Your Home for Toy News and Action Figure Discussion!

Fwoosh Staff Best of 2013 – Star Wars The Black Series R2-D2

Fwoosh R2-D2 Star Wars Hagop

Whenever I’m asked to contribute to the Fwoosh Staff’s “figure of the year” compilation, I never seem to have trouble picking just one toy, despite the ever increasing amount of great product showered upon us by the toy gods. This year my choice may be controversial in some quarters, but it was still an easy one for me. It’s R2-D2 from Hasbro’s Star Wars Black 6-inch Series 1.

Like most children of the ’70s, my toy-geek heritage was built on the back of Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes and Kenner’s vintage Star Wars line. That said, it’s been nearly 30 years since I’ve bought a Star Wars-related action figure. Recently, I’ve marveled at Hasbro’s major upgrade to the sculpt and articulation of their 3.75-inch line, oohed and aahed at the redesigned and re-scaled pieces like the Millennium Falcon and AT-AT. But none of it has been enough to get me to actually buy a Star Wars toy. The Star Wars Black 6-inch line is the first thing to manage that, and the gateway figure for me is Artoo. It’s the only figure from Series 1 that I bought, and I spent zero time debating the purchase.

The sculpt is a perfect representation — something I suppose we’ve come to expect now with digital imaging, especially for a character that’s essentially inanimate. Yet, it is so perfect it deserves not to be taken for granted. Hasbro spared no expense on articulation or accessories. The only additions I could possibly think of would be a drink tray and holographic Leia. But the fact that we get his data plug, claw arm, radar scope, periscope, Luke’s lightsaber, and his prequel leg-jets seems like an awful lot to be appreciative of.

People have complained that he’s too small and too clean. I don’t understand the latter complaint in the least. Artoo spent as much time in the movies “clean” as he did “dirty.” While any given collector may have a preference of one look over the other, it’s certainly not naturally intuitive that Hasbro should produce him with a grimy wash. In my opinion, given the choice of two equally valid states of cleanliness, the default would be clean. This is Artoo accepting his quest aboard the Tantive IV, racing through the gleaming halls of Bespin, cheering at the medal ceremony on Yavin V, and meeting Obi Wan Kenobi for the first time aboard the Nubian Royal Starship. As for his size? While the most eagle-eyed screenshot comparisons and precise caliper calculations do show his trunk to be about 5-8 percent too small, the disparity isn’t nearly enough for me to care about in the face of how beautiful this figure is otherwise.

At five years old, I came into my very first R2-D2 figure: a plain chunk of white plastic with a sticker wrapped around it that bore only an expressionistic resemblance to the screen character. But in my young eyes it was an exact replica. My ability to suspend my disbelief isn’t as powerful as it was then, but this new Artoo fires my imagination at least as well as his bygone ancestor. Something no other toy this year came close to achieving.

2 thoughts on “Fwoosh Staff Best of 2013 – Star Wars The Black Series R2-D2

  1. This staff pick made me smile. I never understood all the ridiculous bitching and nit picking about this figure. I think he’s great.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *