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The Legacy Collection

U-3PO - TLC - Build A Droid

Name: U-3PO
Collection: The Legacy Collection
Number: N/A
Source: A New Hope
Availability: May 2009
License: Hasbro

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U-3PO was one of the three first droids fans ever saw in the very first Star Wars film. Affectionately called by some as “the silver Threepio,” little was known about this droid before the Expanded Universe took its backstory by the reigns and developed quite an intriguing, but a logical, tale. The tale goes on to tell how this droid used espionage to direct the Galactic Empire to the Tantive IV to repossess the Death Star plans. A quite believable little nugget of a story, we think it is especially poignant and helps understand the events that transpired in this opening scene of Episode IV. You could see how the Rebels were perplexed on how Darth Vader found them. In fact, to be honest, we had even thought he was a “good” droid up until discovering this "behind the scenes" information. The action figure of U-3PO is quite transparent, and you would never know its deception by looking at it, maybe because it looks nearly identical (save for the silver coloring) to C-3PO. U-3PO is a fantastic Build A Droid figure and one of our favorites. The protocol droid is a more than welcome addition to the 3.75” action figure line. The sculpt is so good that we hope Hasbro uses it over and over to make other protocol droids. Fans and collectors alike wanted this droid for years, and some of us were puzzled to see the likes of R-3PO and K-3PO released significantly so far in advance before U-3PO. But “finally” is so much better than “never” in our book and we are very thrilled to have this droid in our hands. The character "pot" for figures yet to be issued is getting smaller and smaller (especially from the first Star Wars film), and it concerns us how many more times Hasbro has to make a basic figure wave interesting and intriguing. They seem to do it successfully every time, and for this, we are pleased! We encourage them to stick to droids to help pad the line because droids will deliver pleasure to collectors time and again.

U-3PO has a remarkable 21 points of articulation, and Hasbro is truly spoiling us by creating protocol droids that possess this fantastic movement. U-3PO is a figure that incredibly benefits from ankle and knee joints, and it is amazing to see this versatile flexibility since all we saw it do was walk down the hall of the Tantive IV in the film. But this figure received super-articulate treatment and amazing attention to detail and came out stunning. Variation collectors will be curious to know that to date, U-3PO is released in two distinct shades of silver. (Check out the photo gallery as we have a side by side comparison in every shot.) The “first” silver is, well, very “silver.” It is quite bright and gives the figure the impression that it has an almost tinfoil finish. From a prompting at Lucasfilm, Ltd., however, Hasbro quickly updated the figure parts and cast them in a "champagne" color that mutes the original bright silver application by quite a bit leaving it with an almost golden tone. When held in light, you will see hues of rose and gold mixed in throughout the revised parts. We viewed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope right before writing this review and have concluded that the golden/rosy finish is more accurate for U-3PO. Paying attention to shades of silver would show Hasbro’s keen attention to detail, even if it was initiated by a "higher power" like Lucasfilm. Before the name “U-3PO” was even released, many of us thought that this was “E-3PO,” the protocol droid from Bespin (since it was a The Empire Strikes Back wave of figures). Interestingly, the first "silvery" version of U-3PO looks a lot like E-3PO, so if you can find all twelve parts (six champagne parts and six silver parts), you could easily assemble both U-3PO and E-3PO respectively in your collections. The two variations are different enough and perhaps this running change was intentional. (At least the skeptic in us thinks so, but we are probably way off here.)

Not only does U-3PO have fantastic articulation, the figure’s sculpt is also brilliant. The droid's stature gives the perfect amount of uppity attitude that the protocol droids are known for, and, the leanness and posture of the figure are impeccable details that were well-captured. Hasbro ensured that they gave this action figure the personality of dainty confidence. The head is completely proportionate to his frame (and one of the absolute best droid portrait we have ever seen for a protocol droid to date). And, there are so many details on the body that will take time to appreciate. At the same time, it is a bittersweet figure because it is one that would have been great to have carded. Who knows? Maybe Hasbro will indeed release this or another version of U-3PO on a basic card one day. But we do know that U-3PO is designed well and would have been a great candidate for the basic figure line. The Droid Factory pack-in premium is certainly eliminating some choice carded figures, but we would rather have them as a pack-in premium than not at all. And it is a way to keep both protocol and astromech droids in the line. But we still would like to see more as part of the carded basic line and not just a pack-in premium. We cannot emphasize that enough. Droids are always an exciting part of anyone’s collection, and U-3PO unabashedly reaffirms this argument. We hope that more droids are released into the basic figure line and not just relegated to the Build A Droid subset. But as we have uttered too many time already, we will take our droids any way that they come! What a fantastic complement to the core characters these Build A Droid figures are indeed! U-3PO will be a fan-favorite Build A Droid figure, and we believe it will rank high as one of the favorites among collectors and it should. It is one fantastic figure!

Collector Notes


Status: U-3PO is an all-new figure that utilizes the 3PO-series protocol Build A Droid sculpt. It can be built from 6 individual parts split across the following figures:

Luke Skywalker (BD 38) – U-3PO head

Emperor Palpatine (BD 39) – U-3PO body

Captain Needa (BD 40) – U-3PO left leg

Princess Leia (BD 41) – U-3PO right leg

Hoth Rebel Trooper (BD 42) – U-3PO right arm

Ugnaught (BD 43) – U-3PO left arm

Darth Vader (BD 8) – U-3PO head

Obi-Wan Kenobi (BD 9) – U-3PO body

Clone Trooper (BD 16) – U-3PO left arm

Clone Trooper (Coruscant Landing Platform) (BD 17) – U-3PO left leg

Imperial Engineer (Star Wars: Battlefront II) (BD 22) – U-3PO right leg

General Grievous (BD 25) – U-3PO left leg

Luke Skywalker (BD 30) – U-3PO right arm

Han Solo (BD 31) – U-3PO right leg

Jawa & WED Treadwell Droid (BD 33) – U-3PO left arm

Obi-Wan Kenobi (BD 34) – U-3PO right arm

Battle-Damaged Darth Vader (GH 1) – U-3PO head

Kashyyyk Trooper (GH 2) – U-3PO body

Articulation Count: 21 points (14 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), ball-jointed torso (2), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: 2008

Assortment Number: None

UPC: None

Retail: $0.00 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.


The Legacy Collection Wave 6

Luke Skywalker (BD 38)

Emperor Palpatine (BD 39)

Captain Needa (BD 40)

Princess Leia (BD 41)

Hoth Rebel Trooper (BD 42)

Ugnaught (BD 43)

U-3PO (Build A Droid)

Added: June 3, 2009
Category: Legacy Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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