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The Vintage Collection

Darth Vader - TVC - Basic (VC178)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC178
Source: Rogue One
Availability: December 2020
License: Hasbro

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It was inevitable. It makes sense. And we’re happy Hasbro decided to update Darth Vader for The Vintage Collection based on the character’s appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While we’re delighted to see another Darth Vader in a 3.75” super-articulated format, we’ll be the first to admit that the figure isn’t perfect (we’ll get to everything in a few moments). Although Hasbro reused parts for Darth Vader, this release represents the first time in The Vintage Collection that Hasbro produced Darth Vader with, albeit reused, molded lower robed (the full skirt). Admittedly, Darth Vader hasn’t looked better visually. But the molded portions below the waist inhibit lower body movement, which is reprehensible at this stage of the game since they’re working in so much premium articulation into the modern 3.75” Star Wars action figure now. While we’ll praise Hasbro for working the pliable and rubbery plastic for the lower robe sections from 2018's SW [S] Darth Vader Force Link 2.0 figure, the softer material ultimately doesn’t help with posing much at all. The molded parts don’t bend enough for some of the more dramatic and action-oriented poses you’ll want to configure the figure. For example, if you “crouch” Darth Vader in the slightest (which required bending the knees), the robes will function as “stilts” and prevent the figure from attaining the poses you want to achieve. An apparent setback, we still think it’s a nice change of pace to get Darth Vader with molded lower robes, so we have a baseline comparison against all previous Darth Vader action figures. We provided side-by-side comparisons of all The Vintage Collection basic Darth Vader figures to see for yourself how much Hasbro improved from one release to the next. We are confident you’ll see how far they came with this new Darth Vader figure.

Hasbro has come exceptionally far with their iterations of Darth Vader. For years, they teased us with a “5POA” version of Darth Vader in the Rogue One line and the Star Wars [Solo] line and released them many times since. Now, we have a super-articulated version that, for us, meets the definitive status of the character, and it may be the best version of Darth Vader in The Vintage Collection to date while incorporating the simplicity of the 5POA formats. It can double for a Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope version of Darth Vader, too, since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story brings us right to the opening crawl of Episode IV. But more importantly, we have an action figure that looks stunning, was designed with clean lines, and comes with enough articulation to provide a near-infinite amount of poses for your collection. Darth Vader comes with a new torso, but the rest of the figure, including the arms and legs, head and molded robes, are from 2012’s TVC Darth Vader (VC93) figure and 2018's SW [S] Darth Vader figure. The torso and the "retooled" cod section of Darth Vader are new here and offer some of the character's most extraordinary designs. Out of all the The Vintage Collection Darth Vader action figures produced this far, this version is already our most-favorite of the bunch. Yes, we’re disappointed by the lower body inhibited movement, but you can still get Darth Vader into some fantastic action poses with a little patience. Check our Photo Gallery for proof. Hasbro nailed the likeness of the chest box and other details in and around the belt beautifully. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a hook to hang Darth Vader’s lightsaber hilt. But that’s a moot point because we don’t have a lightsaber hilt either. Hasbro once again went cheap on us and only included a fully lit lightsaber with Darth Vader. It confounds us how lightsaber, hilts, and clips have been among the most significant issues for Darth Vader in 3.75” for longer than we can count.

It would help if you took careful note of the head sculpt for Darth Vader. Although reused, Hasbro repainted it with a shimmery finish, and It’s easily the best-looking version of Darth Vader in the entire 3.75” line. We’re pleased to see how much time and effort put into making all parts work together. Yes, the robes are bulky, but it's not the end of the world for us. All the parts play a massive part in making this version of Darth Vader look as good as it does. What we’re not crazy about with Darth Vader is the soft-goods cape. We’ll acknowledge that Hasbro found a higher-quality material from which they weaved it, but it’s so bulky, and its drape is obnoxiously outstretched horizontally. Due to its thickness, it doesn’t have a natural drape. It should hang much closer to the action figure’s body, but it does not. And no matter how you try to hang it closer to Darth Vader, it seems to want to fight you instead. It’s not a dealbreaker for this figure, but it is indeed a disappointment. Overall, the elegant yet straightforward paint operations are gorgeous on Darth Vader. Collectors will be happy with what the factory did to breathe life into this action figure. After enough moaning and whining, Hasbro finally fixed the graphics and details on The Vintage Collection packaging. Hasbro chose a dark yellow color for the pill and figure “backer” close to the color utilized on the 12-Back Star Wars Darth Vader action figure. We’re not crazy about the reference image they used, but Darth Vader was merely a cameo in Rogue One, so perhaps the choices they have are limited. What’s more, and this is probably an accident, Hasbro numbered Darth Vader VC178. We can’t help but notice the indirect homage-paying with the “78” representing the year Kenner Star Wars figures were released. We love Darth Vader, and you’ll love the figure too. It’s an incredible addition to The Vintage Collection.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is a kit-bashed figure that utilizes the arms and legs and retooled cod section from 2012's TVC Darth Vader (VC93) figure with the head sculpt and inner and outer molded robes from 2018's SW [S] Darth Vader Force Link 2.0 figure. The figure also has an all-new torso. The figure has also been repainted.

Articulation Count: 25 points (15 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), reverse ball-socket neck (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 glovet (1), ball-socket waist (1)* (*inhibited movement), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable soft-goods cape

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: F1088/E7763

UPC: 5010993800810

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 Vintage Collection Wave 28

Darth Vader (VC178)

The Armorer (VC179)

Moff Gideon (VC180)

The Mandalorian (VC181)

Captain Rex (VC182)

Added: December 11, 2020
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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