I was shopping out of town yesterday and, to my surprise, found Endor Wave figures at a Wal Mart there! Are these even supposed to be out yet? I'm not sure, I could post one of those store reports things maybe if they aren't (I also saw Moff JerJerrod, Darth Fuglyous, and Chief Chirpa). Also, if anyone wants pictures of 3PO, his chair, or the packaging, I could scan some upon request.
Anyway, I grabbed one of the C3POs of course (R5-D4 too ^.^), and I have to say, I love this figure. So, I figured why not give a review, right?
This is the best looking C3PO I've seen... for the most part. I have to knock down half a point because he's got some noticeable flaws, but they did everything else so right I had to give it a near-perfect score anyway.
The head sculpt seems to be reused from ROTS C3PO, but they've done the neck differently; it's much lower set into the torso, and to me, this looks much, much more accurate. The torso is amazingly similar to ROTS C3PO but doesn't seem to be identical; there's a new little raised bump on his chest. Oddly, the mid-section wiring on his back is identical to ROTS C3PO, but the front wiring is totally different, going all in straight lines- which is, I believe, accurate to the movie (it maches the picture on the packaging at least). Also, the upper torso is much better-positioned on the bottom torso, with the appropriate amount of room to show the wiring; my ROTS 3PO always tends to cover too much of the wiring in the front and too little in the back, but this guy has a good balance where it should be.
The arms are also very ROTS C3PO like, but the thumbs are more detectable; I think maybe they noticed the proble mand reworked the sculpt. The arms hang in a very similar position overall, though I swear the right arm leans in a little more than before... hard to say. They have the same non-seperate elbow piston things, but overall most of the details look sharpish- better than ROTS C3PO a little I think. However, it's here that the worst flaw is found, too; for some strange reason there's this really smooth drop on his right shoulder. It looks kinda like a doorknob; it's like the upper arm leans too far back in the "shoulder joint" (keeping in mind this is all one piece of course) and there's this smooth part in front of it. It's not horrible, but it definately doesn't look good, either.
The legs, then, are the all-new part of the sculpt, and they look pretty good to me. The feet have sort of an angularness to them; I'm not sure if it's accurate, but it looks accurate to someone who didn't do research at least ^^. The knee joints look surprisingly good sculpt-wise, and are not disappointing at all. For some reason, though, the thighs have screws in them, on the inner side...
The hip joints don't blend in as well as past C3POs for some reason; it's good in that the hip/thigh looks like an appropriate seperate piece of plating, but there's kind of a weird space, and the lack of paint on this area- which I'll get it in a minute- really make it more noticeable. It's okay, but it looks a little wonky sort of. I think it might be related to the way the articulation is done, however, which I'll also get to in a minute....
I don't know how to explain it. He's got flaws, but somehow looks far better than ROTS C3PO to me; he doesn't look like a skinny beanpole, but rather very much like the real C3PO, in some subtle way. The neck in particular is a huge improvement, as is the midsection; and I think the new legs are larger in diameter, which is also, I believe, more accurate. He's no VOTC C3PO, that's for sure.
Okay, I can't bring myself to give him a 5 because his arms are no better than a POTF2 and so on, but this C3PO does everything right any C3PO has ever done right, plus the ever-awaited knees, and a nice surprise or two... he's the best yet, definately.
The arms are pretty much like ROTS C3PO; they're even detachable. The head, however, I'm not sure; it might be removeable, but it seems to be in there kinda tight. It moves around from side to side a little, so I *think* this might actually be a 1999-esque ball-jointed head! I'm not sure; it leans forewards and backwars a little bit. If it is a ball joint there's not much of a range; I really think it's probably just a removeable head. It's hard to tell, but whatever it is, it works.
The knee joints are great. He can sit, he can stand, he can kneel, he can run for his life in a way he was never able to in any movie or book... what can I say, they're working hinge joints, and they're very solid. They're an improvement that's been a long time coming, and I love them. C3PO finally makes some other figures look bad in this department, from his own wave even!
The waist is much like the ROTS waist, but as I said, better positioned. It feels a little more moveable here, more sturdy. I can't ask for more from this waist, really.
And then there's the surprise... maybe my figure is broken, but it seems to me that his left thigh turns. His right thigh doesn't do it, and it's a little loose, but it turns... that means the whole leg turns. This means he can take a little more advantage of his knee to look like he's walking or crouching somehow, or he can just stand a little differently. I'm not sure if it's intentional, but it's nice, and I love it. In any case there definately seems to be a seperate piece attaching the upper leg and the main hip joint. In fact, I really have to wonder exactly how these legs are assembled; like I said, there's a screw on the inner-side of each thigh, for some reason.
The vacuum-plated gold is a sheen golder than ROTS C3PO, and I think it's a good thing; ROTS 3PO looks a little bit silvery. Likewise, the silver leg joint here looks okay, at least as good as say, Millenium Minted Coin 3PO's silver leg part. The eyes are painted in the same style as ROTS C3PO, as well.
The wiring on the front is painted awesomely, with very smooth, accurate details... then the back is a bit of a mess. Missed spots and silver specks on colored wires. I don't get it. Anyway, the colors for the wires are silver/white, red, and blue, and overall it looks fairly accurate to photographs really.
Now here's the bad news: the knee joint and hip joints are completely unpainted. Thus a (possibly transclucent?) beige color is quite visible. This is probably because of the way the knees work; paint would scrape right off. I don't really understand the hips though, I don't think they'd need it, unless the thigh-swiveling is an intended articulation point.
Also, while it's no surprise, it's a bit sad to see the painted wiring on the back of the knees from ROTS 3PO absent here. Alas, just more beige.
It's darn well time 3PO had any sort of accessory, so it's approriate he get one big enough to account for all the plastic Hasbro and Kenner never used on any previous incarnation. The chair looks great; the sculpting is pretty good overall. There's some assembly requied, and the posts that go in the arms have an annoying habit of being loose and sometimes falling/pushing out if you aren't careful. The chair is subtlely two or three tones of brown; it looks like a plastic imitation of wood, which is to say, not wooden, but appropriate for most action figures. It fits in surprisingly well with the mini-diorama from my old POTF2 "Jedi Spirits" display, actually. 3PO sits pretty well in the chair if you pose him right, and if you really want to, you can plop down an older C3PO (or a human/alien or ewok possibly) in the chair; it's just that the legs will stick up a bit comically unless they have knee joints. Overall a fun and interesting accessory.
I can't complain about the red mini holos as much as I thought they could; if you care about collecting, these look kind of nice in their own way; if you want to paint your holos realistically Red makes a good Vader/Maul/Sideuous because you can keep the original color on the lightsaber. If you want a chess set or to divide the "Good" and "bad" figures, red and blue ae good; indeed, it's the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire colors. But still... they're just holo figures, so I'm not too worked up. On the plus side I happened to get a Luke with this guy, and I kinda like him... even though his cloak/lightsaber make him inaccurate for any scene of hte movies, he can be an EU Luke I guess. Whatever.
The stand is nice; 3PO has a hole a little too big on his foot so it's slightly loose, but it works. It has the ROTJ logo embossed on it as usual, and simply says "C-3PO" on the stand keeping it nice and versatile (though some older C3POs don't fit on this peg).
The TSC packaging is nice, yadda yadda. Exclusive to 3PO's package is a nice, tree-filled endor backdrop, an insert with a nice, standard picture of C3PO- which I believe actually is from Return of the Jedi, though he's not in the chair- and the comments on the back aren't toxic this time. Actually, I like how they say he "was able to make his disinterest in a nice meal composed of Luke, Han, and Chewbacca clear" or whatever exactly it did say; it was chuckle-worthy.
Okay, those numbers don't add up, but this is the best C3PO made to date. I hope Hasbro never reuses an older mold, because this guy is great; he looks good, and the articulation is the best any protocol droid could ask for at this point. Throw in some angle-cut elbows and you've got darn near perfection. The accessory is great for (careful) play or for display or dioramas. This is the only C3PO yet that I would even consider paying $10 for; ROTS C3PO may've already made a mockery of VOTC C3PO, but this guy just makes the VOTC look all the worse.
All in all, an excellent C3PO, an excellent protocl droid, a fitting companion for newer R2D2s... I'm happy. If I never have a better C3PO, I'll still be satisfied. But if they make a better one that'd be cool, too, of course...