In the time of the Old Republic, this Sith Lord is a powerful warrior in the Sith Empire during the Great Galactic War.
Hasbro is so desperately trying to play catch-up with the basic figure line that we bet had they planned the figures for release in The Black Series [Phase II] line look today that the lineup would have ended up being quite different than how it ended up today. Loosely scheduled since 2014’s NY International Toy Fair, plans got severely jumbled and the current line is in a state of disarray, almost to the point that Hasbro doesn't know how to react anymore. Many are still unbelievably feeling the effects from “the debacle of 2012”. The forecasted case assortment were some of Hasbro’s most overconfident arrangements to date. And rumors still abound that retail was pitched that The Phantom Menace 3D was an all-new Star Wars film and the key reason retail over-ordered what they did. (There are many platforms of debate surrounding this FYI.) Anyway, The Vintage Collection’s Darth Malgus (VC96) quickly incited panic within the collecting community. When all was said in done he ended up not being as rare as initially surmised. But when he was first released and before we knew of his addition in future case assortments, he was only one of five new figures in a case assortment made up of.... gasp!.... seven (7) TVC The Phantom Menace carry forward figures.... and not even all the good ones. He instantly started commanding ridiculous prices on the aftermarket and collectors once again felt frustration in a hobby that should have brought pleasure instead.
Then came Five Below. Because retail came to a screeching halt with the worst overage of Episode I product that we had ever seen (including the original film release), stores like Five Below took the rotting case assortments off of Hasbro’s hands and sold them for $5 a pop. Countless store reports came in with everyone eagerly picking up unpunched Darth Malgus (VC96) and Imperial Navy Commander (VC94) figures one after the other. Amazingly, with all the glut of product collecting dust on retail shelves, there was still a ton more fossilizing in the warehouse. Needless to say, we’re not so sure sure with the turn of these events if Darth Malgus was such a wise release for The Black Series line. And now after seeing the final figure, we can tell you that unless you don’t care about paint operations, you probably won’t really want to pick up The Black Series “re-release” of this figure either. How figures like 2011’s TVC Ponda Baba (Walrus Man) (VC70) and 2012’s TVC Emperor’s Royal Guard (VC105) keep getting passed over in favor for other The Vintage Collection carry forwards like 2010’s TVC Dack Ralter (VC07) figure and now Darth Malgus (VC96) is beyond our comprehension. And with the conscious directive to avoid the current Expanded Universe with a ten foot pole, it doesn’t make sense why we keep seeing these figures again (this far out past that directive). But how does the new Darth Malgus action figure fare?
Well, Darth Malgus follows a lot of the same approach as his wave mate Starkiller (Galen Marek) (#05). From the neck down the figure is essentially identical, but the portrait is a train wreck. And the disaster is all thanks to cheap and shoddy paint operations. Are you really surprised at this point? Without a doubt, The Vintage Collection Darth Malgus (VC96) is the superior figure by far. That version of Darth Malgus looks mean and menacing. The Black Series version just looks confused which is never a good thing for a Sith Lord. The dark circles around his eyes are much too dark and too high, his skin is much too yellow and his red eyes are haphazardly applied. Is he even looking straight ahead? It’s disheartening at best. We also see a few differences in the color "red" that was utilized to decorate him, but this is a small difference when compared to the more glaring problems afflicting this new version. All of the accessories have been carried forward so there are no complaints there, but his lightsaber looks to be more pink (ugh). And his articulation seems equally as functioning as the original release as well. Sadly, it is the head sculpt that has received the least amount of attention and he stands out like a sore thumb. Hasbro must lock down the deco on all of their figures. Whether they’re using a new factory or not, it’s been much too long to not get things back on track. And it’s a punch to the gut when these sacrifices are made on collector grade action figures.
Status: Darth Malgus is a repaint of 2012's TVC Darth Malgus (VC96) figure. The figure has received an inferior paint job for this release.
Articulation Count: 22 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: removable chest armor, lightsaber, lightsaber hilt, cape, cloak
Date Stamp: 2011
Assortment Number: A9107/A5077
Retail: $10.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.