Astromech Droids

Coheteboy is back tonight with a terrific review of the Astromech Droid packs - check out the cool photos!  What's the 411, CB?

For ten years, Star Wars collectors have been wishing for a convenient way of getting a ton of troops or droids all at once. Because seriously, who's only going to buy just one trooper right? The same school of thought applies to the miscellaneous astromech droids seen (and unseen) in the Star Wars Galaxy.

At long last, the folks in North Hollywood's have figured out how to deliver the goods... quite literally. The answer, for this online e-tailer was to release two sets of astromech droids, TEN in all. Each droid, an individual character from the entire Star Wars saga. 

This is quite an accomplishment actually because we've seen Hasbro release troop builder packs of four stormtroopers, rebel troops, and entertainment earth's sets of clone troopers, but this is the first time each figure released has a name! But going back to the ten droids... if you've been collecting individual astromechs since 1995, your droid-count just about doubled (approximately). 

Series I includes:

R4-A22: Works at Dexter's Diner in the Coco Town section of Coruscant.

R2-C4: Serves Queen Amidala and her retinue.

R3-T2: Has adapted for survival on Tatooine. Its owner is still a mystery.

R2-Q2: Serves Bigs Darklighter during the Battle of Yavin and may be a double agent.

R3-T6: Calculates hyperspace coordinates for the Empire. Does not survive the assault on the first Death Star.

Series II

R4-E1: Resides in Mos Eisley on the planet Tatooine and is owned by the smuggler BoShek.

R2-X2: Flies on X-Wing Fighter Red 10 during the Battle of Yavin.

R2-M5: Loyally serves the Naboo royalty.

R2-A6: Assists fighter pilot Ric Olie during the Battle of Naboo.

R3-Y2: Assists the Rebels during their escape from Echo Base on the planet Hoth.

Now if you haven't ordered this yet, information can be found at the bottom of this review. If you're still undecided, hopefully I can answer some of your questions.

Packaging - ***1/2
These two sets of five droids are released under "THE SAGA COLLECTION" which is styled after the recent "Original Trilogy Collection" but now encompasses the entire film library and expanded universe that falls in between. 

For an online exclusive, I don't think it can get much better than this. Each box comes inside an outer shipper carton to protect the packaging (doesn't guarantee that it will come mint but it certainly helps), but even if you didn't have this outer carton, the thick cardboard used for the packaging is pretty darn sturdy. 

A big window on the front and sides show the merchandise but since this is an online exclusive, you really can't inspect the goods for quality, but Hasbro has always been pretty consistent.

The back of the box has each droid pictured and includes a brief description of background. This is the type of stuff that I really enjoy on packaging because I seriously can't keep up with TEN droids. Knowing their names is hard enough but at least we are given the knowledge of who they get paired with. Kudos to Hasbro for doing that.

Sculpting - ARTOO droids ****; ARFOUR droids ***; ARTHREE droids ** 1/2
Sculpting - 
Though there are TEN droids altogether, it consists of only three sculpts. I'll try to make this as easy to follow as possible.

The clear dome astromechs, or R3 droids have the lowest score because they use a very primitive mold that isn't quite accurate. On the dome, for example, the eye port is way too small. The body of the droid is also too long. For the R3 droids, the third leg is retractable but if you want your droid to stand idly on two legs, the center leg is always visible... a problem that has since been corrected. Oh and turning the head makes clicking noises.

The R4 droids use the same basic body but has the cone head that makes it more tolerable. Again, a primitive droid body was used so the center leg is never invisible. Clicking noises are heard when turning the R4 heads.

The R2 droids make up three of five droids so it's a good thing that they use the most recent design. Having this droid next to the previous molds really shows how far they've come. Turn the head of these droids and the center leg rolls all the way into the body. What an awesome design!! The sculpt on the domes are also far more accurate than they used to be. The only problem I have with this version are the little wheels on the bottom of each foot since it causes the droid to be off-balance when the center leg isn't in use. Speaking of feet, this mold of the astromech droid has the copper wiring too! Great added detail. 

I wonder how hard it would be to attach an R4 dome or an R3 clear dome on the new astromech body. That would have made a good thing perfect.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are fairly clean and consistent but it's apparent that some droids got more attention than others. And I don't say that because some of these droids are completely gray or black, but some droids get dirt details while most are left clean plastic white. 

Articulation - ***
Each droid has seven points of articulation that includes feet, legs, dome, center leg, etc etc. 

Accessories - Bupkis
No accessories to speak of. Just droids.

Fun Factor - ***
It's a bunch of individual droids. What more can you ask for?

Value -  ***
For an exclusive, the price isn't horrible, but since these are only droids, it can appear to be pretty steep. If you order the case (5 sets), the cost per figure comes to $6 which is a bargain. If you order one set for $74.99, the total per figure is only $7.50. Ordering an individual set for $40 makes it about $8 per droid. 

As you can see, it's way better to get a case to share between friends. Take off more stars if you end up paying $8 per figure or more. 

Things to watch out for - 
Obviously you can't watch out for anything since everything is boxed up.

Overall - ***1/2
I love Star Wars and what makes collecting fun is for all the really random aliens and driods. Getting ten of them in one shot is awesome! Plus it's always great to round out the collection with more and more droids. 

Packaging - *** 1/2
Sculpt - R2: ****; R4: ***; R3: **1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - n/a
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - *** 1/2

Where to buy is the home to this exclusive.


Figure from the collection of Coheteboy.

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