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Retro Collection

Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) - RC - Basic (Exclusive)

Name: Darth Vader (Prototype Edition)
Collection: Retro Collection
Number: N/A (SDCC Exclusive)
Source: Expanded Universe (Hasbro Prototype)
Availability: July 2019
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.

Inspired by 1970s action figures, the Star Wars Retro Collection features original Kenner figure design and detailing! Imagine the excitement of the 70s when the Star Wars original trilogy had just begun, and Kenner began releasing classic Star Wars figures for avid fans of the space saga. Continue your collection from the galaxy far, far away! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.)

Experience the excitement of engineers and designers seeing the first product samples of their designs with this Darth Vader figure! Inspired by prototypes that are often produced with whatever extra resin is in the machines at the time, colorful prototypes enable the development team to look past the deco and focus on the sculpt, analyze mold alignment, and make adjustments for quality.

So, per the back of the card, Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) is supposed to be a preproduction sample. The bio of the action figures goes on to explain that at the factory level, designers use whatever leftover materials are in the machines that make our action figures and cast samples so they can analyze the details of the sculpt, the alignment where the two halves come together and any other quality control issue. That’s all well and good, but we don’t think any preproduction samples will be evenly spread across the rainbow as all of these Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) are. Although press images showed these Darth Vader action figures with parts that exhibited repeating colors, we’ve yet to find any “real world” examples where any of the colors repeat. Assembled from parts that utilize primary and secondary colors, Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) is a hybrid of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. We’ve joked about calling the Clone Troopers “Skittles,” but Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) is a much better example to receive such a worthy nickname. Scoffed and criticized, the Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) figure looked like it was going to bomb at the cash register, but it’s quickly become one of the fastest-selling exclusives we can recall. That’s great because we want to see the Retro Collection thrive. A multicolored Darth Vader figure might not be a great assessment of that, but it’s nice to see the collecting community embrace this unique release.

The Retro Collection line has taken off with great interest and excitement. Many collectors got aggravated when the line was available in a limited run at TARGET. But at least Entertainment Earth and other online retailers have picked it up. As briefly mentioned, we originally thought that the six colors of the Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) would repeat. While we can’t document conclusively, we’ve yet to see an in-hand sample that repeats colors (aside from the lightsaber accessory). We also documented trends of how this figure was produced. While not empirical or quantitative, we believe our math is accurate until proven wrong. Can you prove us wrong? While we initially believed that many more combinations of parts existed, it looks like the total number of permutations for Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) is only 3600. That may not seem like a lot of different arrangements for this character, but check out the rules we documented. (1) Each Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) has eight parts. These include a head, a left arm, a right arm, a torso, a left leg, a right leg, a lightsaber, and a cape. (2) Body parts don’t repeat colors. (3) The lightsaber repeats a body part color, but NOT the color of the arm in which it is placed. So, if the figure has a red lightsaber, it will NOT be in a red arm. (4) The cape is always black. That’s the easy part here. With all of these details broken down, the logical calculation for determining the number of arrangement of this figure is 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 x 5 x 1 = 3600.

In English, this means that there are six options for the head. This gets multiplied by five options for the body. Then this get multiplied by four options left for the left arm. And then this gets multiplied by three options left for the right arm. And then we mutliple this times two options left for the left leg. Lastly, we multiply this by one option left for the right leg. Then finally, this product gets multiplied five options for the lightsaber and then by one time for the cape. This total product equals three-thousand six-hundred permutations. Are you happy to have received your math lesson in a Star Wars toy review today? If samples start showing up with repeating parts, this number will increase dramatically. Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) is a “repaint” of 2019’s RC Darth Vader figure. Now cast in multiple colors, the figures are assembled with some purpose to mimic what a preproduction sample looks like before the figure goes into mass production. We like the novelty of the Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) figure, but we think Hasbro could have made it a little bit more accurate and believable. Specifically, the colors are much too bright. We don’t discount the fact that “wild” colors are used to cast action figures, but with this perfect rainbow uniformity. Again, while we like and appreciate this figure, it would have made more sense to use colors like tan, black, beige, army or forest green, blue, white or gray to make these figures. How many preproduction prototyped have we seen on eBay that rarely sport all the colors in a package of Skittles? No, we see figures with more earth tones and less vibrancy. This is a fun, gimmicky figure. Hasbro could have made it more authentic, but perhaps the different approach was intentional. Oh, and we wish this figure came BAD-styled. Imagine interchanging the parts to get a solid-colored new version of Darth Vader!

Collector Notes

Darth Vader (Prototype Edition)

Status: Darth Vader (Prototype Edition) is a repaint of 2019's RC Darth Vader figure. This time the figure has been cast in six primary and secondary colors and then randomly selected and assembled together, but without reusing the same color for more than one body part. The lightsaber color matches one of the parts, but not the arm in which it's placed. There are potentially 3,600 different permutations (variations) to collect of this figure, but impossible to know if all 3,600 exist as there could be repeated arrangements.

Articulation Count: 5 points (5 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable cape

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: E6271

UPC: 630509838455

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 Retro Collection Wave 1


Darth Vader

Han Solo

Luke Skywalker

Princess Leia Organa


Added: July 30, 2019
Category: Retro Collection
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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