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The Saga Collection

Darth Vader - TSC - Basic (SAGA 013)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Saga Collection
Number: SAGA 013
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: January 2006
License: Hasbro

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Darth Vader

Battle of Hoth

obsession: finding luke skywalker

identifies: the rebel base on hoth

prepares: forces for a ground assault

The Dark Lord of the Sith is obsessed with finding the young Rebel who destroyed the Death Star. Vader and his master are certain that this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker. Following up on a probe droid lead, Vader quickly identifies the Rebel base on Hoth but arrives too late, as the last of the Rebels flee Echo Base in the Millennium Falcon.

Darth Vader will undoubtedly be a success in the basic action figure line no matter how he comes to us. Repainted, retooled, repacked. It doesn't really matter. All are surefire ways to generate basic figure sales as far as Hasbro is concerned. Hasbro simply just has to release him for him to be successful. That’s all they need to do. And they can make him viral if they include some cool accessories or other things not available anywhere else and/or make him scene specific. Kids love him and collectors love him (more of course), but all Hasbro has to do is make some of these tweaks and we’re suckers to buy a few more versions for our own collections. When it came time for Hasbro to consider this character for release in The Saga Collection, Hasbro got really clever….twice. They dusted off the 2005 ROTS Darth Vader (Special Edition 500th Figure), tweaked it….twice and gave us two Darth Vader figures from two distinct scenes in The Empire Strikes Back. The SAGA 013 figure is unfortunately the inferior version of the two. It doesn’t come with any cool accessories and due to the recasting of the figure it must have affected the fit of the dome to the rest of the helmet. As a result, it doesn’t stay on tightly and will absolute frustrate you to anger. It easily flies off of his head with the slightest of movements. This figure is meant to be Darth Vader on Hoth. We think that Hasbro should have included just a little bit of residue of snow accumulation on the lower parts of his boots.

That would have cleared things up. But other than that, this is just another Darth Vader action figure and aside from a different paint job, doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. The good news is that Darth Vader comes with the hand attachment (from the 500th figure) that holds the lightsaber. This of course makes life very simple for the collector. After all, we really just want our figures to be able to hold the weapons they come with in the package. We don’t think this is a lot to ask. But despite the inclusion of this important hand attachment, Darth Vader is inferior because of poor articulation, swivel elbows and shoulders to be specific. Let us forewarn you. Our sample had the loosest elbow joints we have ever experienced on a figure. Your mileage may vary, but we couldn’t get him to hold up his lightsaber with any luck at all. This is so disappointing because Hasbro has actually put forth a lot of thought to enhance this figure in other ways, the great paint job for example. But between the look arm joints and the helmet that won’t stay on unless you glue it on, this Darth Vader figure may be responsible for some collectors’ early graves. And we are left speechless how these two aspects actually ruin the likeability of this figure. It’s a terrible shame because this version of Darth Vader has really been sculpted extraordinarily well. He is tall, menacing and is packed with a lot of detail. But who can take time to sit back and enjoy ll of these positives when you’re constantly putting the dome of his helmet every time you touch it?

The bigger issue for us is the figure's cockeyed stance. He leans to the left because of a misaligned left leg (because it makes the leg shorter than the left one). That is worse than the loose helmet for us. Darth Vader comes with a cool The Empire Strikes Back action figure display stand and a lit lightsaber. He also comes with a soft-goods cape that is removable, but be very careful if you attempt to remove it. There isn’t too much slack in the “chain” and you might stretch it out if you force it over his head. And the of course, don’t forget about his removable helmet dome. (We think we have made a big enough stink about it for you to remember it vividly.) If you’re a carded collector, you may be interested in knowing that this was one of the few figures with a packaging change. Darth Vader (SAGA 013) can be found packaged standing or “walking like an Egyptian” in various samples. We don’t necessarily recall which one was more prevalent, but the “walking” version is interestingly the corrected running change. Always great to have a “new” Darth Vader in your collection, this figure is still welcomed despite our criticisms, but just be advised that this is in no way one of the best Darth Vader figures out there. There are indeed better, but we suppose Hasbro wanted to pad the Battle Of Hoth wave of The Saga Collection a little bit more with core characters. Aside from the darker paint job, you already have this figure (maybe multiples of it in some instances) and you may not need another. Either way, it’s Darth Vader. He’ll still be alright even if you decide to pass on him.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is a repaint of 2005's ROTS Darth Vader (Special Edition 500th Figure). This time the figure only comes with the right hand attachment that holds the lightsaber accessory.

Articulation Count: 14 points (12 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel neck (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left elbow (1), swivel right elbow (1), swivel left forearm (1), swivel right forearm (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable helmet dome (soft-goods cape isn't removable without damaging it)

Date Stamp: 2005

Assortment Number: 85933/85770

UPC: 653569117957

Retail: $6.99 USD

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

The Saga Collection Wave 2
General Veers (SAGA 007)
Major Bren Derlin (SAGA 008)
AT-AT Driver (SAGA 009)
R2-D2 (SAGA 010)
Snowtrooper (SAGA 011)
General Rieekan (SAGA 012)
Darth Vader (SAGA 013)
Power Droid (SAGA 014)

Added: March 27, 2011
Category: Saga Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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