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Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D]

Darth Vader - SW [TPM 3D] - Movie Heroes (MH06)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D]
Number: MH06
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: January 2012
License: Hasbro

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Darth Vader is the evil and much-feared military leader of the Galactic Empire. He seeks to bring young Luke Skywalker over to the dark side. As the two battle on a precarious outer walkway on Bespin, Vader reveals a shocking secret that shatters Luke's world.

He’d set you back only five bucks in 2002. Now he costs double the price. It’s amazing what 10 years will do to the Star Wars toy line, although not all is negative as evidenced by The Vintage Collection. Apparently, poor action figure choices and inflation will have a negative impact on the end consumer. When the Saga Legends line was retired in 2011, Hasbro needed to figure out how to develop a new format of “greatest hits” action figures that would get out core characters without having any influence on the new basic figure line. So they invented the Movie Heroes line to take care of this. But once JTA saw the first case assortment, we immediately dubbed it as Movie Zeroes instead. While the character selections made sense from a young collector’s perspective (as well as retail’s), the actual action figures chosen for the line were very inferior. Hasbro literally chose some of the earliest versions of these characters for the line. This meant that articulation was reduced, sculpts were obsolete and some were riddled with action features that we thought we’d never see again. Such is true for Darth Vader – an action figure that hadn’t seen release for over a decade – was added to this lineup. Originally part of Hasbro’s 2002 Star Wars “Saga” [Phase I] line up back in 2002, the Darth Vader (Bespin Duel) (’02 #30) figure gets a new paint job, less accessories and perhaps some “fine tweaking” to seemingly make it more relevant for the Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D] Movie Heroes basic action figure lineup.

But before we describe the changes, let’s talk about the actual figure first. The biggest issue is that this version of Darth Vader is just all wrong. The bio and the pose is all based from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, but the sculpt is unequivocally based on his appearance from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope as evidenced by his robes going over his shoulder armor. So, at best, this is really an Expanded Universe version of Darth Vader (within reason). The reasons behind this major oversight are unknown, but it’s unlikely that it will hurt the sales of this figure because Darth Vader in any format performs very, very well. What’s disappointing here however is that we don’t get the wonderful accessories that came with the 2002 release (and yet we still have to pay double the price for it). Hasbro just included his removable cape and a different lightsaber. This time we don’t get a metal hilt with a removable blade. The lightsaber is all one piece and 100% plastic. And that’s it. It feels like this figure is missing quite a bit as a result because he looks silly without the companion pieces. As mentioned, Darth Vader is posed in a manner that is clearly based on The Empire Strikes Back, but his pose is awkward and he doesn’t look normal except in this “reaching out” gesture. His action feature is as annoying in 2012 as it was in 2002. The button that enacts the action is obtrusive and out of place as well. Clearly, this version was the one wrong to choose for this line on pretty much every account.

Also, with low grade articulation Darth Vader will unlikely meet collectors’ needs either. Hasbro is carving out a whole population of buyers because collectors aren’t going to invest in these cheap figures AGAIN. It’s a risky release from that perspective. Darth Vader comes with a minimal nine points of simple swivel articulation. All of the articulation is simple swivel articulation. However, there are obstacles that don’t even allow that to function flawlessly. For example, his molded removable cape creates an annoying block that inhibits upper body articulation. On top of that, his lower robes prevent you from getting any useful movement out of his legs, not that he has a great deal of articulation there either. On the plus side the figure has been repainted however and looks better than before. So, there is some redemption thanks to the elevated paint operations. With all Movie Heroes figures you get a stand, a die and a Galactic Battle Game card that we originally saw in the Star Wars [Shadow Of The Dark Side] Saga Legends and The Clone Wars [Shadow Of The Dark Side] basic figure lines. This time however they revised the card art quite a bit to make a fresh appearance in the line. The cards look cool and they’re two-sided now. The front describes the character, and the reverse side (back) has all of the point allocations for the character’s skill sets. The stand has been changed to bronze/gold and the die is now black with gold print. But we’ll confidently state that these extras don’t make up for the 100% price increase. Hasbro should at least consider better sculpts for this line. Because this Darth Vader isn’t working for us.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is a repaint of 2002's SW [S - P1] Darth Vader (Bespin Duel) ('02 #30) figure. For this release, it appears as if the legs may have been slightly repositioned to allow for a better center of gravity.

Articulation Count: 9 points (9 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left glove (1), swivel right glove (1), swivel waist (action feature) (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), action feature button (1)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: removable cape, lightsaber

Date Stamp: 2001

Assortment Number: 37754/36563

UPC: 653569686804

Retail: $9.99 USD

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

Darth Vader


Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D] Movie Heroes Wave 1

Shock Trooper (MH01)

Super Battle Droid (MH02)

R2-D2 (MH03)

Battle Droid [TPM] (MH04)

Darth Maul (MH05)

Darth Vader (MH06)

General Grievous (MH07)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (MH08)

Yoda (MH09)

Qui-Gon Jinn (MH10)

Clone Trooper (MH11)

Destroyer Droid (MH12)

Added: January 14, 2017
Category: Star Wars [The Phantom Menace 3D]
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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