Updated: Nov 26, 2018
Review : C-3PO
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : 40th Anniversary Series, Wave 2
Released : June 2017
Price : £24.99
In early 2017 Hasbro announced a series of 6" scale Black Series figures to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars, A New Hope. The intention was to replicate the original 12 Kenner figures by releasing the 6" versions on retro Kenner style cards.
The first wave of 5 figures and one box set was released March 2017. It was followed in June 2017 with a second wave made up of re-releases of C-3PO, Storm Trooper and Chewbacca. There was then three new figures - the Tusken Raider, Jawa and Death Trooper
The new card backs are sized to accommodate the 6" figures, without being a direct upscale of the original 3.75" figures. They utilise the same character image as well as the Star Wars and Kenner logo's. The character name is set into a coloured box, with the same colouring used behind the figure.
A neat 40th Anniversary logo sits in the top left corner.
Round the back of the card is a checklist of the 12 figures that will be released. These are framed in various colours, each colour matching the scheme that will be used on their card. Under the 12 figures is an image of the Legacy pack, the stand that revisits the original Early Bird pack and gives collectors who aren't keeping these on card a display option for loose figures.
A subtle Black Series logo is atop the card and of course being 40 years after Kenner & Lucasfilm, we now find the Disney logo at the base of the card along with the present day safety notices and legal logo's
The actual design and sculpt of the droid is pretty nice. The lines are clean and the panels smooth and nicely proportioned. The head captures that quizzical look of 3PO, particularly when it is cocked to one side. The eyes don't feel big enough and with not much surface area to paint this stops them looking illuminated, or at least a variant gold to the rest of the head. Instead you see a dark centre pupil and a touch of lighter yellow round the lens.
Had you read my standard Resistance Base C-3PO review you will know I had some issues with the colouring used on C-3PO. Having now had that, and this C-3PO for a week or two now my position has mellowed a touch. The gold is not perfect, it lacks a little bit of sheen - but I wouldn't have wanted a full vac-metal C-3PO (see Bandai's model) as this kind of represents 3PO at the end of A New Hope only, I want the dirty, weathered 3PO we have through most of the movie. To that end the gold isn't a bad base coat, the issue is that they haven't taken the next step and weathered the figure. A quick dark wash would have massively improved the look of 3PO and tied him in to a lot of the Trilogy scenes.
The silver leg is included, a detail missed on a lot of 3PO figures. Like the gold finish of the rest of the body, this silver paint is not high sheen. A dark wash here would have improved the leg no end and brought out the detail and lines of the sculpt.
The tummy section is nicely detailed and is sculpted detail that is then painted, not just painted wiring. It is also a different setup to the Force Awakens C-3PO, another nice touch considering a complete re-use would have been the easier option. Each wire is neatly picked out with blue, red, yellow and green all across a flat black background. Down the arms are the hydraulic rods and bolts that aid in 3PO's movement, these are a bit soft and not as crisp as other parts of the droid - most probably as casting them in harder plastic would have left them open to snapping too easily.
Articulation was never going to be great, it isn't on the real costume after all. We start with the head which sports then new pivot ball joint. Despite the neck rings this joint allows the head to tilt back and forward, and it also rotates a full 360 degrees. The arms are only jointed at the shoulder and then again at the wrist, the elbow is fixed. These shoulder joints sit in a shoulder collar which you initially think will stop the arm being moved too much. However, this collar around the shoulder does actually move and can be rotated, and doing so the arm can then be raised and lowered more. The hands rotate at the wrist, and with a peg they also bend, almost to 90 degrees to the lower arm.
The torso is ball jointed just under the upper chest piece, this means the joint is hidden, but allows for a wide range of movement and this allows 3PO-esque poses to come more easily as he quite often pushed out his groin and leans his shoulders back when you look at him on screen - particularly when he is walking. The ball jointed hips won't move much as they are held back by some overhang on the top of the thigh. They can go wider if you wish or out to the front for an almost sitting position. After dropping the elbow articulation, Hasbro have also gone single joint on the knees. Now this is nicely engineered to match the way the characters costume works, it does only allow for a slight bend and the hydraulic peg that connects top of the knee to the shin is fixed and just juts out when the knee is bent. The articulation ends with the standard ankle rockers, and these are easy to adjust and C-3PO stands pretty well.
All of this articulation does already feel loose and wobbly, and I would imagine C-3PO will start to flop and fall over in the very near future.
This is the third C-3PO release we've looked at in the past 12 months. The Force Awakens Red Armed version walked away with a poor 2 out of 5. The Original Trilogy version scored a little better at 3 out of 5, but was let down by the exclusivity and high import price. I am going to score the 40th Anniversary C-3PO the same, a 3 out of 5. While this figure is released in the UK, the price has risen considerably and at £24.99 basic (closer to £28 from a lot of retailers) that puts him on par with what we were paying 6-months ago for the US Exclusive. The card is a brilliant idea, and well executed - but for nearly £30 a figure we needed something a little better.