R2 D2 was my first Star Wars figure back in '78. I owned him before I ever saw the movie.
I had that one, who was quickly replaced by the Droid Factory version (with 3rd leg!) as my favorite. Later I moved onto the ESB sensorscope version (had two of that one since the sticker peeled due to heavy play). Even had the POTF Lightsaber popping one from '85, even though he got played with very little.
Then came the POTF2 version 10 years later, and WOW what a difference. For what it was, with the sculpted body panels, retractable 3rd leg, and light-up eye, he was a real fantastic improvement. Loved the POTF2 electronic version when it first came out...the mini-diorama it came with is one of my favorite environmental pieces.When the POTF2 sensorscope version came out, I ate that one up too (actually due to the clearances of figures in '98 a wound up with a lot of those that I practiced customizing on.) I bought a Flashback / lightsaber launching version even though it was mostly a dud.
Bought the Episode I version for the cut scene rockets.
Spent two years tracking down an affordable commtech version, and really really liked that one (and the gummi Leia). I got the Saga electronic R2 update and had fun with the new sound chip. Got a green paint splattered version with the Saga X-Wing, and was disappointed...but not as much as when I got the "flying" Saga version, one of the worst Star Wars figures of all time bar none. I mean, really really bad. Bootleg-quality bad. Then came BaR2, and I thought we had reached the pinacle.
By the time we got to 2004, my R2 thirst was largely sated. I skipped the OTC Dagobah version, as well as the VOTC version. ROTS figures barely existed to me. Then I skipped the Saga2 version, and by the time the 30AC version rolled out, passing up R2 had become the standard for me.
I did wind up with a ROTS Early Bird R2 when I found the set at a great price. I basically got him as a bonus.
I did buy the WM '08 Droid Factory version, even if he came with a rehashed Luke Pilot...that battle-damaged version is now my favorite alternate.
I passed up the Legacy / Jawa Attack version (didn't everyone already make that when we got the accessory with the AOTC Preview droid?) but only after careful scrutiny.
And, of course, I've passed on all the Battle Pack versions, though the Endor Raid version was intriguing, and the Resurgence version is the "new" pinnacle. I haven't bit on that set yet in the hopes that the two figures I want from there will find other ways out.
But I still have such fond memories of that original vintage R2, who got my collecting ball rolling.