I recently reviewed the new A New Hope Darth Vader from Figuarts. One of the common questions I’ve been asked is which Vader I prefer. I’m saving that for my next article. Yet, I can tell you up front, I’ve only had the two Mafex Vaders (including this Mafex Rogue One Darth Vader) and the new Figuarts Vader. I sold the first Mafex Vader, which I liked a lot. The forearm had broken. It was glued and not broken in a way that inhibited it at all, but it was a good excuse to get the new Mafex Rogue One Darth Vader. I like the looks of the 40th Anniversary Black Series Vader, particularly the helmet. However, with no extra hands, I just couldn’t do it. As an action figure photographer, I need accessories.
On an unrelated note, do you think while Anakin was fighting Luke in both films, he was really salty? Because let’s face it, with Luke’s two weeks of schlepping Yoda through the swamp, he was pretty much swinging his saber like a ball bat. Sure, he beat down his paraplegic father who lost 80% of his body and was in his 60s. But had Luke fought a young Anakin? C’mon now… let’s not have any illusions about how quickly that would have been over.
Regardless, let’s get at it.
What’s in the Mafex Rogue One Darth Vader Box?
We get the Mafex Rogue One Darth Vader figure, of course. There is the ubiquitos Mafex stand. We also get a whopping SIX sets of hands. Fist hands, choke hands, finger pointing hands, neutral hands, force splayed hands and lightsaber/burrito holding hands. We get a genuine Sith Lord lightsaber. One ignited, and just the hilt of one. Finally, we have some sassy, arms crossed forearm/hands combo. Closer look coming up:
What doesn’t work with the Mefex Rogue One Darth Vader?
A litany of things. I’ve had this figure since it was first released a year or two ago, but having never done a shoot with it, I hadn’t spent a lot of time with him. That changed this past weekend. I discovered a lot of things that annoyed me. First off, the helmet top falls off, constantly. Dozens of times during the shoot. I wasn’t juggling him. Sometimes I’d barely touch him. I am not abusive to my figures. I like them. I spend money on them. If they’re really nice, I buy them cool accessories. Point being, if a figure breaks on ME, there’s something wrong.
Like their original Vader, you can remove the hands, and you can also remove the forearms to allow for the arm crossed effect (note the last one had the amputated forearm from ROTJ, which is where mine broke). This gives you another unique opportunity to lose pieces. The forearms fall off CONSTANTLY. As much, if not more, than the helmet top.
The limbs, particularly the legs, and feet, are very loosey goosey. He topples over constantly from his own weight bucking his weak legs. These three obstacles combine to make a very stressful, unnecessarily frustrating, photoshoot.
Those criss-cross applesauce arms that make his forearms so annoying? They didn’t give him butterfly shoulder joints. Consequently, you feel as if you’re about to break it putting them in, and they never get fully in for the aforementioned fear of snapping the arms off of your imported figure.
Finally, I barely touched one of the shoulder pads and it tore off. Barely. Touched it. They made a figure you should be afraid to touch, for many reasons.
What works with the Mafex Rogue One Darth Vader?
Off the bat, I love the rose colored lens this Vader sees the world through. If I were to make the perfect Vader figure, it would definitely involve these lenses, if not the whole head. It’s really a perfect looking Darth Vader head.
The Anakin peek we get with the helmet is off is welcomed, even if the price is that stupid top falling off all the time. I also like the gold square contacts for the helmet to sit upon.
There is also a LOT of hands here for photography purposes. He looks fantastic. He photographs well. He has the height he needs next to my Figuarts figures.
Should you pick up the Mafex Rogue One Darth Vader?
I can’t say definitively, so what I’ll say is this: If you’re looking for a Vader that looks great on the shelf, this is your guy. If you’re looking for the Vader with the most accessories, this is your guy. If you’re looking for a tall Vader, this is your guy. However, if you’re going to be handling him a lot, you may want to avoid him. If you’re interested, you can still get him here:
As always, let’s wrap this up with some pics, including one of my favorites I’ve taken.