This band of evil enforcers tries to crush the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Darth Vader, a onetime Jedi Knight, draws his vengeful powers from the dark side of the Force. Stormtroopers are the fearsome soldiers of the Empire who carry out a reign of terror among the worlds of the galaxy. The Death Squad Commander is the sinister guard of the powerful battle station, Death Star.
Lovers of all things “vintage” have a lot to be happy about with the TARGET exclusive The Vintage Collection Special Action Figure sets. Not only are the originals from the late seventies and early eighties nearly impossible to find, the premiums they are commanding are typically outside the budget of most collectors. Thankfully, collectors can enjoy reproductions of the sets from long ago with updated action figures and to be honest, the three-packs never looked better. Continuing in the same manner as the Fall 2010 Special Action Figure Set 9-pack, Hasbro releases three more packs (this time they’re not all bound into one package) with a promise that more are due to come to the retailer down the road. The Villain Set comes with Stormtrooper, Darth Vader and Death Squad Commander. Surely to upset the hardcore collectors, the included “Death Squad Commander” is not really a Death Squad Commander at all. Instead, Hasbro dug out the 2007 TAC Death Star Trooper (No. 13) and is using it as a placeholder for one day hopefully when that figure will come to us. (If you aren’t sure what we are talking about here, the vintage Death Squad Commander wears a gray outfit and a communications cord hanging from its helmet. It differs from a regular Death Star Trooper. We’ll move along….right now! Death Squad Commander is a slight repaint of that original 2007 figure. For this release, the hair is a more reddish brown that plain brown. Other than that, not much else is different.
Collectors may also take exception with the Stormtrooper. Always creating a new Stormtrooper flavor which seemingly looks fantastic in pictures but lacks in practicality, Hasbro has a longstanding bone of contention with collectors every time they introduce a “new” Stormtrooper to us. This Stormtrooper doesn’t seem to remedy any of the drama. Hasbro took the 2009 LC Dewback With Imperial Sandtrooper figure and removed its pauldron and backpack and then simply stuck it in this set. While we don’t want to come off as ungrateful or hypocritical, this figure lacks as a Stormtrooper. Don’t get is wrong please. We absolutely adore the fact that this figure does not have a removable helmet and comes super-articulated with ball-jointed hips, but it also has a big hole for where the backpack is supposed to attach to him. We don’t want big gaping holes on out Stormtrooper action figures. There are plenty of other torsos that Hasbro could have used to escape this aesthetically displeasing nightmare. That aside, the “Stormtrooper” has an awesome helmet and looks pretty fantastic from the front. We would still like to see one more revision made and then we think we will indeed have a definitive Stormtrooper figure finally. Hasbro loves stringing us along don’t they? This figure was also released as a basic Sandtrooper in The Vintage Collection but the belt appeared a little more yellowed. (Gee, do you wonder how that is possible?)
Darth Vader is another small disappointment in the set. He would have benefitted if he came with a non-removable helmet. Hasbro simply pulled out the 2010 TVC Darth Vader (VC08) figure and stuck it inside this set. Little to no changes were made to the figure as far as paint applications are concerned and although the figure is pretty good, it is a Return Of The Jedi specific release and really has no place in a vintage reproduction set like these Special Action Figure Set multipacks. That being said, collectors receive three super-articulated figures here and at $6.67 average price for each. (This is technically a good price when The Vintage Collection has been found at retail averaging $9.99 each and even in some stances as high as $11.99 per figure.) The Villain Set is cool and will undoubtedly be very popular with both kids and collectors. It’s a great army-building set and comes with three high quality figures. We still think that Hasbro should get a little bit cleverer with regards to these sets. We think kit-bashed figures, more aggressive repaints and even the occasional new figure will ensure success of these exclusives. We think that if Hasbro doesn’t change it up a bit more and at least include the obligatory “new” figure that the Special Action Figure Set program may die off like so many of their previous sub-lines.
Special Action Figure Set (Villain Set)
Assortment Number: 33191/32976
Retail: $19.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Stormtrooper is a repack of the figure that came packed with 2009's LC Dewback And Imperial Sandtrooper figure. (This figure has also been released as 2010's TVC Sandtrooper (VC14) figure with a few small differences.) This time the figure comes without the pauldron and backpack and a blaster pistol instead.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, ball-jointed torso, 2 ball-jointed hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: blaster rifle
Date Stamp: 2009
Status: Darth Vader is a repack of 2010's TVC Darth Vader (VC08) figure.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel gloves, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: removable soft-goods cape, lightsaber, helmet dome, helmet mask, helmet collar
Date Stamp: 2005
Death Squad Commander
Status: Death Squad Commander is a slight repaint (different hair color) of 2007's TAC Death Star Trooper (No. 13) figure.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel forearms, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: removable helmet, blaster rifle
Date Stamp: 2006