Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,090: Darth Vader (Mission Series 2014)

2013 Darth Vader Lava Line Look Mission Series Bespin
Item No.:
Asst. A5228 No. A5920
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #MS09
Includes: Lightsaber, Luke Skywalker figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: July 2014
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader engage in a Lightsaber duel in Cloud City, which floats above the gas giant planet Bespin.  Luke fights bravely but cannot defeat the highly skilled Vader.  Luke is dealt two blows: the loss of his hand, and the shocking truth about Vader's identity. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

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

Commentary: This Darth Vader shouldn't get his own entry here - the figure is the same as the 2013 Mission Series Darth Vader with the droid - which we haven't reviewed yet here, but I will sooner or later.   The same mold will be out later this year as a "Star Wars Rebels" figure - the first single-carded release of the figure. The sad commentary there is that single-carded figure will no doubt be a huge hit after 2 2-pack reissues, even though each one has a unique companion figure.  Completist "loose" collectors will own at least 2 of this figure in nearly-identical formats.  There are, of course, minor differences and for the pedants out there, we're going to have to do at least two of these.

The figure itself is Hasbro's second all-new sculpt for a "Bespin" The Empire Strikes Back Darth Vader figure.  The previous Battle Pack version was quite good and was loaded with personality, while this one is more restrained and old-school.  It lacks a glossy helmet and boots, plus the dome seems a little pinched where it flares out near the bottom - but the deco is sharp, the silver highlights and buttons are good, and all of the joints move freely.  The figure has plastic robes split between the legs, allowing him the ability to sit and fit in many vehicles.  His cloth cape fits around his neck nicely, but in the back gets weird - it comes folded back by default and that's arguably how it looks best.  His lightsaber hilt sports black and silver paint apps, kudos to Hasbro for keeping them.

The sculpting is good as always, but this version of the figure is barely different from the version with the probe from 2013.  How can you tell them apart?  The red and blue lights on the right of his chest.  (His left-hand side, rather.)  This release has them sculpted flat - there are tiny indentations on the earlier release.  You have to squint to see them, otherwise the figures are largely indentical.  If you're short on cash I would say that you could skip one of them, but you'd miss out on Hasbro's probe droid or an all-new Luke.  I think you'd want those, so get both 2-packs even though you know better.

Collector's Notes: Target got these pretty early, so the good news is that they're out and about. 

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,090: August 5, 2014

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