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The Vintage Collection

Darth Vader - TVC - Basic (VC115)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC115
Source: Return Of The Jedi
Availability: August 2012
License: Hasbro

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One figure announced at 2012’s NY Toy Fair that filled us with delight and excitement was the new The Vintage Collection Darth Vader figure based on the scene in Return Of The Jedi where Emperor Palpatine uses Force lightning to attack Luke Skywalker. Darth Vader suddenly decides to protect his son, jumps in, and allows him to escape certain death. The scene was intense, and the lightning radiation gave us a flash or two of Darth Vader’s skeletal structure underneath. It was a foreshadowing of his full reveal as Anakin Skywalker. And for many Star Wars fans, that scene is very emotional, poignant, and memorable to them. Hasbro introduced a version of Darth Vader from this scene, called it Darth Vader (Emperor’s Wrath), and released it in 2000 in the Power Of The Jedi collection. It was a decent action figure for the time; it had limited articulation but was a nice sculpt. They then upgraded that figure by retooling and repainting it and released it as 2006’s TSC Darth Vader (SAGA 045) figure. Hasbro also cast some new parts for it. They also updated the right forearm and included a removable glove to show the mechanics underneath; inaccurate but still cool. But even though it was more than a half-decade from the original version in 2001, it still lacked articulation. So Star Wars collectors waited for something impressive from Hasbro, and that time arrived with The Vintage Collection. The last figure in (the first run of) The Vintage Collection is Darth Vader, although not the final figure released, numbered as VC115, the last numbered figure in this essential collection of Star Wars figures. Darth Vader (VC115) is undoubtedly a novelty figure. It’s like 2007’s TAC Lando Calrissian In Smuggler Outfit (30 39). These characters appear for literal moments in these configurations, but that doesn’t make them any less desirable for Star Wars collectors.

Thankfully, the 2012 update to this version of Darth Vader is a winner. Your mileage may vary on this. We're happy to see this version of Darth Vader revisited and in a premium line. Hasbro designed a new portrait, which might be best described as an aggressive recast, for Darth Vader, and a complete skull and neck stem is visible through the translucent helmet. It’s eerie and alarming and has certainly exceeded our expectations. You can also see Darth Vader’s “eyes” through the helmet. It’s impressive. They sculpted a new right glove, and it is entirely removable to recreate the loss Darth Vader sustained while dueling against Luke Skywalker. Based on 2010’s TVC Darth Vader (VC08) figure, Hasbro brought all of that figure's best parts forward for this release. It comes with 22 points of articulation, which allows you to pose it in a limitless array of options. Darth Vader comes with the character's signature lightsaber, so dueling against 2010’s TVC Luke Skywalker (Endor Capture) (VC23) will probably be high on your list. To help give a little more variety (and specialization) to the figure, Hasbro also included two separately sculpted Force lightning effects: a larger one that fits nicely around the upper body and helmet of the figure and a second smaller piece that wraps around the left arm. Believe it or not, it looks authentic, and we’re thrilled that Hasbro decided to include these accessories instead of painting them on like they did with the 2000 version. It also helps to reinforce that this particular version of Darth Vader is from a specific scene in Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi. But the best part about this figure is its card! Since The Vintage Collection came to be, collectors have wanted to see running changes on the cards to mimic the changes made during the vintage Kenner era.

Hasbro had ample opportunity to do this a few times but never seemed to "cash in" on it, and that's another one of their biggest mistakes in handling TVC. Providing collectors with alternate cards would have been a cash cow for them. When Hasbro announced 2010’s TVC Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) (VC04), collectors immediately began asking why Hasbro didn’t use the alternate card of the figure (the shot from Bespin with the blue background and close-up of Luke’s face with the blaster pistol at the ready). And then, when Hasbro announced the Revenge Of The Jedi promotion in 2011, we all wondered why they didn’t use the Return Of The Jedi-specific image of Darth Vader released in 1983. Well, the great news is they finally have used it here instead. Darth Vader (VC115), the “final” figure in The Vintage Collection, indeed comes with that fan-favorite photo gracing the figure’s card back (the one of Darth Vader pointing at the camera). And quite honestly, it’s the perfect way to close out The Vintage Collection. Darth Vader is commanding your attention, reminding you that TVC will be back and to not forget about it. (Or whatever else you want to fantasize about.) We're happy Hasbro finally updated this version of Darth Vader. All collectors didn't demand this figure, but we appreciate the upgrade. Darth Vader is a niche action figure. It won’t have worldwide collector appeal; most likely, only those who collect one of everything will have the most substantial interest in this figure. But we’re very fond of it. And we’re glad it “finalizes” The Vintage Collection even though it’s not part of the final wave of figures! Again, what a way to close out the line. This figure is the perfect finale for a phenomenal collection of Star Wars action figures, and we don’t think Hasbro will be able to top an exit like this again!

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is a retool and repaint of 2010's TVC Darth Vader (VC08) figure. This time an all-new multi-pieced portrait has been cast in translucent plastic with an opaque human skull underneath and a new right forearm. There is a removable glove that reveals a battle-damaged stub. The figure also comes with new Force lightning accessories.

Articulation Count: 22 points (14 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left forearm (1), swivel right forearm (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: lightsaber, removable right glove, removable soft-goods cape, body Force lightning, arm Force lightning

Date Stamp: 2005

Packaging Details:

Version 1: Return Of The Jedi

Name: Darth Vader

Year: 2012

Assortment Number: 39664/37499

UPC: 653569732761

Retail: $9.99 USD

Details: Initial release

Version 2: Star Wars

Name: Darth Vader

Year: 2012

Assortment Number: 39664

UPC: 653569768968

Retail: $9.99 USD

Details: "Lost" packaging line look

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Darth Vader

The Vintage Collection Wave 15

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Darth Vader (VC115)

Added: August 3, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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