Anakin Skywalker was a heroic Jedi Knight who became seduced by the dark side of the Force. Now a servant of the Sith, Darth Vader turns his lightsaber against his former master in a duel for the ages!
So close but no cigar! Hasbro delivers a concept that is more than worth its weight in gold but then it all falls apart when that concept goes into production and becomes a reality. The Duel At Mustafar TARGET exclusive figures are exclusives that should have been much better than they turned out. A stunning and very realistic final paint application or wash was added to them to give the illusion of the lava on Mustafar reflecting against them. A truly brilliant concept, it has ultimately become lackluster thanks to the sculpts Hasbro chose to cast them in for this release. “Lave Reflection” as it was called was a huge marketing ploy in the Revenge Of The Sith line. The very first figure was an Episode V/Episode VI interpretation of Darth Vader (Hasbro used a terribly old sculpt to produce him sadly) and it was limited to 50,000 pieces and sold out almost instantly remarkably. Next up was the Darth Vader [Anakin Skywalker] and Obi-Wan Kenobi versions. It’s hard to pick which ones are better honestly. One is conceptual and the other two are based on a scene in Episode III. You’ll have to judge and jury here.
Darth Vader (Duel At Mustafar) is a significant repaint of 2005’s ROTS Anakin Skywalker (III 2) figure. Aside from sharing a nearly identical silhouette with each other, the figures look like night and day when compared to each other. The golden orange wash used to recreate the reflection of lava is quite amazing. But you’ll probably be tempted to joke that Darth Vader overdid it with the bronzer, especially where his skin shows. However, it truly looks remarkable and authentic, not contrived. We have always said that a great paint job can make an inferior action figure look that much better and this is case and point right here. Does Darth Vader (Duel At Mustafar) still suffer from inferior articulation and annoying action features? Is a final spray of golden metallic paint worth the almost 117% price increase TARGET is charging because it’s an exclusive? The answer to all of these questions is no. Hasbro should have utilized the Anakin Skywalker (Clone Wars General) figure from the 2005 ROTS Anakin Skywalker To Darth Vader Evolutions set. It would have made a lot more sense and catered to the core group of collectors interested in purchasing these exclusives. But what do we know?
Hasbro also took the Mustafar inspired “flamed” base that came with figures like Mustafar Sentry (III 56), Passel Argente (III 61) and Cat Miin (III 62) and repainted it also with the bronzy coppery hue and changed the flames to bright red. It fits as a perfect backdrop for Darth Vader (Duel At Mustafar) but it doesn’t interact perfectly with the figure. You’ll notice over time that gravity will pull the figure down and lean off of the base. Also, we have experienced more often than not that this particular action figure base doesn’t have an ideal center of gravity. Even with the figure affixed, it seems that its top heavy in a way. It certainly isn’t useless, but you may be put off by how it lacks in utility. The Darth Vader (Duel At Mustafar) TARGET exclusive won’t have the appeal of a clone trooper exclusive and years down the road you’ll likely find that it is still easy to attain for your collection at a reasonable price, but we would like to leave you with the thought that we would love for Hasbro to revisit this concept with a much better and upgraded version of Darth Vader. The effect works, now let’s see it applied to a figure that we want. Action features should definitely not be included in exclusive figures. This is collector territory and collectors want the best quality available.
Anakin Skywalker (Duel At Mustafar)
Status: Anakin Skywalker (Duel At Mustafar) is a repaint of 2005's ROTS Anakin Skywalker (III 2) figure.
Articulation Count: 9 points
Articulation Details: swivel neck, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, swivel right wrist (lightsaber is molded to right hand), swivel waist, 2 swivel hips (action feature is housed here)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: environmental display stand
Date Stamp: 2004
Assortment Number: 85922
Retail: $12.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.