Yodasnews Review: McQuarrie Concept C-3PO and R2-D2 (30th Anniversary Collection) CIV Exclusive
By Jeff Gouse (SithLord0498)
SPECIAL CARDBACK INSERT
Exclusive to the exclusive, there is a separate cardback held in place by the tight fit between figures’ card and outer clamshell. This “commemorative” card, cut in the same shape as those in the 30th Anniversary Collection, features the classic Episode IV artwork on the front while the back has the Celebration IV logo, dates, location, and short message about C4 and the McQuarrie Droids.
In the end, it’s nothing special, but I suppose there are collectors out there who would like to have it as a souvenir of Celebration IV. Plus, it will help differentiate the C4 exclusive droid set from any future version that may be released down the road.
SCULPT (C-3PO) – 4.9 out of 5
Based on the limited source material available for reference, the sculpt on C-3PO looks extremely accurate from the fluid lines etched on the legs to the recessed eyes on the Fritz Lang-inspired portrait. The hands in particular feature detailed sculpting. There are creases cut into the partially closed palms, and the boundaries of each subsequent layer of metal plating create a step-like texture on the hands.
The face that McQuarrie painted for C-3PO leaves no room for emotive expression but rather leaves it wide open for emotive interpretation. Hasbro’s faithfulness to the artwork translates into an action figure portrait that carries a variety of emotions when matched with the correct poses. Astonishment, tender compassion, embarrassment, sadness: all of them are here in the golden droid’s face—even if he does have a blank look on it.
And that is one heck of an achievement.
Sadly, it comes up just shy of a perfect score for one tiny detail, and this may just be a factory error on my particular sample. The foot on his right-hand side is permanently tilted at a slight angle. Therefore, Concept C-3PO will never be able to stand flat on both feet.
SCULPT (R2-D2) – 5 out of 5
Hasbro managed a near one-two knockout with these sculpts. Unlike his counterpart’s wonky foot, R2 looks flawless to me. No detail is left unnoticed as every conceivable groove, button, panel, and exhaust vent is carved into the droid chassis. Taking advantage of the tri-leg design, the body is balanced very well with its minimal weight evenly distributed. This is a solid effort much like many of the most recent Hasbro astromech droids.
PAINT APPLICATION (C-3PO) – 2 out of 5
This is where it gets messy with (and for) C-3PO. The only positive about the paint applications here is that the darker paint wash adds good definition to the overall appearance. But there are two glaring issues to contend with on this figure, both of which are baffling and inexcusable.
First, the shade of gold used here is inaccurate. Whereas the concept art showed a more yellowish shade of gold, the figure goes to a darker end of the spectrum with a brown-tinted gold plastic. Even when held in direct sunlight, the concept figure fails to emulate the color found in the source material.
The greater travesty here is a small detail, but it is very significant considering it is one of the few areas where paint is required. The eyes and mouth, both colored black in the concept art, are left unpainted. The details are sculpted, but no paint has been applied. C-3PO’s “personality” would have shined through considerably more had Hasbro taken the time to put a few spots of black paint on the figure.
Considering this figure is part of an overpriced exclusive set, there is no excuse.
PAINT APPLICATION (R2-D2) – 4.5 out of 5
Hasbro painted the eye blue and cleanly painted small dots of color on a few other buttons. Considering everything else is in gunmetal gray plastic and closely resembles the concept art, there’s not much more to say here except a few buttons with black paint would have helped. Moving along…
ARTICULATION (C-3PO) – 4.5 out of 5
Up front, I will say that C-3PO lost points here because Hasbro omitted knee joints on a figure where the aesthetic impact would have been minimal, and this limits poseability to a degree.
The good news is that every other point of articulation works together to create a very remarkable range of poseability. I credit this to the stellar functionality of the head and torso ball joints. Both are tight enough to hold poses in a wide variety of angles, which allows for more subtle gestures and postures—key ingredients when attempt to coax emotive configurations from the figure.
While the rigidity of the legs remains a slight disappointment, everything else about C-3PO’s articulation is at the top of its game.
ARTICULATION (R2-D2) – 5 out of 5
Clearly, it is impossible to apply the same criteria to an astromech as you would a humanoid, so different rules apply here. And those rules say that Concept R2’s articulation is a home run. The primary legs are supported not only by their own swivel joints but by hinged joints at the “ankles” as well. Between these two POAs, you can tilt R2 at a multitude of angles. For stability and movement, the third leg is extendable and articulated at the ankle as well.
The dome has full 360 rotation, and there are four articulated mechanical arms as well. The two arms extending from the dome have two joints each (a “shoulder” and “elbow”) while the two that pop out from R2’s front chassis only have that one joint at the connection point.
Still, all necessary articulation has been addressed with this figure, and all of it works exceptionally well.
ACCESSORIES – Not Applicable
The only accessory here is another collector’s coin. But there are no accessories that go with these figures. Considering that, I can’t give this a zero score, but I also can’t in good conscience give it a perfect score either.
So we simply move on and forget the category this time around.
“FUN FACTOR” (C-3PO) – 5 out of 5
At first glance, I didn’t expect C-3PO to be all that fun. The lack of paint details and the fixed pose knees turned me off when I viewed it in the packaging.
But I’m delighted to admit that my first impressions were wrong.
Using the articulation from the waist up, I’ve been able to create at least a dozen really cool and interesting poses, many of which emanate a variety of attitudes and/or emotions. Yes, I know it seems a bit eccentric to speak of such qualities in an action figure, but that is a true credit to the product’s execution.
Problematic features aside, C-3PO is a very fun figure to own.
“FUN FACTOR” (R2-D2) – 2 out of 5
My own prejudices weigh heavily here. I’ve never really been a fan of astromech droids. When I play with and display a figure, I take great pleasure in creating either one (or preferably both) of the following: 1) natural, lifelike poses and 2) emotive poses that bring out a character’s personality.
You can’t really do that with an astromech, and Concept R2 is no exception.
This is an area where my opinion and score may not mean much or help you in any way.
OVERALL RATING (C-3PO) – 4.1 out of 5
OVERALL RATING (R2-D2) – 4.1 out of 5
CONCEPT VALUE (or “Is it REALLY worth $20???) – 2 out of 5
As with other special sets such as the new Comic Packs, this category exists outside the overall rating of either figure, and it is where we will examine whether or not the package as a whole warrants $20 and, more importantly, YOUR $20.
The short answer: “NO!!!!”
And there are several reasons why.
1) Convention exclusive or not, this figure set is grievously overpriced (no pun intended). Both figures have minimal paint involved, and neither have any accessories or complicated costumes. There is no reason why this can’t be a regularly priced figure.
2) Some can argue that the increased price tag is because this set is a convention exclusive. Bottom line: this should never have been an exclusive!! While the McQuarrie Signature Series is one of the best ideas to come out of Hasbro in a long time, the idea of breaking it up between retail release and convention exclusives is one of their WORST ideas.
But most Celebration exclusives from Hasbro have steadily come down in price as time goes on. Remember how you couldn’t even give away the Celebration III Darth Vader figure about a year later? Give it time, and you may be able to grab these guys for half retail cost.
Or you can just wait for the inevitable box set of all the McQuarrie figures (rumors have been quietly circulating the Net about this already).
If you are a fan or completist of this sub-line, then it doesn’t matter whether or not this set is worth $20. You have to get it regardless.