This time we talk about the one and only Golden Rod.
But as he is a Droid, we'll talk about the unsuccessful series that followed the main line.
STAR WARS : DROIDS
Star Wars: Droids cartoon was produced and released 30 years ago by Nelvana. In the mid-’80s, the appeal of Star Wars was fading away after Return of the Jedi had been released in theaters. The two Ewok television movies were spinoffs and fans thought that the Star Wars saga had been completed. Despite strict regulations regarding the absence of obvious violence, the ’80s was a golden age for cartoons. Droids was directed toward a younger audience, but the production was really well done and the cartoons told new and fun adventures. However, the series didn’t last very long, with Droids airing for one season. Lucasfilm and Kenner had hoped that these cartoons would keep Star Wars in the public’s consciousness — at least with the more avid fans — so Kenner decided to create an additional lines of toys: Droids and something we will talk about at a later date, Ewoks. In this article we’ll dig deeper into these lines that could have been a lot more impressive if more people had bought the figures…
Kenner created a new package for Droids, featuring the figure’s accessory on the right side and the artwork of the character on the left. The back of the card featured other toys in the line and a very short biography of the character. Though the art of the cards was pretty cool and suitable for the characters, it was not taken from the cartoon itself. And, just like Kenner had done with their Power of the Force line, each action figure included a special “golden” collector’s coin.
f course there were new figures of R2-D2 and C-3PO. R2-D2 came with a pop-up lightsaber, but also with a differently-painted dome and sticker. C-3PO is basically the same figure as “C-3PO Removable Limbs” with his detachable arms and legs. Thall Joben, Jord Dusat, and Kea Moll (a figure that certainly didn’t honor the pretty look of the cartoon character) rounded up the heroes from the first story arc of the show, while Sise Fromm and his son Tig Fromm made up the villains. From the second story arc came Jann Tosh, Uncle Gundy, and Kez-Iban. Two figures that had already been offered by Kenner were added to the Droids line as well. They included Boba Fett (who appears in the episode “A Race to the Finish”) and the A-wing pilot (who doesn’t appear in the cartoon at all).
STAR WARS : DROIDS TOYS LINE
The figures from Droids are different from other lines in that they’re brighter, bulkier, and come with extra accessories such as a satchel or a full cloth cape. Although there was never any violence in the cartoon, the figures carried weapons that had already been included with other Star Wars figures. Gundy had Ree-Yees’ blaster (now painted black), Jann possessed IG-88’s rifle, and Tig Fromm brandished 2-1B’s medical accessory.
Some Droids figures have become quite rare and expensive, especially R2-D2, C-3PO, and Sise Fromm. These three figures and Boba Fett command a very high price mint and unopened . And of course we know about the unproduced Vlix.
The first C3PO arrived in the first 12 line of figures and came with fixed limbed.
Released in a “shining gold finish” (as explained on the first figures’ cardbacks), Kenner’s C-3PO was a great rendition of the protocol droid. The figure has the classic five points of articulation, but isn’t able to hold any accessory. Kenner was able to add the gold-plated finish by using a new process of vacuum metallization, a process now outlawed. The original C-3PO action figure was released on Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back cards. After Kenner’s updated C-3PO (with removable limbs) was released, the original was phased out of production.
No variants exist of C-3PO but he was released in many countries; in Japan, where the figure was released by Takara, features a differently sculpted head. In Italy, he was named D3BO and in France he was called Cispeo (Z6 PO).
C-3PO’s card shows a photo of the protocol droid in the control room, overseeing Docking Bay 327 aboard the Death Star.
Finding a loose C-3PO with firmly attached limbs and a beautiful gold color isn’t always that easy, although the figure itself isn’t that hard to find.
Unfortunately this is not one of my favourite characters or figures, too stiff and like in the movie doesn't actually do a lot (compared to R2), but obviously it is a must have to complete your collection.
May the Figures be with you.
Thank you for reading