Friday, February 27, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 968: Darth Vader

DARTH VADER with TIE Fighter Gunner Station
Power of the Force Gunner Stations
Item No.:
Asst. 69665 No. ???
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Rockets, cockpit and chair thing
Action Feature: Moving seatbelt/yoke, kickstand, firing rockets
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Fall 1998
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Re-enact famous Star Wars battle scenes from Darth Vader's TIE Fighter cockpit! (Taken from the toy's cardback.)

Image: Adam's toy room.

Commentary: Would you believe that there was a time in recent memory when knee joints were a novelty? It's true! This Darth Vader was one of the first to sport knee articulation, but sadly relied on a (for its own era) outdated body sculpt. The figure has eight points of articulation, can sit, and has one of the first cloth capes in the modern line. There's no skirt/inner cape, and there's no lightsaber, but it's still a pretty great figure when you look at what your money got you. This particular release takes the 1995 body and tweaks the cape and legs, making it look kinda chunky and more toylike than most Darth Vader toys that would follow. It's neat as an oddity, but odds are its lack of authenticity and unusual proportions will turn you off. I like it precisely because it's weird-- and you might too. If anything this is a good item for your kids because it was made from the era prior to Hasbro designing arm joints to fall apart, it's a solid release and the little gunner station it comes with is a pretty neat toy, if a little too cheap for what it really needed to be.

Collector's Notes: Worthless? Sorta. Still neat though, if you like strange little toys from a time when Kenner was willing to experiment with such things. (That era of Star Wars is long since over.)

--Adam Pawlus

Day 968: February 27, 2009

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