Left > Right:
1. Unitoy F1 MIHK
2. Unitoy F1 NCOO small wedge
3. Unitoy F1 NCOO large wedge
4. Kader F4 HK w/red bar sticker
5. Kader F4 HK
6. (missing) Poch F4 HK
7. French Tri. scar COO
8. (missing) Meccano 78 NCOO
9. Unitoy F5 MIHK
An important note on Unitoy & Kader R5 ESB/ROTJ MOCs . In the mid to late stages of ESB & early Jedi output, Kenner HQ decided to move a lot of the current production line away from the Unitoy factory with many characters. Presumably, this is all related to the cost efficiency of the Chinese/Macau alternatives. This is seen in the form of shorter runs in all Unitoy produced figures, seconds/overstock parts going to Spain for Poch to paint and assemble, surplus figures and cardbacks going to Kader for packaging, and shortly afterwards a majority of the ex-Unitoy steel moulds going to Spain for their PBP line as they moved into injection moulding their own figures. The Unitoy factory wasn’t being retired, just a reshuffle in their previous lines with figure and vehicle production moving to China & Macau in the upcoming Jedi/POTF era.
With this in mind, looking at the MOCs you’ll see it’s not uncommon to find Kader R5-D4 MOCs from the 41bk-65bk era that have Unitoy figures. It’s possible that Unitoy focused on figure production and sent R5 figures to Kader who were producing, as well as packaging for both factories… a theory to contemplate for now. Unitoy cards were also purged to other factories during the late ESB 47bk time clear-out period. An interesting time to focus on for collectors who are paying attention to what’s in the bubble.
COO Family I:
(LARGE) 1977 MADE IN HONG KONG COO
Some key sculpting details for the mould family 1 Unitoy R5 are:
- Smaller dome than Kader
- Orange-red paint for dome and legs
- Leg sculpt is the same as Unitoy R2-D2 – tall or medium height platforms to his feet. No EPMs
- Unitoy used a flanged screw to build their astromech figures.
UNITOY NO COO
COO Family II:
Not Applicable. R2-D2 & R2-D2 Sensorscope COOs only.
COO Family III:
Not Appliacable. R2-D2 COO only.
COO Family IV:
KADER / POCH / FRENCH MECCANO TRILOGO
1978 HONG KONG
Some key sculpting details for the Kader R5-D4 are:
- Wider dome than Unitoy
- True red for the dome and legs
- A single leg sculpt, which is shared with R2-D2. EPMs are found on the upper strut and again on the battery pack on the foot.
- Kader used a very wide domed screw to build their figures.
FRENCH TRILOGO (MECCANO)
COO Family V:
(SMALL) 1977 MADE IN HONG KONG COO
Some key sculpting details for the mould family 5 Unitoy R5 are:
- Smaller dome than Kader. Same as F1 figure.
- Orange-red paint for dome and legs. Same as F1 figure.
- Leg sculpt is the same as Unitoy R2-D2 and F1 R5-D4. Tall or medium height platforms to his feet with no EPMs like the Kader legs.
- Unitoy used a flanged screw. Same as F1 figure.
R5’s sticker design is the same as the early R2-D2 solid domes. Each colour is printed in a separate pass (red/blue/grey/black). By swapping R2s blue for R5s red, you have a completely new look. The initial stickers Unitoy and Kader are identical in design, however, the Kader used stickers can very occasionally be found with a red bar in the top left corner.
The red bar is an error. There’ve been a few theories on why this exists, but the most likely reason is it’s a remnant from the R2-D2 blue separation which wasn’t removed on one of the many copies. In short, one red bar sticker remains on a sheet of many stickers.
The other thing this suggests, is that the external printers used by each factory were different otherwise you’d have the red bar on Unitoy R5s also. Either that or each factory retained their print separations and a mutually shared Printer produced stickers exclusively of each other.
The later ROTJ and Trilogo stickers have a noticeably lighter blue than their predecessors.
"Red Bar" R5-D4
20-A – SW Canada
20 – SW Italian Harbert (salesman sample)
21-A – SW US
21-C – SW US
47-A – ESB US
48-E – ROTJ US
65-B – ROTJ US
77-A – ROTJ US
77-A – ROTJ US QC sign off