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The Vintage Collection

Grand Moff Tarkin - TVC - Basic (VC98)

Name: Grand Moff Tarkin
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC98
Source: A New Hope
Availability: June 2012
License: Hasbro

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He is here! It only took Kenner/Hasbro 35 years to get out Grand Moff Tarkin in that glorious vintage-styled card back we’ve made synonymous with overall collector happiness. The wait was indeed long and grueling, but if we had the opportunity to alter when he exactly showed up in the basic figure line, we likely wouldn’t have made it sooner. (Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?) The TVC line has showed collectors time and again that this collection was made for us, and we are getting the best figures of all timeout of it. There are going to be some/many collectors out there that won’t be happy with Grand Moff Tarkin. There are indeed some issues with the figure and we’ll briefly address them here, but you should know that we’re thoroughly impressed with Grand Moff Tarkin and are so incredibly impressed with how well Hasbro executed him for 2012, despite his faults. Hasbro has been building a wonderful catalogue of definitive parts for about the last half decade or so now and they are cleverly utilizing them to give us new definitive figures. The results are impressively successful. And let’s be honest, doesn’t The Vintage Collection’s packaging make the figures inside of it look even better than they actualy are? And maybe that's the way you'll have to view Grand Moff Tarkin in order to be satisfied with him. To see Grand Moff Tarkin, villain “numero uno” (before we knew how bad Darth Vader really was) in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, in vintage-styled packaging is almost too much to take in because it is beauty to those who have collected Star Wars action figures since the dawn of our time. Even the reference photo on the package is perfect. It's a nice head shot of actor Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin and it's set right around the gorgeous concentric silver lines that wrap along the "Star Wars" packaging’s edges. Oh, and the classic Kenner logo is there, like the rest of the TVC line to help make you feel like no time has past since our earliest and cherished childhood days. It’s almost like Grand Moff Tarkin is another release in the basic figure lineup circa 1970s.

At first glance, you probably wouldn’t hesitate calling Grand Moff Tarkin an all-new figure. It’s semantics, but you’re only partially correct about that. While he looks brand new, Hasbro borrowed parts from two figures recently released in the blue phase of The Legacy Collection, just a few short years before The Vintage Collection began. Grand Moff Tarkin’s arms come from 2009’s TLC Captain Needa (BD 40) and his legs come from the Grand Admiral Thrawn figure from 2008’s TLC Grand Admiral Thrawn/Talon Karrde (9) Comic Packs set. Both of these figures are pretty much excellent in their own rights, but ironically their purpose on Earth befits Grand Moff Tarkin the best. (You may share a different opinion of course, but that's how we feel.) Despite the arms and legs coming from two other (and very different) figures, Grand Moff Tarkin is 100% perfectly proportioned and aside from one issue (OK, more than one issue), we don’t think Hasbro could have cobbled together a better recipe of new and old to make such an important Star Wars character looks so fantastic. We better address some of the issues now. His soft-goods skirt is a setback here sadly. We are the biggest fans of soft-goods (even when they look a little too bulky in some instances), but Hasbro didn’t approach the soft-goods on Grand Moff Tarkin in the right direction. One thing that is inexplicable however is that his soft-goods skirt looks much worse in high resolution (and even just general) photos than it does in person. Maybe it has to do with the human frailty of the natural eye, as opposed to a camera lens, that our vision overlooks the clashing aesthetics. But we can say that holding Tarkin outside of the packaging makes us very happy collectors indeed, much more so than scanning pictures across the web of him. Hasbro has made so many successful Imperial officers with molded lower skirts, they shouldn't have tried something new on Tarkin. It's a complete failure here. But don't harp on that, otherwise you'll miss out on a great figure.

You should be focusing on the positives of this figure and why it’s a must-have for your collection. Hasbro tooled an all-new torso, a new portrait and new hands. Grand Moff Tarkin’s torso is beautifully sculpted. The details are very impressive and his ranking badge is neatly painted. Remember how our older Imperials were lucky to even get an even paint job here? Another great thing about his ranking badge is that Hasbro abandoned the “removable” chunky rank badge (a separately molded piece) that they used on 2009’s TLC Captain Needa (BD 40) figure and glued it into place. We thought that feature ruined Captain Needa, so to see it tooled into the chest is just so incredibly satisfying again. The head sculpt is excellent too. But we have found that posing his with his head tilted or turned is beneficial for him. There’s something about looking at his portrait straight on that makes him look a little less “Tarkin-ish”. It may be the much too pale/light color of his skin, but we find it difficult to see his chiseled facial structure detail ogling him “face to face”. And the streaking in his hair is odd too. He does however look incredible with his head at differing angles. Hasbro even scored “old age” wrinkles into his head and more prominently in his hands to emphasize his aged look. Lastly, Grand Moff Tarkin comes with an all-new mouse droid with articulated axels which allow all four wheels to rotate. The mouse droid also has a wonderful paint job. Silver has been added to show some wear and tear. There have been plenty of Grand Moff Tarkin figures from Hasbro over the years. There’s been 1997’s POTF Grand Moff Tarkin, 2005’s ROTS Tarkin (III 45) figure, the 2005 figure repainted for 2007’s TSC Death Star Briefing exclusive and the colorful repaint for 2006’s TAC Governor Tarkin/Stormtrooper (No. 03) Comic Packs set. But none can come close to 2012’s The Vintage Collection release. Grand Moff Tarkin is one action figure you need to own.

Collector Notes

Grand Moff Tarkin

Status: Grand Moff Tarkin is a kit-bashed that utilizes the arms from 2009's TLC Captain Needa (BD 40) figure and the legs from the Grand Admiral Thrawn figure from 2008's TLC Grand Admiral Thrawn/Talon Karrde (9) Comic Packs two-pack (based on Star Wars: Heir To The Empire #1). The rest of the figure including his torso, hands and head sculpt is all-new.

Articulation Count: 14 points

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

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: blaster, articulated mouse droid (all-new sculpt)

Date Stamp: 2008

Assortment Number: 37516/37499

UPC: 653569732471

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.



The Vintage Collection Wave 14
Odd Ball (Clone Pilot) (VC97)
Grand Moff Tarkin (VC98)
Nikto (Skiff Guard) (VC99)
Starkiller (Vader's Apprentice) (VC100)
Shae Vizla (Old Republic Bounty Hunter) (VC101)

Added: June 24, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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