Examining the Amazing Darth Vader Deluxe Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow Collectible's
Darth Vader is one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- movie villains ever and he also happens to be a part of the Star Wars series. Suffice to say, that means that for over 35 years, we've never been lacking in Darth Vader collectibles. Indeed, Vader has to rank among the most merchandised movie characters ever, with hundreds of items focused specifically on the Dark Lord of the Sith, including many, many, many figures based on the character.
All of which is to say that at this point, it's difficult to create a new Darth Vader figure that stands out as particularly special or different - much less one that is arguably the best and coolest Darth Vader figure ever. And yet that's what Sideshow Collectibles have accomplished with their soon to be released Darth Vader Deluxe Sixth Scale figure.
There have been several Vader figures made at this scale before, and Hasbro themselves made some really good ones in the past, yet none have been this detailed or impressive (say it with me - "most impressive") as this one. Every aspect of Vader's costume is intricately replicated, from the chain that holds his cape to the we-never-saw-it-in-the-movies-but-he-must-have-had-it hook on his belt to carry his lightsaber.
Sideshow also continues something they do very well (and which matches George Lucas' approach on Star Wars), giving many of their collectibles purposely worn, lived-in touches, such as the scuffs and fading built into the edges of the mechanical sensors Vader wears on his belt and body. Oh, and those sensors actually light up, which is an easy way to get a big grin out of a Star Wars fan, as I've been proving with friends for the past few days when I've shown them this figure.
Per usual with Sideshow figures at this point, you can swap out Vader's hands with a multitude of options for when you want Vader to hold a lightsaber, make a fist or force choke a lippy Imperial officer. There's even a Chopped Off Right Hand option, for when father/son reunions go all wrong... again.
There is also a second, unmasked head, which looks terrific, plus Vader's helmet and mask come as separate items as well. In fact, the helmet and mask can be displayed on a second stand that comes with the figure, which is meant to evoke Vader's meditation chamber, as seen in The Empire Strikes Back.
[A note for those purchasing this figure: The separate mask and helmet do not snap onto the unmasked head and could potentially scratch up the head if you try to do so. Just swap out the whole head when you want to put that mask and helmet back on poor, bald, burnt Anakin!]
The only issue I had with the sample figure I was sent was, well, with the pants. There was a bit of unfortunate bunching up going on that I couldn't quite get rid of, even after doing all I could to straighten them out - looks like the ironing service on Coruscant is lacking, resulting in some potentially awkward lines on the pants, though they are mostly masked by the skirt Vader wears under his cape (That's how badass he is - he wears a skirt underneath a cape!).
Also, as an aside, the light up function on the belt and chest piece did make me really wish Vader's lightsaber lit up as well, but that's a minor quibble. The figures's display stand, featuring the Imperial logo, does light up however, and looks terrific.
In the world of collectibles, there are the so-called "Premium Format" figures, which, really, are statues, given they aren't poseable at all. And there have been some amazing looking Darth Vader premium format releases and straight-up statues in the past, including a notably beautiful one from Sideshow earlier this year. But among actual poseable figures, or "dolls" if you prefer, this new Sixth Scale Darth Vader, which stands tall at 13.75 inches, is unparalleled at this point and has set the new high standard for the character. The Sixth Scale line in general has been excellent, but Vader is, fittingly, the best figure Sideshow has put out in this line so far and the best poseable Darth Vader figure one can imagine.
This is a high end figure and at $249.00, it's quite a bit more than the already-expensive sixth scale figures normally cost. But I'm guessing Sideshow will have no trouble selling this one, because they're ready-made to be a prized part of a Star Wars fan's collection and beautifully prove that there is still room to add new touches to a collectible based on a character we're all so familiar with at this point.
Sideshow Collectible's Darth Vader Deluxe Sixth-Scale Figure is expected to ship in January and can be ordered now, via this link: http://bit.ly/StarWarsVader.