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The Black Series [Phase III]

Darth Vader - TBS [P3] - Six Inch Figures (43)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Black Series [Phase III]
Number: 43
Scale: 6"
Source: A New Hope
Availability: September 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. He remained in service of the Emperor for decades, enforcing his Master's will and seeking to crush the fledgling Rebel Alliance.

When Darth Vader was exclusively released in The Black Series [Star Wars 40] Legacy Pack (Special Edition Darth Vader) set, collectors of the line felt like Hasbro was just trying to get more money out of them. That is probably true, but they were likely just trying to pay off the exorbitant tooling costs. Darth Vader was an all-new beautiful sculpt that required many individual parts and attention to detail. The insight that went into him is not something collecting should take lightly. The brilliantly sculpted Darth Vader figure was an immediately hit by all collectors and it instantly made 2014’s TBS [P2] Darth Vader (#02) figure obsolete. Hugely obsolete. The all-new tooling and smart use of soft-goods was a dream come true. And because there was no wonky removable helmet, Hasbro managed to get the proportions correct right out of the gate. Darth Vader will probably remain one of the highlights of the entire The Black Series 6” run, and we have been bold at thanking and congratulating Hasbro on a job well done. When The Black Series [Star Wars 40] line was released, concern for the new figures in that line becoming available in the standard The Black Series [Phase III] packaging became a priority for collectors. Hasbro quickly assured collectors that all new figures in 40th Anniversary line (as well as a few others) would be repackaged into the red and black boxed packaging to make wider availability possible, as well as allow collectors to keep the vintage Kenner inspired packaged figures sealed. As promised, Hasbro got out Darth Vader (43) and Stormtrooper (48) out in the first wave of 6” for Force Friday II (although the wave is 12 overall). As you’d expect, Darth Vader looks fantastic in the 6" scaled figure line once again. We’re so happy to see him available again so soon and in greater numbers, even if you can still find the Legacy Pack (Special Edition Darth Vader) sets at retail at the same time.

As you know, Darth Vader is a tremendous upgrade from 2014’s TBS [P2] Darth Vader (#02) figure. Although the latter was based on his appearance from Return Of The Jedi, the removable helmet gimmick ended up working against the aesthetics of the figure. Ultimately it failed because Darth Vader should look a whole lot more like the evil Sith Lord he was in the films instead of Droopy Dog from the cartoons. Hasbro reevaluated their approach to this classic Star Wars icon and for the most part started from the ground up to deliver a product that not only satisfies but impresses. Darth Vader is proudly an all-new figure. It takes a few moments to notice just how different the parts were and to assess that nothing has been reused, but from head to toe, Darth Vader is all-new tooling. Specifically, Darth Vader (43) is a repaint of the running change version of Darth Vader in the Legacy Pack set. This time his head sculpt received additional paint operations. Darth Vader has a perfectly tooled torso, and the helmeted portrait is simply divine. And he hasn’t looked better in any scale. Based on his A New Hope and in addition to his Rogue One: A Star Wars Story appearances, Darth Vader brings a semblance to The Black Series 6” line that just wasn’t present before this figure’s release. The figure isn’t bulky which is a huge saving factor here. The draping is contained (the soft-goods are a huge improvement here). And the deco is about as perfect as one could get it (not that it’s hard to color Darth Vader). Overall, you’re left with a product that stands apart from some of the failed attempts The Black Series 6” line has brought us thus far. Darth Vader functions like a catalyst of sorts. If you’re not into the line yet, this may now be your staring up point. Few figures are capable of this.

Darth Vader is loaded with 27 points of articulation. As you know very well by now, a figure with this many points of articulation can pretty much do anything. What’s more, Darth Vader’s joints and nice and tight and he doesn’t move from his position once you situate him there. He comes with a lightsaber hilt and blade. And the nice part is that his hilt has a hook where you can hang it on his belt on his left side. This particular detail had been forever overlooked in the 3.75” scaled line much to collectors’ chagrin, so 6” collectors should count themselves blessed and fortunate with this added detail/feature. Hasbro has also updated the blade, thank goodness. Previously, lightsaber blades were much too flaccid and thin. Thankfully, Darth Vader’s lightsaber blade is thicker and more rigid. It seems that the blade will hold up well throughout the years, thanks to its sturdiness and thickness. And it’s quite simple to remove and replace the blade as needed for various scene purposes you’re trying to achieve. Admittedly, Darth Vader never looked better in the vintage Kenner inspired packaging in the 40th Anniversary line, but now we have him in a red and black box to be cohesive with the bulk of the 6” line. Many collectors of the 6” line are thrilled to get this great figure in packaging that matches the most of their collections. Also, it’s nice to pay around $21.99 for a figure that should have always been this price. Darth Vader will probably be a mainstay in The Black Series 6” line for years to come. He is the most popular character in the entire Star Wars saga. And he should always be present in the toy line because of this. We know more 40th anniversary figures are on their way in red and black boxes too. We'll just have to wait and see who is next!

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is a repaint of the figure from 2017's TBS [SW40] Legacy Pack (Special Edition Darth Vader) set. This time the helmet deco has been revised once again.

Articulation Count: 27 points (16 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), hinge-jointed neck (1), 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: 2

Accessory Details: lightsaber hilt, lightsaber blade

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: C1367/B3834

UPC: 630509518579

Retail: $21.99 USD

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

Darth Vader

The Black Series [Phase III] Wave 12 (Wave 21)

Hera Syndulla (42)

Darth Vader (43)

Rey (Jedi Training) (44)

Kylo Ren (45)

Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) (46)

Grand Admiral Thrawn (47)

Stormtrooper (48)

Added: October 11, 2017
Category: Black Series [Phase III], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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