Hoo boy, we've been waiting ten years for this damn figure, since the release of the terrible "rocket-launching" version was released, with leg-mounted guns and all. Is it any good? Well, Mr. Impatient, you'll just have to keep reading to find out.
The sculpt consists of a brand-new head and an older body. Luckily, it's the VOTC/Early Bird/TSC Hoth R2-D2 body, with the panel glued down. He still sports the removable third leg, which is nice since the older R5-D4 had the third leg permanently extended and the back two connected for whatever reason. The head is fantastic; it's ten times better than the old one. The little antenna is removable, if you like it better that way.
When the head is rotated, R5's "bad motivator" pops up in the back in place of the VOTC R2's sensorscope. The motivator isn't exactly like the movie version, but we'll file it under the category of "close enough." However, since the head has to be either facing the left or right for the motivator to come up, it's not film-accurate either (R5 was facing forward as it popped up).
While the figure's sculpt is overall really fantastic, the paint . . . well, not so much. Luckily, he's more weathered than the mock-up pictures led us all to believe, and that's done pretty well. However, the face's eyes and other bumps on mine are very sloppily painted so that quite a bit of dark gray runs outside the lines, and it's distracting.
There are also quite a few obviously missed paint applications on this figure. His blue disk slot (right below his head, right above his two red horizontal panels) isn't painted, though on the mock-up pictures it is. Also, there's no coloring on his back, so the giant red panels that are clearly visible in the film are left unpainted and gray. It really bugs me when Hasbro comes so close to having a perfect figure and then messes it up with something like this.
It's a hell of a lot better than the 1996 version. I'll give the sculpt a solid A, but the paint gets a C+.