When the Droid Factory line, last seen in the Legacy Collection of 2010, was cancelled many collectors were sad to see it go. The build-a-droid feature was a great way to obtain droid figures whom would most likely never would have been carded by Hasbro due to their obscurity and it was a better bang for collectors buck. For every 4 or 6 figures purchased you would get an extra figure for free. The build-a-droid feature disappeared from retail stores but took on a life of its own at Disney parks and stores. Disney took the idea of building droids (specifically astromechs) and gave visitors to the parks the ability to create literally thousands of versions of droids out of 71 different parts. Now for the average fan who doesn’t live near one of their theme parks the possibility of getting one of each part is both very difficult and expensive. But alas this year Amazon.com came to the rescue as it provided collectors with one more chance to build-a-droid for a reasonable price.
Amazon resurrected the idea for a carded Droid Factory mini-series based on Hasbro’s cancelled designs. During Toy Fair 2012 Hasbro announced the following line:
Wave 1 (Spring 2013)
- 212th Clone Trooper
- Anakin Skywalker
- Battle Droid (Episode II)
- Biker Scout
- Clone Trooper (Sergeant)
- Geonosian Warrior
- Luminara Unduli
- Padme’ Amidala (Arena)
- TIE Pilot
- Build-a-Droid – FA-4
- Build-a-Droid – TC-70
- A-Wing Pilot
- Biggs Darklighter
- Captain Rex
- Clone Pilot (Episode II)
- Darth Vader (Bespin)
- Luke Skywalker (Yavin Ceremony)
- Mace Windu
- Mara Jade Skywalker (Jedi)
- Build-a-Droid – R5-X2
- Build-a-Droid – R8-B7
Now since then all but 4 of these figures have been re-purposed and released within The Black Series or Amazon’s Legacy Collection “Droid Factory” series. Good money would bet that the A-Wing Pilot and Captain Rex will still see the light of day and most likely be announced at Toy Fair 2014. As for the two unreleased astromech droids, its unlikely they will see release with the absence of any new additional build-a-droid lines.
From 4-LOM to Zuckuss appreciates Hasbro and Amazon’s attempt to leave no figure behind and released this lost line for collectors to have. The following is a brief look at what we love about this mini-series.
The Sandtrooper has a nice realistic dirty paint wash which many of the releases of the past have been less than realistic.
This figure also features the new Stormtrooper blaster with folding stock.
Despite not being referenced on the cardback an IM4-099 “Face” Sentry Droid comes included this figure making it the unofficial 8th figure in this wave.
The biggest highlight of this figure is that it can become a rank and file Stormtrooper making this figure a two-in-one release.
Black Squadron TIE Pilot
This mold like the Sandtrooper has been released multiple times before and is very screen accurate but unfortunately because of this, appears a bit on the short side.
This figure has a removable helmet and could very well be one of the last of its kind as Pablo Hidalgo who announced at New York Comic Con’s Star Wars Rebels panel this year that Original Trilogy troopers were not clones but enlisted personnel thus making every OT trooper bearing a Jango Fett face inaccurate.
The highlight of this figure is his inclusion of a secondary blaster patterned after Kenner’s vintage TIE Fighter Pilot blaster.
212th Battalion Clone Trooper
This particular battalion of clones has seen a large number of releases since their debut in Revenge of the Sith.
This version has a removable helmet which when compared to its recent contemporary from the Saga Legends line appears to be over-sized.
This trooper has some black “carbon scoring” on his armor and helmet which helps to make him stand out among previous releases.
His blaster rifle comes all black and lacks the brown painted stock.
Like many Geonosians whom have lots of points of articulation he requires some manipulation to stand without falling over.
The cardback reveals that Fac is a chief lieutenant in charge of the Geonosian Droid Factories which is convenient for a being in a Droid Factory line.
This is an Attack of the Clones repaint of The Vintage Collection Battle Droid which was based on The Phantom Menace.
A nice feature about this mold is its ability to fold-up for MTT storage.
The highlight of this figure is that like the Sandtrooper it has the ability to make two different versions. One with a comm antenna like many commanders have and the other with the power unit pack.
This figure was originally intended to be a build-a-droid and not an actual carded figure but its pull apart limbs have been permanently affixed.
Despite being Count Dooku’s personal Solar Sailer pilot, this Sith Lord is the only one in which Hasbro has yet to make his personal spacecraft.
TC-70 is listed on the cardback as this release being her “First Appearance” but this is a misnomer. She was released in a battlepack in The Clone Wars series with Jabba the Hutt. So the package should read “First Realistic or Non-Animated Appearance”.
TC-70 as the build-a-droid figure of this wave comes apart into 6 different pieces: torso, arms, legs and head.
TC-70 is the only figure in this wave that did not appear in Episodes I-VI. She instead made her appearance in The Clone Wars movie.
The success of this wave will most likely dictate if we will see a return of the Droid Factory feature in future lines or as exclusives. Although they initially retailed for $59.99 Amazon is currently selling them for $23.99. As it is the holiday season its most likely I seasonal sale but time will have to tell if they were a success for the e-tailer or not. But in the mean time we here at From 4-LOM to Zuckuss are happy for its brief return and look forward to building more droids in the future.