Why did I want the Figuarts Darth Vader? Imagine this: Four-year-old me sitting in the backseat of my parent’s station wagon. Arguing with my two-year-old brother, I’m sure, over snacks or whatnot. Out of nowhere, silence. My brother and I looked at each other the same way the rebel soldiers looked at one another on the Blockade Runner. No idea what was going to happen next. We see lights, explosions, and out of the smoke, steps Darth Vader. Say what you will about the man, but Anakin knows how to make an entrance.
In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last 40 years, Darth Vader was the antagonist for the original Star Wars trilogy. He began as the son of a slave on Tatooine, where his mother and the ghost of the force did it. Then Anakin was born, made C3PO, won a race and slaughtered a bunch of kids. There’s some stuff in between. Yet, no matter how you add it up, the answer is always “Darth Vader.”
This is not Figuarts first attempt at a Vader figure, but we all like to pretend they didn’t make the first attempt. It was… not good. It was because of this that the Mafex Darth Vader has been my main shelf Vader since I started getting back into serious collecting. The first Figuarts Vader was billed as the New Hope version, while this one is the Return of the Jedi version. I am not one of those guys that pays that much attention to that stuff.
What do I think of the new Figuarts Darth Vader? I’m glad you asked.
What is in the Figuarts Darth Vader box?
Inside the Figuarts Darth Vader box, we get the figure itself, a lightsaber hilt, an “activated” lightsaber, and several (four plus one) sets of hands. Let’s take a closer look.
What doesn’t work with the Figuarts Darth Vader?
My biggest complaint/issue is with the cape. I continuously go back and forth on whether I like it or hate it. Notice I didn’t say “Love it or hate it.” I never swing that far in the like column to bleed over into “love.” Some poses it looks nice. The Figuarts Darth Vader cape has a wire in it, but not a very strong one. The cape, as is, will not blow behind him in a dramatic fashion. It also looks very thick when it lays on the shoulders.
The chain around his neck is just too big. Seriously, it looks like a dog collar. In the film, it was thin, small and fit under the chin. Good luck getting this timing belt under that helmet.
The skirt is made of a soft pliable plastic. Good for some poses, but any position that would involve him being on his knees isn’t going to happen. I’m sure you’re thinking, “when does a Sith Lord need to be on their knees?”
There are aftermarket items one can purchase. I am on the fence. If I do, I’ll drop pics either here or on my Instagram. (You’re not following me on Instagram? Go do it now so we can be best friends forever). Is the Figuarts Darth Vader the first figure to be hampered by skirts and such? No, I think I mentioned something similar with the Scarlet Witch. I can be somewhat forgiving on the matter, but it is limiting.
Finally, people griped about the helmet shape/size. When I first saw it, I wasn’t going to get him for that reason. Then a couple things happened. Obviously, it grew on me. It was a rare event where I could purchase a Figuarts and get it the same week. Usually, I only do preorders to help me manage my finances better. Lastly, my second Mafex Vader broke. Not in a major way, but enough that an OCD nerd like myself was bothered by it.
What works with the Figuarts Darth Vader?
The Figuarts Darth Vader is a solid figure. He doesn’t feel like I need to be gentle with him. Prior to the week I spent with him in my photobooth, I had him upstairs with me for another week, posing him around while I watched TV and such. No problems.
Unlike the first Figuarts Vader, this one scales well with other Figuarts figures.
His saber hilt stays on the hilt firmly, unless you spread his legs.
It will pop off, so be careful. The Anakin head that came with the Return of the Jedi Luke scales well with it (despite it being made for a much smaller Vader figure) BUT it’s missing a peg to attach it to the body. I could do one of two things, I reckon. Take tweezers and pull the one out of the helmeted head that came with it, or see if one of my spare pegs will fit. However, I don’t plan on displaying him ever without his helmet, so it’s kind of a moot point. I can find temporary solutions for pictures. Like this one, where it’s just sitting on his shoulders.
Overall, if you put him next to your Figuarts Stormtroopers, you’re halfway there to a great scene!
Should you get the Figuarts Darth Vader?
He isn’t a perfect Vader. There have been two nice Mafex figures, and the most recent Black Series 40th Anniversary looks great. If I could have that helmet, with the Rogue One lenses, on this body, I’d be happy. Heck, if the Black Series version had a couple sets of hands, I probably could have saved myself some money. In short, if there is a “perfect” Darth Vader 1:12 figure, it’s probably a custom. As it stands now, the Figuarts Darth Vader is making the move to be my main shelf Vader. That’s as high of an honor that I am able to bestow upon a figure.
If you want to pick him up, move fast. Go here:
Want to see more Star Wars pics? I sure hope so, because BLAM!