After undergoing life-saving cybernetic reconstruction, Darth Vader stands on the bridge of a star destroyer to watch the construction of a powerful new battle station.
It’s the figure that completely flabbergasted us. It should leave you speechless as well. And wisely Hasbro chose to reissue it for the second phase of The Black Series line. He is Darth Vader. He’s based on his appearance from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith and Hasbro pulled out all the stops to make the most definitive version of Darth Vader the 3.75” super-articulated basic figure line has ever seen. This ultra-articulated figure brought us to our knees when we first held it in our hands when it was first released. And the figure continues to inspire awe in us. Some people have described him as perfect action figure porn. And then there are those just hellbent to try to steal the joy from those who find absolutely nothing wrong with this figure…. but complain anyway. We digress. The Black Series [Phase I] Darth Vader (#26) was a sheer marvel. And now it has been reissued as #03 for The Black Series [Phase II] line which is probably one of Hasbro’s smartest moves. We frankly can’t think of a finer figure to reissue into the basic figure line. It’s pure perfection. And with a new approach taken here with ball-socket articulation, Darth Vader brings something new to the table with how great action figures are made. Once again, this Darth Vader figure has left us speechless in the best way possible. It’s so good that it is still difficult to articulate all of its wonder. Without exaggeration, this Darth Vader figure is the consummate interpretation and execution of Darth Vader we have ever seen in the basic figure line. We just wish it was Original Trilogy based. Just don’t pass on this figure is you bash the Prequel Trilogy because you’re really just cutting your nose to spite your face. Instead, embrace what may eventually hail as one of Hasbro’s finest achievements of all time.
Hasbro has approached this version of Darth Vader very, very carefully. It appears they have actually listened carefully to both hardcore collectors as well as customizers believe it or not. Darth Vader has the rare ability to be stripped down to just his bare essentials. By this we mean that all of his gear and soft-goods are removable. But he still looks "complete" (whole) without these parts. The soft-goods cape, the soft-goods skirt and the cod section/belt combination piece are removable without compromising the natural form of the figure (i.e. no skinny waists, etc.). Darth Vader also comes with an all-new lightsaber and lightsaber hilt as well. They have chunkier hilts this time around and look fantastic. Even with all this gear removed, Darth Vader looks pretty darn cool and we have to admit we enjoyed playing with him without all of that extra stuff included. In fact, our hearts were warmed when we displayed Darth Vader sans accessories because he looked just like an incomplete vintage Kenner Darth Vader figure from 1978, just completely modernized. This gift of interchangeability that Hasbro gave to us is not something we can take lightly and we should be thankful for it. Not only does Darth Vader offer versatility on how you can pose this figure, it also offers options to correct it should your soft-goods be off center or if there is a need to replace them say for instance if you’re a customizer and want to add something better and more realistic. For example, the skirt on our sample bowed out terribly and was off to the left, but we were able to futz with it easily thanks to Darth Vader’s design and we were able to make the figure look better. A customizer however would have a field day with these options. Either way, there is a great deal you can do with this figure as far as posing it and displaying it. Collectors are going to have a field day.
Darth Vader can easily split at the waist thanks to a disco ball styled ball-socket joint (It looks like a geodesic sphere with plenty of sides instead of the typical smooth ball texture – you know, it looks like Epcot). This gives the joint incredible friction so the figure can hold complex poses yet allow effortless movement. As you can see we’re thoroughly impressed. Hopefully we are articulated it well enough that you’ll obsess about it to the point of buying it. We personally adore the new head sculpt and think it’s one of the best tools Hasbro has ever give us for a Darth Vader figure. But some will need to get used to it. It too has this newly styled geodesic sphere ball-socket joint and gives Darth Vader’s head a range of motion we have NEVER been able to attain in the past. How wonderful is it that we finally have a Darth Vader figure with a helmet that has incredible wide-ranged movement? Hasbro also revisited the way they have added Darth Vader’s chain. Gone are the awful thick silver soft-goods strands. They actually sculpted the chain onto the figure and it’s been done with grace. The cape has a hole that goes over the ball-joint and then it creates a faux chain effect for the cape which works better than you think. Aesthetically it’s brilliant. Darth Vader comes with an impressive 14 areas of articulation with a total of 26 articulation points. As you know, Darth Vader also comes with beautifully updated ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed elbows and ball-jointed wrists. Hasbro worked these into the gloves without sacrificing the contour of them. Darth Vader, and this will make most collectors thrilled, also comes with double ball-jointed “rocker” ankles. Darth Vader is a must-have action figure. There is no other way we are able to state our claim. (Editor's Note: Some samples of this figure in both line looks come with loose ball-socket head sculpts. It doesn't detract from the figure at all.)
Status: Darth Vader is a straight repack of 2014's TBS [P1] Darth Vader (#26) figure.
Articulation Count: 26 points (14 places of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-socket waist (1), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: lightsaber, lightsaber hilt, removable soft-goods cape, removable belt/cod section combination piece, removable soft-goods skirt
Date Stamp: 2014
Assortment Number: A5630/A5077
Retail: $9.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.