May 4, 2017 – This month marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, and what better way to celebrate it than to revisit two old friends: R2-D2 and C-3PO.
Disney’s Droid Factory line has released a combo two-pack of our favorite droids who we first met on the Tantive IV in the original Star Wars movie 40 years ago.
From the special packaging, which pays homage to the very beginnings of our droids’ journey, to the super-articulation and the dusty Tatooine sand-colored paint wash on the two figures, there is much to love about Disney’s latest release.
What We Like
Collectors will absolutely love the packaging, with its classic black-and-white Star Wars logo and double-lines, the image of R2-D2 and C-3PO lost in the sands of Tatooine, and the two bubble-enclosed droids on the cardback.
Disney paid special attention to the packaging and got the details right by using the original long-form spelling of “Artoo Detoo” and “See-Threepio”, an echo from the original movie and Kenner toy line four decades ago. A shiny foil sticker with the 40th anniversary logo, placed on the top right of the cardback, is a nice reminder of how far we have come.
TIP: To preserve the cardback, use an X-ACTO knife. Slice open only the left, right and bottom of the bubble to release the figures.
The only thing missing is the vintage “Kenner” label, which is now replaced with a “Droid Factory” label at the top left of the card. And we couldn’t be happier. Where Hasbro has failed fans over the last five years, Disney’s Droid Factory line is now filling the void with its super-articulated 3.75-inch figures, new astromech and protocol droids, and careful paint applications.
The two-pack was revealed just three weeks ago when Disney Parks announced at Star Wars Celebration Orlando (April 13-16, 2017) that Protocol Droids were now a part of the Droid Factory experience. The combo of Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) and See-Threepio (C-3PO) is among the first of Disney’s Star Wars 40th anniversary commemoratives.
C-3PO comes with an impressive 21 points of articulation, including a swivel head, swivel shoulders, ball-jointed elbows, swivel wrists, ball-jointed torso, swivel hips, and ball-jointed knees and ankles.
In addition to C-3PO’s dirt wash, you will notice that his lower right leg is painted silver. Some longtime fans claim that both legs have always been gold. Others believe the lower right leg was originally silver.
Some of the ongoing discussion can be found HERE. But we will accept the word of Anthony Daniels, who has occupied Threepio’s suit since Day One. In an interview with USAToday in December, 2015, he asserted the lower right leg was originally silver. Daniels recalled, “Even the stills photographer, John Jay, came up to me one day and said, ‘Why are you wearing a silver leg today.’ Now, he was the stills photographer, and he hadn’t noticed.”
By contrast, Artoo has never been the subject of much controversy. Depending on the scene, either he is scuffed and dirty, or he is polished up and shiny – ceremonial Artoo, anyone?
But it is the sand-blasted version we prefer, evoking memories of the duo’s adventures on Tatooine.
Artoo has eight points of articulation: a swivel dome, swivel legs, swivel feet, hinge-jointed left and right legs, and a hinge-jointed third or middle leg. In addition, all three legs have tiny wheels at the bottom of the feet, so you can roll Artoo any which way.
What We Do Not Like
The Disney Team goofed when they wrote on the back of the card: “C-3PO is a Protocol droid that is fluent in more than seven million forms of communication.” As this version of C-3PO is from the Original Trilogy, the correct usage is “more than six million”.
Here is the proof from Return of the Jedi (1983);
But, hey, what’s another million? Unless we’re talking money….
Priced at $24.99, this is not a cheap purchase, and we wish the price were not so Disney-inflated and more budget friendly to kids and collectors alike. Nonetheless, you can still save 20% if you or someone you know has a Disney Annual Pass or Disney Vacation Club (timeshare) membership.
The duo are available either in certain stores at Disney Theme Parks or via the Shop Disney Parks app. The app will pinpoint the store(s) and provide stock availability.
On Ebay, the duo are currently listed anywhere from $35 to $45.
Released in April, 2017, these are the newest Disney Droid Factory droids (L to R): R-3DO, Artoo-Detoo & See-Threepio, and C1-10P “Chopper”