Darth Vader is a master of the Lightsaber. Many years have passed since the Sith Lord has fought someone who can also wield the legendary weapon of the Jedi and the Sith. Calling upon his powerful connection to the Force, Vader ignites his Lightsaber to battle young Luke Skywalker.
It was only a matter of time before Hasbro knocked out Darth Vader with a light-up lightsaber for the Movie Heroes line. Admittedly, the technology Hasbro has incorporated into the light-up figure is rather impressive, although not entirely perfect yet. But the technology that is available to them has been put to good use and for the most part we’re fans of this action feature, if not for anything more than a novelty on a classic Star Wars character. Things that still bother us, but we know are unavoidable include the inability for the arm that holds the lightsaber to rotate a full 360 degrees. This is all thanks to the intricate wiring inside that allows the blade to glow (brightly we might add),, so breakage would occur if the arm was given a full range of movement. We also aren’t entirely crazy with overall sculpt. The lightsaber hilt is still comically large and the straight extension of the lightsaber wielding arm is distracting at best. And more articulation would be wonderful, but now that Hasbro’s philosophy has changed for kid-focused action figures, it appears that we’re never going to see one of these figures with the points of articulation come to pass. That’s OK. These figures are intended for other people and purposes anyhow.
Darth Vader though looks pretty fantastic overall. We’re impressed that Hasbro has worked in a discrete button to ignite his lightsaber. All you need to do is push in the buckle n his belt and you’re greeted with a very bright red blade. The right arm is able to rotate about 45 degrees, not nearly enough in our opinion, but it is however the right amount of articulation to swing his lightsaber up and down. Unfortunately you won’t be able to hold the lightsaber with an angled elbow or close to his breast, but that really isn’t the point with figures in the Movie Heroes line, especially the light-up ones. Aside from his right arm, Darth Vader is aesthetically pleasing in many other ways. He’s tall and his outfit looks great (specific to Episode V and VI) and the rest of his articulation suits him very well. He does come with ball-jointed knees which help tremendously with some action poses. He also comes with a ball-jointed left elbow which especially assists with recreating the awesome Bespin gantry scenes in Episode V. (“No, I am your father!” immediately comes to mind.) Darth Vader comes with a removable plastic molded cape which is nice but not necessary. In case you’re not aware, the blade to his lightsaber is completely removable. You might be surprised how pale it is. (It’s barely a shade of pink!) This should be an indication of how bright the LED lights are in these figures.
The Movie Heroes line has become a center of debate in the collecting community. But accepting that this line was never made with the collector in mind should definitely put things in perspective. We often forget that buying and collecting action figures, while usurped by adult collectors, are really for kids. We don’t like hearing that as adult collectors, but that’s the way it is. Hasbro has been gracious to us catering to our needs for many years in the line, and it seems as if the platform is steering back to focus on the young generation again. This doesn’t mean we’re happy about this transition. We’re not. We’d be lying if we said that every Star Wars action figure Hasbro makes shouldn’t be for us. And we wish that was still the way it is. But now “stuff” for us is relegated to one collector-focused basic figure line and exclusives. Hey, in the long run this saves us money. If Hasbro can give us a few dozen quality figures, isn’t that better than a boatload of garbage? We’re not even trying to imply that this Movie Heroes Darth Vader is garbage either because he isn’t. He just caters to a completely different market than us. Hasbro has still done a fine job nonetheless and we enjoy the play value the figure brings to the table. You’ll just have to decide if anything noteworthy is brought to your table with figures like this.
Status: Darth Vader is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 12 points (9 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), ball-jointed left elbow (2), swivel left forearm (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: removable cape, removable lightsaber blade
Date Stamp: 2011
Assortment Number: 37287/36563
Retail: $9.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.