Yodasnews Review: Tri-Droid (30th Anniversary Collection)
Review and Photography by Jeffrey A. Gouse (SithLord0498)
Review Date: May 21, 2008
Every so often, Hasbro throws a curve ball and truly surprises collectors with basic figure entries that many never expected to see. 2008 seems to be a year where “expect the unexpected” is going to be the unofficial motto of the Star Wars line. The first wave alone holds several surprises such as multiple figures with ball-jointed hips and two background droids. Today’s review looks at one of those two droids in the first wave: the Techno Union’s Octuptarra Tri-Droid.
DESIGN AND AESTHETICS: Excellent
Save for the smallest of details, Hasbro absolutely nailed this replication of the CGI model. The spherical “cognitive unit” is the best part of this figure not only because it is the most prominent element but also because this is where the lion’s share of the details have been sculpted. The panels and ridges match up with the CGI model, and the sculpted components inside the three elongated arched openings give a great deal of depth and intricacy to the droid. The laser cannons are very detailed and also match closely to the droid’s cinematic counterpart. Their only shortcoming is that the plastic is extremely soft, which leads to warping. The legs are where the toy version is more simplified than the CGI version, which is to be expected since it is an action figure. What’s surprising, though, is just how little simplification was needed. The legs are still highly detailed and as faithful to the source as possible for a $7 plastic toy.
ARTICULATION: Above Average (Bordering on Excellent)
Don’t let the 19 points of articulation deceive you. This is hardly a super-articulated figure. The number is so high simply because the majority of joints are in sets of three (e.g. – three legs = three knee joints, etc.). The two “knee” articulation points on each leg are hampered by the droid’s design, and their ranges of motion are restricted to approximately 120 degrees on the upper knee and less than 90 degrees on the lower knee though the feet (as well as the spherical head) can swivel a full 360. The bottom line, however, is that this figure is capable of standing at a variety of heights, which is all it really needs to do. The only problems are that it can be difficult to get the droid to stand perfectly level and the possibility of the plastic feet and lower legs warping over time.
ACCESSORIES: Not applicable for this item
Considering the nature of this figure, accessories are neither required nor included. In fact, the obligatory display stand isn’t even compatible with the figure and is useful only as a spare for another figure.
OVERALL RATING: Excellent
Certainly, the Octuptarra Tri-Droid is an ambitious entry for the opening wave of Hasbro’s 2008 offerings and one that would not seem to have been a likely choice. Most collectors are already aware, thanks to substantial online Toy Fair coverage, that future waves will contain selections that are just as ambitious and unexpected. For casual consumers who aren’t “in the know”, seeing such a figure so early in the year will only whet their appetite for future assortments. As for the figure itself, it’s a solid entry despite some potential warping issues down the road. Droid collectors and diorama builders will benefit most from adding the Tri-Droid to their collections, but this will be a stand-out figure in most collections—especially if displayed at its full height.