R2-D2 & R5-D4
Review by JoshB
One of the things Bandai decided to do with their newly-aquired star wars license was to make plastic model kits. And not just kits of the vehicles, but kits of the characters! Fully articulated versions of troopers and droids were the first to come out, with the promise of more to come.
I for one was curious to see what the masters of gunpla would do with one of my most beloved franchises. Plus, you know, I have a thing for astromechs.
This two pack contains the parts to create BOTH R2-D2 and R5-D4. At $25 USD, that's one hell of a deal. Both droids are 1/12 scale, so they should fit in with most 6" action figures.
Being model kits, the come in parts on multi colored sprues. Bandai makes good use of their advanced injection molded technology to minimize the amount of separate sprues included. Still, there are a lot of parts.
There is no glue or paint required to build the kit. Assembly is relatively easy but benefits from some kind of cutting device and tweezers. Some of the parts were small and delicate. I took some pictures of the build, but they came out badly. Overall it took me only a few hours to put both kits together. As the bodies of R2 and R5 are identical, you can assemble them at the same time.
Together, the droids look great. While they lack the weathering and painted detail of a pre-assembled toy, I really like the clean look. I don't feel the need to paint these at all, but I know some will.
R2 looks great and if you didn't know, you might not guess it was a model kit.
To extend the third leg, remove the head and push down on the column in the center.
The back had instructions to put an optional grey panel on the back, so I went with that. He appears that way in A New Hope,
The panels on both droids are removable and can be interchanged with opened panels. You have to physically remove them and replace them, there are no hinges.
There are also removable panels on the head for accessories like the Senscorscope and radar dish.
Numerous appendages are included, and they can be slotted into any of the holes in the chest. While there are door parts for both droids, there are only one set of tools. I did cheat and add some paint to some of the tools to make them stand out a bit.
R5-D4 is identical to R2 in terms of body and leg construction - the only difference is that the center chest panel is orange instead of blue, and there are orange stickers.
R5 also has cool textured stickers that goes around its neck.
Those little dots in the eyes? Stickers. Lots of stickers on these guys, some of them microscopic. Two sticker sheets are included - one are waterslide decals, the other are standard decals. I went with the standard decals, and they look fine. A tweezer or something is needed to apply many of these due to the size.
Lastly, each droid comes with a black display panel that can connect with each other.
So, how do these compare to some other recent R2 releases? Well, right off the bad, I REALLY enjoyed the process of putting these together. I really got to know the intricacies of R2, and I feel that I understand the details of this little guy more now than I have in the 30+ years I have known him.
Here he is next to the Revoltech.
At first I thought the Revo looked better, but there's something off about the head of the Revo. It's too tall or something. Yes, the Revo has better paint detail, but for the price, I think the Bandai takes it. Not only do you get TWO astromechs for $25, but they do more.
Now we compare with the Star Wars Black. Supposedly in the same scale, the SWB version is much smaller. the SWB R2 is a letdown on many levels most notably quality, although it gets points for having lots of accessories. Still, the Bandai R2 breaks down to about $13 for a much better mech.
Finally - Bandai next to Kenner.
OK Kenner, you win.
If you couldn't already tell, I really dug these kits. Putting them together was a blast, and they just look great overall. If you are not into the idea of building kits, these may not be for you, but I had a lot of fun with them, something that has been sorely lacking with toys for me lately.
|Posted 19 May, 2015 - 08:03 by JoshB|