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Artoo-Potatoo

Star Wars
by yo go re

The idea of combining Star Wars characters with Hasbro's own Mr. Potato Head just smacks of crass commercialization. Lots of people certainly decried it as so. They said it was just another example of George Lucas' willingness to ruin his properties by shilling them out to anyone with money. That may be true, but it turns out the Spud Wars toys are really fun little pieces that honor the characters, so everyone who had something negative to say can just shove a potato in it.

Tweet bleep blort Artoo-Potatoo is the heroic companion or Luke Frywalker. This feisty droid often finds himself in hot water, but always manages to save everyone's skin. Now Artoo must help Princess Tater with an urgent mission: deliver the Death Spud plans to her friends in the Rebellion!

R2 is actually smaller than the other two Star Wars spuds. He uses the smaller "Spud Buddies" potato body (which is actually closer in size to the original plastic Potato Head - the size was doubled in the '70s due to child safety laws). That means Darth Tater and the Spudtrooper are taller than him, which is as it should be.

When it comes to new parts, R2 is the king. shut down all the potato mashers on the detention level! The previous two figures in this line were, after all, still mostly "human," so they had the usual shoes, eyes, noses, all that. But this little guy is a droid, so that stuff wouldn't cut it. He's got legs coming out of his shoulders, a technological chestplate, a sliding foot and that classic dome head. He even has a little appendage, a pincher arm that can pop out of his head. It kind of looks like a straw in all the promo pictures, but it's better in person and removable, either way. If you want him to retract his foot and just stand on two legs, you can do it, with some work - the legs are posed at an angle, so you may have to fiddle with him for a moment.

Back and to the left Though he doesn't have tons of extra pieces, he does have one: a complete face (eyes, nose, moustache and teeth) that plugs into his face hole. The same place the droid's chest goes. Of course, it looks wildly out of place among all those roboty parts, but pretend it's Kenny Baker, peeking out to ask when lunch is.

The paint is excellent. The previous figures were bacially one solid color it'sa me, Mario! on big huge shapes, but R2 bucks that trend. Sure, he's mostly white, but there are tons of tiny mechanical details sculpted all over, and they're painted blue and silver. There's no spilling or overflow, and everything fits its borders crisply. Though the potato body is molded to look like it has a butt-hatch to store the pieces, it doesn't, really; that's just decoration.

Artoo-Potatoo doesn't have any weapons (even though R2-D2 took out more Battle Droids than your average Clone Trooper), but he does have an accessory that's straight from the films. Well, in a way. He's got a tiny translucent blue figure of a robe-wearing Potato Head. Yes, it's a hologram of Princess Tater, hair-buns and all. The only paint here is on her pupils, so she isn't staring blankly into space.

''Help me Obi-Wan Spudobi, you're my only hope.'' R2 comes in the same general packaging as all other Mr. Potato Head toys, a nice little plastic cube showing off the namesake as well as featuring a handle for easy carrying. The cardboard inside shows off Artoo and his accessories, with a few ideas on how to assemble him. As a bonus, there's a blue flash on the front, making it look like Princess Tater is really being beamed from the robot.

Though Darth Tater is readily available on store shelves even today, and the Spudtrooper has been found with regularity if you look hard enough, Artoo-Potatoo is nearly impossible to find. Officially released in April, he has yet to show up in any brick and mortar locations even now, eight months later. Why is that? Kids love R2-D2, and they'd probably love this little guy, too. So where is he? Why isn't he in stores? Basically, if you have any hope of ever owning this, buy online.

Hasbro has really hit on something with their toyline crossovers. First it was Star Wars and Transformers; then it was SW and Potato Heads; next is (no kidding) Transformers Potato Heads. It's just so wrong, but yet... so right. R2-D2 mixed with a potato should be a completely dumb idea, but it turns out that, yes, this is the droid you're looking for.

But "RTuber-DTuber" is still a better name.


What's next? Mash Windu? Darth Spudious? Chewbakeda? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.

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