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The Black Series [Phase II]

Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) - TBS [P2] - Basic (#07)

Name: Darth Vader (Dagobah Test)
Collection: The Black Series [Phase II]
Number: #07
Scale: 3¾"
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: May 2015
License: Hasbro

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During his training on Dagobah, Luke duels an apparition of Darth Vader, but is shocked to see his own face inside the helmet, not Vader's.

The problem with getting early (and much too soon) advanced looks at soon-to-be-shipping action figures is that not all photography captures the truth of them. If we were to judge Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) by what we saw in the prototype stage from Hasbro’s press images and then the images seen with the loose samples on eBay, there would literally be no hope for the figure at all. While Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) is not perfect by any means, we are pleasantly surprised with the final figure as it is exceptionally better than ANY previously released image of it that we saw: professional or amateur. Let’s get all the truth out on the table. Darth Vader contains mostly old parts, but this desperately needed update of this version of the character will indeed push the fan favorite 2000 POTJ Darth Vader (Dagobah) off the shelf in place for this new update. Don’t get upset and think we’re disrespecting Hasbro’s wonderful effort from the Power Of The Jedi line. That is a glorious figure and we love it unconditionally. But it’s outdated. And now The Black Series line not only proves this with a suitable modern update, but it really ranks as an excellent modern update for your collection that will positively satisfy you as a collector. Please dismiss any preconceived notions you have about this figure because none of them are likely going to turn out to be true. This is definitely a better-than-decent figure and we’re happy with the final results. We bet you will be also.

Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) is mostly 2013’s TBS [P1] Darth Vader (#06) figure. Some collectors feel that this sculpt is outdated when Darth Vader sculpts exist with ball-jointed hips. Perhaps they have a point or two. But we feel that this sculpt is still very nice and en vogue to be used again. They took this base sculpt and then tooled a new head sculpt that actually breaks down into three separate parts: head, helmet dome and removable “broken” face mask piece. The likeness of Luke Skywalker underneath the face mask is excellent. We’re extremely pleased with how well it has turned out. What doesn’t work so perfectly is the attachment and reattachment of the “broken” piece that reveals the face of Luke Skywalker when it is removed. It doesn’t stay in place all that well. And whether this small piece is responsible for this overall aesthetic or not, the face mask looks a bit flatter than other Darth Vader portraits. It’s noticeable, but NOT terribly noticeable (if that makes any sense to you). We hate to say something like “it could be worse” because that assumes we have accepted any laziness with making this figure. It is just a happenstance in order to make this gimmick work we think. Besides, it isn’t the end of the world. Look at the pictures of Darth Vader in our photo gallery with the helmet completed. He actually looks pretty darn good. We also should note that Hasbro made the crack of the face plate look rather impressive. It really resembles the same damage we witnessed seeing in the film (albeit very shortly).

It’s hard to believe that 15 years exist between the last Hasbro attempt of this version of Darth Vader and this new figure in The Black Series line. Some of those years has to do with the newer figure's delay after delay. But there is no doubt that it has definitely been way too long. We’re not however going to say that the wait was well worth it because an all-new sculpt would have been the best thing here. Hasbro utilized all the necessary parts they already had to use for this figure and it turned out splendidly well. Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) is an admirable addition to The Black Series line. We didn’t have high hopes for it at all but we’re happy to say that our worrying was all for naught. With all of the terrible things that have been happening in The Black Series line (in both scales) it seems that we are always on the defensive anymore and had good reason to be wary of it. Who knows? Maybe we still need to be on edge. There seems to be many things to be worried about anymore when it comes to the Star Wars line. But we're willing to conceded it was ultimately wasted on this figure. Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) is obscure. It’s a novelty figure for sure. But it’s a version of Darth Vader (or actually Luke Skywalker) that hardcore collectors just adore, even despite the character’s short time on the screen and the fact that it was an apparition and not even a real character. Whatever your lot, we would highly encourage you to give this figure a second glance. We were quite pleased with this action figure and are happy to report that it is better than expected.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader (Dagobah Test)

Status: Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) is a retool of 2013's TBS [P1] Darth Vader (#06) figure. This time an all-new multi part portrait has been tooled to recreate the apparition Luke Skywalker witnessed at the cave on Dagobah.

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 glove (1), swivel right glove (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: 4

Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable helmet dome, removable battle-damage face mask section, removable soft-goods cape

Date Stamp: 2005

Assortment Number: A8058/A5077

UPC: 630509251773

Retail: $12.99 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 [Phase II] Wave 2 (Wave 7)
Darth Vader (Dagobah Test) (#07)
Stormtrooper (#08)

Captain Rex (#09)
Jon "Dutch" Vander (Gold Squadron Rebel Pilot) (#10)
Chewbacca (#11)
Clone Commander Wolffe (#12)
Clone Commander Doom (#13)
Imperial Navy Commander (#14)

Added: April 11, 2015
Category: Black Series [Phase II], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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