Fitz’s Toy Chest #11: R5-D4

Welcome back again guys. It’s time to open up the toy chest and rediscover another vintage treasure!

This week we’re going way back to circa 1979 to take a look at one of the figures released in 1978 as part of the first expansion of the Kenner Star wars line.

The Kenner line started off with just 12 figures but soon expanded to 20 when they began producing figures for “blink and you miss them” background characters like Snaggletooth, Hammerhead, etc.

Our subject this week is one of the more unlikely additions, since their entire on screen performance consisted of rolling forward a few feet and immediately exploding. While this proved to be possibly the most critical turn in the entire Saga, it doesn’t really do much to make for an exciting action figure.

Today we’re going to take a look at none other than the owner of the baddest bad motivator in the galaxy, R5-D4.

R5-D4
Company: Kenner
Acquisition Year: 1979?
Acquired via: Purchased ???
Years In Possession: 41

When I think back to those early days of Kenner Star Wars collecting, believe it or not the place that I’m reminded of most is Sears.

I can still see the 60s/70s tile on the floor that looked like millions of tiny stones embedded in the floor. The brown metal door frames of the entrance, with the big wide handles, and the snack bar that greeted you just inside the entrance. It had high bar tables and smelled like butter from all the ever present spilled popcorn on the ground.

It was just past this snack bar that the toy section could be found. My palms still get a little sweaty when I think about seeing the old 12 and 20 back figures on the pegs. I can still remember seeing an endcap display containing a pile of landspeeders and cantina playsets.

And it was there that I saw R5-D4 on the pegs for the first time.

Not the most glamorous figure to be sure, but being the only other astromech besides R2 in the original line made him kinda cool. (Even though this figure is 75% the exact same as the R2 figure)

He has the same leg sculp and body as the R2 figure with just a different color scheme (an odd orange color reminiscent of the sauce in Spaghettios)

One thing about the Kenner astromechs is, they weren’t overly concerned with the accuracy of their dome sculpts. Obviously the technology in the 70s didn’t allow for super detailed figures, but these droids only look like their onscreen counterparts in the loosest sense possible. However, that only adds to the charm in my opinion.

R5’s 3 orange “eyes” are just as real in my head canon as R2’s giant blue “eye”. Neither look anything like the film prop, but who cares?

As always thanks for reading, and I’ll be back soon to share some more gems from my personal collection of old ass plastic junk.

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Coming soon: Bi-weekly Toy Blog To Be Named Later

I was talking with Doom the other day about Star Wars figures and he made the mistake of thinking a Green Card Princess Leia from 1995 that said “Power of the Force” was the same as the Power of the Force line of Kenner figures from 1985 that came packaged with sweet collector coins.

After the fun of ridiculing his shocking lack of Star Wars toy knowledge wore off, I realized that I have a crazy amount of useless, toy based knowledge and personal anecdotes. This coupled with the fact that I still have 90% of every toy from my childhood made me think I should do something with all this useless information and dusty bits of plastic to give them all some kind of purpose beyond just their own sentimental value to me.

So, that is what this new semi-regular feature will be. A tour through the well loved and heavily worn toys of my youth complete with photos of each piece in all their non-mint glory, as well as some interesting (and not so interesting) personal history behind each.

I might that the only person who gets a kick out of this, but who cares. I can’t wait to get started!

As for the name? Well we couldn’t decide. So we’ve put up a poll where anyone who cares can vote on which title they like best. It ends next week if not sooner, so hurry over HERE and vote if you haven’t already and let’s have some fun!