It’s probably a bad sign that I only have three Star Wars Black six inch figures, yet I’m pretty enamored with the line. I’m not saying the line is perfect, because there are definitely a couple of things that can be improved. But aside from a couple of minor complaints, I’m amazed at how collector oriented this mass retail line is.
If any one figure demonstrates this, it has to be R2D2. Out of all the first wave figures, he was the one I was least excited about. Sure he looked good in all the pictures, and he even came with some extra accessories, but I felt like his limited droid articulation really put him at a disadvantage in a line full of super articulated humanoids. Boy, was I wrong.
But let’s start with the sculpt. R2D2 is probably one of the most recognizable robots in history, so it’s easy to overlook all the small details because we all have a picture of him in our minds already. While the new six inch version looks exactly like you’d expect, the various panels, vents, wires, and doodads on the figure are much more noticeable. Another thing I really like about the design is that you get a lot of separately sculpted pieces that have been added on, instead of them trying to fit it all into the body’s sculpt. This makes him feel more like a real assembled robot.
While the outside of the figure looks great, Artoo also has a bit of engineering that adds even more to the sculpt. His body has two long panels on each side, just in front of the legs. These panels can open slightly to reveal his two small “arms”. The left arm is his little mechanical claw, but I’m not quite sure about the right side. I think it’s supposed to be his computer interface, but it doesn’t quite look right. Both arms are articulated with a swivel joint, but have to be coaxed out of their homes.
The other bit of engineering that sealed my love for this little figure is his third leg, or rather how his third leg works. Instead of just pulling it down and pushing it back in, Hasbro developed a sort of action feature that lowers or raises the leg depending on which way you turn his head. This feature works like a ratchet, allowing the head to keep turning even after the leg has stopped. I wouldn’t go so far to say that this action feature was a necessary addition to the figure, but it’s definitely a nice sign that the people making the line are putting the work in and not just giving us the cheapest product possible. Continue to page 2…