View Full Version : Deluxe C-3PO with Escape Pod review.

12-15-2003, 05:21 PM
Is this the droid you're looking for?

I'd suppose that we all like droids. For some of us, I'd even guess that the droids are a collecting favorite. For me, I'll admit, I've always been a complete sucker for anything to do with C-3PO. When I was a kid my C-3PO figure lived in my pocket and traveled everywhere with me. I even remember having one of those C-3PO necklace pendants that I wore to grade school ... and wondered why some of the other kids thought I was a dork.
Today when a new C-3PO figure comes out, I get excited. When photos of the deluxe C-3PO with Escape Pod set started turning up, I got even more excited. Now, I know ... this new C-3PO is basically a repaint of the same figure from the AOTC droid factory set. I'm also honestly not a huge fan of that particular set or the figures that came with it. So why get excited about this new version?

Well, first off, like I said ... I'm a sucker for C-3PO toys. As simply "off" as the droid factory C-3PO seemed to be, it's nice to have another version of that particular sculpt that's painted so well and doesn't come with a magnet on it's head. Honestly, I'm impressed with this figure's paint job. Of course, I'd always prefer real chrome on a figure like this, but it's apparently something that Hasbro isn't doing anymore. So, we get gold paint with a nice wash of bronze colored rust. The eye sockets are painted a kind of bright yellow and on mine they're well done ... it looks cool. In general I think it's just about as nice a paint job as can be done here. As for the figure's sculpt ... well, it's good in many ways, but a little strange in others. The detailing is nice, seams, wires, mechanical hydraulic bits are all well done. The overall pose is good, but a little weird. When I first saw the Droid Factory C-3PO, I wondered, "What's with the pose?" It's what's called a "contrapposto" pose. The hips and shoulders are turned in opposite directions, and the weight is shifted onto one hip. It simply looks weird for a protocol droid I think ... a bit too relaxed. Yet, strangest of all, is this figures stumpy proportions. He's shorter than every other C-3PO figure. He has very short legs and it's a pretty obvious mistake as far as I'm concerned. Most people are 7-1/2 heads tall, that's normal figure proportion ... this guy measures out at about 6 heads tall, making him seem super shrimpy.

As far as how this figure feels, I'm happy to say that it's made pretty well. It's a sturdy piece, the limbs on mine are tight and the plastic is very solid. Considering that this figure is made to be taken apart and that it could easily be a wobbly mess, I'm really surprised that it's not. Also, the figure stands up very well on its own, something it has in common with most other C-3PO figures.

Then there's the Escape Pod ... really the main reason to pay the price for a deluxe set. For what it is, and for something that comes packed with a carded figure, I suppose it's pretty nice. I can remember always wanting one of these as a kid, and compared to the vintage version it's a real treat. In some ways it's very similar to the vintage pod ... it's very simple really, decent detail, decent paint job with some weathering and burn marks. It's scale is just as wrong as the vintage pod ... it's small and you have to stuff the figures in to make them fit, but again, it's nice to actually have a modern escape pod at all.

As for the most important thing, play value, I'm going to give this figure and this set a big thumbs up. In most cases, and definitely for something like this, I always have to think about just how happy I would have been as a kid to have had a toy like this. To me, that's what it's all about and this set has plenty of play value. As a kid, I wouldn't have cared about the fact that C-3PO is a little short or the fact that the escape pod is a great deal smaller scale wise than the one in the movie. I would have simply been happy to have a figure that looked as good as this, could stand on its own or could be dismantled and reassembled over and over again. I would have tossed the pod into the sand again and again ... and this one is perfect for that.

So, in all, I'm happy with this deluxe set. For sure it's not exactly perfect and if you're looking for a completely movie accurate toy, well ... this one isn't it. If you're looking for something that, as it turns out, is a very "fun" toy to both play with and display ... then I suggest you go out and track down one of these escaped pods right away.

12-16-2003, 04:29 PM
As flawed as this figure is (especially compared to the awsome R-3po), I like it, wierdo paint job and all.

01-05-2004, 12:43 AM
Not to step on any toes, but I'm going to do a review like the others I've been doing lately, and since I don't want to take up extra thread space when not necessary (thus avoiding honking off the Reviews moderator ;)), here is where it shall live.

After years of being nearly the only main character not to get a deluxe-priced figure, the Saga line has given birth to not 1 but 2 higher-pricepoint figures. The first, Episode II Deluxe C-3PO with Battle Droid, featured interchangeable parts, a mini-playset/display base, and was the first C-3PO ever to carry an accessory. This Ultra C-3PO is basically a repaint of that dlx version but comes with an escape pod accessory instead of a battle droid.

Packaging: 3.5/5
This packaging is big, about an inch wider and 3 inches taller than Saga v1's $10-pricepoint packaging; it's also on heavier cardstock, it's actually corrugated cardboard, you can see this at the top -- personally, I think it's too big since it requires more shelfspace which means less of 'em at a time. The graphics' greatest achievement on this v2 packaging is that it really looks like an upsized basic figure card, the "Star Wars" logo is very large, and the film title is on the gold border to complete the sense of fitting in. The cardback and bubble insert complete the feel of being part of the Saga v2 crowd, only bigger.

The front and back film-based pictures are the same, both with a very poorly photoshopped-in escape pod behind 3PO's right shoulder - I am pretty sure most of the SSG readers could have done a better job. The cardback has co-sells for other Tatooine Saga figures as well as smaller ones for the other wave 1 Ultras; the Tatooine co-sells are strange in that they advertise Tusken Raider (Camp Ambush) that hasn't been out for quite a while and comes from a different film, Luke (Tatooine Encounter) who is a repaint and one that shipped only briefly, Han (Flight to Alderaan) who is another repaint but has been shipping recently, and Leia (Imperial Captive) who is yet another repaint and never actually made it to Tatooine soil - so either by movie or by planet, these don't entirely make sense.

On the cardback, there's no mention of the fact that 3PO has removable limbs or how to properly assemble the escape pod, pretty minor but could have been put on the insert at least. What I did find interesting is the R2 figure next to the pod to show that any separately-sold R2 can fit here is the Saga electronic one which I didn't believe could fit, but actually does. Finally, there are 3 twisties, one on the figure, one on the escape pod, and one on the pod's removed panel which was tiny and very hard to remove on mine.

Sculpting: 4/5 (both)
3PO is a pretty nice sculpt, although a total retread of the earlier Deluxe C-3PO figure except here the hole for the backpack and the hole for the magnet in the head have been filled in, albeit slightly sloppily - this is very minor and is easily overlooked. Other than that, nothing's been changed including that raised circle on his upper right chest which should actually be something else here; also, his mouth is ever so slightly bigger and rounded, from what I assume is mold-degredation or materials change, which might also explain the less-flared ends of the pegs of the limbs.

The escape pod has a very nice exterior sculpt that is marred only by a few unattractive hinges (pod top and the 3 maneuvering nozzles near the bottom) and no window... oh, and it's only half or at best 3/4ths the size it should be. Inside the pod is not as crisp, but it's nice to see some interior details at all. The one thing I don't like is that they had to put the copyright info, datestamp, and screws in the bottom uncovered, but that's pretty minor. The interlocking feature has an adequate design that keeps it together even with the top open.

Pose: 4/5 (C-3PO); 1/5 (Escape Pod)
3PO is still based on that dlx C-3PO set, so he still has that permanent torso tilt and outstretched left foot which I'm not terribly fond of. However, he can stand normally and his arm pose is ok even though the right arm bends out a little further than I'd like. What's nice about this C-3PO over his cousin, the recently-released R-3PO, is that because his hips are removable, they can slide out to accomodate a traditional straight-legged sitting pose which I prefer.

The escape pod is a vehicle, it stands up or lays down, top open or closed. The figure can stand in there but not really do anything interesting because this is basically an empty can; if you toss an R2 in, things become very cramped and not pleasant to look at, but they both fit. 3PO can sorta bend down to see out the small opening, but that's it -- you'll have to decide for yourself whether this is important or not.

Paint: 3.5/5 (C-3PO); 2.5/5 (Escape Pod)
I personally don't care for chromed Star Wars figures most of the time and luckily this one isn't chromed. 3PO has an interesting paint job, but as is the case with most deluxes, not a particularly detailed or accurate one; instead of being the light gold color seen on the bubble insert movie photo or the cardback prototype photo, this figure is a much darker copper color with an almost-purple paint wash to add wear and bring out details - at least his shin is still silver. I don't entirely mind this copper color and the purple does look oily & rusty, but the midsection is mostly black with a few yellow wires and just one red one, and the eyes are painted in a thick light-yellow which stands out but isn't quite right and varies from figure to figure -- so be picky. And not that it really matters, but the neck's peg is painted gold until the wiring deep within which just has purple overspray.

The pod is alright I guess, there are a few details properly painted areas such as a couple panels, the black insides of the bottom and upper nozzles, and there's also some light brown/rust discoloration paint in a few areas; I'm just not that thrilled with all these gray scorch marks painted into various places on the hull, they feel out of place and sloppy, they don't always line up with sculpted elements. Basically, it's shot in gray plastic and has very few painted details, hence the lower score, it's not "bad" per se, but it could be much better.

Articulation: 3/5 (C-3PO); 2/5 (Escape Pod)
3PO sports the same articulation that he did 25 years ago - neck, shoulders, hips, the end. No waist, no wrists, no upper-arms, no knees, just the original 5 and nothing else. However, at least his limbs are removable and interchangeable with the other deluxe C-3PO (though not the POTF2 removable-limbs version).

Are you actually expecting the pod to be highly articulated? If so, bummer; for the rest of you, it has a hinged top section (from the taper up, nozzles and all) that closes nicely, and 3 small maneuvering jets which are at hinges that hold their position adequately. It also comes apart, you can remove either side or both. This vehicle isn't really supposed to be articulated, so no big loss here.

Accessories: 4/5
If you see the escape pod as an accessory, it's pretty neat; if you don't, then change that score above to "diddly squat". The pod may be too small to be in scale, but it is a nice accessory and really the only thing justifying the higher pricetag.

Overall Grade: B-
The vehicle is out of scale, has few features, and only a so-so paintjob; the figure is an adequate C-3PO but far too basic to justify calling it "ultra" on its own merits, so taken individually this wouldn't be worth the money. As a set however, these 2 make up a passable $10 Star Wars purchase that, while far from incredible, does actually work and even has the undocumented feature of removable limbs. Not spectacular but not bad either.

01-06-2004, 08:59 AM
I havent purchased this yet, but have seen it in stores alot.

I dont like the way 3PO looks. He looks all stumpy. Something about this just says, leave it on the shelf. Maybe if I see it on clearance or if I have 10 extra bucks I will get it, but I would rather save my money for other stuff I need and want

01-07-2004, 01:30 AM
3PO isn't that tall, I think 5'7" or so, and the figure seems to fit with that. However, if you aren't sold on the pod, then the figure alone isn't going to be worth your money.