At about 20 inches high, this
interactive R2D2 Astromech Droid was an instant hit for Hasbro.
Released in 2002 for around $50, he has been continually repackaged,
and in 2010 sold for over $100. He's just as popular today, if not
moreso, and no wonder. He speaks his native Droid, turns his head,
lights up, and can respond to more than 40 voice commands. He takes
four AA and 4 D alkaline batteries. Where's the remote? There isn't
one, because he's interactive. Flip the small switch on his back, and
he'll turn his head, talk, and flash his mood light red and blue as he
gets warmed up. Then he's ready to go.
Above left: R2D2 with his headlight
turned on. The blue lamp to the left is his mood light, here indicating
that he's happy. right: The red lamp at the bottom of his torso
indicates that his wheels are locked, so he can't fall off a table or
down stairs. Click the lamp to turn off the wheellock and enable him to
Above, left to
right: R2D2 comes
mostly assembled. Snap his legs on, and snap in his head (light)/
projector piece, put in the batteries, and he's ready to go. Various
packages, but the same droid. The 2002 box featured deluxe packaging. A
flap, held closed with velcro tabs, opens to reveal a viewing window.
The brand name is "Industrial Automaton" with only a tiny Hasbro logo.
On the far right is the 2009 incarnation, with wrap around viewing
Below left: detail of the wheellock lamp and switch, indicating the
locked position. right: detail of head(light)/ projector piece,
installed to the right of the blue lit mood lamp.
|Above left: the
2002, 16 page
instruction manual measured 8.5 X 5.5 inches. It can be downloaded at
the Old Robots site (see below). right: The 2009
instruction manual can be downloaded from Hasbro.com. The website
referred to in the manual, R2droidfactory.com is redirected to Hasbro's
site (see below).
Below: Both manuals include a small command chart, with instructions to
cut it out and store it in R2D2's cargo hold. But who wants to cut up
the manual? It can easily be copied instead. Or download this
color version, shown below, from the Old Robot Site (below).
|R2 functions in three modes, as
shown on the chart above: the Companion, Game, and Command Modes.
This chart shows eleven vocal commands in the companion mode, but
the chart below, which comes courtesy of the Old Robots site, gives
several more, along with some hidden "Advanced commands". The
2009 models include a Quick Reference Guide with tips and tricks that
are also in the manual. The main one to know is to say "Reset System"
to put R2 back in companion mode to start a new command or when you're
not sure what mode he is in.