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The Black Series [Phase III]

Darth Vader - TBS [P3] - Centerpiece Figures (01)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Black Series [Phase III]
Number: 01
Scale: 6"
Source: A New Hope
Availability: September 2017
License: Hasbro

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After the Alderaanian starship Tantive IV intercepted transmissions from the Rebel Alliance that included plans from the Death Star, Darth Vader seized control of the vessel and boarded it, striking down any opposition in his path.

As huge fans of the Unleashed line, we had high hopes for The Black Series Centerpiece line. Hasbro has delivered quality products in this line. From the design of the statuesque figure to the environmental backdrop in which the figure stands, Hasbro has honestly developed something here that is well made and beautifully approached. Sadly, they’ve shot themselves in the foot by setting The Black Series Centerpiece figures at an MSRP that is not only unacceptable but alienates the market to which they’re attempting to appeal. It’s evident that the Centerpiece figures are an extrapolation on Hasbro’s already popular The Black Series 6” line. And we believe the concept of mixing static figures with super-articulated ones is powerfully interactive. You nearly build a dioramic display around the static figure and surprisingly, it gives you more options than you’ve probably ever thought possible. We’re quite partial to the Darth Vader Centerpiece figure. It captures either (A) the jolting final scene from Rogue One where Darth Vader goes on the offensive or (B) the scene from A New Hope where Darth Vader accompanied by Stormtroopers breach the Tantive IV’s sealed door. Either option can be recreated here, and we think Hasbro has done an exquisite job on this item. With stunning deco and beautiful sculpting and electronics, the Darth Vader Centerpiece figure at worst may be one of the nicest dioramic pieces we have seen Hasbro produce to date.

Unlike the Luke Skywalker Centerpiece figure, Darth Vader comes without any articulation. But the figure itself breaks down into four separate pieces. The pieces fit together well, but it took some time for us to assemble him because the connections are extremely tight. Once assembled, you have a pretty astonishing interpretation of Darth Vader which more closely mirrors his body language from Rogue One and to a lesser extent A New Hope. He comes with a lightsaber hilt permanently molded in his right hand and a separately attaching blade for alternate display. As you know, he didn’t brandish a lightsaber in this scene from Episode IV, and this feature is a big part to why we feel that Rogue One was a huge source of inspiration for this piece. Darth Vader has his right leg/foot behind the blasted-down door, and then his left leg and foot are standing on the knocked-down door. From a side view, it’s a visually stimulating display. It has quickly become one of our most favorite things in The Black Series [Phase III] line in quite some time. What’s more, Hasbro has added electronics to this environmental display where the perimeter of the door glows in a fiery orange in addition to a blast to the right of the doorway (obviously courtesy of Rebel Alliance forces) which flickers to make it look as realistic as possible. Darth Vader is gesturing some power of the Force as he gains entry into the Tantive IV. There is a great deal of personality here. We love it.

Our sample didn’t connect together as nicely as we had hoped. Whether the pieces didn’t snap-fit together as intended or if the pieces are not perfectly engineered, we’re not so sure. It’s a small issue, but it prevents the base from being completely flush against the display surface in which you’re placing it. The Black Series Centerpiece figures are intended to interact with the super-articulated 6” figures of the line, and the back of the packaging suggests including 2017’s TBS [P3] Stormtrooper (48) figure to help round it out. So we followed suit and added him to our display. It looks fantastic. Hasbro has also “hidden” pegs on the bottom of the display base. These pegs allow you to situate the additional super-articulated figures you include into the diorama a little more securely. Without careful inspection, they look just like part of the tooling and not separate accessories. We missed it the first time; you might miss it as well. The biggest obstacle for The Black Series Centerpiece line is the MSRP. We’re unable to reconcile how these figures are set at $50. As many have suggested, rip out the electronics and reduce them to a $30 maximum. We feel that $24.99 is much more reasonable for these sets. Or, if Hasbro wants to make $50 per set, how about including a whole other super-articulated The Black Series 6” exclusive figure in the box to help make it feel like the purchaser is getting value here?

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: None

Articulation Details: None (Darth Vader breaks down into four (4) pieces.)

Accessory Count: 14

Accessory Details: lightsaber blade, 6 pegs, environmental display base (5 parts)

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: C1554

UPC: 630509557813

Retail: $49.99 USD

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

The Black Series [Phase III] Centerpiece Wave 1

Darth Vader (01)

Luke Skywalker (02)

Added: December 10, 2017
Category: Black Series [Phase III], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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