Friday April 18th 2014

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Disney Droid Factory: A Curto Special Report

We’ve teamed up with Dan Curto and several other fan sites to bring your a special report detailing the new Build-A-Droid Astromechs available now at Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekends. Read Dan’s summary of this unique, and possibly frustrating, collection, check out our exclusive photo gallery and be sure to visit our affiliate sites to see detailed photos of each of the currently available parts.

Introduction

Hasbro’s Star Wars action figure line has a long history of including “bonus” pack-ins with each figure: Freeze Frames, 3-D dioramas, Commtech Chips, Force Files, display stands, mini-hologram figures, collector coins, weapons lockers, and most recently…battle cards and battle dice. But the greatest pack-in ever was the 2008′s Droid Factory “Build-A-Droid” concept which was part of 2008′s The Legacy Collection (in 2009, “The” was dropped from the name). Collectors could essentially get an extra droid figure if they collected all the parts in a wave. Although this was a challenge for carded completists (since the pack-in changed over time in subsequent releases), a total of 21 different droids (if you count the 2 Walmart-exclusive sets and both versions of U-3PO) could be assembled that might never have been made available in another format.

Since then, the basic bodies have been reused a few times for repaints: a new K-3PO was part of a Hoth multipack, and there have been 6 astromech droids released that use the same design. Celebration V Attendees may also recall another protocol droid was shown, but that droid still has not yet been made available.

After three years, Hasbro finally brings the Droid Factory concept back in a major way, exclusively at Walt Disney Worlds’s Hollywood Studios theme park during “Star Wars Weekends.” As part of the newly-renovated Star Tours attraction, fans can find a Droid Factory station inside the Tatooine Traders store (the store you enter upon leaving the ride) where you can literally build your own droid, complete on a custom card. With 71 different colored parts to choose from, there are thousands of different droids that can be created!

Cardbacks
The cardbacks include the generic starfield that the Star Tours figures have used for years, but there is also a place to add the name of your droid. This is done with an alphanumeric sticker sheet, which has multiple numbers and letters for extra creativity. The figure can then be protected by an attached clear plastic clamshell case, which can be reopened. There are single cards available for $11.95 (roughly $2 per piece) or double-figure cards for $18.95 (roughly $1.60 per part). This is not only a great way for kids to have some fun, but also for collectors to protect their creations.

Astromech Parts
Thanks to help from some friends in Florida, I was able to acquire 52 unique parts (along with duplicates) last weekend…with 5 more yesterday that are on the way to me. Here’s a quick rundown…
The astromech droids are available with different heads (R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, and R9 units), different bodies (R2 and R7…the bodies all have the same “inner circuitry” underneath the dome), but only one type of legs (in multiple colors). There are also several different hats planned for this line, but as this point, only Mickey Mouse ears are available (in 4 different colors: black, red, green, & blue). At the present time, not all parts are yet available. The R6, R8, and R9 heads are due this August (no doubt timed forCelebration VI), as well as several hats (a baseball cap with Yoda ears, Goofy’s hat, Indiana Jones’ fedora, and Jack Sparrow’s pirate hat). Since the previous “Build-A-Lightsaber” and “Build-A-Potato Head” stations were around for several years, it’s likely that the “Build-A-Droid” station will continue as well…plus, I have to think that something will be made available for Celebration VI, although nothing is confirmed at this time.

Exclusive Gallery
For your viewing pleasure, here is an exclusive gallery of the Yellow droids that were assembled during the first weekend they were available. Since some parts are not available, substitutions were made…but that’s part of the fun! And for longtime collectors, here is a comparison gallery of previously-released B-A-Ds, next to their Disney counterparts. As you can see, there is a unique deco for each of the new droid parts, so completists will definitely want to track them down and get them all!

Rumor has it, the Droid Factory concept is coming back to the action figure line at some point in 2013. So with any luck, we will see these droid parts made available again, although most likely with different deco.

I’ll be heading down to Disney World for Star Wars Weekends #4 (not to mention Celebration VI), and hopefully I won’t hear “these aren’t the droid parts you’re looking for.”

A special thanks to Dan for sharing in this multi-site event and stay tuned for more special joint-venture reports in the future.

 

Additional Disney Droid Factory coverage:
(direct links will be updated at articles are posted).

Galactic Hunter

Jedi News

Jedi Temple Archives

Sandtroopers

Star Wars Action News

YodasNews

  • http://Yakface.com Savageopress

    I plan to pick these up when I go in summer.

    • http://www.yakface.com Jayson

      I hope these will be in great supply while I’m there for CVI. : )

  • rvi

    This kinda old news. The full set of all 58 parts available and the droids they could comprise has been up since the day the Droid Factory opened a week ago on sites like this one:

    http://rowm.com/news.php?cat=4&month=2012-05#art277

    But if the story is about how poorly they’re restocking, then, wow, they really are running out of parts fast, aren’t they? 6 already sold out by opening weekend of SW Weekends?! That’s pretty poor. It makes me wonder if they will be restocking at all, or if the parts just came once and will sell through.

    And when the new parts come in August, will any older ones restock? Or will they just have the new ones added into this deteriorating mess?

    What a pain in the neck.

  • Char Char

    Do you know if these are available at the Once Upon A Toy Shop at Downtown Disney for us who are too cheap to go to the Weekends?

    • rvi

      They are not.

    • DarthChuckMc

      Theyre only available the @ Tatooine Traders shop in Star Tours.

      Today they had 56 of the 58 parts available. No silver with blue R2 heads or black R2 bodies. All other pieces currently out were accounted for as of 6pm.

      • http://www.yakface.com Jayson

        Awesome news, thanks DCMc!

    • Steven Rowe

      They were yesterday, 11/16/13

  • Pingback: Disney Droid Factory Part Update | Yakface.com

  • Steven Rowe

    Just went to Down Town Disney yesterday and found the Droid Factory at Once Upon a Toy. Created by own little droid, all black with a clear dome with red markings, surmounted with a pirate’s tricorn.

    His identifier? Arrr2-D2, of course.