Vader (Sith Lord)
Collection: Lords Of The Sith
Number: Item #2129
Edition Size: 1977 (Exclusive) 6500 (Regular)
Scale: 1:6 Scale Figures
Source: A New Hope
Availability: July 2009
License: Sideshow Collectibles
He is here. An astounding Darth Vader 12" figure has been offered by Sideshow Collectibles to add into your collections and you would be doing yourself a travesty by ignoring this offer. After Sideshow Collectibles' 12" line was first announced in 2005 with the Luke Skywalker (Jedi Knight) figure (and finally released in early 2006), fans have been clamoring for a Darth Vader figure to go along with him. The wait was long and grueling because although Darth Vader was eventually announced and pre-ordered in July of 2008, it took Sideshow exactly an additional year to get him into the homes of collectors. Although the first 12" scale Darth Vader effort wasn't based on his appearance from Episode VI, it didn't matter because we really just wanted to have a 12" scale Darth Vader period. Sideshow's constant goal is to deliver a premium product that even exceeds their own expectations and they have succeeded with Darth Vader. In fact, they have even been quoted as saying that this figure is one of the few that looks as good or better than the prototype (and it does). Darth Vader (Sith Lord) is simply the most incredible 12" figure released to the market. Despite any potential flaws with thickness of helmet or scale of body size (we don't see any issues but some collectors have pointed this out), the Darth Vader figure will undoubtedly be the end all 12" Darth Vader figure based on his appearance from A New Hope. We don't see how Sideshow can improve it. Beautifully sculpted and constructed, Darth Vader is everything you would expect a 12" version of him to be. True to scale, he towers over the 12" Stormtrooper and the attention to detail is beyond amazing. And we are nearly unable to organize our thoughts on where to begin raving about him because he shines from head to toe. This will absolutely be a difficult task even for this reviewer! For starters, we should probably direct your attention to his cape. It drapes beautifully right out of the box wrinkle free. The cape is double layered with a silky inner layer and a faux wool crepe outer layer. These two differently textured fabrics have been sewn together and give the cape a weight that allows it to fall beautifully down to the bottom of the figure. We count ourselves lucky for such a generous addition to an already remarkable figure. Sideshow could have very easily given us a one layer cape, but they didn't and the quality of the dual layer is just remarkable. But don't think for a minute that the goodness stops there. It doesn't by any means.
Darth Vader's helmet is another sculpting wonder. Astonishingly accurate and faithful to his appearance in Episode IV, the helmet is designed in a way that might cause controversy with some and elate most others. Not a single detail has been sacrificed and Sideshow must have involved their greatest sculptors and painters to make sure every came out as great as it did. We are simply speechless with how well it came out ourselves and we know the artisans at Sideshow must be proud of this work of art as well. Darth Vader's faceplate has been cast in two tones, dark silver and black. This multi-complexion is actually completely faithful to the costume in the film. We are very surprised that Sideshow captured this detail and brought it to the forefront of the helmet's paint job. Although it initially made us go "huh?" we were quickly corrected by the research we did on the web. It is indeed accurate and looks unbelievable on the Darth Vader figure. For nearly 30 years, we had basically missed this silver/black helmet detail, but as far as the A New Hope costume is concerned, this paint operation is there and alternates on the different sections almost in a checkerboard type of fashion. (See photos above or below for more details on this.) Darth Vader's body is unique and it is very solid and heavy. Sideshow needed to create a new body for Darth Vader since he is significantly taller than most other characters. But not only is the body taller, it is larger and thicker in spots and looks completely in scale to the other 12" figures in the line. The body is covered by an awesomely created jumpsuit with actual stitching to give it its signature ribbing. It is flawlessly stitched to give it that unique texture and leather like look and feel. His boots are cleverly crafted to include very shiny shin guards and still give great articulation and authenticity. His joints are tight and his figure stand is also distinct in that it allows for the extra height of the figure. The hand attachments are all-new and because they are crafted of a more rubbery material, they take a bit of patience to secure on the figure. This is not a disappointment, but at least the flexibility in the rubber will eliminate any breakage were it made of a stiffer plastic. This figure makes us happy in every way.
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