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JediTricks
05-17-2004, 08:10 PM
The Hall of Fame wave has been an interesting situation... Hasbro took a dozen already-released OT and PT figures, figures that were generally considered finer examples of that core character, and repackaged them onto Saga cards. This makes some sense for the collectors who - due to whatever reasons - missed out on figures like POTF2 MMC C-3PO & CTC Stormtrooper, yet still keeps these figures out of the Saga numbering sequence. The HOF cases seem to be about 40% popular items - Stormtrooper, 3PO, R2 here, Vader, etc., and 60% slow-sellers like Han, Leia, Yoda, etc.. This R2 is a repaint of the POTJ Naboo Escape R2-D2 figure -- a bare-bones, permanently-3-legged, wheel-footed astromech figure that was reused for the TRU-exclusive chromed R2. Considering how basic this one is, I've had a really hard time finding one even though I've seen far too many HOF Han, Leia, and Yoda figures lately.

Packaging: 2.5/5
This is the basic Saga v2 packaging, which I normally give a 3.5 to, but this card gets a lower grade because it's got movie images of R2 that don't represent this figure very well and because the prototype photos are of an entirely different R2-D2 figure! The movie still on the bubble insert is a dirty, 2-legged R2, while the prototype image is of the recently-released Bartending R2-D2 w/out accessories which is just dead-wrong because this HOF figure doesn't have the articulated ankles and retractable 3rd leg that the prototype has - never show features that aren't on the actual toy.

A few interesting points here, it's odd to see a card with only the "Ages 4+" text in the upper right corner, almost every other Saga card has a choke hazard warning but since R2 has no small parts, it doesn't need that; there's also no Saga number or accessories listing on the insert; and the cardback makes good use of the empty space with larger photos of the prototype and all 11 fellow HOF figures.

Sculpting: 3/5
Hasbro really never has gotten the barrel or dome that close to the movie version in this scale, even though the 12"-scale toys have always been superb in that department. This sculpt was done for the tail end of the Ep I line (although it was bumped to the POTJ line) and still wears its '99 copyright on the inside of the legs, the barrel is remarkably similar to more recent versions of R2 but has its own quirks. The dome is closer to the real shape, but the details miss the mark in several locations such as the main eye being an oval, the top eye being in the wrong place, stuff like that.

While the dome and barrel are as sharp as the original POTJ version, the legs seem to have suffered some mold degradation and as such have softer lines and taper in at the "shoulders". The seams also don't line up that well here and there. This figure's leg hubs, where the shoulders pin into the body, have the same bending problems as the original. The permanent bent ankles and 3-legged mode are quite limiting, and I've often wondered why this figure's 3rd leg isn't removable - it certainly could be without hampering the rolling feature. At least the wheels roll nicely, smoother than my original version even.

Pose: 2/5
While R2 has never been a figure rife for poses, this figure is second only to the Saga "flying" R2 in sheer lack of poseability. The main pose is the 3-legged pose with permanently-bent ankles, R2's tilted a little far back for my tastes but I do like the way it looks in general. However, that's all you get except for the dome, changing the outer leg angles doesn't do much good. That's not what this figure is about though, this figure is about rolling along.

Paint: 3/5
I had trouble finding one with acceptable paint, I saw a couple really sloppy versions before I found this one. Even with all that hunting though, the paint work is a mixed bag. The paint apps are not just recycled from the original, which had several large scorch marks on the dome and body, this is a "clean" version of the character, so even his dome is shinier than the original POTJ figure. There are also a few new paint apps on little things like the stalk eye lenses and silver vents, even the 2 dots above the rear red light that were missing on the original.

The body and limbs are cast in plastic that's a few shades too white and could always use some sort of painted weathering to give things some life. The dome's silver fades out in a few small spots on mine exposing the bare white plastic underneath - it would have been worse if the plastic were another color though, the white fades well with the silver. Finally, the wires on the outer feet are now an orange color rather than the correct gold.

Articulation: 2/5
3 points of articulation: standard dome, and shoulders. The dome is of the "clicky" variety and has the same (probably unintentional) catch when rotated straight ahead as the original, but is generally smoother - I still don't get why fans like this clicky rotation, it does nothing for me and often makes the head rebound a little. The hips also have the same (again, probably unintentional) catch in the default position as the original, but the hips here are noticeably looser. Again though, this figure is meant to roll along, so articulation would just muck that up.

Accessories: 0.5/5
Hall Of Fame R2 comes with no actual accessories whatsoever. Pretty lame really. The only thing this figure comes with at all is the clear figure stand that comes with all the HOF figures, this one is the modified version of the design so it interlocks better with the other stands... but why does this figure have a stand at all? He has no peg holes, and there's virtually no way to have him fall over anyway. Some of the HOF figures have recently been found with the regular metallic black stands instead of clear ones, perhaps the clear polycarbonate material was too brittle which is sometimes the case.

Overall: C
I was originally excited about this HOF figure, I sorta liked the original's design but never approved of the over-the-top scorch marks on that version. However, this figure is so very hit-or-miss in the paint department and somewhat sloppy in the manufacturing that I'm torn -- if you can get past the detail problems and like the idea of a wheeled R2 figure, this figure is pretty good, but anybody with other criteria will likely end up disappointed.

Hellboy
05-19-2004, 05:47 PM
Well I never cared for this figure when it came out in the POTJ line and I've got no problem letting this one sit on the pegs this time around. I really hate the permanently extended third leg and the wheels do nothing for me. Strange though I've actually only seen this figure once and passed on the whole case except for the HOF Threepio. Actually the only way I would've even considered buying a repacked R2 is if Hasbro reissued the POTF2 CTC R2, can't have to many of those.

I'd agree with JT's final grade of a C but only because of the missing scorch marks and overall cleaner appearance. I'd probably give the original a D+.