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The Black Series [Phase I]

Anakin Skywalker - TBS [P1] - Six Inch Figures (#12)

Name: Anakin Skywalker
Collection: The Black Series
Number: #12
Scale: 6"
Source: Revenge Of The Sith
Availability: August 2014
License: Hasbro

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After turning to the dark side of the Force, Anakin – now Darth Vader – battles his friend Obi-Wan Kenobi in a lightsaber duel on the lava planet Mustafar.

"I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side as you do."

The sad thing about Hasbro starting up a new format and scale of action figures is that the community has been browbeaten by characters that we hoped we would never see again in any format; simply because Hasbro has released them too many times previously. We’re specifically talking about the cursed Prequel Trilogy Anakin Skywalker. A character that has overstayed his welcome in the toy line for the last decade, a century probably wouldn’t be soon enough before most of us would want to see a new Anakin Skywalker action figure in the line. To Hasbro’s credit, Anakin Skywalker is a mainstay and they sure know how to make incredible versions of him. Whether we (those who actually grew up with the original Star Wars) like it or not, Anakin Skywalker does indeed sell. So it makes complete sense to make him a priority in the line, even when the scale changes. The Black Series 6” Anakin Skywalker makes up part of the final wave in The Black Series [Phase I] line look with orange highlights before everything transitions into The Black Series [Phase II] line look with blue highlights. Temporarily canceled, Chewbacca was intended to be part of this wave but has been held back until the line look completely transitions. For number-centric collectors, you will once again be driven batty because we have another gaping hole in the figure sequence. (Couldn’t Hasbro have renumbered the Clone Trooper #13 or something?) Anyway, we’re way off course already so let’s steer this review back on topic.

Anakin Skywalker is actually a whirlwind of confusion and and the same time a pleasant surprise. How is that for bittersweet? Some of the materials used to produce him are a little too supple for our liking. He feels like a soid dog's chew toy for lack of a better description. At the same rate, the rubbery texture of the plastic use will certainly prevent breakage and allow both kids and collectors to be a little more rough with these pieces without the worry that they’re going to fall apart. BUt we bet as you hold it in your own hands you will be perplexed by his "bounciness". The likeness of Anakin Skywalker is pretty good. Interestingly, the “Darth Vader” portrait is a little bit better in our opinion. It's the deco on the costume that leaves something to be desired. Why is his cybernetic arm painted in brown?! Still not 100% on the money with paint operations, “Darth Vader” also doesn’t seem to have the right colors for Sith eyes, and his expression, while admirable, could have been tweaked a little more to perfection. The soft-goods skirt on the prototype freaked out the collecting community (it was glistening white instead of brown on pre-production samples) but thankfully that glaring issue was remedied before it went into mass production. The overall paint job is well done and Anakin Skywalker looks screen accurate for the most part. He is also a little bit taller than the previously released Obi-Wan Kenobi 6” figure which should make fans of the line very happy. Loaded with 16 areas of articulation, the range of movement is only bettered because most of it is premium ball-jointed articulation. And we would be remiss to not acknowledge once again how impressive “rocker’ ankles are in this scale. With little effort, you can obtain pretty much any desired pose of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. And that is a beautiful thing.

We have noticed that Hasbro is starting to use ball-socket hips instead of ball-jointed hips and the range of movement is sadly less now. As far as accessories are concerned, Anakin Skywalker comes with a light saber hilt, a lightsaber blade (obviously removable) and the interchangeable “Darth Vader” portrait. In order to be open and completely up front with you, we find it a travesty that these are the only accessories included with this figure. To not give Anakin Skywalker a soft-goods robe is something that is completely unacceptable in our eyes. The Black Series 6” scale should be about premium super-articulated action figures with an inordinate amount of practical accessories. We’re not asking for an assortment of dozens of interchangeable hands or anything else unrealistic. But we do expect the bare necessities to be included here. And we would like to see a little bit more brainstorming in the fine details. Maybe the inclusion of a functioning storage case on the belt would be a good idea. Or maybe the inclusion of a cybernetic [uncovered] arm would have made this the first and ultimate release of Anakin Skywalker in this scale. Cost cannot become an issue again. Collectors can’t listen to that excuse any more. We’re now paying $20-$22 per figure now so the budget should be healthy and therefore be able to include extras without worrying about the bottom line dissolving. So while we are admirably impressed with Anakin Skywalker, we still don’t want to see the line get cheaper and cheaper on us. We still hold Hasbro to a high level of quality, and part of that quality is producing a toy that feels like it has substance.

Collector Notes

Anakin Skywalker

Status: Anakin Skywalker is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 28 points (16 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-jointed head (2), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), double hinge-jointed left knee (2), double hinge-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: lightsaber hilt, lightsaber blade, interchangeable portrait ("Darth Vader" Sith eyes version)

Date Stamp: 2013

Assortment Number: A4633/A4301

UPC: 653569897828

Retail: $19.99 USD

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


The Black Series (6") Wave 4
Anakin Skywalker (#12)
Clone Trooper (#14)

Added: August 30, 2014
Category: Black Series [Phase I], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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