S.H. Figuarts is a new standard figure series that incorporates the Bandai action figure "Art" under the theme "Pursuing Character Expression through Humanoid Action."
When it comes to Star Wars collectibles, no character gets scrutinized from head to toe more than Darth Vader. You have to understand that this scrutiny is completely justified. The main villain turned hero resonates with collectors of all ages, race, creed, and sex. And his universal appeal is more than warranted. Because of his notoriety, it’s easy to point out when things don’t look exactly right. So we’re going to use the same stringent standards to apply to the S.H. Figuarts Darth Vader action figure. It’s a collectible of impressive quality, albeit not completely perfect. But the imperfections might be interpreted as nitpicking more than anything else. But that brings us back to our original assertion: we’re going to judge this figure a little harder than we would another character simply for the fact that this is Darth Vader. Let’s get Darth Vader’s biggest issue out in the open. He is too short and not in scale with the rest of the figures in the S.H. Figuarts line. This is certainly unfortunate and disappointing, but it doesn’t prevent us from enjoying the figure thoroughly, which is probably the most important thing you can take away from this review. Trust us, we know the benefits well of having figures in the same line in proper scale to one another, but Darth Vader has just too many things going for it to ignore because of a height issue.
Darth Vader looks dynamic. He looks fantastic. And aside from being too short, he may just be one of the greatest 6” Darth Vader figures of all time, although when compared against Hasbro’s this figure has very little competition. Other collectors have commented on the shape of the helmet. We honestly don’t know what they see that makes it look odd or incorrect. What we do struggle with a little bit is the helmet’s coloring. This is unequivocally a Darth Vader based on his appearances from The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. His helmet has been decorated with the alternating black and silver checkerboard pattern that is evident on the helmet from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The silver and black detail are faint, but it is noticeable and makes us question for a minute or two if this Darth Vader 6” figure is more of an amalgamation of all the costumes from the Original Trilogy films. There is a great deal going on with this figure if you analyze the pieces carefully. But appreciating the figure as a whole will absolutely make you forget about the details in the costume that don’t seem screen accurate as a whole. Both the sculpt and paint operations of Darth Vader are exquisite. Paint operations on Japanese collectibles, in general, are amazing, and Darth Vader is no exception either. We couldn’t be happier with the way this figure has been decorated.
Darth Vader has been given a host of awesome accessories. He comes with two interchangeable left hands and three interchangeable right hands. He also comes with a battle-damaged stump to recreate the loss of his hand as seen in Return Of The Jedi. He also comes with a lightsaber hilt as well as a fully lit lightsaber. His cape has been molded and is easily removable. Altogether Darth Vader has the perfect amount of accessories in this scale. We really wouldn’t ask for anything more, save for maybe an interchangeable portrait which features the Sebastian Shaw likeness of Anakin Skywalker. Darth Vader’s articulation system is astounding. Coming with more articulation than the average collector would ever expect, Darth Vader can attain a wealth of positions, even with the molded cape, that are as impressive as they are beautiful. Darth Vader feels a bit light for an action figure, but as you know from other figures we have reviewed in this line, the lightness of their weights are beneficial with posing. The figures are never top heavy or have center of gravity issues. This is sadly more common in cheaper lines like Hasbro’s The Black Series 6” lineup. We do concede that the shortness of Darth Vader is problematic, but how can anyone criticize how the figure looks or how it can move? Could you imagine if S.H. Figuarts can produce 3.75” figures next? Man, they would be able to do some pretty amazing action figures.
Status: Darth Vader is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 39 points (27 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-socket neck (1), ball-socket left shoulder socket (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), swivel left bicep (1), double hinge-jointed left elbow (2), swivel left forearm (1), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-socket right shoulder socket (1), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel right bicep (1), double hinge-jointed right elbow (2), swivel right forearm (1), ball-jointed right wrist (2), hinge-jointed upper torso (internal) (1), ball-socket upper torso (1), ball-socket lower torso (1), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), hinge-jointed left knee (1), hinge-jointed right knee (1), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2), hinge-jointed left "boot tip" (1), hinge-jointed right "boot tip" (1), hinge-jointed and ball-socket left shoulder armor (2), hinge-jointed and ball-socket right shoulder armor (2)
Accessory Count: 6
Accessory Details: 2 interchangeable left hands, 2 interchangeable right hands, interchangeable right stump, lightsaber
Date Stamp: N/A
Assortment Number: 2280891
Retail: $59.99 USD
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