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The Black Series [Anniversary Collection]

Darth Vader - TBS [TESB40] - Six Inch Figures

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Black Series [The Empire Strikes Back 40]
Number: N/A
Scale: 6"
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: August 2020
License: Hasbro


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The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary is already getting more love than the four-decade celebration of the first Star Wars movie as far as the Hasbro Star Wars line is concerned. We’re already up to three waves of figures, and this time Hasbro added some exciting choices of characters that weren’t part of the original classic Kenner line. Others, like Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and Boba Fett, were initially released in the Star Wars line, but are now part of The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary because of their Episode V-specific costumes, “hairstyles,” or scene-specific differences. With a whole cast of characters specific to The Empire Strikes Back, we’re a bit disappointed to see Hasbro branch out with characters like Luke Skywalker (Dagobah) to add to the celebratory line. Lobot or a Bespin Security Guard would have made more sense than the latter. Then again, a figure like Darth Vader is a welcomed addition to the 40th Anniversary lineup. Sure, we received Darth Vader in the STAR WARS 40th Anniversary line, but the character’s costume changed significantly from Episode IV to Episode V. And Hasbro brought those changes forward for this upgraded Darth Vader 6” release. It’s exhausting explaining over and over again how Darth Vader’s costume changes from one film to the next, but you should make a mental note now if you don’t know already.

The new Darth Vader for 2020 is based on Episode V and Episode VI. This version of the character means that Hasbro had to give Darth Vader an all-new head sculpt. As you compare the two figures, you’ll notice that the 2020 Darth Vader has a narrower helmet, whereas the 2017 version is significantly more full. Also new is the retooled torso. The soft-goods tabards are no longer over the shoulder armor. They now stay underneath the shoulder plating. Also, the coloring of the shoulder plating is different than the version from A New Hope, and you do notice some tooling differences as well. Hasbro also downsized the chest box, and we were surprised to see this change implemented here. It’s a detail we haven’t noticed before as a noted difference. Also, The Empire Strikes Back version of Darth Vader comes with additional red detailing in the left-sided switches and blue switch instead of a green one in the top-right section of the chest box. Lastly, the lower switches are now white and red instead of light gray and dark gray. It seems as if most of Darth Vader’s differences exist in the chest box alone! Other than these changes, we don’t see any other differences between the two figures. Darth Vader looks excellent, and we think Hasbro should be commended for what they accomplished here. It’s nice to see that they pay attention to the things that hardcore collectors do to ensure their action figures are authentic.

Darth Vader comes loaded with 27 points of articulation. As you know very well by now, a figure with this many points of articulation can pretty much do anything. For this release, Darth Vader’s joints possess fluidity and ease of motion, so you don’t have to struggle with the figure when positioning it. Darth Vader comes with a lightsaber that breaks down into a hilt and blade. The grip has a hook that’s designed to hang from a hook on the belt. This detail was overlooked continuously in the 3.75” scaled line, so 6” collectors should count themselves fortunate with this added feature. Overall, we can’t complain about the updated Darth Vader figure. It probably would have been better represented in the mainstream The Black Series 6” line instead of anniversary collection, but Hasbro has their reasons. With so few slots for the 40th line, we hope that Hasbro keeps things related to the Kenner line as strongly as possible. Like all of the 40th Anniversary figures, Darth Vader comes in replicated vintage-inspired Kenner packaging. While we don’t think the 6” figures work nearly as well in this revised card back as the 3.75” figures do, we appreciate Hasbro’s effort to return to this critical line look. It will be interesting to see if Hasbro will release additional versions of Darth Vader in the 6” line. The Episode III version of the character is unique, so that might be the best choice next.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is a retool and repaint of the Darth Vader figure from 2017's TBS [SW40] Legacy Pack (Special Edition Darth Vader) set. This time has gave the figure an all-new head sculpt, new torso and repainted the figure.

Articulation Count: 30 points (19 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), reverse ball-socket neck (1), swivel "butterfly left shoulder (1), swivel "butterfly right shoulder (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), double hinge-jointed left knee (2), double hinge-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/”rocker” left ankle (2), ball-jointed/”rocker” right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: lightsaber hilt, lightsaber blade

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: E9316/E7549

UPC: 5010993714964

Retail: $19.99 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 [The Empire Strikes Back 40] Six Inch Figures Wave 3

Boba Fett


Darth Vader

Imperial Snowtrooper (Hoth)

Luke Skywalker (Dagobah)

Added: August 17, 2020
Category: Black Series [Anniversary Collection], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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