TOY REVIEW: Serving Droid R2-D2
I own at least 4 dozen astromech droid figures that I’ve bought since the resurrection of Star Wars toys 15 years ago, and two dozen of them are R2-D2 himself. No, seriously. Ask my wife. Sounds and Lights R2-D2, Endor Mud-Covered R2-D2, Ewok Dinner R2-D2… we’ve got ’em all. So to credit any one of them as being the “definitive” R2-D2 seems highly unlikely. That said, The Vintage Collection R2-D2 reviewed here is the definitive R2-D2.
The Vintage Collection (TVC) R2-D2 has been hotly anticipated since he was first seen for a multitude of reasons. One reason is that he’s only the second Serving Droid R2-D2 to ever be released (and the first good version). He comes with a removable drinks tray, with seven removable drinks to serve to your compatible action figures who feel like partying! He also has a rotatable, removable drink dispenser that hooks into his dome, making this the R2-D2 the best damn droid bartender to ever ‘live’.
In addition to all of his alcohol-related paraphernalia, TVC R2-D2 has several other really nifty features and accessories. R2-D2 has a lightsaber hilt that can sit permanently within his dome, and that will only pop up when you retract his third leg! This is an enormous improvement over the horrible Commetech launching lightsaber R2-D2 from 1998, and easily the coolest lightsaber-launching R2-D2 ever made. Plus, this R2-D2 has a chest panel that can be opened to reveal a movable datalink, and a removable sensorscope for his dome that can be raised or lowered in the same manner as his lightsaber hilt. Clearly Hasbro went berserk trying to fit every cool accessory and innovation into this R2-D2 that they could think of. Considering that 90%+ of all astromech droids Hasbro releases come with no accessories whatsoever, so Hasbro really deserves to be commended for going the extra mile and loading this figure up with a plethora of features and accessories.
This R2-D2 is also a totally different scale for an astromech droid, the first change to astromech scale we’ve seen in over a decade! I had a lot of fear that the switch was going to be jarring and throw my astromech assemblage into chaos, but that fear was unfounded. R2 looks great and totally in-scale when displayed with C-3PO and other characters, and the difference is only noticeable when he’s right next to other astromechs. The scale of the old R2-D2 never bothered me before, but having seen this new version, I’ll never go back to the old R2-D2s again for any scene where this R2-D2 is appropriate. It was totally worth Hasbro’s money to upgrade the R2-D2 mold, and I hope we get this mold redecoed into Dagobah R2-D2, Sand-Covered R2-D2, Jet Boosters R2-D2 and other essential variants.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the cool vintage packaging. Since there was never a Serving Droid R2-D2 released in the classic vintage line, this is the first time R2 has appeared on a vintage cardback in this form. They picked some great artwork for the card, and this will be one of the handful of figures I buy a double of in order to keep a carded sample for my wall.
“Where Can I Buy It?”
Since this figure isn’t a Clone Trooper or Cloud Car Pilot, it’s been somewhat difficult to find in stores since its release in November 2010.
BigBadToyStore has Serving Droid R2-D2 for about $7 on clearance right now, at least a dollar below any retail store.
You can also currently purchase it from Amazon.com for about 8 bucks, which is less than the $9-$10 it’d cost if you could find it in stores. At a price like that, you’d probably be better served ordering this online than wasting gas trying to find this awesome little droid at retail.
Overall: This is the droid I’ve been looking for. The definitive R2-D2 figure, with an improved scale and more features than a swiss army knife. If you need a Waiter R2, Lightsaber-Launching R2, Sensorscope R2, Datalink R2, or just generic R2-D2, then this figure fits the bill perfectly. There’s nothing wrong with this R2-D2, and there’s no discernible way to improve him. For all intents and purposes, Hasbro will never need to make another original trilogy R2-D2 again.