DARTH VADER Slashing Attack!
Revenge of the Sith Force Battlers
Item No.: Asst. 85179 No. 85356
Includes: Lightsaber, shield, cape
Action Feature: Swinging lightsaber
Availability: May 2005
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith
Bio: Darth Vader uses the power of the Force and a menacing lightsaber attack to defeat his enemies! he uses the Force Shield to repel lightsaber attacks, stop laser blasts and pummel the enemy. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam's shelves.
Commentary: There was a lot of experimentation in Hasbro from 2004 to 2006, resulting in oddball releases and some amazing new figure lines. This Darth Vader was part of the Force Battlers range, one of two larger sized, chunky figures designed at younger kids (and not collectors) that were in circulation next to Jedi Force. Neither line was particularly bad, they just suffered from a lot of sameness. Darth Vader was available in multiple configurations including a 12-inch figure, a 3 3/4-inch figure, multiple Galactic Heroes, a Force Battler, a Jedi Force figure, Attacktix figure, Unleashed figure, and many others. And the market totally ate them all up for a while there.
This roughly eight inch tall figure was stylized nicely. He's got huge pointy shoulder armor, massive hands, and for some reason a big Imperial shield. When you squeeze his legs, he'll twist and slash his weapon. The deco is pretty great for a Vader, with clean silver paint lines and no less detail than any smaller figure. The figure has a lot of personality, including what seems to be a sneer and an arched "eyebrow" sculpted on his helmet. This is an angry guy. I don't think this is a figure for your average 3 3/4-inch collector, but if you collect toys-- as in, things that are meant to be played with and are durable-- you have to get one of these. I've had one on display in my living room for three years now and I'm very glad I have it even if it is a strangely sized figure that isn't compatible with the bulk of my collection. Vader fans, you owe it to yourself to get one.
Collector's Notes: A lot of fans whined about this one existing, but the line did pretty well. The Force Battlers shipped for over a year, and we actually got a decent mix of figures overall including a second Darth Vader. They weren't everybody's cup of tea, but gosh darn it, they look neat. And they're big. A redeco with a new Batman-esque wing/jetpack thing was released later. I'd advise you get the first release documented above if you had to pick one or the other.
Day 741: May 16, 2008