While I will never give up the hunt, I definitely have eased back a bit and taken to the Internet to find most of my new deals. However, I still survey the local big box stores a couple three times a week. So when I find something in the wild, it is that much more of a surprise and frankly that much more fun. Like they say about finding love, it always happens when you are not looking. Well, that same adage can be related to our favorite hobby!
While strolling in TRU last week while Poppa Junkie stayed in the car and kept it running, I happened upon not just a new item, but a store exclusive. And it was one that I really was not aware had been released yet. To make the find even better was that it was the Rolls Royce of Star Wars lines, the already legendary Black Series. To sweeten the pot, even more, it was a 3-pack so I felt like Charlie Bucket finding a golden ticket. And since the prominence of R2-D2 gaining quite a bit in the secondary market value, I was quick to nab this set up because I was always a big droid buff as a kid.
Included in the set are three droids that are far from household names. The package includes R2-A3, R5-K6 & R2-F2. I had to use Wookieepedia (love that name) as my usual go-to site for SW info on these to learn a little more history on these little guys. Naturally, all three have a fairly detailed backstory that tie into the Star Wars canon and its rich history.
A friend of Luke Skywalker and fellow pilot, Wedge Antilles, has his own droid in the R2-class named R2-A3. While he never achieved the fame of blue buddy, this is a pretty sharp looking astromech droid used aboard Wedge's T-65 X-Wing Starfighter. Its plastic iteration is basically a red version of R2-D2 with just some minor differences but comes with all the bells & whistles that Lucasfilm can throw at us Junkies. Most notably at the droids "feet" are some red wires bloused and several extra antennae to really pimp this droid out for maximum effect. Definitely, an R2 unit and from a distance looks like D2 but good to have in the mix for some color variation.
R5-K6 took me to Google as I had honestly only recognized the droid as similar to an R5 from A New Hope. Other than that clue, I had no clue! Thanks to Rebelscum.com and Wookieepedia, I was able to learn that this astromech droid was built by Industrial Automaton and belonged to Garven Dreis, the leader of the Rebel Alliance's Red Squadron. Apparently, this elite unit was a group of X-wing fighters that flew in the assault on the first Death Star at the Battle of Yavin. Junkie Bob Trate would know much more about this than I so he'll probably have to field some questions! As far as being seen in the Star Wars films, R5-K6 is in some background shots before the Battle of Yavin and in the cockpit of Garven Dreis' X-wing.
The figure of this little guy really pops because of his bright red colors. It also has a cool reflective sheen around the "neck" of the droid that hearkens back to those old-school reflective stickers from the arcade. I personally like the top of the R5's better than the R2's because it is a more sleek design in my opinion. Definitely, a nice figure to have in your droid collection to brighten up your collection of droids.
To me, this was the most impressive of the bunch and after researching it, I found that it was also the newest of the three-pack. R2-F2 originally made its debut in the premier release of Fantasy Flight Games' "X-Wing Miniatures Game" at GenCon in Indianapolis. The astromech droid was attached to Red Squadron of the Rebel Alliance as well.
This felt like the Darth Vader droid of the pack and definitely has that kind of look to it. Like if R2-D2 had gone bad, this is what he would turn into! Definitely, another nice droid to have in the mix and I genuinely hope they do more of these types of droid sets.
THE FINAL WORD
I would welcome more of these types of combo packs from the Black Series. While articulation does not mean much to these little guys, they are great to have as accompaniment pieces to give your collection that outer space vibe. I really dig these and for $55, they are a nice little investment piece for the MIB collector.