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By Thomas Wheeler

For years, anyone with any enjoyment of Star Wars action figures who has visited either Disneyland or Walt Disney World and ridden the STAR TOURS attraction has probably wished that Hasbro would consider making action figures of some of the cool droids unique to this attraction.

Well, somebody must've called upon the Genie from "Aladdin", because their wish has been granted. Now available, exclusive to the Disney theme parks, is an assortment of STAR TOURS ACTION FIGURES!

Fortunately, I have a friend who frequents Disneyland in California, and has thus far been able to get the first two assortments of Star Tours action figures for me. There are three figures in each assortment, and a third assortment is expected.

These are not cheap theme park souvenirs. They are made by Hasbro with the same degree of quality as standard Star Wars action figures, and I've never had any major complaints with that. They are packaged on the recently-discontinued-everywhere-else green cards of Star Wars toys, with a photograph of the character to the side of the package. A special STAR TOURS logo in on the bubble, and the back of the card discusses the Star tours attaction. Proper copyrights for Hasbro, Lucas, and Disney are also present.

The toys are not inexpensive. They're $10.00 apiece, but then, for years, that's also been the price of standard Star Wars figures in Disney parks. Disneyland and Walt Disney World are very cool places to visit, and I recommend them both to the highest possible degree -- but they're not cheap.

Anyway, for those unfamiliar with the STAR TOURS attraction, a brief explanation is in order. You're on line at a travelport to board a StarSpeeder that is supposed to take you on a grand tour of the moons of Endor. Unfortunately, your pilot droid is a first timer who ends up taking you on a wild ride through a storm of comets and right into the middle of a pitched battle between the Empire and the Rebellion, with the Death Star involved on top of everything else!

While you're waiting on line to board the ride, which is a nicely done motion-simulator attraction, you walk through two main passageways where a wide variety of assorted droids are working. Many of these are unique to the Star Tours attraction, including some rather stumpy, almost skeletal robots that manage to be cute, and according to one source are actually stripped
down former cartoonish birds from the long-closed "America Sings" attraction.

Frankly, waiting on line and watching these droids in action is almost as much fun as the ride itself. So it's no wonder that there's been a longtime demand for action figures of them, and it's finally happened.

The first assortment of three includes RX-24 "REX", R3-D3, and G2-4T. "Rex" is also known as "Captain Rex", and is certainly the central character droid of the Star Tours attraction. He's your pilot on board the StarSpeeder. Within the ride, he's a nicely designed Audio-Animatronic robot that interacts with the riders, providing a running commentary of what's going on, even as he tries to fly the StarSpeeder along some rather unique detours. The figure is an excellent likeness, with plenty of articulation in the head and the three limbs. R3-D3 is a slight disappointment, as it appears the
figure has a permanently extended third leg. In fairness, the toy does have wheels, and should roll rather nicely (I have yet to open any of these as of this writing due to lack of proper display space), and he does have a nice transparent dome with visible workings within, but the third leg bit bothers me just a bit. G2-4T is a definite treat. He's one of the "bird-droids", the maintenance worker droids that are the "main population" of the waiting areas on the Star Tours attraction. This toy is remarkably well detailed and
appears to have an excellent measure of articulation. He stands 3-1/2" in height, which might be a little tall for the 3-3/4" scale. I don't recall them looking quite that big, but I could be mistaken about that. However, that is a very minor point in an otherwise excellent toy that is as symbolic of the Star Tours attraction as Captain Rex himself.

The second assortment of STAR TOURS figures came out more recently, and includes a nice threesome consisting of R4-M9, WEG-1618, and DL-X2. The R4-M9 robot is a recoloration of the Imperial Astromech Droid released in one of the last "pre-Episode-2" assortments of Star Wars figures. Frankly, the new
color scheme is an improvement, as the dark green markings have been replaced with a lighter turquoise. The droid as a whole is an excellent toy, with retractable third leg, a light-reflective "eye", and plenty of articulation. WEG-1818 looks like a larger version of the "bird-droids". I honestly don't recall where this fellow is on the ride line, but the toy is superbly well done. The head sits atop a ball joint, which is a good thing since this droid looks like he stands in a somewhat stooped-over position. Although his
limbs are rather skeletal in appearance, they are evenly placed and I suspect the figure would have little trouble standing, unlike the recent Super Battle Droid figure from the Episode 2 Collection. WEG-1618 is a metallic copper in color, with a number of hoses and warning labels on his body. Finally there's DL-X2. This thing looks like a cross between an ATM and a trash can. It's
sort of a tall trapezoid, with no significant humanoid appearance to it. Theres a roundish head protruding from the top, and a single operative arm, which does appear to be well articulated on the toy. There's also some sort of door on the lower section of the droid which looks like it does open. I believe I recall seeing this droid on the very bottom level of the maintenance bay when walking through the ride line.

There are still three droids yet to come in this collection, although I
am uncertain of their release date. There are also persistent rumors of a STARSPEEDER 3000 vehicle, the shuttle that you fly into the Star Tours adventure on, but as yet, no one has actually seen this toy.

Granted, acquiring these figures will not be easy. They're selling well and selling quickly, and there's no definitive word if Hasbro intends to keep producing them or if each assortment is a limited edition. This could get expensive unless you have a friend in the California or Florida region who is fairly close to the parks. If you CAN get them by some reasonable means, I DEFINITELY
recommend them. These STAR TOURS action figures have been a long time in coming, and they're definitely worth it!