Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Short Circuit: R2-D2 (Legacy Collection)

Who's remembers Johnny?  Who's Johnny, you said?  Well, I'm glad you asked...Go ahead, watch it to the end, I dare you... ;P

(Ok, till I figure it out you might have to click on "Read More" to go to the review proper and access the clip that's supposed to be right here--apologies!

P.s-please do it!  Otherwise the rest of this intro won't make sense. Lol. :P)

And the next question for those who still haven't a clue who Johnny is: what the heck did you jst waste 4 mins of your life on?

Answer: That's the music video of the then cult hit movie "Short Circuit" starring Steve Guttenburg (of the Police Academy series fame) and Ally Sheedy (of St Elmo's Fire fame)

Ah, that brings back memories...and images of everything traumatically uncool about the 80s.  Here's of list of all the things that would be considered simply wrong today, and all in just this one single music video:

1. El Debarge-the freaky singer with the pervy looking smile.
2. Debarge's eighties hair.
3. His pencil thin moustache.
4. His oversized pinstripe suit.
5. Freaky courtroom scene that would make no sense to those who've never watched the movie..
6. Cardboard cut out of Steve Guttenburg, in black and white nonetheless...
7. Freaky-looking female lawyer.
8. VHS & VHS player
9. Crazy jury...oh wait, these still exist today...
10. Unintelligible lyrics which wouldn't make sense even if you knew what they were.
11. Passing off of a robot hand for a hiding robot (Johnny 5) as a movie special effect.
12. Crazy voice modulation being passed off as singing...
13. Courtroom dancing
14. Exploding judges
15. Firemen who put out exploding judges (judges who are not on fire, but just charred and smoking)
16. That strange piece of lack carboard at the end...wth???

So what the hell has all that have to do with this review?  Well, R2-D2 is a robot (ok a droid, but it's the same thing...right? :P) and this particular figure can, well, short circuit.

Yeah see, you didn't even have to read all the jibber-jabber up top to read this review on Star Wars Legacy Collection R2-D2 (with short circuit effect).  But didn't watching the music video just make you feel like you could break the law and get away with it?  It was wild, wasn't it? Yep, that's what we 80s kids used to do for fun...that and play with our toys, of course!

All right, no more vicarious law-breaking.  On to the review!

Like: There have got to be dozens of R2-D2 figures out there but this one I had my eye on because of the short circuit effect!  And seriously, I love it!  Besides giving R2 chance to re-enact the scene where he was ambushed and sold by Jawas in A New Hope, the blue lightning will fit nice on other similarly round shaped object of the same size, for example, Juggernaut's head.  I love accessories that I can switch around among my figures to get maximum effect.  This is one that's surprisingly good!

Like: His metallic blue paint. It's a nice and shiny shade of blue and cleanly applied on his dome, legs, and neatly applied to lots of tiny details on his "torso."

Like: That he's white but has a very light wash bring out a dirty effect.  It's especially apparent on his legs and back.  He's been traveling through the deserts of Tatooine so he's dirt factor is just right.  Overall the tooling of the sculpt is perfect--it's not too crammed with detail and has the right paint job to make it look movie accurate.

Like: His scanner action feature!  Turn his head to the left or right 90 degrees and one of the pie sections on his dome will extend up for a "scanning" effect.  To think that when I saw the grooves around the one section on his dome, I tried to pry it out with my exacto knife.  I'd thought it was like the old school original R2 figure, which had Luke Skywalker's hidden ignited Lightsaber in it.  Thankfully, I didn't do much damage, if any at all.

Like: His other accessory - his third leg!  Now wouldn't it be neat if he could also retract his leg in addition to extending his scanner?  It would be awesome, awesome but expensive for them to produce and for us to pay for.  So they did they next best thing and gave him a plug-in third leg.  It fits snugly at an angle in a slot under his body and has an extra wheel on it so that when you lay his two legs back, he can roll on 3 wheels. (His two legs have wheels on the bottom too.  All 3 wheels are non-retractable).  Sweet!

He rolls smoothly, though you have to align the legs just right.  But that shouldn't be a problem at all. :)

Dislike: The one compartment in the front left side of his body that looks like it can be opened but actually can't.  It's a trick of the sculpt and the dirt wash.  This realistic effect is actually a good thing.  So I guess it's just that the figure is deprived yet another cool feature.

Dislike:  That he doesn't come with a ton of accessories like the Clone Wars Animated R2 does.  I don't actually own that one but have seen it on the shelves--it's got panels on the front of the body that can open, a couple of rocket boosters, and some other wiring and arm thingies I think.  And they're both priced the same at retail.  What a blow for the OOTIC fans (Only-Original Trilogy-Is-Canon. up, I just made that up :P).  This little guy should've and could've some with more stuff.

Dislike: The build a droid part.  It's the right leg of BG-J38, this droid-ish looking dude (a bounty hunter?)  Ok a quick search on Wookiepedia revealed that he "was Jabba's personal dejarik and hologames droid."  I have really no idea why anyone would want to build Jabba the Hutt's personal DJ--unless their completiss or love the character so much (I don't see how...)

Really, Hasbro could use more popular guys for their Build-A-Whatevers.  Jabba the Hutt himself, maybe?  That would be cool.  Or how about Build-A-Scene?  Like the the Build-A-Bridge from the Star Trek line.  I'd go for that.  Imagine, Build-A-Speeder, or Build-A-Rebel Shield Generator, or Build-An-Imperial bunker...

Dislike: Artoo's "eye."  It's made of a clear dark blue plastic as is the circle on the top of his dome.  But strangely, even under intense light, the eye doesn't "light up."  So either the light piping mechanism isn't working right or they never meant for it to work that way.  Either way it's a missed opportunity--light piping is one of the coolest features for toys, especially the Transformers that have them. Pity it doesn't work quite so well here...


Aesthetics: 8.5/10 - It's a beautiful, movie accurate R2-D2 figure.  Spot on colours, great application, excellent weathering, and a nice sculpt.  The wires coming out of his "feet" and the restraining bolt (I think this might be a first on R2?  Or at least a first in a long while) on his body are also very nice touches.

Poseability: 7/10 - Ok, I'm gonna cut him some slack here.  He's an Astromech Droid and has a grand total of 5 points of articulation--he can't have any more.  But he looks great posed leaned back with his third leg and or next to any other 3.75" scale Star Wars figures.

Fun: 8/10 - It's R2-D2!  I remember growing up that most kids liked 2 things from the OT--Lightsabers and R2-D2.  No one liked the prissy golden one and some liked blasters or even Ewoks.  But everyone liked R2.  Everyone still likes R2.  George Lucas liked him so much he allowed the lil' droid to fly.  Well, if all else fails he rolls... ;)

Value: 7/10 - Not the greatest, but not the worst.  R2 is saved by his scanner action feature and the removable 3rd leg.  Otherwise he'd just come with an electrical effect (made just for him) and a Buid-A-Droid part of a not  much wanted character.  Still, the idea of a BAF for 3.75 inch figures is a something Unique to Star Wars figures. Oh, and I did get him on clearance price of S$12.50 ($US8.90), that's about 33% off retail.  :)

Overall: 7.65 - R2-D2's a solid toy to have and as one of the original characters.  You can't do without him if like me, you want to buy the "best of" every iconic character.  Considering that there's only so much you can pack into an R2 figure, this one does well enough as a base "best of."  You may find R2s with more features and accessories like the Clone Wars version, but that's done in Clone Wars style and not movie-verse accurate.  Now that I have R2, my next step would be to get his golden partner in crime, C-3PO!  Right now, I'm tempted by the one that comes in a wooden throne from the Ewok worship scenes! :)


  1. I had the original version of that C-3P0 with the wooden throne. GREAT figure!

  2. Ps-The lyrics are actually about a girl that a boy named Johnny dates. She constantly teases him by pretending she doesn't know anyone named "Johnny" even though he's crazy for her. So there ya go. =) Hehe. Still a bizarrely 80s song, but I liked it as a kid.

  3. Yeah, so did I. Actually, it's still pretty catchy. But I always associated the song with the Johnny-5 and the movie, and never really bothered to find out more about 'em.

    But thanks for the info, Wes GR. There's everyone's bit of daily knowledge from Chase Variant. Lol.

  4. Man that video is disturbing. I forgot how violent Ally Sheedy is in the film. I guess Guttenberg couldn't make it to the set, so they needed the cardboard stand-in, because everything in the '80s that featured Steve Guttenberg was AWESOME!

    I like this R2. I don't have any Star Wars figures, but you can always use a little robot that looks like a garbage can to lighten up the mood. My DCUC Superman needs someone to sweep up the Fortress...

  5. Actually, there were a variety of R2's from the earlier Power of the Force 2 lines with retractable legs, retractable jets, etc. I'll have to bring 'em out for you to see sometime, bro.

    But you're right in that they've never given us a classic R2 with everything on board. In some ways, this is scarily realistic, since they never had an R2 model in production which could do everything - there was a remote-controlled one, one for Kenny Baker to fit inside, one with the various doodads, etc. But in the alternate reality of toys, no one droid to rule them all. Yet.

    @ Wes Grogan: Yes, throne 3PO is awesome! so awesome in fact they've released him again in the 2010 Saga Legends set (SL17 to be precise)! With a combat card, dice and weapons!


  6. Are you going to do a review of that very nice looking Juggernaut?

  7. @3B - 80s Guttenberg was gold! Even a cardboard stand-in was worth having. Lol. ;)

    @Rangerlord - Yeah! I would sure like to see your R2 collection. :D And yeah, that's the exact 3-PO I'd like to get. I passed on him a few times now but have been really close to buying him--now I gotta have him to complement my R2 and ewok collection to come... ;)

    @Anonymouus - I am--in fact, I have and it'll go up on Articulated Discussion ( when the editor(TAO) feels like it. Lol. :)

  8. damn you, I listened to the whole thing! I used to love the short circuit movies as a kid. I think the funniest thing about the video is that Steve Guttenberg was apparently big enough in the 80's that they could not get him for the video!

    As for the review, I do not collect the Star Wars figures but have though about picking them up for accessories in the past. Good review.

  9. @Prowl26 - Gotcha! Lol. Well, I watched it several times so I guess I thrice or quadrupled damned. Heheh.

    Yeah, I remember Stevie G being really big till past his 3 Men and a Baby Days. I wonder if they had to pay him royalties for the cutout! :)

    Yeah, the figures are great for lightsabers and blster pistols in that scale if for nothing else. I guess you can't find those anywhere else because they're copyrighted.

  10. True enough, and some of the figures come with ridiculous amounts of weapons. There is an Obi-Wan that I have seen include like 4-6 rifles! And he does not even use anything other than a light saber!

  11. Lol nice. It would be even stranger if it was an old Obi-Wan figure because he was all mysterious and old school when he got old.

    But 4-6 rifles? You sure his name wasn't Snake Eyes? ;P

  12. It would be a hilarious practical joke if Artoo was found in some of the Fantastic Four Three-Packs instead of HERBIE.

  13. Haha yes it would. Don't give those toy aisle trolls (you know, those guys who buy a toy, replace it with an older/unwanted figure and then return it) any ideas now.

    I would be even more hilarious if they also left Sue Storm in there when they returned it!

  14. I don't know if it would be hilarious or disturbing if several boxes of the the FF Three-Pack were found with every figure removed except Sue Storm.


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