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Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]

Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel) - SW [S - P3] - Basic (’03 #18)

Name: Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel)
Collection: Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]
Number: ’03 #18
Source: Return Of The Jedi
Availability: June 2003
License: Hasbro

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Encouraged by the Emperor to fight his own son Luke in a lightsaber duel, Darth Vader discovers his son has become a powerful Jedi. But Vader discovers his son's true strength when Luke puts down his lightsaber to sacrifice himself rather than take the life of his father. When the enraged Emperor turns to destroy Luke, the former Anakin Skywalker has one last chance for redemption.

The Star Wars “Saga” line brought collectors a couple of interactive “Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader” action figures.They all were separately released basic figures, but they interestingly followed each other sequentially in the line and were designed with the intention that collectors could recreate two extremely pivotal scenes from the Star Wars Original Trilogy. The first “pair” was based on the duel on Bespin and was released in the first phase of the Star Wars “Saga” line look, while the second “pair” was based on the Throne Room duel during Return Of The Jedi. All of these figures came with action features, but many of them were well hidden and didn’t interfere with the integrity of the sculpts. With the release of Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel) however, we feel that Hasbro took a few steps backwards with this action figure. A long-awaited update to the 1998 POTF2 Darth Vader (with Removable Helmet) action figure, Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel) is the technical update to that figure, but it leave you feeling like you wish you were getting a little more than you are. The figure itself isn’t the greatest form of Darth Vader we have seen in the basic figure line. While tall enough, the figure it too lanky and the action features on this one hurt the aesthetics more than they would on other figures in the line. Annoying action features coupled with a not so great sculpt will translate into a dud action figure as far as we’re concerned.

You’ll probably notice right away that Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel) has an awkward posture. He looks as if he is pulling back suddenly to dodge something coming right for his face. His posture gives the impression that he’s startled, and of course we know that this a reaction that probably wouldn’t affect Dart Vader. So the figure emotes something that is incongruous to the greatest villain in the Star Wars galaxy. We appreciate the removable helmet feature, but we’re not so sure if Hasbro made that much headway when compared to the 1998 POTF2 figure. We might even be inclined to believe that the 1998 figure has the better head sculpt too. But the issues don’t stop there. The flyaway cape gives the impression that he is in an environment that more closely resembles the windy Bespin gantry, and not the calm still environment of the second Death Star. Not only does it not look screen accurate, it’s the albatross around this figure’s neck because is really works hard to pull him to the ground backwards due to the poor center of gravity it creates while he is wearing it. Also, the action feature button on his back prevents the cape from laying flatly down his back, so as you can see in general it just riddles the figure with one issue after another. It would have been nice to get a very simply sculpted version of Darth Vader here instead. The play features weren’t necessary and they’ve compromised this action figure in disappointing ways.

Like some of the earliest Star Wars “Saga” figures, Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel) comes with a magnet lodged into his right hand so that the person playing with the figure can recreate “Force attraction” power. It’s gimmicky, but it’s a novelty that some collectors have appreciated. We would just rather see an expertly sculpted elbow/hand combination instead that allow the figure to hold it a lightsaber hilt or fully lit lightsaber in its hands believably instead. The figure isn’t without merit either. You can certainly position him in ways that look very scene specific. The swivel waist (which is also part if the action feature here) can lock the figure in a turned position that looks, quite frankly, fantastic. But between the limited articulation elsewhere and the slightly disproportionate body, you will likely be wishing that Hasbro did more with the sculpt than what’s presented here. We are confident that kids will enjoy this action figure, but as a main character (especially with the removable helmet feature) that has needed a more modern update since the POTF2 release, it goes without saying that expectation may not be met. Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel) certainly interacts well with 2003’s SW Luke Skywalker (Throne Room Duel) (’03 #17). They’re in great company with each other since they primary focus are their included action features. Better will certainly come our way, but we imagine that many of you won’t be satisfied with this release regardless.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel)

Status: Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 9 points

Articulation Details: swivel head, swivel left shoulder, ball-jointed right shoulder, hinge-jointed right elbow, swivel right glove, swivel waist (with action feature), 2 swivel hips, action feature button

Accessory Count: 4

Accessory Details: removable helmet, lightsaber hilt, lightsaber blade, removable cape

Date Stamp: 2004

Assortment Number: 84978/84851

UPC: 076930849781

Retail: $4.99 USD

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



Star Wars [Saga - Phase III] Wave 21
Han Solo (Hoth Rescue) [Brown] (’03 #13)

Luke Skywalker (Throne Room Duel) (’03 #17)
Darth Vader (Throne Room Duel) (’03 #18)
Snowtrooper (The Battle Of Hoth) (’03 #19)
Jango Fett (Kamino Escape) - (’03 #20) [See SW [S - P1] ’02 #13)]
C-3PO (Tatooine Ambush) - (’03 #21)

Added: February 9, 2014
Category: Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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Luke Skywalker - TAC - Basic (30 12)

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