Artoo was quite a revolutionary character when he appeared in the first Star Wars film. He was shaped like a garbage can on legs and was not what we were used to as far as film robots go. Through the use of motors, puppetry, and sound design, he was brought to life as a character we all could love. I can't think of another instance in cinema before Star Wars where someone attempted to make a non-humanoid robot a sympathetic, fully-fleshed out character. We couldn't understand a "word" he said but we always knew how Artoo felt and what he was thinking. In my book, cinematically speaking, that's a huge achievement.
In 1978, Kenner released the lovable Artoo Detoo in the 12" scale to go along with their other 12" figures. I think they did a wonderful job of accurately representing how Artoo looked onscreen. Sure, he's not going to fool a studied prop-junkie but his proportions look about right and he's got oodles of detail and chrome paint.
It's a good thing Artoo is so good-looking because he can't do much else. His head turns and his legs swivel at the "shoulders" and the "ankles." He also has wheels to help him scoot along. No third leg on this guy, though.
The downside to vintage collectibles that are molded in white plastic (versus painted white), is that the white plastic almost always yellows over time. So, you can see that Artoo isn't completely white anymore but more of a cream color. Also, glue along joint lines tends to darken and show up on vintage white plastic (Vintage White Plastic would make a great band name, btw).
When you press a panel on the front of Artoo, a door opens in back to reveal the Death Star Plans that he's hiding from the Empire. There are two sets of plans inside Artoo that can be removed. Mine have fingerprints on them, and if I'm not mistaken, they look Bothan... go figure.
Artoo doesn't have much to get lost. He needs his two plans to be complete and that's about it... barring a missing leg or something.
His and hers?