Updated: Nov 24, 2018
Darth Vader, the #02 figure from wave 5, brings me up to speed with the Black Series releases to date. I picked him up earlier in the week from Film and Figures in Chorley and have taken a couple of days to play around with him before launching into my review.
Any Star Wars figure range will be judged on Vader. He is the key iconic image from the Original Trilogy and holds a presence through all 6 movies to date in one way or another. Unusually Hasbro held Vader back until wave 5 of TBS6 and attempted to go all out first time round with a 2-piece removable helmet. When he debuted at Toy Fair in January 2014 the images were blow away, then he turned up at retail and the reviews and feedback have been less than complimentary.
The first thing that sprang to mind when I picked up the figure was that he actually looks much better in the flesh. Granted this may be a cliche, but a number of fans have said the same - he just seems to photograph really badly and after loading my photo's, I have done little to show Vader in a good light even with my new camera.
I wont dwell on the box, its the standard blue trimmed wave 5 box and inside you will find Vader and his Lightsaber.
The first thing anyone will do is take off his helmet, so starting there the sculpt underneath of aged Anakin is very good. It is a little washed out compared to the NY Toy Fair images, but let's face it - how many of us will actully display him without mask. Moving on to the Mask this is in two pieces - face plate and then dome. There is something "off" with the mask and it seems to be centered around the eyes which are red tinted and perhaps a tad too large? To get the best look for Vader you need to get the dome and faceplate all seated nicely on the head.
Moving onwards the soft goods on Vader are amazing in terms of how the material flows. However, choosing to pin the cape eitherside of the shoulder armour is another point that has ruined the figure - I have some ideas on fixing that, so will come back to you.
Outside of the cape the armour is nice and chunky and Vader stands a good head height over Luke. Poseability is limited but he can achieve a two handed light saber stance and also his arms can be positioned in the "I am your Father" stance, although swapable hands to achieve this or a force choke would have been preferable. Painting is crisp, granted its all black - but the lights on the chest panel and instruments are all picked out nicely.
The lightsaber is again standard with the other Jedi we have seen, with removable blade. It is a pity that there is no where for it to hang on Vader's belt.
All in all this is a reasonable representation of Vader. It is certainly not perfect, but it is better in hand than what you see on photo's. I also think it has potential for improvement and will have a play over next week with some ideas for re-seating his cape.
Without incurring the wrath of dark side too much, I am going to score Darth Vader 3/5 and give him the comment, good try but room for improvement