are simple enough to be one or two piece molds and such.
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Offline Matt

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Re: New JD Review: R5D4
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2006, 05:46 PM »
If there are however paint details I missed, it's simply because I'm not an R5 expert. :)  I think one of the forumites here pointed out that R5 is lacking red panels on the back of his head, something the vintage figure had but the modern doesn't, and I didn't even realize they were there in the film.

Cough.

Your reviews are usually as long as the Bible, and you can't manage to throw in one lousy line about how they didn't bother painting the three panels on the back?  That's weak.

Signed,

One of the forumites here