R2-D2 (Revenge of the Jedi/With Pop-Up Lightsaber)
Star Wars Vintage Collection
Height: 6cm to top of dome, 8cm overall with serving tray equipped.
When I found this marvelous cache of inexpensive Star Wars figures on clearance at Wal-Mart, it occurred to me that the last R2-D2 figure I got was made in 1983 for Return of the Jedi. (If not in 1980 for Empire Strikes back.) So when I spotted this one it was one of my first choices as I picked out figures to use to get Prototype Boba Fett. I didn't notice until I got home that it was also on the variant Revenge of the Jedi card- still unpackaging Artoo and sending in that UPC.
It's a good enough looking figure with enough gadgets that it's the only R2-D2 I can see myself needing. The likeness to the onscreen Artoo is really great- if there are any inaccuracies I'm not a big enough Star Wars fan to detect them. In terms of basic configurations, it's set up for two- and three-legged modes, which is a feature that 1983 me could only have dreamed of. Articulation, outside of a rotating dome, is limited to what it needs to switch between these modes, though there are tiny wheels in the outer feet which do turn. The inner foot has a socket that should allow it to mount to a standard Star Wars stand.
The other built-in feature is a small silver arm under one of the blue plates on the front. In the original trilogy, those plates were the arms, and seemed to be magnetic or suction-powered grippers. This arm actually corresponds with the one Artoo used to hold the communicator Obi-Wan tossed him in Revenge of the Sith. If you have the Attack of the Clones Obi-Wan, which is one of the most common clearance figures I've seen at Ross and Wal-Mart, you can balance the comlink on the end of this arm, though I'm pretty sure that's an accident.
The accessory that matches it to the card art consists of a two-part mechanism: a central silver claw that plugs into the very top of the dome, and in the film looks as though it's something Artoo has always had that has been pressed into service serving drinks. One feature I wish this piece had is the central dome cover tipped up to one side the way it is onscreen. But since it plugs into a socket in that cover and would otherwise need a separate cover piece, I can see why they didn't bother. The other part is an ornate gold or brass-colored serving tray which rests on the tops of R2's legs, covered in molded-on glasses. Naturally the glasses have lost a certain level of detail at this scale, which doesn't bug me at all. The shape of the tray means he can only use it in bipedal mode. It's a nice, elaborate scene-specific accessory that doesn't cripple the rest of the toy, and I like that.
The other two accessories both plug into the open compartment on the front of Artoo's dome. You have the choice of installing his periscope sensor or Luke's lightsaber, as seen in the sail barge scene in Return of the Jedi. (If you want to get really nitpicky, the periscope and lightsaber hatch were, I'm pretty sure, different blue segments of the dome. I'm not feeling that nitpicky but I did want to mention it.) Installing either one pushes down Artoo's third leg, and in the case of the periscope it closes the hole in the dome. To close that gap with the lightsaber stored, turning Artoo's head reveals a blue panel underneath which in all honesty doesn't look as good as the periscope does flush with the rest of the dome. Downside being that with the periscope in there, you can't turn the dome at all. So it depends partially on what you think looks best and partially on which direction you want Artoo to look. Either way, pushing the third leg up into the body while R2 is looking straight ahead will raise the periscope or eject the lightsaber.
Overall, I like the level of gadgetry on this Artoo Detoo. The gap in the dome is something my old Artoo had, and the look of it is minimally bothersome to me. And for a figure which by design can have very little articulation, a few nice features like option parts and an action feature of sorts are very appealing to me. I'm thinking this will be my one and only R2 unit; my Clone habit is bad enough without collecting Astromechs too. It's an Excellent figure.
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