The 12 inch Darth Vader from Hasbro is one bad, straight armed dude! Being that I’m a retro kind of guy this figure really POP’s for me. No frills just a Darth Vader toy to be played with. The simplicity in the design (7 points of articulation) in my opinion lead to three strong points for me:
1. Durability – less parts = less potential for breakage,
2. Price Point – a much more reasonable MSRP than most other toy fare on the racks these days and the most important one is point
3. Imagination – Sure it can be frustrating that the Dark Lord of the Sith can’t bend at the knees or elbows but that doesn’t take away from the overall fun and play-ability of the toy. You have to use your imagination.
With the price point I am admittedly more forgiving on some of the details in design. Some things such as the molded plastic tunic looks clunky as part of the legs and the cloth cape could stand to be wider and cover the shoulders. Neither however are a deal breaker for me.
The packaging is also impressive to me. Not so much in its graphics but in the boxes design. It’s one large sheet of cardboard that is folded. Simple and efficient. This can lead to damaging the package as far as collectors may note but at it’s core this is a toy to be played with. If you want a high end collectible this is not the toy for you. But if you want a toy that is meant to be just that then here you go.
In the end I call this one a win. Mind you I’m not a big fan of the other selections from this line (Anakin, Obi Wan and a Clone Trooper) but that’s just me. If they released more of the original characters in this format I would pick them up though. Also to note, for me this is a very nice alternative to the Jumbo Vintage figures by Gentle Giant. I do like those and would like to pick up a Lando Calrissian as a novelty item to add to my collection but the price point is a killer for me in regards to collecting them all.
One final point that I like about this particular figure and line is that he and his other Star Wars Universe pals can play in scale with heroes from the Marvel Universe. The Titan Series featuring Thor, Captain America, Wolverine, Spider Man, Iron Man and a big honkin’ Hulk all feature the same limitations in design but who cares? They are in scale toys from various licenses and they match, just like my beloved Mego’s of old and the new Re-Mego’s from Bif Bang Pow and Figures Toy Company.
Maybe it’s OCD but I’ve always liked things to match. Even as a kid the style difference between Kenner’s Star Wars and Hasbro’s G.I. Joe Real American Hero figures may have been 3 & ¾ but were night and day in their make up. As far as the debate over the play-ability and which is better of those all I can say to that is… what style is the hottest pre sale item around? That’s right the Retro Kenner, baby!
Now Jules and Vader can team up for the most bad ass Blaxploitation flick in the history of awesome! Say “You don’t know the power of the dark side” again, mo$&*@%$^! I dare you, I double dog dare you mo$&*@%$^!”
Now, Go Play! (and May the Force be with You!)