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The Black Series [Phase III]

Darth Vader - TBS [P3] - Titanium Series (01)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Black Series [Phase III]
Number: 01
Scale: Titanium Series
Source: A New Hope
Availability: May 2017
License: Hasbro

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Once a heroic Jedi Knight, Darth Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force, became a Sith Lord, and led the Empire's eradication of the Jedi Order.

It’s sad when the anger created from years of neglect completely blinds you from appreciating something that actually isn’t half bad. Don’t misunderstand, please. The Titanium Series 3.75” line to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars was a major slap in the face to collectors. This line was officially confirmed by Hasbro at 2017’s New York International Toy Fair, but if you recall, these figures were revealed by JTA in a series of teaser and rumor reports months before that. While not ideal, it may not be fair to totally dismiss the line as an utter and complete waste of time for Star Wars collectors. Now, there are plenty of things that not too many people will be able to overlook, like the lack of articulation and the medium from which they’re produced (metal), but when it comes to Darth Vader (01), we think there might be a few things here that will interest Star Wars collectors of all types, perhaps a small subset of fans at worst. The Titanium Series 3.75” action figure concept is not new. Hasbro tried this once before (also during an anniversary year during the 30 (77-07) line) with majorly failing results. The figures didn’t sell and the new pieces never seemed to arrive at retail. Sound familiar? The line was unceremoniously and abruptly canceled and about a half dozen of tooled and planned figures from the line never got past the prototype stages (which made their way to aftermarket sites eventually).

Why Hasbro decided now was a good time to bring back this format is beyond us, but at least they revitalized the presentation. And hopefully with a “The Black Series” logo slapped on it, maybe fans of this line's look may give it some of their attention before completely dismissing it too. Darth Vader may be the best figure from the entire first wave. It’s easier for Hasbro to not screw up Star Wars characters who do not have human likenesses. With Darth Vader, they really just have to get the head sculpt right and most collectors will be happy for the most part. The Titanium Series Darth Vader has a decent pose, a fairly attributed scale, and a decent paint job. So, all the key points have been met. The head sculpt is plastic, so we wonder why Hasbro just didn’t go all out and finish the figure in plastic so 3.75” collectors could have an all-new version of his A New Hope appearance. The head is attached via a reversed ball-socket joint and you get a full range of movement which should make any collector happy. Below the head sculpt however the figure is completely metal. Hasbro worked in ball-jointed shoulders, but that’s it when it comes to premium articulation. Darth Vader also comes with swivel gloves and a swivel waist—and that’s it. Darth Vader comes with a lightsaber accessory which fits beautifully into his right hand. He also comes with another lightsaber accessory with a “Star Wars: Unleashed” swinging affect which flatters the display. It’s not as bad as you might think it is.

Darth Vader’s paint operations are interesting. In our opinion there is too much silvery accenting visible. And if you look at the operations carefully, you’ll discover they’ve been added via that “dot matrix” method. It definitely looks odd. We’re not sure if this detail was needed. The selling point here though is probably the display stand which breaks down into base and backdrop. The backdrop is reversible and Hasbro has included a matte painting of a Death Star corridor and then a decorative silver and black artistic interpretation of Darth Vader with a squadron of stormtroopers underneath of his profile. Admittedly it all looks very nice. The backdrop is cardboard, but it isn’t really removable so it’s fine by us. The set comes with four removable foot pegs and they’re meant to be inserted into has multiple holes throughout the base, so you can pick and choose where you decide to situate them. That being said, the pegs are too soft and we had a devil of a time attempting to insert a peg into Darth Vader’s foot. In fact, the pegs started to collapse and bend when we tried to force them into the bottom of Darth Vader’s foot in addition to the base. We’re not sure if Hasbro thought this feature all the way through before implementing it. The MSRP is also very rough for these figures. $14.99 is a lot of money for what these pieces offer. Had Hasbro just made these plastic and added a bit more articulation, these could have been the coolest things ever.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 8 points (6 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: reverse ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left glove (1), swivel right glove (1), swivel waist (1)

Accessory Count: 9

Accessory Details: removable cape, lightsaber, lightsaber with effect, display stand (base and reversible backdrop), 4 foot pegs

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: C1859/C1857

UPC: 630509536528

Retail: $14.99 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 III] Titanium Series Wave 1

Darth Vader (01)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (02)

Luke Skywalker (03)

Princess Leia Organa (04)

Han Solo (05)

Added: May 12, 2017
Category: Black Series [Phase III], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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