Quoted from J_Striker:
Would the licensing fee already be paid to make he pinball machine in the first place? Do you have to pay an additional fee to make an item for the original machine? They were able to produce side art, armor and a shooter rod that has star wars all over it. Those were all the same prices as other machines so why is this topper so much higher? I just don't think its for licensing, but I have no idea how licensing works either.
Disney/Lucas Arts licenses everything separately, because each item in the Star Wars Universe is its own IP. R2D2 is a very popular IP by itself and is a license required purchase. Big license fee because such a small run of only 500 R2D2s made for the topper and would think Stern made the deal based on 500 units only and paid that fee total, rather than an open ended fee which would be more, I’d guess. R2D2 licensees are usually licensing thousands or even millions of units, so the cost is spread over more R2D2 items and can be absorbed over many units. Difficult licensing deal and the reason it has taken so long. Can’t believe they messed up the details of such a well known icon as R2D2 so much, so here’s hoping Stern fixed it on the final product.