Name: Darth Vader
Number: Item #2973
Edition Size: 200 (Exclusive)/Limited Edition (Regular)
Scale: Life-Size Busts
Source: Return Of The Jedi
Availability: March 2010
License: Sideshow Collectibles
Tall and menacing, Darth Vader is the most potent icon of the Galactic Empire's might. The product of the Emperor himself, Vader answers to only the highest in the Imperial command structure and is granted great leeway in the work he conducts on his master's behalf. Once a Jedi, Vader possesses absolute command over the Force, and through him it is directed to terrible and often fatal effect. As a Lord of the Sith, the dark side flows through him, and it can be channeled to kill with a single thought or to subdue his detractors, enemies, and sometimes even subordinates. Feared by Rebels and Imperials alike, Darth Vader is a terrifying union of man and machine hidden beneath black robes and forbidding armor. Determined to hunt down and extinguish the Rebel Alliance, Vader commands the massive Imperial fleet and rules his forces through unquestionable terror.
It’s not often at all when a high-end collectible leaves us without speech, but that’s precisely what Sideshow Collectibles’ Darth Vader Life-Size Bust did to us. Perhaps we should come clean right from the start. We are big fans of the Life-Size Bust line. We have purchased all of them to date and proudly display them in our collection, but Darth Vader is without question their most impressive work to date. We will get into the reason why that’s true in a moment. But let’s first talk about why Darth Vader has an edge over the other the majority of the Star Wars Life-Size Busts they’ve produced. If you recall, Sideshow Collectibles worked with Spectral Motion on some of the earliest Life-Size Bust pieces. Two examples of the collaboration include Darth Maul and Greedo, which still remain two of the greatest efforts to date (outside of Darth Vader). Sideshow Collectibles wisely returned to seek Spectral Motion’s assistance for Darth Vader. These efforts unquestionably paid off in ways that may never be able to to calculated, because Darth Vader is simply the greatest Life-Size Bust they will probably ever produce, and it ranks pretty high as one of their greatest Star Wars collectibles of all time as well. Where many Life-Size Busts don’t go beyond polystone, Darth Vader is innately more authentic because of the mixed media approach taken with him. He is resin, plastic, fiberglass and metal and has a cropped soft-good double-layered cape. But that’s not all. They’ve worked interchangeability into the piece so you can configure him in multiple ways.
Based on his appearance from Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi, Darth Vader can be displayed with and without the dome and mask. Lucky Sideshow Exclusive collectors were able to secure a very nice dome/mask display stand so this collectible could be dispalyed in its entirety. Sadly, these stands are limited to the 200 exclusive pieces only (not featured in this review). They’ve included a stunning Anakin Skywalker portrait which is based on the Special Edition of Return Of The Jedi (Anakin has no eyebrows) and the likeness to actor Sebastian Shaw is so impressive that you’ll barely believe what your eyes are seeing. Some Sideshow enthusiasts made a point to complain about how Anakin appears cross-eyed, but as owners of the piece we do not see that “defect” in the slightest. Anakin Skywalker definitely appears to be gazing slightly over to the left, but both are are facing towards the same plane. It’s artistic perfection as far as we’re concerned. Maybe images do not capture this well, but there is no odd appearance in his eyes at all. The paint job on the Anakin Skywalker portrait is so believably realistic, it makes you feel a bit strange to hold it in your hands as you switch it out for the helmet. And that battle scars that have been sculpted into his aged head will make your stomach quiver a bit. It is evident that Sideshow Collectibles did stringent research on the wounds Anakin sustained and replicated them exactly on this polystone attachment. We have no complaints whatsoever. If we had to nitpick, we would have loved the option to place the helmet over his head, but that just isn’t possible with this design. If that meant shrinking Anakin’s head out of scale to make it work, we would have advised against that anyway because it is perfectly to scale as is.
Should you decide to post Darth Vader in the “black iron lung” then you have a lot more detail to appreciate. It’s amazing. We know that sounds overused and trite, but there really isn’t any other way to make it clearer. The dome is curvy, irregular and a perfect replica of the movie costume. The dome can be lifted off and then the mask can be displayed alone too. The details captured in the mask portion are equally amazing. The lenses, although painted and not dark plastic are done so well that they function like dark mirrors and easily reflect images in them. And let’s not forget about the alternating black and silver section that give it the depth and impressive shadowing with any light source. This piece has truly been well done. When you remove the mask you’ll be shocked with how much detail of the gears and inner workings has been added here. The microphones, the wires, the sensors and the hardware are all here and they’ve all been brilliantly recreated. The helmet parts fit like a glove and easily stay in place when transporting the Life-Size Bust from one location to another. Nothing snaps into place, but the parts have been engineered to interact flawlessly with each other. Darth Vader is cropped at his chest armor. The alternating black and silver sections are beautiful and the faux metal looking cape chain has been added to hold the cape at the exact point where it should be. Darth Vader sits atop the same stand that all Life-Size Busts sit upon and a shiny name plate displays the name Darth Vader. While expensive, we can honestly say that this is the greatest high-end Darth Vader collectible you will ever purchase.
Summary: Sideshow is proud to announce the Darth Vader Life-Size Bust, created in partnership with the talented FX artists at Spectral Motion. Capturing every detail of the Sith Lord and his helmet, this versatile bust has been constructed so that the helmet may be removed to reveal Anakin's scarred visage. The interior of the face and neck portions of the mask are fully detailed to represent all of the wiring and technology necessary to sustain Anakin inside his suit. The bust is crafted in fiberglass, polystone, fabric and metal for the most authentic and realistic representation. Each piece is individually painted and finished, each with its own unique quality and detail that is the trademark of a handcrafted Sideshow Collectibles product. Standing over two feet high, the Darth Vader Life-Size Bust is a must-have for any STAR WARS collection.
Announcement: The Darth Vader Life-Size Bust was revealed at 2009's San Diego Comic Con and went for pre-order during the event.
Pre-order Information: The Darth Vader Life-Size Bust went up for pre-order on July 21, 2009.
Retail: $1199.99 USD (Sideshow Exclusive MSRP = $1249.99)
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
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