We have gotten a plethora of Darth Vader [Anakin Skywalker] figures since 2005, but none have come as close to faithfully replicating the Episode III onscreen newly crowned Sith as The Vintage Collection's Darth Vader (VC13). We got pretty close with 2008's TAC Darth Vader (08 02) figure in the 30 (77-07) line. Hasbro essentially gave the 2005 Evolutions figure ball-jointed hips and called it a day not realizing that the figure's bigger issues were his angle-cut swivel elbows. It was definitely an upgrade, but it wasn't as good as we assume Hasbro thought it was since it was released and released and released again and again and again. We have actually lost count of how many times it has been released in the basic figure line. But after years of pleading trying to get Hasbro to give us one more and hopefully final update, they revisited that once-good figure and made a new version of Darth Vader that turned out better than excellent. The TVC figure has been revisited in many more ways that you probably realize and we will do our best to hit on all of the points, but even if your aren't as micro-managed in your appreciation of your action figures, there is no denying that the head sculpt will be something that will start up quite a conversation at the "collective" water cooler because it is quite a sight to behold. We are so taken with this new head sculpt that we are unable to distinguish if we're blown away by it or whether we don't get it. But the old and the new parts work together incredibly well and Hasbro has found an effective way to make something previously available exciting and new again for another time. (Editor's Note: This figure was originally released as "Anakin Skywalker" but quite a few collectors commented to Hasbro that Anakin Skywalker with Sith eyes is technically Darth Vader. Hasbro agreed and the revision was made.) We didn't have too much faith that the revision would occur because if you recall,Hasbro also said they were fixing Hrchek Kal Fas but that never happened.)
Darth Vader is a retool and repaint of 2008's TAC Darth Vader (08 02) figure. For this release, Hasbro has included ball-jointed elbows which significantly affect this figure's dynamics in extremely positive ways. All previous versions of Darth Vader in this outfit should now be rendered useless. We have always despised swivel elbows on our action figures and getting this version of Darth Vader that includes this update is so overdue it isn't even funny. The figure can accomplish so much more than ever before and not only does it satiate our overzealous articulation appetite, it just makes the figure have a better stature, He stands much more naturally now and has great posture. Of course it's a given that we are excited about this update, but we are actually a little more impressed by what Hasbro didn't have to do but did anyway. For example, the figure has been repainted beautifully. The changes are slightly more than subtle but they make the figure look incredibly better. The boots are colored in a more cordovan color, the brown undershirt is brighter, the brown pants are about 10 shades darker now and the leather tabard that lies over his Jedi clothing looks to be a little more shiny. What's more, Hasbro spent extra time (and money) to completely redo the look of his belt and has included a ton more extra gold and silver details to help accent the pouches and other metal details on it. It looks fabulous. Hasbro has made better use of their color palette and the browns flow together much more evenly and the previous reddish browns have been eliminated in favor of more authentic colors. (The look is more uniform and there aren't any harsh contrasts of colors any more.) It also appears that Anakin has spent a little bit of time in the sun as he has a slightly darker skin tone. We think this is a small step in the wrong direction, but it is really not noticeable unless you compare it to the older figures. And the paint job done on his eyes is nothing short of miraculous. We can't recall one other Star Wars figure with a more perfect paint job in the eyes. This is amazing folks! (Check out the photos in the gallery.)
Darth Vader has ball-jointed hips and he has a soft-goods skirt that allows you to pose his legs pretty much as needed. The soft-goods have some give which is a great thing to have and yet it remains tucked in close to this body without looking sloppy or unkempt. But you know all about this stuff already, right? You probably want to know a lot more about that head sculpt we made a big stink about, right? In short we love it. But we think we are taken aback by its drastic change from all previous Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) head sculpts we have received to date. Hasbro has taken a new approach to make the portrait as well. Darth Vader is essentially wearing the equivalent of a toupee. The head sculpt is two separate parts glued together and it gives his hair some extra height which at certain angles harkens a style somewhere back to the 1980s hair-band era. This isn't a knock. Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader did have some length (and height) to his hair in Episode III. But we really haven't seen this attention to the detail done so extremely on him ever. One thing that amazes us about it however is that Hasbro has included strands that fall away from the bulk of the hair and come down his forehead to his brow and it is so amazing we're at a loss for words on how awesome it is. We have never received an action figure with this much hair detail on a figure of this scale. This is typically the same attention of detail you would expect to see on a 12" figure for example. It is done so well. This Darth Vader figure goes to the head of the class just for the shear genius Hasbro employed on the head sculpt alone. And what more could any of us want? The figure has been updated to include ball-jointed arms, given a phenomenal head sculpt and has been repainted to exacting standards; much better than ever before. If you're not happy with all of these efforts, well, then probably not much else will impress you. But Darth Vader is proof that Hasbro should not give up until a figure's perfected, because Darth Vader is perfection. Wow! Be sure to get this figure! Just get used to calling him Darth Vader after being called Anakin Skywalker first. That is definitely awkward!
Darth Vader [Anakin Skywalker]
Status: Darth Vader [Anakin Skywalker] is a retool and repaint of 2008's TAC Darth Vader (08 02) figure. New for this release, Hasbro has included ball-jointed elbows.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, ball-jointed waist, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles, 2 swivel wrists, 2 ball-jointed hips
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: removable soft-goods Jedi robes, lightsaber, lightsaber hilt
Date Stamp: 2005
Assortment Number: 20820/97568
Retail: $7.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.