Anakin Skywalker (Battle Damage)
Released June 2005
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on August 12, 2005
There are rarely any characters that can have so many different "transforming" figures that most of them aren't close to being accurate. Thankfully, this is one transformation that goes from bad to worse without having some bizarre step like having normal ol' Anakin automatically transforming to Darth Vader. That's why we like Anakin Skywalker (Battle Damage)-- he's two figures in one, which is both awesome and a curse.
The figure includes interchangeable heads, removable legs, swappable arms, a removable cloak, and a lightsaber. The figure also has a piece of the plastic packaging which allows you to have a more or less "complete" Anakin and a totally fried Darth Vader all at once, so be sure not to throw that away.
With all the deluxe figures and toys that seem to be worth a smidgen less than what you paid for it, it's nice to see Hasbro overdesign a figure to the point where you feel you're getting a screaming deal. This figure doesn't disappoint in the department of value, and this includes play value and bang for your buck. First, let's look at the normal Anakin mode.
Aside from looking a little bit pale, this is one heck of a great little figure as it is. The downside is that articulation is lacking and, again, paleface.
There's a real difference between the two heads, but unfortunately one tends to seem a little too light for the very dark robes. Comparing him to other recent Anakin figures, there's a real difference, but the good news is that's my only complaint about the head itself-- this head, anyway. The likeness is good, the scar is pronounced, and the hair doesn't have unnecessary deco-- as it is covered by the robe, it's more or less perfect. There's a lot to like here.
As seen here, the figure's robe comes off. While not as insanely detailed as some plastic Jedi cloaks, it's flexible and easily removed. It's also too big, and as it contains a chunk of Anakin's Jedi vest, it really would have been preferred if it stuck to his body snuggly. There's just not a lot fancy going on in the way of appearances here, and the toy's articulation is limited to a ball jointed neck and joints at the waist, shoulders, knees, hips, and waist. No wrists, no ankles, and no swivel anything. As such, it's a good display figure, and to some extent, a good "play" figure because he has fewer parts to eventually weaken. A better version of this outfit in this configuration could be done, but considering that you can switch between two different looking toys, it's a great figure. Is it ideal to lead the 501st Clones to attack Jedi? Well, maybe. It could be better, but it's certainly nto bad.
The robe is removable and reveals the "second" figure beneath. All you have to do is swap some parts, and you get the version of Anakin that wasn't much of a winner.
Now, the second head is good as well, with a decent likeness and tons of great detail and scarring I certainly was not expecting to see on such a toy. It's subtle, which is great. It would be nice to see a running change on this toy with "Sith eyes," but odds are that ain't gonna happen anytime soon. The deco is good, not perfect, but given everything you get in the package at a $5.24-$6.99 price point, we're gonna let that go.
As you can see, there's also a way to dress this figure in his best... well, ass-kicked state. His legs are removable to complete the screaming, wretched, and barely human almost-a-quadrepligic that you see here.
If you have the Mustafar Playset, this figure (in this mode) is a required purchase. He can climb out of the molten lava pit to barely survive, and he looks great. There's a lot of rips and gashes and general look of defeat here, from his angered expression to his missing limbs. It's obvious this is a man that lost and lost hard, and as such, is a unique thing. Since the figure probably couldn't exist except in a set like this one, because marketing a bleeding, dying pile of human remains would be difficult, we very much like it as is. The scars on the head are subtle but visible, and the expression is just one of pure rage. Awesome, awesome rage.
In addition to a pretty plain-Jane lightsaber, you get two heads, four arms, removable legs, and a cloak. That's a lot.
The arms and heads are pretty great, there's no doubt a McFarlane, Palisades, NECA, or other company would have made it a little gorier but these are kiddie toys. There's enough damage here where you won't feel like you got taken, but some of you may be wishing to add extra nasty deco to these. The arms pop in and out easily, as does the head. This figure is a lot like Dagobah Luke in that respect. The cloak was mentioned above as being big, and the lightsaber is pretty nice too.
It's nothing too fancy, it's basically a blue blade with a silver handle with some black markings. It's good, but nothing that'll make you shocked or gleeful or anything.
New for 2005: the flaming head of Darth Vader. Enjoy it while it lasts, it'll be gone before 2006.
This is a very ornate package. Despite being somewhat generic across the line, there are numerous layers at work here-- there are two cardboard inserts in the front, a plastic tray, and stickers all over to make this really stand out. The end result is a busy, flaming design you just can't ignore. It isn't as gee-whiz or gosh-golly cool as the packaging used for the Original Trilogy Collection but it looks like the most expensive cardback Hasbro has done to date and the new egglike bubble is a huge departure from the previous two decades and change of product from Kenner and Hasbro. The bubble is much like that of the G.I. Joe figures (two- and three-packs) from 2003-2005 in that the bubble wraps the card, hugging it, where it is taped in the back. This allows you to remove a figure a little more easily, although the folks at Hasbro secured it in more places so you'll probably rip most of these getting the figures out.
In stores now-- or so the claim goes. I have yet to see one in a store.
As Revenge of the Sith was all about the transformation and birth of Darth Vader, the toys don't reflect that particularly well. This one, however, does. Since you can take Anakin apart and create the core, limbless foundation of Darth Vader, this is a heck of a neat toy. It's a lot of fun to futz with and provides a lot of bang for the buck as it can be displayed as two unique figures. Had Hasbro had the foresight to include a second torso, you could have both figures in their entirety (as you would need it) at all times. It's a great little set and one you should pick up. If you leave your figures packaged or crack them open, this one provides a good amount of entertainment even if it doesn't really deliver in the super-articulation department.
Also, if Hasbro would like to make another "build Darth Vader" figure using this toso as a basis you could build on, we'd be all over that.
Our review sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in June, 2005.