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Thread: Research Droids

  1. #1

    Research Droids

    Well, in typical Hasbro fashion we are being saddled with a minor character (or characters in this case) that has less than no appeal to many and will be of unknown origin to the more casual collector. I am of course speaking of the impending Research Droid two-pack.

    What possessed Hasbro to put these two on the fast track while continuing to ignore so many fan and casual collector favorites and/or demands? The very fact that these droids did not make it into the final cut of EII should be reason enough to have shelved plans for them in favor of a much more sought-after character. Add to this that once the cut scene was made available for viewing (via the DVD), we discover that the designs of these droids are lacklustre (appearing more appropriate to the que for Star Tours or perhaps as companion robots in a second sequel to "Short Circuit". And the scene from which they are culled is perhaps the second most ponderous and lacking of all of the cut scenes (save only for the one with Padme's parents).

    The problem that I have with this as a choice is that it is right on the fringe of Expanded Universe but more importantly, as previously stated, its presence denies us other more important and useful characters for months or years. Or perhaps at all.

    However, on the up side, it appears that Hasbro is recognizing us (the collectors) with a mess of new themed sets of figures (like Clone Troopers, Couruscant Nightclub Patrons, and the Lars Homestead to name a few).

    Any thoughts on the "Library Droids"?
    "Does the name "Dingo" mean anything to you?" - Jedi Boulton to DingoDad at the October Dallas ComiCon.

  2. #2
    Yes, they're aimed at kids. Kids like small characters and especially small aliens and robots. It's precisely that reason that brings the padawan learner 2-packs up to release earlier than some other characters. hasbro has said they are trying to encourage younger collectors and this is obviously aimed at appealing to the younger 'cute' oriented brigade that likes stuff like pokemon and Digimon and stuff like that with cute faces and gadgetry. True these characters are on the DVD for a split second. and the lack of decent soundtrack makes the scene boring. The design of one is a re-use of the PK droid from TPM and the other is so-so in more general design terms. But what's the harm in putting out a 2-pack of absolutely new figures rather than yet another jango or obi or Anakin. I'll take these little droids and the padawan learner 2-packs over another core character sculpt anyday. I like cute too. Maybe these figures are an extension of the star tours figures but i bought those because i liked the look of them as I'm sure a ton of kids did. So it's likely that kids will buy the Jedi library droids and while in the store buy more figures too. If it's being used as bait then it can't be a bad thing if it gets kids interested in star wars again in a non movie year.

  3. #3
    What are you two talking about. The analysis droids are cool they sure beat getting another Jango or Maul or crappy regular version Vader. I much rather have the research droids than some of the other crap we have been getting.
    Come vote in my Best Figure thread this Preview Month.

  4. #4
    I think you'll find that's what I said...

  5. #5
    Frankly, these two hold very little appeal for me as well.

    There are so many much more interesting possibilities out there.

    Still, I'm not going to get up in arms about it.
    But why the heck won't they give me a decent R5-D4?
    I've been more than patient.
    It is more than a little bit frustrating.

  6. #6
    Registered TIE Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Chicago IL - USA
    I can never have enough droids, but like mark2d2 said we still need a decent R5-D4. Not to mention other more popular droids that were actually IN the movies and not ones from EU or cut-scenes.

    But I'm not going to complain too much, because I think these new droids are very cool and will definitely pick them up when I see them.

  7. #7
    The Library/research droids are great in my opinion. One of my most anticipated purchases. I love the minor background droids and aliens that Hasbro graces us with. I don't see a reason to complain, since most people are always begging for more droids. Well, here's two more.

    MTFBWY and HH!!

    Jar Jar Binks

    AGENTS OF ATLAS - Returns in Early 2009.

  8. #8
    Thank you to all who have replied thus far with such great commentss. Firstly I will concede that the presence of this two pack is far more welcome than, say, another ANH Princess Leia. Or indeed perhaps even moreso than a rehash of a core character done to death.

    However, let me establish a few thoughts that may have been vague in the original post.

    I have NOTHING against droids and/or backgroudn characters. Frankly I am silly for droids and background characters. What is at issue for me is that Hasbro chose characters that were not technically background characters save for the advent of the DVD. I think most of us own VHS tapes of the original trilogy of some vintage, and none of those offered us a glimpse at cut scenes in any way. And let say that I have nothing against the advent of the DVD or the addition of cut scenes. I frankly love both. But I would rather have seen a two pack of PK droids (perhaps with Battle Droid debris) over this two pack. They have an equal status as background character and droid. And they are cute!

    NOw I will also concede that they could well be intended as "kiddie hooks". And in the long run, we need the kids to get out there and spend mom and dad's hard earned cash (like many of us did for many years or may still be doing) to bolster the dollars that those of us who are adult collectors are spending. As you may have noticed, I had no problem with the Padawan Learners. Cute or not, they were in the final cut, served to illustrate that Yoda could easily be for Obi-Wan, "the Jedi Master who instructed me", and would help set a precident for (hopefully) a Kitster and Wald two-pack in the future.
    "Does the name "Dingo" mean anything to you?" - Jedi Boulton to DingoDad at the October Dallas ComiCon.

  9. #9
    Registered Fulit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    Speaking as both a collector and a parent, these things are, for all practical purposes, useless.

    They weren't in the film, hence and I won't be setting up any dioramas of them. If they had made the final cut, that might be different.

    My kid likes to get figures that have action scenes, and more importantly actual scenes in the movie. He doesn't want to play "Obi-Wan talking to droids", he wants to play shooting clonetroopers and exploding battle droids and saber-wielding Jedi. Dexter Jettster, Jar Jar, these figures have proved a waste to get for him. Maybe some kids like to re-enact talking scenes, but not mine, that's all I'm saying.

    Still, the Library Droids are pretty cool looking, I do have a thing for droids, so if they ever show up for like 2 bucks at some sale, I will pick them up. Oh, plus, I'm a hopeless completionist.

  10. #10
    Hmmm, i may not be a parent but i have two young nephews that play star wars at my house and theirs and they definately like to get imaginitive with figures so that things like the royal starship becomes a batle droid transport and The Endor Bunker becomes a gun store. They could quite happily have the two library droids join in battles and not bother about whether they were in certain scenes because to my nephews it's all play and all fair game. They love the soldier figures and Obi Wan et al with sabers and blaster and missiles firing all over the place. but kids will use whatever is at hand and not worry about convention or accuracy. My nephew eschewed the royal starship at first in favour of the escape pod because the escape pod had a misile. it bacame the personal ship of Luke Skywalker tatoine for a time and then C-3PO had control. It's all intended to be messed up by kids so the inclusion in the SAGA line of something that kids have seen on the DVD is equally fair game for production in my eyes. I see no reason not to produce them. I agree that there are figures that we've been asking for for years that are surprisingly lacking in corporeal form but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Who knows what LFL has pushed for Hasbro to make. They do after all have the final say in whether or not something gets made. LFL approval is the vital stage of production. How many items has LFL said no to? The reason we don't have certain ROTJ characters, is that because LFL has said wait until the anniversary? or thereabouts anyway. We'll have to wait for the 25th anniversary of ROTJ before we get a general madine? Maybe. I don't have answers to that but i do know that there's plenty of shelf space for the library droids after the ridiculous Darth maul's we've had - Sith apprentice, Sith training, Sith dental flossing.... If hasbro can justify putting figures like that out then i'm sure they can justify putting out a 2-pack of small droids from a cut scene. I know which ones my nephews would rather have, after god knows how many Darth Mauls and Obi-Wans they would jump at anything new and as yet unproduced. I wonder at the wisdom behind the droid factory R2-D2 personally. Like we haven't already got a trillion R2-D2 figures. Can hasbro justify shoving that out? It's taking the shelf space from a Jabba's palace figure or a new Imperial officer or a Rebel soldier, or a nightclub alien......


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