Well we finally have our Darth Sidious (Senate Duel) action figure. After five tortuously long years, we get the most exciting version of the evil Sith Master as he appeared in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. As collectors, we want all of our action figures at once and have no idea what the word "patience" means, so to say that the wait wasn't grueling would be a lie. But time has allowed for a stunning figure to be created and we're extremely thankful with how well Darth Sidious turned out. The wait has certainly paid off in so many ways and Hasbro has captured the spirit, anger, evilness and overall authenticity of this Sith that instilled fear in the Galactic Republic and turned it into his Galactic Empire. Hasbro opted to go with a very evil interpretation of the character and given Darth Sidious a very expressive portrait. We love it but maybe would have preferred a head sculpt without his mouth wide open (or an alternate sculpt). But don't let our wish for this extra piece dampen your excitement for this figure because we absolutely love it. It is the absolute definitive version of this character (in this outfit) we will ever need and it also symbolizes what The Vintage Collection is about because of its quality sculpt and paint job, excellent package art and a delicate balance of soft-goods and plastic molded parts. This is a figure you will not even think twice about purchasing for your collection. We do think certain things like the packaging is lacking, but we're critics so we have to find criticisms. We think Hasbro missed the boat by not giving this figure a subtitle because after all, that is a big part of the original vintage line. They used this convention to differentiate the tons of Luke Skywalker or Han Solo figures from each other. Yes, we are nitpicking here. We would just like for Hasbro to remain as vigilant as possible to reproduce every aspect of that cherished line from long ago and anything that they can do to replicate it will of course be appreciated by the hardcore fans. (After all, they did it for Han Solo (Echo Base Outfit), so why not here?)
For a figure that we should be raving about (which we really are), we are sure doing a lot of complaining, right? Well, if we're talking just about the figure, then there is really nothing disparaging we can utter. Darth Sidious is remarkable. Darth Sidious is inspiring. And Darth Sidious is just plain awesome. The head sculpt is incredible and Hasbro has included a mix of colors to faithfully replicate his damaged skin as well as ingrain a whole new level of evil in his affect. His expression encapsulates evil and frightens you. It is one of the scariest visages the Star Wars line has seen in years. This is quite an effective sculpt to inspire these emotions. Inside of his mouth are tediously sculpted teeth and his eyes have been painted in yellow with an orange wash around them to help solidify his evil nature. A plastic molded hood is atop his head and is easily removable. So you have the option to pose Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious with or without his head covering. We are absolutely shocked by the comments we are hearing around the web about his faux fur shawl/stole/tippet (or whatever else it may be called). We think it looks and feels fantastic and is one of the best soft-goods we have seen ever in the Star Wars basic figure line. (We love Owen Lars' robe way too much also.) Darth Sidious then has a long soft-goods skirt that goes down to his boots and is cut very nicely and has a static but clean drape. You'll need to spend a few minutes looking up his skirt (we didn't mean for that to sound so provocative) to appreciate all of the details the sculptors gave to his legs, boots and midsection. Darth Sidious is certainly one fine piece of action figure art. With so many different media elements included with this figure, we are are completely impressed how well they work in harmony with each other. The colors blend and the various textures work.
Darth Sidious comes equipped with a redone (either slightly re-sculpted or repainted) version of his sleek lightsaber hilt and blade. He also comes with a Force-lightning effect that unfortunately doesn't attach to his wrists easily, but if you can manage to get it to stick it looks pretty great. And if you dig out your 2006 The Saga Collection Skirmish In The Senate Battle Packs set, you can recreate a cool diorama with a now-accurate display of Sidious and Yoda dueling. It looks amazing. (See our gallery for a tease of how this looks.) Darth Sidious is of course super-articulated so he has great flexibility and you can configure him in a multitude of poses. He is an ultimate action figure and has all of the requirements you would ever want for a quality action figure. We still think that an alternate head sculpt would have perfected this figure, but it doesn't sway our opinion that it is one of Hasbro's finest efforts. We still need quite a few more versions of Palpatine from Revenge Of The Sith that need to upgraded to super-articulated status, so we hope that Hasbro can find a way to get them into the basic figure line. If Hasbro is smart, they will find a way to five us an updated Skirmish In The Senate Battle Packs that includes this Darth Sidious figure with an alternate head sculpt and and updated Yoda figure (or some other method) so that they can get the most out of their tooling costs for this figure. Probably the best action figure in wave 2 of The Vintage Collection, it's really hard to believe it took so long to get this figure out of Hasbro's parking lot and into our collections. But if you think about it, this is absolutely the right time. Standards are so high for figures, and we probably wouldn't have gotten such a great and super-articulated figure had it arrived a few years earlier. This is one figure not to miss this year. Darth Sidious is incredibly spectacular and a must-have for your collection!
Status: Darth Sidious is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, swivel waist, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles, 2 swivel hips, 2 swivel wrists
Accessory Count: 4
Accessory Details: lightsaber, Force lightning, removable hood, removable soft-goods cowl
Date Stamp: 2010
Assortment Number: 20819/97568
Retail: $7.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.