The Saga Collection
Item No.: Asst. 85770 No. 87167
Includes: Lightsaber, debris, display stand and a random red holographic figure
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: May 2006
Appearances: Primarily Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Bio: Darth Vader has sinister plans to use Cloud City's carbon-freeze chamber. Reluctant to try this crude process on the Emperor's prize, Luke Skywalker, Vader decides to test it first on Han Solo. The process works, and although Luke finds his way into the chamber, Vader's plans fail as Luke escapes and confronts him in heated lightsaber combat. At the end of this dramatic battle, Vader confesses to Luke the secret that has burned within him: He is indeed Luke's father! (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: TV tray time.
Commentary: This particular mold is one of many Darth Vader figures we'll be filing under "just different enough to make you mad." The basic figure sculpt is identical to two previous releases, but more on that below. In and of itself, this is an OK figure with a decent amount of articulation, although other figures have done it better. The "removable" helmet is glued down, the debris is largely recycled from other toys, and the display stand for all samples seen to date reads Star Wars and not The Empire Strikes Back. The lightsaber is nothing new, either. The figure is articulated at the shoulders, wrists, elbows, neck, waist, hips, and knees-- for those keeping track, there's a bunch of joints here, but it's still not the best Vader ever. For $6 or $7, though, it's good and better than the previously released "Hoth" Vader from 2006-- which has a different stand and no debris, plus the removable helmet. The figure even has the same silver "scrape" on the right shoulder-- take note of it if you missed it like I did at first.
Collector's Notes: In 2005, this figure was released in fancier packaging and with more accessories as the 500th Action Figure Darth Vader. In 2006, it was released first as a "Battle of Hoth" Darth Vader Saga #013 for the same price as this release, but with fewer accessories. For "bang for the buck," this is the release to get because of the boxes and the price-- you get a lot of toy for a fairly decent price.
As far as can be told, the biggest power box is recycled from a Hoth Survival Accessory Set from 2002, the medium-sized box is from the 2003-2004 Deluxe Kamino Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the thing that looks like either a film canister or some canned ham is, frankly, not easily identified by me. I figure it's either new or from G.I. Joe. Either way, with the new silver brushed "scrapes" they look pretty slick.
Day 40: June 15, 2006