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Look, Sir — Droids! Comparing and Contrasting all the 6-inch Star Wars Droids So Far

At this point, it’s really hard to say which droids I’m looking for. Star Wars reference, amirite? It seems like we are spoiled for choices in the Artoo and Threepio department, and yet … so many choices, so few “perfect.” Perfect is, of course, an elusive, evasive, and precarious ideal, so it’s not really about “perfect” as it is, in the words of Goldilocks, “just right.”

If you are like me — that is to say half-insane, half-paranoid and half-genius at fractions — you woke up at a stupid time to preorder the recent Figuarts C-3P0 and R2-D2. Because apparently droids are like Pokemon: I gotta catch ’em all. At least, all the 6-inch versions. Figuarts is, I think, the only option left. I kind of feel like a Jawa at this point, scooping up droids, wearing a hood even when it’s a hundred degrees in the shade, speaking in a strange language, making love to Banthas. The usual.

Revoltech, MAFEX, Bandai, and Hasbro have all tossed out their versions of the droids. Let’s pro and con all of the available sets and see where we are with this whole thing.

Let’s start off with Revoltech.

Revoltech’s attempt at entering the Star Wars universe was very brief. I don’t know if they’re ever planning on doing more, but it doesn’t seem like a good fit for their particular aesthetic, which right now seems to work on characters like Spider-Man and Deadpool more so than it anything Star Wars-ian.

I had issues with their droids back when they were released, but I maintain a fondness for the overall aesthetic. I think it’s the animated quality to them. In a way, Threepio looks like what he might have looked like without the need for a person inside the costume, with the thinner arms and such. It reminds me of the old Droids cartoon, in a good way. But these are easily the weakest of the bunch.

Pros: They look good together, and work very well as a standalone.

Cons: Threepio’s hips are T-joints, his articulation is a bit frustrating, they’re too large, and too “off-model” to their cinematic likenesses.

Next up are the Bandai model kits.

Building your own droid is, in a word, cool. Watching Threepio and Artoo come together piece by piece puts a very different interactive experience into the whole toy thing, and it can get addictive. However, they are models and not toys (although the line is a little blurry here) and present some problems.

Pros: They look great. Once they’re put together, both Threepio and Artoo are pristine, and Threepio in particular has an award ceremony sheen to him, as if he’s just been fully cleaned, buffed, and polished in quite some time. Both of them are beautiful looking figures. They’re the right height as well, and fit in well with both Hasbro and Figuarts. Threepio has a very nice option for either articulated arms or static arms, which is very nice.

Cons: Threepio’s hips are, again, very limited, with only T-styled articulation. Straight out, no side to side.

Pro and a con, depending: If you want them dirtied up, you have to do that yourself. Some people might have no problem with that, others might have a problem.

MAFEX’s droids came in a set. Wow, did these cause a kerfuffle. Artoo is visually the strongest representation of Artoo of all, but Threepio was a spastic Jenga of a figure, a droid-shaped game of Pick-Up Sticks that fell apart with the slamming of a door. Threepio was concentrated frustration in the shape of a fussy robot icon.

With that said … with a little work, a little glue, a little Teflon tape, and some care and attention, Threepio can be made to be a fully functioning action figure. While he will still have issues, he can be fixed.

Pros: The best Artoo of them all out of the box. Threepio had actual hip articulation. Threepio has a combo of shininess and dirtiness that gives him that sought-after “lived in” quality straight out of the movies. Visually they look great.

Cons: Threepio is not even a little fun unless you invest time and effort into fixing him, which is not something that should have to be done in the first place. And technically, while they are scale-accurate to each other, they’re a bit too large compared to Hasbro and Figuarts Lukes. Another con is that they’re sold in a set, so you can’t opt to just get Artoo.

And finally, the most affordable and retail version of the Droids from the Hasbro Black series.

Artoo is barely worth mentioning here. At one point I defended him when he was the only option, but now he is absolutely worthless, with an actual action feature forcing you to rotate his dome if you want his third leg to pop out. Undersized and clumsy-looking, Hasbro needs to scrap this thing and completely redo him.

Threepio, on the other hand, is an oddly appealing surprise. While he doesn’t feature the shiny/dirty combo of an ideal Threepio, he has a lot going for him.

Pros: Threepio doesn’t fall apart when you look at him, he has actual hip articulation, his eyes have life to them and don’t appear to be “powered down” and he’s size-appropriate to both Hasbro and Figuarts Lukes. You don’t have to buy Artoo to get Threepio. Finally, Threepio is the most affordable option.

Cons: Artoo sucks. Threepio lacks elbow articulation for no real reason. Not the most “exciting” of aesthetics.

When all is said and done, Hasbro’s Threepio somehow edges out every other Threepio by being the right height, not falling apart, and having actual hip articulation. While he’s not the prettiest Threepio, he’s the … well, the funnest. I’m just as surprised as you.

If you want to invest a little time in it, the model kit Artoo is the best bet for matching up to the Hasbro Threepio. The MAFEX Artoo is the best looking of them all right out of the box, but his height isn’t right when put up against a Threepio that is the right height.

Calgon, take me away!

If Figuarts can deliver fully functioning Droids that are the right height and check off all the necessary boxes, they’ll pretty much be doing us all a favor, because, good grief, it shouldn’t be this hard to put together a decent set of these guys. But, it is.

It really is.

31 thoughts on “Look, Sir — Droids! Comparing and Contrasting all the 6-inch Star Wars Droids So Far

  1. Haha, I hear ya. I think all in, build and clear coats and washes and weathering, it was like 10 hours just for the astromechs so yea, time consuming for sure. Something about modelchili and your videos that are just super relaxing to watch. Thanks again for all the vids and reviews. The few breaks at work I take i jump on here cuz I just day dream about action figures constantly. Keep up all the great work dude!!

  2. I’ve talked to Modelchili a couple of times and love his videos. My problem comes down t finding time to actually sit down and do some painting. Hopefully someday. And I had to stop buying troopers, haha. I only have four displayed but there may be a few more unbuilt kits creeping around the room somewhere. And another Fett for Jode. And more astromech sets to make some different ones. Someday…

  3. Fine. In the interest of absolute clarity, I share Joe’s enthusiasm for the screen-accurate shiny-gold finish. Okay? I don’t understand why toymakers persist in neglecting that rather obvious and important detail.

  4. Thanks Robo. Watching your build vids sold me on the Bandai kits (trooper building like a mofo now). Watched a cool New Zealand youtuber named Modelchili on how to do the weathering and paint deco (Tamiya weathering master). Now I’ve got import grade action figures that are hand painted and I learned it on the Internet. Gotta love the 21st century. Now I need a holodeck

  5. Well, drat. I planned on getting the Bandai Threepio but he’s too tall. Looks like I’ll have to settle for the Walgreens TBS Threepio.

  6. I can’t believe it took me 30 years to notice C3PO’s leg was another color!

  7. Not one time have I been bothered by the lack of elbow articulation on TBS 3PO. With the wrists and shoulders you can hit almost any pose from the movies. I’d rather have the piston or whatever it is for aesthetics and lose the tiny bit of articulation an elbow joint would bring. It looks as if Figuarts has solved the problem with the piston being able to slide up and down the forearm. Personally I don’t need to spend the money on an import – the BS version works for me.

  8. you’re asking for a screen accurate threepio yet the guy youre agreeing with is asking for a recreation of the old kenner figure,

  9. Fair, but I can understand them not wanting to make a kit so tiny quite so complex, and OT Yoda doesn’t need to assume too many action poses, so I’m fine with them trying to give people the best of both worlds.

  10. Yeah, that’s all well and good, but that’s useless if what you’re looking for is a poseable 1/12 Yoda.

  11. For me, my ideal would probably be the Bandai Model Kit, with the Black Series coming in second. It’s chrome, has sharper details, and more arm articulation. I don’t mind the lack of hip articulation, as C-3PO really didn’t have that much anyway (seriously, look at this picture of the dissassembled costume – the “panties” are more like hard plastic briefs, and severely limit hip movement; for scenes where he was sitting down, they had to remove them), the arms are what are more important in terms of posing and emoting for him, and that’s the one thing that mainly puts the model kit above the Black Series figure for me.

  12. Any affection I have for these two comes from the cereal boxes, so I don’t need anything except a Black Series C-3PO with working elbow joints. Bonus points for a spoon accessory.

  13. The 1/12 Yoda model kit they’re doing is basically going to be an unposeable statue.

  14. I can live with TBS Artoo but it would be wonderful if they remade him. TBS Threepio is the best of them in my opinion as well.

  15. OT Threepio always had a silver leg, so you’ll have to hope we get more PT figures and a RotS Threepio.

  16. With you 100%. I just want the plain old vanilla droids, screen-accurate, with shiny finish, decent articulation, and free of subjective and almost invariably-annoying ’embellishments.’

  17. Bandai’s 3PO kit is so far beyond the other figures in terms of movie accuracy, it’s almost funny. He looks perfect, with incredibly sharp details. The others look soft and mushy with wonky proportions. I don’t see how there’s any contest there.

    They might top themselves with the Figuarts, but for my money (literally), Bandai’s model kits are my favourite Star Wars line of all time. Can’t wait to see them branch out into creatures with Yoda, and hopefully human characters at some point down the line.

  18. I’m thinking Figuarts’ will probably be too small, so we might never get that “perfect” one.

  19. I built the bandai artoo (which came with a beautiful arfive btw!) and went with hasbro’s c3-po! Nailed it! As stated in this review. Glad I made the right choices.

  20. It really is difficult. I want an all-chrome Threepio with no silver leg or red arm. An exact match for my first ever Star Wars figure, the original, shiny Kenner Threepio. I have yet to find the right one and it’s gotta be an actual figure, not a model kit. Those things are too fragile and might as well be statues since they fall apart if not properly constructed. Agreed on the need for a new Hasbro Black Series Artoo as well.

  21. There’s something unnerving about the Mafex C-3PO… like in the face, it looks like there’s a little Anthony Daniels in there… i think its the eyes lol very weird looking. Its probably just the lighting in the photo.

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