Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wind Up R2-D2 (Takara, 1978)

According to legend, this is George Lucas' favorite R2 toy, and I can see why. By giving everyone's favorite droid an extra pair of legs, and then turning his standard legs into arms, the Japanese company Takara transformed R2 into one weird, weird little 'bot. Weird... but fun.

Apparently, Lucas was so enamored of the wind up R2s that he bought them for members of the cast and crew of Star Wars. He also suggested that Kenner produce the toy; Kenner declined, wanting to avoid creating competition for their own figure. However, Kenner Canada did release a carded version of the toy (in Japan, it was sold in a sealed baggie).

I've gotta say -- I agree with George on this one: the wind up R2 is a really cool toy. I love all the detail crammed into this little guy (and he is little -- smaller even than Kenner's R2-D2 action figure). The stickers, the chrome accents, the detailed sculpt... He sure is classy! 

My Star Wars collection started as specifically a collection of R2 figures, and I remember how thrilled I was to finally snag an example of the wind up in good condition and with both stickers. I was really getting into the Japanese R2s, and for some reason, I saw this as the ultimate symbol of that particular corner of the hobby. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it was the George Lucas thing, or just the strangeness of the figure (because few people can do strange like Japanese toy makers). Maybe I just like that it makes me smile every time I look at it.

...Probably all of the above...


Iok said...

That's some shiny chrome work there. I can see your red curtains in it!

Great toy, though.

chunky B said...

Now just snap a pic in front of your robots and you are all set for the Show Me the Droids event ; )

This is one I have had my eye on and as soon as the price and the funds match, the stars are aligned and all is right I will make one a part of my collection as well. It is such a quirky little moment from Star Wars history.

Doc Atomic said...

Hey, Mr. B! I'm definitely going to submit something to your Droids event. I'm having trouble deciding WHICH is my actual favorite, but once I've got it narrowed down, an email with pics will come your way.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for a reasonably priced figure and if I find one, I'll be sure to let you know. Remember, you want to make sure it's got both stickers.

jboypacman said...

I love this wind-up toy! I think Kenner dropped the ball on not releasing this one proper.

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