1/6 Scale R2-D2 Figure by Sideshow Collectibles
Sideshow’s 1/6 scale Star Wars figures were one of the things that got me started collecting a few years ago. When I was just starting out, I was able to pick up a fair number of them second hand for very reasonable prices — $40 in many cases, and as cheap as $19.77 for Bib Fortuna. Things in the 1/6 scale figure market have changed quite a bit since then, with many companies shifting to the higher end of the market, and the price of the average figure exceeding $200. As the prices skyrocketed, my interest in 1/6 scale figures dwindled. I did buy some of the earlier (non-Star Wars) Hot Toys releases, but in the end it became impossible to justify the prices, even if the quality was considerably better. Now the only 1/6 scale figures I buy are things that will work with my 1/6 scale Jabba’s Palace display.
Of course one reason that Sideshow was able to put out so many inexpensive figures years ago was that they concentrated mostly on humanoid characters like Jedi that they could make using their standard action figure body. They stuck with that tried-and-true formula for a long time, which is one reason why we’re only getting an R2-D2 — arguably one of the most important characters in the films and certainly a fan favorite — nearly 10 years since Sideshow started making Star Wars figures. They needed to engineer his body from scratch, and that’s no mean feat — especially if you want to include a lot of features like opening hatches, etc.
They definitely didn’t skimp on the features or accessories with this little guy. R2 has a retractible third leg and quite a number of opening panels on his body and his dome, plus he has LED lights that are activated with a touch-sensitive panel on his dome. (This is a cool idea, but you’ll find yourself accidentally activating the lights a lot as you handle the figure.)
He has a couple of sensors that pop up from the dome, and I have to give Sideshow credit for making them actually pop up and go back in, rather than being a separate piece that you attach.
You get also Luke’s lightsaber, which fits into a space on the dome, and has a magnet in the end that you can use to open some of the panels. You also get a tiny restraining bolt. It attaches via a magnet, so you can put it several places on the body.
You get a number of different arms that can attach various places. This is the exclusive version, so apparently you get two or three additional arms than the regular release, although I’m not positive which those are.
When I was opening up the figure, I accidentally dropped the contents of the accessory tray on the floor on top of some open cardboard boxes filled with random junk, and it took me at least 15 minutes to locate the restraining bolt…
You also get his Jabba’s Sail Barge drink-serving tray and arm. The individual drinks are removable and the arm is articulated and includes some clear hoses. It’s really pretty impressive. I probably wouldn’t have bought the figure without it.
Finally, you also get the table from Obi-wan’s house on Tatooine, and a little hologram of Leia. It slots into the table and lights up with a press of a button, but I don’t have any shots of it because I forgot.
Above, you can see a comparison of the Sideshow figure on the right with the Hasbro FAO Schwartz-exlusive figure on the left. As you can see, even though they are both ostensively 1/6 scale, there’s quite a difference in size. I believe Sideshow’s is closer to being accurate. Lots of companies have had trouble correctly sizing R2-D2 for some reason. I used the Hasbro figure in my Jabba’s Palace display up until now, but will be swapping it out for the Sideshow version.
Overall, I’m a lot more impressed with this figure than I thought I would be. At $150, he’s not cheap but with all the accessories he seems like a decent value. There are a few problems, though. The thin hatches and doors make the figure feel sort of brittle and fragile. On my figure, the two long vertical doors on the left and right of his body won’t open using the magnetic lightsaber, so you have to pry them open with a fingernail. Sometimes they pop off. Speaking of the lightsaber, it’s supposed to fit inside his dome and pop up, but it just doesn’t work well at all. Still, these are relatively minor issues and not deal-breakers by any means.