Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Original Trilogy Collection
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: August 2004
Celebrate the legendary Star Wars trilogy that changed the universe forever, with The Original Trilogy Collection. This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. The finest recreations of the iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are back with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Original Trilogy: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. And, as a tribute to the dedication of Star Wars fans everywhere, we are re-releasing elements of the original packaging that harken back to the creation of Star Wars action figures, which began over 25 years ago with the Original Trilogy. May the Force be with you!
It’s pretty much fact that we will never go long without a new Darth Vader action figure getting added into the basic figure line. Each year Hasbro finds new and improved ways to get this character to kids and collectors. No matter how monotonous his appearance at retail may be, he sells without question and there doesn’t seem to be and end insight of how many Hasbro can release without it backing up and clogging pegs. As a result, there is no question that another Darth Vader is a welcomed addition to any basic figure line. But what if that new Darth Vader action figure gets the royal treatment in both sculpt and packaging? It makes things even better, doesn’t it? While we definitely classify the 2004 VOTC Darth Vader action figure as excellent, it still needs one or two more things before it can be classified as definitive. In fact, it would perhaps be a little easier to say that the inclusion of ball-jointed elbows would have saved this figure in more ways than one. Because Hasbro is starting to make ball-jointed elbows and knees a standard for collector-focused action figures, we wonder why Hasbro didn’t just spend a little bit more on the tooling budget for this figure and knock it out here, especially with the complementary “vintage-styled” packaging. Let’s itemize why this release of Darth Vader is bittersweet, yet still excellent.
Darth Vader is an all-new sculpt that for the most part employs premium articulation. Specifically, a swivel neck is joined by two-ball-jointed shoulder, two swivel elbows, two swivel gloves, swivel waist, two swivel hips, two ball-jointed knees and two ball-jointed ankles. Obviously the only issue you’re going to find with this Darth Vader action figure is the inclusion of swivel elbows. Sometimes swivel elbows are subtle enough to work seamlessly with an action figure (in very rare occasions), but Darth Vader’s elbows have been cut at an angle which inhibits movement in ways that can be very limiting and definitely frustrating. What’s more sad about this is that the swivel joints are so loose that it makes it difficult for him to hold his lightsaber. Even the lightsaber hilt falls when his arms are up because of the loose swivel joints. For a $10 MSRP, this area of articulation was not the right one to cut costs. Color us disappointed. Despite this, Darth Vader is a true winner in most every other way. He is tall, slender yet powerful and has a costume that perfectly matches the costume we saw the character wear in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. It is for this reason alone that it’s extremely fitting to receive Darth Vader on a vintage inspired The Empire Strikes Back card back. Although the image on the card is from A New Hope, Darth Vader is properly sourced to the correct Star Wars film.
Status: Darth Vader is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 swivel elbows, 2 swivel gloves, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: lightsaber, lightsaber hilt
Date Stamp: 2004
Assortment Number: 85235/85213
Retail: $9.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
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