Star Wars – Darth Vader (Episode IV – A New Hope) Sixth Scale Figure by Hot Toys Review

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When this 2-pack featuring Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader went up for pre-sale, there was no question that I was getting it.  Not only did it include the first Hot Toys Grand Moff Tarkin (I reviewed), but it was coming with an updated Episode IV: A New Hope Darth Vader.

I already have a Darth Vader from Sideshow Collectibles but with the various (and subtle) changes in Vader’s mask and outfit throughout the original trilogy, the fanboy in me wanted to have them all represented in my sixth scale collection.  It’s crazy to some, I know.  It wasn’t until I put them both side by side that I truly realized how different they are.  I’ll get to that later and it’s featured in the video review embedded at the end of this feature.

I’ve already gone through this packaging in my review (and video) of Tarkin, so you can check that feature out.  Long story short – same old, same old.

This figure stands at about 13.75″.  Vader should be taller than the majority of the other Star Wars characters, so the scale is pretty good.  As you’ll see in the pictures below, the cape this figure comes with is quite large and can drape almost fully over the front of the figure. It really makes him look quite ominous.  The cape’s material/fabric has a bit of weight to it and definitely doesn’t come across as cheap whatsoever.  Only the finest material is used for Lord Vader!

For those of you who want more of your figure showing, you can drape the cape easily over the shoulders to expose the rest of the figure.  As you can see, Vader in A New Hope had the robe covering the shoulder armour.  That’s one difference in his outfit.  The armour piece also hangs a lot lower than it does it movies afterward.

I go through all the articulation in the video, but there’s decent movement in the neck, arms, elbows, knees, and ankles.  There’s not a lot with the legs or the torso, though.

Vader’s life system computer on his chest looks a bit more basic than in the movies that follow.  This looks pretty screen accurate, though.  It’s just too bad that it sits more to the figure’s left side than directly in the middle.

The belt and the function box mechanics on it seem to be pretty screen accurate as well. I’m really impressed with the weathering on them.  The boxes also have a light up feature that I’ll get to in just a bit.

The cod piece is made of a softer, but sturdy plastic, so trying to work the legs won’t damage it.  I’m glad that it’s not as large as the one from Rogue One.

The boots, shin armour, and the under-suit are all crafted well and there weren’t any issues with them.  I like this under-suit more than the one that was on the Sideshow ROTJ Vader. The boots are also smaller than Sideshow’s figure and look a bit more in proportion.

When posing the figure, beware of the under-suit material showing some wrinkling and/or permanent creasing.  It comes with the making the material film accurate, I suppose.

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I love the sculpt of this helmet.  With every Darth Vader release, there will be many out there examining every nook and cranny for the ultimate nit-pick.  I totally get it.  There are people that demand perfection with Darth Vader’s helmet.  I probably lay in the mid to high level with expectations.  I demand excellence, but I don’t really expect perfection.  I find this helmet is pretty damn screen accurate in the sculpt but with the paint job, currently, mine isn’t done well.

You’ll faintly see in the pictures below there are lots of fingerprints all over the dome.  It’s like someone touched it before it dried.  As well, the front of the mask just doesn’t look like it got painted correctly.  There’s lots of splatter all over it.  I put an SOS out to various Facebook sixth scale communities to see what they thought and some said it was accurate while some said it wasn’t right.  I asked Sideshow to replace it solely for the permanent prints on the dome and they got back to me and said the helmet I got isn’t painted correctly and the fingerprints shouldn’t have happened.  I will update this feature next week with pictures of the replacement head when it comes in.

Here are couple more pictures of the unfortunate paint job done on the helmet.  I’m so happy Sideshow is sending me a new one – especially for the price of his set.

Seeing how Darth Vader has no wrist articulation, the figure comes with seven additional gloves/hands, making a total nine interchangeable gloves.  I’m sure there are many out there just frothing at the mouth with all the various poses they could put this figure in.  Once again, Hot Toys proves variety really is the spice of life!

If you’re someone that uses stands for their figures, like myself, you get the standard Hot Toys Star Wars stand here.  The issue for me is if I use the stand for Vader and I place him next to Tarkin sitting in the chair, which I plan on doing, he’ll look really out of proportion.  I’m not sure I’ll be using this stand, hence why I left the protective plastic on it.

Is there is any doubt that Darth Vader would come without his signature lightsaber? Wait a second! The Rogue One Hot Toys figure Vader didn’t! It just came with the hilt. Shame, shame!  Thankfully this figure comes with the hilt and a removable blade.  The hilt has a quality sculpt and I love the attention to detail.

The reason the lightsaber blade is detachable (besides making it easier to pack and ship) is because you also get an alternate right forearm/hand with a light-up feature.  You just insert the blade into the non-removable hilt. The included batteries are hard to put in but that’s nothing to trying to get the forearm piece in.

I’m telling you with no hyperbole, it took me about 25 minutes to try and exchange the arm pieces.  I almost gave up but on my last attempt the piece popped out.  Getting the battery powered piece in was another battle.  If you aren’t planning to keep the battery powered arm on your figure for a long time, don’t even bother.  I think I worked the under-suit a little too much and it looks a bit more worn now than the other side.  There has to be a better way, right? I don’t design them but I think they have to go back to the drawing board.

I used more colourful language in my video, but holy crap-in-a-hat, those boxes on the belt were insanely hard to take off and put back on to put the batteries in.  You have to squeeze the belt in order to get them off and put them back on.  What was even harder was trying to get the ultra small batteries (included) into them.  Thankfully, my wife helped me get all the batteries in and could get the boxes back on easier than I could.  Hooray for smaller hands/fingers!

While they are not necessarily the brightest of all the various light-up features, the boxes and the lightsaber are appealing when they are activated.  You’ll see in the pictures below how they shine with some lights off.  In the video at the end, you can see them cut through the darkness when I shut off all the lights in the ol’ man-cave.

All bitching about getting the arm in aside, posing Vader with the lit lightsaber does look awesome. I should have taken more pictures with various right gloves before exchanging the forearm, but I didn’t realize how hard exchanging it would be and didn’t.  Now I’m not taking this piece off for a bit now.

Even if you keep the one permanent lightsaber glove piece attached, you can still get some great poses by changing out the left hand.

Here are the two sixth scale Darth Vader figures I own.  On the left is the new Hot Toys figure and on the right is the Sideshow Collectibles ROTJ Darth Vader I previously looked at.  Look at the size difference!  The picture makes it look like SS’s is quite a bit larger but it comes in at 14 1/4″ inches – half an inch taller.  It makes me wonder if that was done on purpose by SS or if it was a mistake and Hot Toys is fixing the scale.  I’ll be curious to see what height The Empire Strikes Back Vader Hot Toys figure will be when it is released near the end of the year.  You can also see the differences in the helmet, electronics, and the armour.

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This set is really worth the money – especially knowing that Sideshow is taking care of my helmet issue.  I find the sculpts and outfits on both figures to be top notch and the bonus interrogation droid is quite cool (minus the flimsy, cheap stand).   For those who don’t have a Darth Vader sixth scale figure, you can’t go wrong with purchasing the two-pack in order to get one.  I don’t think you’ll be sorry.  Thanks for waiting patiently for this second part of the set!

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Enjoy the video!

 

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