Review: VC100 Starkiller (Vader's Apprentice)

By Mike — Sunday, June 3, 2012

Based on the Clone (or is it?) protagonist from The Force Unleashed II game, Starkiller comes with a pilot outfit and training armor for some Sith apprentice badass-ness. For better or worse, he's the 100th Vintage Collection figure (I thought it should've been a more iconic character that Kenner never originally produced, like Tarkin.) and if past is any prologue on the popularity of other Star Wars video game themed action figures and the cross-sell appeal for both collectors and gamers alike, he should be pretty hard to find on a store peg.



Appearance: The Force Unleashed II (Video Game)
Sequence: VC100
Includes: (2) Lightsabers, (2) Lightsaber Hilts, Chest Armor, Pilot Harness, Pilot Back Plate, Gauntlets, Tunic
Retail: $9.99
Released: June 2012

Cardback:  Celebrate the legendary Star Wars saga that changed the universe forever! This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. Iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are captured with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. May the Force be with you! [IMAGE BANK PHOTOS]


SCULPT/PAINT: The facial sculpt is close enough to voice actor Sam Witwer at certain angles and just a touch too much Channing Tatum on others. It's a decent likeness that has the cropped hair and a somewhat sternish look. His flight uniform constitutes the core outfit of the figure with good crinkly detail that should also be good for kit bashing and customizing. The pilot outfit includes a removeable belt and harness that you can swap out for his training tunic. Both have inserts to attach the included lightsaber hilts that were a little small and took some pushing and finagling to stay on. There's also a detachable back plate for the pilot outfit that you  remove to better fit the training chest armor. All are well thought out pieces that like Deleted Lando and Captain Fordo give you two figures in one. Being the first carded version of Garen Malek/Starkiller made Hasbro really go all out on this figure, even including the Imperial logo on both arms. 





























ARTICULATION: Starkiller features 14 point points of articulation, including ball hinged shoulders and knees and swivel waist and hips. This is the type of figure that could really be more fun to pose with a ball jointed waist and ball hinged hips. It would have made a lot of sense to also have the tunic in soft goods because the plastic tunic can be in the way of more dynamic poses. The boots also have a molded plate on the top of the forefoot which hinders ankle articulation to where he can be a little testy to stand upright.














ACCESSORIES: Starkiller is loaded with accessories including his trademark dual lightsabers, two hilts, and the aforementioned pieces that constitute his pilot or training armor outfits. He also comes with gauntlets that pop in as easily as they can pop off.













CARDBACK: Would it have made more sense to have an actual photo of Sam Witwer as Starkiller on the card instead of a shot of the video game character? Maybe, though they should've used a character photo with some pop like the Malgus card and some Unleashed Force lightning action in the background. The new 2012 "14 back" card back features the rest of the figures in Wave 5 on the top row and others released in 2012 in the bottom row. It's a pity that Hasbro hasn't changed up the three TVC "Prequel" vehicle repacks since Wave 1, although at this point with even the Movie Heroes Class II vehicles delayed until August, the chances are getting slimmer we'll see anymore Vintage style packaged ships this year other than store exclusives like the AT-ST for K-Mart.















TOPPING THINGS OFF: After being released as part of various Evolutions and ToysRUs multipacks over the past 4-5 years, we finally get a single carded TFUII Starkiller. Despite some limitations with articulation for such a dynamic action-oriented character, he has enough for some great posing. He's well sculpted and thought out with two outfit options, and with video game characters like Bastila Shan and Darth Malgus so hard to find, in part due to less than ideal distribution and case assortments, he'll be hard to spot in the early going until Hasbro carries him forward with better ratios as they should and need to. It's a superb figure that absolutely rates as a Galactic Hunter Most Wanted.


RATING: MOST WANTED (5 out of 5 Bounty Points)   




hASSbro sucks!

Hasbro's Distribution sucks Bantha Balls! Price Gougers Rejoice!