The Last Jedi (Budget Line), 2017
Appears in: Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi
Card Back: C-3PO is a droid programmed for etiquette and protocol, built by the heroic Jedi Anakin Skywalker, and a constant companion to astromech R2-D2.
One of the nicer yet more inconsequential surprises of Star Wars collecting in recent years has been the line of cheaper, limited articulation action figures on sale in budget stores. These affordable figures have spanned the saga with sometimes as little as 3POA, but the price makes them almost worth it for certain shelf-filler characters.
I say almost worth it, because there’s a key issue with the line – size. Way too big for the 3.75″ line and that little bit too short for 6″, after getting the undersized Darth Vader from 2016’s Rogue One line I had consigned these figures to their own odd little subsection marked ‘no need to buy’.
That all changed when C-3PO saw release in this year’s The Last Jedi wave. So is he a game changer? Click through to find out!
The budget line C-3PO comes in a red on white The Last Jedi styled box, although it doesn’t actually mention the film anywhere by name. The packaging is an economical size, and comes adorned with the same lovely character art from the 5POA mainline card back. There’s a brief bio on the back (see above) that comes in four languages, before a host of warning signs in more lingual varieties than I care to count.
Once out the box Threepio feels hollow and noticeably light. The plastic is stiff, and it’s easy to tell in hand that this is a cheaper figure than anything from the Black Series. However if you’re OK with that, you’re left with a high-value addition to your collection.
C-3PO is 4POA, featuring a swivel waist, swivel shoulders and a ball jointed neck. This last joint doesn’t get much in the way of upward motion but does mean Threepio can look down; ideal if you happen to have a 1/12 scale R2-D2 or BB-8.
The off-set arms and additional waist swivel means that even with the limited articulation, you can accurately capture C-3PO’s character. From the waist down he’s one solid piece of plastic, which if anything means that this’ll probably be the best balanced protocol droid you’ve ever had. It is a bit odd to see no divide at the top of his thighs though.
That’s pretty much the only gripe I have about his appearance; in fact the second biggest reason I purchased this Threepio is because of how good he looks. The sculpt is well-proportioned and panelled and lined where it needs to be. He’s painted completely in the darker hue of gold we’ve gotten used to in recent years, making him ideal for a Revenge of the Sith or The Last Jedi display (or a repaint, if you so choose). His eyes look good, with black ‘pupils’ against a yellow backdrop. The only other paint apps are the red and white wires against his black midriff, a simple yet well executed effect.
And so the biggest reason that I went for the budget line C-3PO is the scale. Unlike the Rogue One Darth Vader, this C-3PO is almost perfect size to fit in with the Black Series (or any other 1/12 line of your choosing). I say almost perfect because he could maybe, just maybe be a fraction bigger, but we’re talking fine margins. As you can see from the side-by-side comparison with Black Series Poe Dameron this droid is close enough.
I bought The Last Jedi (Budget Line) C-3PO from Aldi, a discount supermarket chain here in Europe. The first store I checked was clean out of Threepios (plenty of Rey, Captain Phasma and First Order Stormtroopers left instead), so I can’t see these hanging around for too long. If you want a good value C-3PO for your collection you’ll probably need to be quick.