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The Vintage Collection

Darth Vader (The Dark Times) - TVC - Basic (VC241)

Name: Darth Vader (The Dark Times)
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC241
Source: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Availability: July 2022
License: Hasbro

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Holy crap. If there is any saving grace to the ultimate crap-fest Disney Star Wars is and probably always will be, it’s forcing Hasbro to give us definitive versions of our most beloved action figures. To Disney+ and all your ironic “Dark Times” content, so be it and bring it on if it means Hasbro will give us action figures like The Vintage Collection Darth Vader (The Dark Times) because it’s hands down, the best Darth Vader action figure of all time. And we thought 2015’s TBS [P2] Darth Vader (#03) figure was fantastic. This one blows it away – it’s not comparable in its excellent design and delivery to the best current version we have now. The Vintage Collection’s Darth Vader (The Dark Times) action figure is a triumph on every level. It combines the best of all mixed media worlds to compile an action figure that can do nearly “anything” regarding its articulation and look as pretty as it is functional. That’s due to strategic design and attention to detail we haven’t seen in the line for years. What’s more, Hasbro added premium accessories here, two interchangeable hands, which they do “next to never” in the 3.75-inch action figure platform. We’ll get to all the accessories in full detail soon, but you should know that something is changing at Hasbro for the better with entries in The Vintage Collection line. While many will try to rationalize what we’re about to tell you, hear us out. Hasbro repacked their 6-inch interpretation of Darth Vader from the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series. TVC collectors got an all-new figure. If that doesn’t speak volumes, nothing will.

Darth Vader (The Dark Times) is a magnificent creation. Hasbro’s 3.75-inch action figure making has come very far in recent years, but with the last couple of figures, they’re pushing the boundaries of what seems to be their comfort level. How do they get such incredible movement and functionality out of these tiny areas? How do limbs move and spread wider than ever before, and how do they translate magnificent detail effortlessly on these miniature works of art? They’ve done all these things effortlessly on Darth Vader (The Dark Times). Darth Vader’s portrait is gorgeous. The details are crisp, and the deco captures the alternating silver and black shadows that hang in the mask. The head sculpt is attached to the body thanks to the wonderful barbell joint, so you get a range of movement not always standard on super-articulated versions of Darth Vader. We’re glad it’s become a standard in The Vintage Collection now. Hasbro cast the chest armor in rubbery plastic, but this is an excellent choice. It allows the shoulder flaps to bend upward when moving the arms at the shoulders. The arms are no longer bulky and have a more streamlined appearance. Most importantly, the torso is “v-shaped,” allowing you to bring the thinner arms closer to the body for a natural human-like hang. As you can see, Hasbro spared no details here. The ball-jointed torso also gives you a wide range of movement and allows you to achieve exaggerated poses as needed, from static to action-oriented.

The new ball-socket hips give Darth Vader fantastic flexibility. You can spread the figure’s legs wide, and thanks to “rocker” ankles, you can balance the figure as needed no matter how aggressive the pose. You won’t appreciate the versatility of this action figure until you have it in your hands. We’re even fans of the soft-good cape Hasbro employed here. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it has a perfected drape because it is a bit too thick and doesn’t fall as needed when trying to pose it, but it fits the figure beautifully and is cooperative when you pose the figure dynamically. We imagine that you’ll have very few complaints. Although we adore Darth Vader (The Dark Times) in its entirety, we have to point out how happy we are to see the drilled hole for the included hilt accessory. Too many Darth Vader action figures came without this feature, and it’s nice to see on a new version too. Hasbro also included the fully lit lightsaber, so you can battle Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) and Reva (Third Sister) as you desire. The biggest surprise is that Hasbro included an interchangeable left hand and an interchangeable right hand. The left hand is fisted, and the right hand is pointing. You know these gestures of Darth Vader well, so it’s lovely that Hasbro included these for additional display as they apply to scenes from the Original Trilogy. It’s fascinating that Hasbro didn’t incorporate these other parts with the 6-inch version. Those collectors are sadly getting the shaft as of late.

Darth Vader (The Dark Times) is a triumph on every level. The figure shines from helmet to boot. The figure is shiny where it needs to be polished and matte where it needs to be duller. The articulation system is astounding. We couldn’t believe the energetic, static, and action-oriented poses we obtained with this figure. And it was interesting how easy it is to articulate this figure. Also, the amount of personality the figure has is quite impressive. You almost “hear” what Darth Vader is uttering underneath the black iron lung. It helps you to appreciate the action figure on a personal level. Whether you cock its head or angle the arms in a curious way, your options are limitless with the body language you can create with this action figure. We hope that Hasbro will build upon this tooling and give us definitive versions of Darth Vader from all the Original Trilogy films and Revenge Of The Sith. Hasbro has so much untapped potential here, and we hope they don’t squander it and make the most out of this incredible sculpting. Photos, critiques, and varying opinions will not help to sell what this figure offers to The Vintage Collection and 3.75-inch enthusiasts. Darth Vader (The Dark Times) is the most extraordinary Darth Vader action figure ever produced in a 3.75-inch scale. It’s unequivocal. And as we had opened, we will endure the pain of Disney Star Wars if that means Hasbro will continue making exquisite super-articulated 3.75-inch action figures like this for our collections. Darth Vader (The Dark Times) is inarguably the best figure of 2022.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader (The Dark Times)

Status: Darth Vader (The Dark Times) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 28 points (17 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), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), bal-jointed torso (2), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 5

Accessory Details: removable soft-goods cape, hilt, lightsaber, interchangeable left hand, interchangeable right hand

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: F4475/E7763

UPC: 5010994152079

Retail: $13.99 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 34

Darth Vader (The Dark Times) (VC241)

Reva (Third Sister) (VC242)

Mandalorian Super Commando (VC243)

Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) (VC244)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Wandering Jedi) (VC245)

Added: July 20, 2022
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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