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The Saga Collection

Darth Vader - TSC - The Episode III Heroes & Villains Collection (1 of 12)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Saga Collection
Number: 1 of 12
Source: Revenge Of The Sith
Availability: April 2006
License: Hasbro

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Giving up everyone and everything he cares about, Anakin falls to the dark side. Encased in the black armor that will come to strike fear throughout the galaxy, he is no longer Anakin Skywalker – he is now Darth Vader.

You’re all well aware of our chagrin for action features in action figures. And we’re well aware of yours. So will you forgive us if we give a remotely positive review to a figure that does contain them? We’re talking about the very first Darth Vader figure (the black iron lung version) from the Revenge Of The Sith line. This figure borders excellent for us for a few reasons. It’s definitely a "Collection 1" figure which you should know by now always translates as “contains action features” – there are exceptions however. Typically the inclusion of action features should immediately knock it down a few pegs, right? Actually, the answer would be no as far as we’re concerned. Darth Vader is definitely far from perfect, but it excels it ways that are useful for both kids and collectors. Had Hasbro decided to eliminate the action feature and upgraded just a few points of articulation for Darth Vader, we’d bet he wouldn’t be that far off from being a perfect collector-focused figure. With that statement alone, you’d probably think it would be inconsistent to find such positive favor with this figure, but we do. And we’ll do our part the best we can to go through all of its bullet points.

Originally part of the Revenge Of The Sith line, Darth Vader is part of Hasbro's new "greatest hits" line which is now called The Episode III Heroes & Villains Collection. We understand why Hasbro reissued him so soon. Darth Vader has one of the best head sculpts we have personally seen for the characters of Darth Vader. The symmetry, just like the onscreen prop is flawlessly perfect and it translated well in this very small scale. This Darth Vader figure is indeed based on the look of the Episode III specific Darth Vader costume. It's our opinion that Hasbro did it justice on so many levels. Darth Vader is ensconced in soft-goods. Both his cape and lower skirt has been designed for him to fit inside a starfighter or his updated TIE fighter. This is ideal when so many versions of Darth Vader inhibit this option or basically prohibit it. His left arm is posed in a way that will make Original Trilogy fans drool. Reminiscent of his battle with Luke Skywalker on Bespin or his choking of Captain Antilles on the blockade runner, we bet that this version of Darth Vader will be hard to pass up by many a collector. So with all of this positive fluffiness, there has to be something negative about this figure, correct? Actually you’re very right about that. Darth Vader is indeed in need of updates and upgrades, but they don’t prevent us from appreciating the figure for what it is.

Darth Vader is made inferior thanks to the inclusion of the action feature of course. That's a bridge that Hasbro will never be able to sell us. Action features should never be worked into figures, just their accessories. This way everyone is happy. If you squeeze his lower legs together his right arm will swing and show off his “Lightsaber Attack!” action feature. Surprisingly, if you choose not to activate this feature, you can achieve an incredibly wide range of movement just by manually manipulating the included articulation. His left shoulder is ball-jointed, yet his right shoulder has swivel articulation (with a whole bunch of additional swivel articulation throughout the length of the arm). This amazingly gives a great range of motion that we know you won’t expect exists until you have this figure in yours hands. Just look at how many different and unique poses we were able to achieve in our photo gallery with a figure that only comes with only ten points of articulation. Obviously Darth Vader cannot do everything, but he looks great at what he can achieve. It is quite impressive to say it simply. The Episode III Heroes & Villains Collection likely won't excite collectors who already purchased these figures the year before The Saga Collection, but these figures deserve a second chance. Repeating key characters is a path to the success of the line. New collectors will now have a chance at these figures for the first time.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is a straight repack of 2005's ROTS Darth Vader (III 11) figure.

Articulation Count: 10 points (9 areas of articulation)

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

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: lightsaber

Date Stamp: 2004

Assortment Number: 87182/87181

UPC: 653569181224

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 Episode III Heroes & Villains Collection (The Saga Collection)

Darth Vader (1 of 12)

Anakin Skywalker (2 of 12)

Yoda (3 of 12)

Commander Bacara (4 of 12)

Clone Trooper (5 of 12)

Clone Pilot (6 of 12)

Chewbacca (7 of 12)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (8 of 12)

General Grievous [Version 1] (9 of 12)

General Grievous [Version 2] (9 of 12)

Mace Windu (10 of 12)

R2-D2 (11 of 12)

Destroyer Droid (12 of 12)

Added: July 9, 2016
Category: Saga Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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