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The Vintage Collection

Darth Vader - TVC - Basic (VC93)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC93
Source: A New Hope
Availability: April 2012
License: Hasbro

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We contemplated starting off this review with a few negative points just to get them out of the way. The reason is we like to lay it all down for our readers on the nitty-gritty of any action figure. You should know why a figure rocks, but you should also know when a few things need some fine tuning. Darth Vader isn’t wholly perfect, but the imperfections just aren’t enough for us to ding Darth Vader on its score. Right off the bat you should know we score this action figure with five stars. This long-awaited update to an Episode IV specific version of Darth Vader was long overdue. The upside is that Hasbro greatly made up for this loss with this The Vintage Collection release and you can bet your collection this will be their go-to-figure figure the next decade (or so). In our opinion, the inclusion of a swivel neck and waist wasn’t our first choice. If this was to be the consummate Episode IV Darth Vader, we think Hasbro should have removed all the stops and given this action figure full blow ball-jointed articulation. And that would even include ball-jointed wrists if it meant that Hasbro could work them in seamlessly. An update to a Darth Vader action figure based on his appearance in A New Hope has been a long time coming. Because Darth Vader’s outfit is similar to identical in Episode V and Episode VI, it’s very important to collectors that Hasbro make the Episode IV look spot on since they come into the line less commonly than the latter. We feel Hasbro got it right. Darth Vader is an answer to prayer, a dream come true, and the absolute Episode IV interpretation of Darth Vader to date.

The last version of A New Hope Darth Vader (as a basic figure) was 2007’s TAC Darth Vader (No. 16). It was a fine figure for its time and its articulation was right on par to what collectors expected. Based on the figure from 2006’s TAC Commemorative Tin Collection series, it served as the definitive Darth Vader figure (and served as the closest modern replacement for the Kenner vintage figure) for years. Although Hasbro decided to put the Episode III Anakin Skywalker burned and scarred portrait under the removable helmet, the details that Star Wars fans really cared about were pretty much perfect. The best part of that figure was the included the collapsed Obi-Wan Kenobi robes “environmental action figure stand” (and it hasn’t been rereleased to date). This is why you should buy one of every figure that comes with a unique accessory like that. Because you can bust them out to use with definitive versions of action figures down the road. Darth Vader is flawlessly proportioned, has the ideal height when compared to other action figures and the soft-goods look excellent. We were worried if Hasbro was going to use a very cheap material for Vader’s soft-goods, but it looks like they went for a fabric with quality that is better than average. His cape has no sheen and possesses some opacity. So it’s our assertion that they handled things the right way in the soft-goods department. The fabric has a gorgeous flowing drape and Hasbro tweaked the collar on it to get rid of the ugly big and bulky silver neck portion.

Two of Darth Vader’s greatest assets are his new portrait and for the first time, ball-jointed hips. Seriously, the portrait looks resplendent. No matter what angle (head on shot, profile, high low, what-have-you) you look at the helmet you will be stunned. It’s absolutely incapable of being ameliorated. While we would have liked to see details like the alternating black and silver block pattern (as seen on 2010’s Darth Vader (Sith Lord) 1:6 Scale Figure from Sideshow Collectibles), it’s really not necessary on a figure in this scale. Now for those ball-jointed hips. How did we go for so long without ball-jointed hips on our Darth Vader action figures? Hasbro has spoiled us now and there will be an uprising should they go back to the standard swivel hips that we have seen for countless years on Darth Vader action figures. You can now attain poses of Darth Vader that could previously only be dreamed. We have said for years how ball-jointed hips are so much more important than ankle-articulation (and even some knee articulation) and Darth Vader solely proves why this is true. To sum up the look and feel of Darth Vader, the paint job is above average and all of the joints are tight and should hold up over time. The Vintage Collection Darth Vader will steal the show. You will have to trust us on this one. It’s everything you could want and more. What’s more, it’s a modern replica of the original "12 Back" figure. What more could you really want from an action figure? We really need to commend and thank Hasbro for this one. It took forever, but it has paid off royally for us.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel forearms, swivel waist, 2 ball-jointed hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: lightsaber

Date Stamp: 2011

Assortment Number: 37508/37499

UPC: 653569731870

Retail: $9.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Darth Vader

The Vintage Collection Wave 12
Anakin Skywalker (VC92)
Darth Vader (VC93)
Imperial Navy Commander (VC94)
Luke Skywalker (Hoth Outfit) (VC95)
Darth Malgus (VC96)

Added: April 21, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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