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The Black Series [Phase III]

Darth Vader - TBS [P3] - 3.75 Inch Figures (Exclusive)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Black Series [Phase III]
Number: N/A (Walmart Exclusive)
Scale: 3¾"
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: September 2015
License: Hasbro

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Intending to turn Luke Skywalker to the dark side, Darth Vader sets a trap for the young Jedi using his Rebel allies as bait.

Forget about the forced death of 3.75” super-articulation as a mainline release. Forget that Hasbro feels that simply articulated action figures are good enough for most Star Wars collectors. Forget about the fact that Hasbro believes that 6” Star Wars action figures is where they should expend their tooling dollars instead of 3.75” action figures. These are just some of the incessant complaints that adult collectors have with Hasbro recently. We knew we’d arrive at this bittersweet place eventually, but we never expected things to go down like they did. It’s probably more productive to just be happy that Hasbro has decided to keep 3.75” super-articulated action figures, albeit via a store exclusive medium. But we would be remiss not to mention how eye-opening it is that the most popular range of action figures that began in 1978 and has grown into miniature super-articulated works of art has regressed back to its original ancestry. What really sticks in our craw however is that Hasbro is now adulterating The Black Series [Phase III] 3.75” action figures, the Walmart exclusives, by including figures that no longer have business getting released. The molds should be broken at this point.

Specifically, we’re talking about Darth Vader from wave 1. Its release is egregious on all levels. Firstly, a decade old action figure should never be placed in a collector-focused line. Hasbro has made plenty of The Vintage Collection quality Darth Vader action figures (from all the films) that should have been chosen as a re-release. Instead, Hasbro decided to take 2005’s ROTS Darth Vader (Special Edition 500th Figure) which for 2005 was a real treat but in 2015 is as painful to look at as it is to realize that it is now Hasbro’s “go to” figure for the Walmart exclusive The Black Series [Phase III] figure line. We pray it’s a mistake and that a running change is in the works. (We can only hope.) What makes things worse is that Hasbro pretty much kept the figure in its original state. For example, they didn’t glue on the helmet like they did for 2006’s TSC Darth Vader (SAGA 038) figure – a much needed update in our opinion) because his helmet dome falls off if you look at it funny. The worst part is that Hasbro didn’t choose a hand that allows Darth Vader to hold his lightsaber as they included both left and right open hands. It makes the figure useless for any lightsaber dueling.

We also do not like or appreciate the new paint operations given to Darth Vader. Granted, he is mostly cast in black plastic, but the back of his head is now a bright pink color. It looks tragically terrible and completely screen inaccurate. All of these misses have made this Darth Vader figure completely useless. And how horrifying is it that this inferior action figure has a new lovely MSRP approaching $13? Can there be any more insult to injury or salt in the wound? Despite all of our criticisms of this action figure, most of wave 1 has been selling through at retail and online. Hasbro has made it clear that they intentionally limited these figures and that more are coming soon. That completely perplexes us, so we will not try to explain it. But because this first wave seems to have sold through for the most part, we have high hopes that wave 2 will make its way out and will undoubtedly sell even more quickly than these figures did. More repacks are coming in The Black Series [Phase III] line, but Hasbro needs to listen to what collectors have been pining to see released for YEARS now. They really need to perk up their ears and carefully listening for what we’ve been clamoring for now. This is our only hope, and they have to make it a viable option for us.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Tragically, Darth Vader is a repaint of 2005's ROTS Darth Vader (Special Edition 500th Figure). This time the figure has an inferior paint job and is missing any hand attachments that would allow him to hold the included lightsaber.

Articulation Count: 14 points (12 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel neck (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left elbow (1), swivel right elbow (1), swivel left forearm (1), swivel right forearm (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2)

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: removable helmet dome, lightsaber, removable soft-goods cloak

Date Stamp: 2005

Assortment Number: B4057/B4054

UPC: 630509371709

Retail: $12.99 USD

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



Darth Vader

The Black Series [Phase III] Walmart Exclusives Wave 1

Chewbacca

Darth Vader

Luke Skywalker

Added: October 5, 2015
Category: Black Series [Phase III], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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