Let's get this out of the way. That cardback is infallible like a holy relic and brings geeky tears to my eyes. Having a Darth Vader on a Kenner Star Wars card brings back so many memories, it's like an old childhood friendship rekindled. The action figure, while not entirely perfect, is pretty awesome too.
I actually prefer this overall package to the ESB VC08 Vader, not only because it's an all new sculpt, but the figure appears better proportioned and I don't have to worry about the helmet popping off.
Appearance: A New Hope
Released: April 2012
Cardback: 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! [MORE IMAGES]
Sculpt: This is a brand new sculpt with a copyright stamp of 2011. While the overall sculpt is nicely proportioned with correct height, the torso could've used a few extra pounds of Prowse Grade A Beef. This figure sort of reminds me of the proportions seen with the Commtech Darth Vader, with much better paint detail on the chestplate and exponentially enhanced articulation.
Articulation: The figure has 14 points of super articulation for great poseability that includes ball joints on the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. The neck joint only has a peg rather than the ball socket that's pretty standard these days. This only allows for limited horizontal articulation on the neck.
Accessories: The lightsaber is a re-issued mold and the cape can be removed by popping the head off. The lightsaber blade does seem a tad short, and the cape, like most Star Wars 3.75 inch soft goods capes, doesn't drape down as wel as it should.
Topping Things Off: There are very few figures I keep carded and Starcased these days and this will be one of them. The all new sculpt makes this a definite add to complete either your loose or carded collection, and unlike Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon Jinn, will only be competing with a substandard Movie Heroes rehash on a store display, so it's not likely to linger long. This still isn't the ultimate Vader, but it's a mighty good effort worth picking up.
Rating: Most Wanted (***** 5 Bounty Points)