R2-D2 (Sensorscope)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

From the 45bk period, a more interactive version of R2-D2 was released with an extending Sensorscope to replicate the characters actions in the swamps of Dagobah. This figure remained in production through to the Power of the Force/Trilogo era where it was upgraded to the Pop-Up version.
 
In this guide, I’ll present to you the factory correct figures as best as I have found in my research. There’s many decades of fraud and misinformation to set right with this particular figure. As the figure disassembles with no consequence, dealers and collectors have been “improving” their figures for years by obliviously mixing them up for better conditioned parts.
 
As well as that problem, there’s the myths. In the guide below you won’t find a “golden dome” R2 – it’s degradation of the dome lacquer. The “dimple dome variant” needs to go away, as it’s simply a short shot of plastic resulting in a malformed crest to the dome. If the parts are mixed up to what you can see below, it’s a Frankenstein.

COO Family I:

Unitoy

UNITOY production continued unchanged from their solid dome figure with mould families 1 & 5 to produce their Sensorscope torsos. Unitoy reverts from mid-blue, back to the dark-blue leg paint of the original 12bk solid dome figure. The sticker in this era is reworked, most noticeably now featuring a smaller wedge design. In the 65bk Jedi era, the MIHK is removed leaving us with the No COO torso.

Above you can see following variants (left to right):

  • Mid-blue legs MIHK
    Made in Hong Kong COO

  • Dark-blue legs MIHK
    Made in Hong Kong COO

  • Dark-blue legs No COO
    Same as the MIHK dark-blue legs, but the COO has been removed.

COO Family II:

Smile

SMILE factory continued with the paint application used for their solid dome figure. The main variation in this line was the short-lived use of a hard white plastic in the 77bk era. Read up more on the KENNER HARD TORSO figures in Wolff’s detailed guide on this site.

Above you can see following variants (left to right):

  • Smile R2-D2 Sensorscope (soft torso)
    Can have slightly darker or mid-blue legs with a matt finish.
  • Smile R2-D2 Sensorscope (hard torso)
    Torso drum is shot in a visibly harder, more detailed plastic.

    Mid-blue legs with a matt finish. This colour combination can be found with either soft or hard torso plastic torso variations.

COO Family III:

No Kader produced R2-D2 Sensorscope

COO Family IV:

No Kader produced R2-D2 Sensorscope

COO Family V & VI:

Unitoy

As with the Solid Dome R2, the reason for the existence of the UNITOY Family 5 torso is a mystery. The other F1 mould worked perfectly throughout the run. F5 could just be a spare mould that was picked up by chance and ended up randomly going into production from time to time.

There’s an additional Family 6 mould  family, nicknamed the “12 o’clock No COO” which continues to elude me on a MOC or baggie, so I can’t add any concrete information about it. I believe this is a very late POTF era torso mould, as no country of origin was ever stamped alongside the date. Torso aside, this figure has the same sticker, parts and paint style as it’s Unitoy siblings from the era.

Above you can see following variants (left to right):

  • F5 Unitoy R2-D2 Sensorscope MIHK
    Made in Hong Kong COO. Dark legs, small eye, dull dome.

  • F6 Unitoy R2-D2 Sensorscope “12 o’clock” No COO
    Dark legs, small eye, dull dome.

Sticker Guide:

The only relevant pictures for R2-D2 Sensorscope figure is the Unitoy & Smile examples. The sticker, screw & moulding guides are a general overview of all R2 figures.

The standard Sensorscope R2-D2 sticker is a 3 spot-colour print with blue, black and grey.

For the UNITOY Sensorscope figure, the black separation on the sticker is altered to feature a smaller “wedge” design. Similar to R5-D4, some solid dome R2’s were also shipped with this small wedge sticker in the transition period between the two versions of R2.

The SMILE R2-D2 sticker has a darker “wedge”. The grey progressively becomes darker from their initial dark blue dome figure through to the Pop-up version. There’s a subtle revision of the sticker artwork in the Jedi era.

REPRO stickers have been in circulation for decades now, and the most recent versions have even been designed to artificially mimic the yellowing effect of the ageing process. In the making of this guide, I saw dozens of figures sold on eBay as vintage, priced as vintage, but in actuality had reproduction stickers applied purely to dupe unsuspecting buyers.

SENSORSCOPE Guide:

The UNITOY Sensorscope is shot in a mid-blue and I’ve found two minor colour differences in the plastic. The same Sensorscope type features through all Unitoy mould families F1, F5 & F6.

The SMILE Sensorscope features an EPM on the side and is also found with two minor blue colour variations.

SCULPT & SCREW DETAILS:

The only relevant pictures for R2-D2 Sensorscope figure is the Unitoy & Smile examples. The sticker, screw & moulding guides are a general overview of all R2 figures.

With all figures, each part and accessory is specific to a factory. This is no different with R2-D2, as every part, screw and sticker used to produce the figure also being specific to a particular vendor.

EPMs and gate scars are the most effective way of confirming the origins of R2 parts. For more information about what these terms mean, please refer to my 101 REFERENCE GUIDE.

Parts can easily be swapped around and  for decades this has been done, and done incorrectly. If you have an R2 which has anything different to what’s shown here, I’d take a look at the other parts on the figure using my sculpt detail guide to see if the R2 has been tampered with. These Astromech figures have been messed around for decades by sellers/collectors looking for the cleanest example and indifferent/ignorant to the fact they’ve created a Frankenstein figure.

There will be an additional section on the Sensorscope coming soon.

CREDITS:

I couldn’t have done it without the help of these fine gentlemen (in no particular order): Nick Eppinga, Stefan Callear, Thomas Walsh, Dennis Hall, Trent Sutton, Ahmed Boukarrouh, Jon Meade, James Gurney, Wolff Lipinski, Jon Freeman, Tim Emmerson, Mike Ritter, Nick Rees, Nik Botkin, Javier Ruilopez, Raúl Sánchez Schel and Mac Dunbar-Bickmore. 
 
Thank you one and all!