Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,404: Darth Vader (The Last Jedi Line Look)

DARTH VADER with Imperial Probe Droid
The Last Jedi Class A Vehicle Assortment
Item No.:
Asst. C1245  No. C1246
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, Probe Droid, Display Stand, Projectile
Action Feature: Launching Rocket, Force Link sounds
Retail: $19.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Tenacious hunters and searches, probe droids (or probots) have a variety of sensors, and the ones employed by the Empire are armed with powerful blasters and, in some models, shields.   (Can from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  "How many Darth Vader figures do you need?" you might say, if you're my dad.   By my guesstimates we're in the 40-50 range, which is quite a lot of 3 3/4-inch figures of one guy who doesn't really look all that different from movie to movie.  This new take is posed a lot like the Rogue One release from last year, but it's clearly a new sculpt with new gloves and a new chest.  The pose, waist joint, and unique cut on the inner skirt cape - plus some wrinkles - look like last year's release too.

Darth Vader can't stand.  His capes make him too back-heavy, even leaning forward my sample falls backward.  Without a display stand for the Sith Lord, this is somewhat troubling in 2017.  Heck, in 1995 it was insulting.   There's no reason this shouldn't stand now, yet here we are.

The figure is marvelously sculpted with a textured cape that really cooks.  They did a nice job here, if you look at it up close you'll see one of the better fabric textures on any plastic action figure.  Vader's armor is as it usually looks, but rather than make the stripes on his chest silver or gunmetal grey it's a weird flat grey.  I don't like it.   You might not notice, but it's weird and I believe unique to this release of the character.     The buttons on his chest are a similar color, which would make me think the door is open for a running change.  I'll be watching.   Vader's saber is a flare-free model, and it fits in his hand nicely.

This figure can't stand without support, so naturally I take issue with it.  The engineering is otherwise good, with a good sculpt, and only that one paint flaw.  I appreciate the waist joint, but I'd appreciate it even more if it was just a smidgen better.  It's still a worthwhile purchase because of the probe droid, which you will want.  The Force Link sound clips are pretty good - they're all from Empire and include "Sweep the asteroid field until they are found," "Prepare you troops for a surface attack," and "If you only knew the power of the Dark Side."  If you shake him around, you get lightsaber slash sounds, blaster shots, and "Don't underestimate the Force."

Packaging Notes: Playmobil may have a new competitor for biggest waste of space.  The abundance of open air in the box will confound you, as the robot could tuck behind Darth Vader - it'd be a tight fit - with about 50-60% of the space inside going unused.  I'm sure it wouldn't look impressive for $20, but they could probably have given us a smaller (or more interesting) box as you really feel like you got taken when you open it and there's so much nothing inside.  It's a good piece, but the presentation leaves much to be desired.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,404: September 6, 2017

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