In 2019, Hasbro brought the first comic book characters from the Star Wars comics to the Black Series line. New fan favourite Doctor Aphra was released in wave 21 and alongside her came her droid due of Beetee and Triple Zero.
Beetee is number 88 in the phase 3 black and red packaging. He comes with a very detailed illustration of his upper body and dome, complete with weaponry. The figure name plate reads BT-1, his droid designation, with the word Beetee following in brackets.
There is no link on the box showing that this is a comic book character, something that was done with the EA video game characters. We do get a small write up on the back about Beetee and his work alongside Doctor Aphra.
"A hostile astromech droid, BT-1 (Beetee) works with Doctor Aphra alongside the protocol droid 0-0-0 on destructive missions. The black metal-plated droid is heavily armed with flamethrowers and other destructive weapons."
Paint & Sculpt 3/5
Beetee uses the Black Series astromech sculpt, but with a new dome section. The dome is brimming with the weaponry of a Blastech droid. The body is cast in a dull grey plastic - and this does hurt the overall look of the figure who is described on the packaging as being a blak metal plated. While Hasbro have yet to bring us a true metallic figure, some metallic finish to the grey would have looked great.
We do get metallic finishes on some of the panels, with a bronze section front and centre, and silver elements around the body. Beetee's single orange eye is neatly painted, but is again quite dull and could have done with being glossier.
While the overall argument about the scaling of the Black Series astromechs will continue, Beetee looks good lined up with Triple Zero and Doctor Aphra.
In terms of accessories, I first want to talk about the weaponry either side of the head. This is removable and unplugs from two holes on the head side. You can then clip off the cover panels and slot these back onto Beetee to display him without his weapons. Sadly this is not explained anywhere on the packaging and may be missed especially as the panels on the weapons don't easily move.
You also then have two further accessories in the box - one that looks like a row of small missiles, and the other with two pronged spikes. I first thought these were alternative options for the head. Then I remembered the original R2 had clip on boosters on the legs - and these parts are made for those slots. You ping off the covers and replace them with the leg weaponry for a truly weaponised Beetee Blastech droid.
As an astromech, Beetee has limited articulation. There are essentially 14 points of movement across Beetee allowing both posing of the weapons and legs, but also to extend or reveal other parts.
Dome : rotating dome, dual hinged missile pod, rotating hinged blaster cannon
Body : opening side panels with flip out manipulator arms
Legs : pivot top, ankle rocker, lowering centre peg
Like all of the Astromechs released to date, Beetee has the centre leg which is raised and lowered by turning his dome. This is a very very tight operation on Beetee with his head very difficult to move. All three legs have very small rollers built in so he can be pushed around with ease.
The other moving parts include pivots and hinges on the two large weapons as well as opening panels either side of the body with manipulator arms that hinge out. This final one is not easy to operate, particular for grown up fingers.
Beetee is an interesting interpretation of the Astromech, and while using most of the original astromech, Hasbro have still made this droid unique with the weapons pods and parts that can be swapped in and out depending on which look you want for your Beetee droid.
The downside is the usual issue of the astromech looking too small in terms of scale to what we see on screen. A lot of this stems back to using measurements from the prequels I think and not the original A New Hope Kenny Baker prop. It is too late to change this now considering how far we are into the line. The other issue is paint finish which is not as metallic as I would like.
I score BT-1 (Beetee) a 3 out of 5.