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Friday, July 8, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,583: Darth Vader (Star Tours)

DARTH VADER Ambush at Star Tours
Star Tours Ambush at Star Tours Gift Set
Item No.:
No. 33245
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Hover Platform, lightsaber, three other figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $39.95
Availability: May 2011
Appearances: Star Tours

Bio: The Dark Lord of the Sith keeps order in the galaxy for the Galactic Empire. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's kitchen.

Commentary: While some figures are too obscure to warrant toys, some are so well-known that we have so many toys it's sickening. This Darth Vader mold has been redecorated and repackaged several times, and this release is an existing one with a new accessory. The base figure started life as the 2005 500th Edition Darth Vader, and was repackaged a few times with slight changes. The figure is decorated and redesigned to match the 2006 Bespin Confession Darth Vader, which has a glued-down helmet and a scraped up right shoulder pad. The figure is fundamentally similar to that release, which itself was the same as the early 2006 Hoth release save for the glued-down helmet and accessories. So in short, the figure itself? You probably have a few of it.

The new thing is the hover platform, which is a pretty nifty trivet/coaster. As you can see in the picture, there's a removable pole with a panel on top for Darth Vader to control his hovering Segway of Outer Space. There's also a long groove near it, which serves no readily apparent purpose-- there's no other piece which seems to plug in here as of yet. It looks like something should go in there, as just a random groove is a little odd in such a thing. There are white "lights" on the top, grey panels on the sides, and blue "hover" engines or something on the bottom. It's a solid piece with one foot peg to keep Darth Vader standing upright, and this is one of two driving forces behind this gift set. The other is the Sky Trooper figure, of which you get two.

The mold is feeling a little frail as the arms pop off much more easily than previous releases, but it still looks cool and as a packaged piece, this set is absolutely fine. For lovers of theme park weirdness, this is a must-buy set just because you get another "vehicle" for Darth Vader. I like it, but at $40 I don't know that I got a good deal.

Collector's Notes: This set also includes Boba Fett (2004 Vintage) and two Sky Troopers (new). At $10 per figure it's not much of a deal, but it is weird enough to warrant your attention I'd say. New collectors may even wish to start here, as it's a fine example of what Hasbro can do in this line-- anything it pleases.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 1,583: July 8, 2011

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