Darth Vader - Star Wars The Black Series 6” Figure Review
Probably the first action figure I was ever given as a Star Wars loving 3-year-old! Darth Vader. I have proof of this in a Super-8 video of me swinging my Luke Skywalker figure while Darth Vader figure stands proudly on the window sill – not too far from R2 and the cardboard backings the figures Vader and Luke came in!
The instant I read about the possible 6” Black Series Darth Vader, I knew I wanted him. I was ready to pre-order the whole wave that would have him, regardless of what other characters would be in the wave. In the end, I did not. Once I saw some “real” online pictures, disappointment set in. There were plenty of 3 3/4 Vaders that looked far better! What did Hasbro do?! I thought. Just like that… my readiness to pre-order the entire wave 5 of the Black Series 6” line-up fizzled. However, once he started popping-up in retail, alongside Walgreen’s exclusive “ProtoFett” – people’s reports of the figure were positive. And then, there was hope.
I eventually found him at a local Walgreens. After a little leg-work and a bunch of follow-ups. Interestingly enough, Vader was harder to find than the “Exclusive” Boba Fett in Prototype Armor. The reports were true - he is better out of the box!
What are the top 3 great things about 6” BS Vader?
1) His cape: hefty, sturdy and durable-feeling… has the great “real chain” to accompany it.
2) Attention to detail: the armor detail, helmet (even the interior has detail) gloves and boots all look just as you’d expect.
3) IDK: Not sure if there is a #3, other than the fact that this figure looks great out of the box. If I let him in the box, there would definitely not be a #3.
Three things that could be better about 6” BS Vader?
1) Articulation: just like many of the 6” BS series, his articulation leaves much to be desired. Especially his elbows and shoulders – I am going to find it difficult to maneuver him in “action-loaded” lightsaber-dueling poses. On the plus-side, whenever they make a 6” BS EP-IV Obi-Wan, his lack-of-posing won’t be noticed.
2) Helmet: It doesn’t feel like it “fits” all too well. Any head adjustments leads to a guaranteed loosening or out-right popping off. Amazingly, the dome and the mask stay together rather well. So , this means whenever it loosens up – both come off together.
3) Belt clip for lightsaber / Loose joints: I grouped these only because either of them alone isn’t that bad. It would’ve been nice if the lightsaber could have clipped onto his belt – not the end of the world. Slightly tighter joints for his legs (at the hip joint) would’ve been nice too – but also not critical.
As always, here’s a summary of the articulation:
Head/Neck: Ball joint = 1 (feels like ½ due to helmet issues)
Shoulders: Ball/cut joint = 2 (x2) = 4 (feels limited due to armor)
Elbows: Ball/cut joint = 2 (x2) = 4 (Ok, like Anikan, Obi-Wan, Luke, etc.)
Wrists: Peg joint + swivel (x2) = 4 (Ok, like Anikan, Obi-Wan, Luke, etc.))
Torso/Chest: Cut + Swivel = 2 (also very limited)
Hips/Thigh: Ball + Cut + Swivel = 3 (x2) = 6 (slightly better than Stormtrooper)
Knees: Peg Joint (x2) (x2) =4
Lower Leg / ankle: Peg + rolling cut =2 (x2) =4
Total: 29 – which feels right with the limited motions on the shoulders, elbows and head
Did I miss any?
If I had to rate this figure:
-Displayability: 9/10 (10/10 when you remove the helmet and can have him hold it)
-Re-Playability: 8/10 (Only because it’s Vader, he will demand to be re-posed and played with more than other figures)
-Emotional Attachment: 10/10 (Among my very first figures, and first baddie so many of us loved to hate…)
Average: 8.25 or 8/10
Tempted to rate it as 9/10 only because of what he represents, but I think that would be bumping up the Emotional Attachment to 11/10.
A prime example of what the 6” Black Series is about (or at least what I thought it would be about) – classic, iconic Star Wars characters in a larger format with more detail… pulling at the heart-strings of the adult collector. Needless to say that very few characters in our modern sci-fi-loving culture is as iconic as Darth Vader. Even within the Star Wars mythos, no one is more recognizable. If anything, he is the “main character”. George himself stated that EP I – VI is all about Vader/Anikan: That is, Anikan’s fall and thus rise as Vader (I-III)– followed by his redemption through his son (IV-VI). Which confuses me as to why the next Star Wars movie is called “EP VII”… unless it is still about Vader ?!
In closing, it may very well be that my emotional attachment to Boba Fett is a misguided love for the “mysterious baddie” who Vader was in my early childhood. I think what happened is that it shifted after EP V, once Vader was just “Luke’s dad”. That other mysterious baddie that was just too cool took over. Couple that with the fact that I kept my original 1978 Darth Vader figure; whereas my original 1980 Boba Fett was given away – leaving a void. Trying to fill that void is evident in my Boba Fettish collection.
In conclusion, 6” Black Series Darth Vader is pretty cool and a “must have” for anyone who has a love for Star Wars, awesome-looking action figures or simply a love for Darth Vader. That pretty much includes everyone. :)