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30 (77-07)

Concept Darth Vader (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series) - TAC - Basic (30 28)

Name: Concept Darth Vader (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series)
Collection: 30 (77-07)
Number: 30 28
Source: Expanded Universe (A New Hope Concept Art)
Availability: August 2007
License: Hasbro

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Artist Profile

The vivid imagination of conceptual artis Ralph McQuarrie brought to life the characters and worlds envisioned by George Lucas. McQuarrie's paintings and drawings were instrumental in the push to bring Lucas's Saga to the big screen, giving shape and form to a multitude of fantastic individuals, creatures, planets and technology encompassed in this epic tale. developed in collaboration with McQuarrie himself, this remarkable action figure series pays tribute to the man whose art defined some of the most memorable characters in film history.

Darth Vader was not originally supposed to wear a facemask. Ralph McQuarrie's concept drawing of Vader boarding the Tantive IV was based on the idea that Vader would fly through space to reach the ship, requiring him to wear a breathing apparatus. The facemask remained and has become a modern-day icon of chilling doom.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the 30 (77-07) line was the Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series of concept figures. Giving collectors a 3D look at breathtaking two-dimensional art, the concept figures are truly a unique tool to immortalize how many of the characters (and environments) of Star Wars were brought to fruition. The biggest Star Wars villain of all, Darth Vader, probably had the most concepts created for him and Hasbro offers collectors two of these distinct looks via the inclusion of two portraits with the basic figure. Interestingly, although Darth Vader had certainly gone through a long and arduous process of getting approved by George Lucas, the “final” concept that did get indeed get approved doesn’t vary that much from what we see onscreen. Yet, the various helmets in the concepts do verify that there were some variances in the way each artist interpreted this character. Hasbro carefully worked with Ralph McQuarrie on the concept figures of 2007 and Darth Vader seems to have had extra careful attention paid to it because it is one of the most accurate representations of McQuarrie’s artwork we have seen realized in plastic form. From his Batman-like cape to his textured body suit, Concept Darth Vader offers collectors great versatility in the action figure line.

From the head sculpts to the design of the body, Concept Darth Vader is a sight to behold. The sculptors did a fantastic job and made the concept version of Darth Vader a little more exciting than many of his corresponding non-concept versions simply for the fact that it has a few more bells and whistles. (And bells and whistles always make something a little more intriguing.) For example, Concept Darth Vader comes with a holster and a blaster pistol and to be honest, we love it. Do you know how much fun it is to pose Vader with a gun in his hands? (Well, it was awesome for us!) And while typically generic Darth Vader action figures may become a little bit “boring” in the color department (after all he is essentially all black), the Concept Darth Vader action figure has complementary gray and black sections which give the action figure depth and texture. On top of this duality in color, Hasbro have given him a weathered look thanks to expertly painted silver details which both enhance the details in the sculpt as well as bring age to the figure. It appears as if Concept Darth Vader has seen some battling in the universe and it is captured effortlessly in the action figure.

The figure is not without some issues however. You are probably sick and tired of hearing this from us, but he has angle-cut swivel elbows and we would rather Hasbro not include joints here than include these types in our action figures. Swivel elbow joints are the enemy as far as we’re concerned and they really hurt the aesthetics of the Star Wars Hasbro line. This is a strong statement and we hope Hasbro moves away from this type of articulation going forward. But what makes this particularly annoying is that when you try to position them as you desire, nine times out of ten they will pop off and you lose your intended pose. And what’s worse than that is the connections are so loose on the figure that they don’t appear seamless. It looks as if the two pieces are hanging away from each other or hanging by a thread (on our sample at least). We think that another stab at the Concept Darth Vader is warranted and we would ask for Hasbro to include ball-jointed elbows. There are enough parts our there now that Hasbro can use or tweak to correct this issue. Despite this drawback, Concept Darth Vader is still a figure we are very fond of and it’s truly one of the best concept figures in the 30 (77-07) line. And that is saying a lot because there are some great figures in this line. But just get rid of those swivel elbow joints already, Hasbro!

Collector Notes

Concept Darth Vader (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series)

Status: Concept Darth Vader (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 20 points (14 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left elbow (1), swivel right elbow (1), swivel left glove (1), swivel right glove (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed righr ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 4

Accessory Details: interchangeable portrait, lightsaber, blaster, removable soft-goods cape

Date Stamp: 2007

Assortment Number: 87302/87500

UPC: 653569206620

Retail: $6.99

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

Concept Darth Vader (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series)

30 (77-07) Wave 4

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Concept Darth Vader (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series) (30 28)

Added: November 1, 2010
Category: 30 (77-07)
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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