2013 Darth Vader Lava Line Look Mission Series Senate Duel
Item No.: Asst. A5228 No. A6523
Includes: Lightsaber, Yoda figure (2013 Saga Legends repack)
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: July 2014
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith
Bio: Jedi Master Yoda discovers that Senator Palpatine is really the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, leading to an explosive duel in the Senate Chamber on Coruscant. Their intense battle tears apart the chamber in the final hours of the once-great Republic. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam's photo lab.
Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!
Commentary: Since the 2010 Vintage version, I really never gave Darth Sidious all that much thought. This costume was done and done well, getting the mix of cloth, articulation, and deco more or less perfect. And yet here we are again, with a frankly very strange figure. The head is a weird mix of the sculpt of the post-transformation Sidious with what appears to be the eyes and smile deco of pre-transformation Palpatine. The grin is not an evil one, and the simple eyes do look a lot more like the classic action figures which may have inspired this line. The pale skin of the hands was left undecorated, while the head has a weird, rusty wipe on it. It is, to say the least, strange - but it also has the off-model charm of the best figures 1979 had to offer like Walrus Man. Something here is wrong, and for that reason, it's quite interesting.
The costume, on the other hand, is quite right. The hood fits, but is so overbearing that it prevents the neck from turning in any meaningful way. To make up for this, Hasbro left the hands articulated so you can rotate them around in duel poses or menacing poses. Each finger on the left hand is separate, and it looks incredibly good. His right hand is posed gripping the lightsaber, and can rotate around to make a number of awesome dueling poses. What's more, the legs have 1980s-style robe cuts so he has no problems sitting, standing, or looking decent - when you split the legs, you'll see his pants and boots inside. Hasbro did a nice job here, rather than cheaping out and just leaving the area between the legs a flat, unsculpted surface.
Getting robed figures to sit is insanely touch - usually something gets in the way of the legs bending at a 90-degree angle, but Hasbro nailed it. The figure has no problems standing or sitting, or looking decent while posed. Sure, he has goofy deco and his neck doesn't move but the engineering is otherwise superb. It's a weird figure that is off-model in strange ways, which makes it fun from where I sit. Oh, I should also note his lightsaber hilt is all silver. While a minor detail, one more paint app would do wonders to make it look better. This is the prequel-era Sidious to beat - and if Hasbro puts it out again with new paint, it might not be all that hard. Having said that, it's still worth a look if you missed the companion Yoda and arguably interesting enough even if you have one already.
Collector's Notes: I haven't seen this one yet, but his casemates have been out for weeks thanks to a revision case with Luke/Vader, Han/Chewie, and Grievous/Kenobi. Some write that Yoda is a "repaint" and I disagree - any differences seem to be batch variation, and do not look to be significant or intentional changes in color. Even if you have them side by side, the 2013 Saga Legends Yoda is virtually identical to the 2014 Mission Series Yoda. If you're reading this in the future, skip the single Yoda and just get him in this 2-pack, or the Rebels repack due later on.
Day 2,089: August 4, 2014