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The Vintage Collection

Darth Vader - TVC - Basic (VC08)

Name: Darth Vader
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC08
Source: The Empire Strikes Back Return Of The Jedi
Availability: August 2010/March 2019
License: Hasbro

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Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Force be with you!

Throughout the years, Hasbro made quite a few Darth Vader action figures based on the very memorable helmet removing/Anakin Skywalker reveal scene at the end of Return Of The Jedi. Collectors are all over the place when it comes to assessing if the figure based on this scene are well-made or could use some tweaking. Some feel the action figures have progressively gotten worse and yet others feel opposite. Opinions vary based on a collector’s point of view because many collectors like the option of multiple layers of Darth Vader’s helmet, while others prefer a more simplistic approach. We received a remarkable version of Darth Vader figure in the very first Evolutions set, part of the 2005 Revenge Of The Sith line. It wasn't perfect, but it blew all previous iterations of Darth Vader out of the water, most notably the 2005 ROTS Darth Vader (Special Edition 500th Figure) release. Another release, 2008's The Legacy Collection Darth Vader (BD 8) figure took things to the next level. Hasbro intended that the helmet to come apart in three pieces with this figure, but they couldn’t get it right, and these delays forced them to take a more basic approach so it could be released in time with the rest of the figures in the wave. Regardless, collectors embraced the 2008 TLC version of Darth Vader even though the helmet dome was nearly impossible to stay in place. Still determined, Hasbro decided to press their luck and forge ahead to follow through with the three-piece removable helmet. That was always the intention Hasbro had with this figure. Collectors can expect a new Darth Vader figure each year Hasbro releases a new line look, and it’s better when they tweak the figures to make them unique from the previous version. We love seeing new action figures. But it can be bittersweet too. When the final product doesn’t deliver the way it should, it makes things frustrating to both Hasbro and collectors. And it’s always our prayer that “new” always translates to mean “better.” Sadly, for 2010’s TVC Darth Vader (VC08) figure, it’s not the case at all. Darth Vader will be a release without question, but the step forward here serves as a step back, and that’s a disappointing fact. You might be persuaded to believe that the 2008 TLC Darth Vader (BD 8) is the superior figure instead.

We are personally stuck in the middle when it comes to The Vintage Collection Darth Vader (VC08) figure. We hoped to rave about it and deem it the definitive version of Darth Vader. But it is honestly just more of the same, perhaps a bit worse (especially in the portrait) in Hasbro’s long line of mistakes. The only new details to talk about here are from the neck up. As you know, the helmet breaks down into three pieces. It’s a nice feature certainly, but it fails in execution. The separate “collar” piece is the only new addition here. We didn’t get this piece with 2008’s TLC Darth Vader (BD 8) figure. However, the “forced” third piece that makes up his removable helmet forced Hasbro to design an awkwardly shaped head. If you pull off the head of Anakin Skywalker and look at it sideways, it is the most bizarrely-shaped human head in the entire basic figure line. This deformed contour of his head creates a harsh aesthetic and doesn’t leave a good taste in our mouths. We expected more from a figure in a premium collector-focused line like The Vintage Collection. Darth Vader's the head sculpt must be as screen-accurate as possible in order to do justice to the figure. Hindsight is always 20/20, but we regret that Hasbro decided to take this plan of attack for Darth Vader. As much as we wanted a three-piece helmet, this approach didn’t work. It’s not ideal. Not only is the head strangely shaped, but the color of his face is also too gray and ashy, and it has a very goofy half-baked smiley expression on it. Anakin Skywalker had a look of sincerity on his face during that emotional scene in Return Of The Jedi, and it's completely absent here. While we know it is a difficult task to capture the perfect scene-specific expression, something else could have been done to make Anakin Skywalker look a little bit more serious in our opinion. Also, early samples of the figure have a white smear going across the left side of his face. See this oddity HERE. If this mark is meant to be a scar, well, let's say that Hasbro's deco department was way off here. It looks like smeared shaving cream or some other white goo that doesn't make too much sense. The good news is subsequent samples left the strange white deco off of his face. There are some good points here too. Hasbro provided a higher quality dome that is shiny and not dull. The helmet picks up the light in a new and beautiful way.

It’s unfortunate that this version of Darth Vader didn’t deliver like we feel or hoped it did. It does seem that it’s possible to overdo something. If you own the 2008 TLC Darth Vader (BD 8), there is probably little reason left to purchase this version of Darth Vader, that is of course unless you’re focusing on the packaging instead. Or, if you’re eager to see how the three-piece helmet function, this is a must-have purchase then. And anything is possible too. You may feel that The Vintage Collection figure is superior to the 2008 release. We are hopeful that Hasbro will master a realistic three-piece removable helmet in the future without affecting the aesthetics of Anakin Skywalker's head. Somewhere down the road technology is destined to catch up with Hasbro’s ideas and plans. Ultimately, we hope that Hasbro can masters the best process that gives us the most authentic version of a “removable helmet” Darth Vader action figure. this at some point later in the basic figure line. Once again, if you are a mint-on-card collector, you probably will pick this figure up because it is a new basic figure on the vintage-style card back regardless. Admittedly, Darth Vader looks brilliant with all of his pieces put together. It only starts falling apart when you start breaking down the helmet. Aside from some deco issues, like the green light on the chest box, Hasbro painted Darth Vader nicely. And because of this loose fit, posing the action figure creates distress because the helmet falls apart when you look at it the wrong way. If it weren’t for the sentimentality of The Vintage Collection, we probably wouldn’t have much faith that Darth Vader would perform well in another line look. Maybe we should retract that statement right away – Darth Vader sells in any line look. And we appreciate the efforts Hasbro made to try to find a new and exciting upgrade for Darth Vader. But this Darth Vader has missed the mark and fallen short of our expectations here. We suspect that this will not be the only Darth Vader figure that will grace the pegs in The Vintage Collection. As a major character in the Star Wars films, we know that we will never be seeing a shortage of this character in any Star Wars toy line going forward. We don’t want to accuse Hasbro of being inept with this Darth Vader, but we’re surprised they approved this version of the figure as eligible for production.

Editor's Note: Hasbro re-released The Vintage Collection Darth Vader (VC08) in March 2019 with a significant number of changes. Updates include: (1) "photorealistic" deco, (2) new premium soft-goods cape that is thicker and softer, (3) elimination of three-piece helmet – Hasbro utilized the helmet from 2005's ROTS Anakin Skywalker To Darth Vader Evolutions set instead, (4) different lightsaber with opaque blade, (5) corrected blue chest box switch (the green button is gone), (6) new gold hue on the silver parts of Darth Vader's shoulder armor (7) refreshed 2019 packaging with different graphics

Review Status Update: The original publication date of this review is July 9, 2010. It was subsequently updated with a new Photo Gallery and revised General Analysis and republished on March 23, 2019 after Hasbro reissued the figure.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader

Status: Darth Vader is a retool of the Darth Vader figure from 2005's ROTS Anakin Skywalker To Darth Vader Evolutions set. The figure now comes with a new head and retooled three-piece helmet. Hasbro re-released the figure in 2019 with significant changes.

Articulation Count: 22 points (14 areas of articulation)

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

Accessory Count: 5

Accessory Details: lightsaber, helmet collar, helmet dome, helmet face plate, soft-goods cape

Date Stamp: 2005

Packaging Details:

Card Back: The Empire Strikes Back

Name: Darth Vader

Year: 2010

Assortment Number: 97580/97568

UPC: 653569546740

Retail: $7.99 USD

Card Back Release: The Empire Strikes Back

Name: Darth Vader

Year: 2010

Assortment Number: 97580/97568

UPC: 653569498629

Retail: $9.99 USD

Card Back Release: Return Of The Jedi

Name: Darth Vader

Year: 2011

Assortment Number: 97580/97568

UPC: 653569498629

Retail: $9.99 USD

Card Back Release: Revenge Of The Jedi

Name: Darth Vader

Year: 2011

Assortment Number: 97580/97568

UPC: 653569498629

Retail: $9.99 USD

Card Back Release: The Empire Strikes Back

Name: Darth Vader

Year: 2019

Assortment Number: E5184/E0370

UPC: 630509785407

Retail: $12.99 USD

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

Darth Vader

The Vintage Collection Wave 1

Dengar (VC01)

Princess Leia Organa (Hoth) [Leia (Hoth Outfit)] (VC02)

Han Solo (Echo Base [Echo Base Outfit]) (VC03)

Luke Skywalker (Bespin Fatigues) (VC04)

AT-AT Commander (VC05)

See-Threepio (C-3PO) (VC06)

Dack Ralter (VC07)

Darth Vader (VC08)

Boba Fett (VC09)

4-LOM (VC10)

(Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot (VC11)

Added: July 9, 2010
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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