5POA is not OK. But 5POA of a character that we’ve already had multiple times in SA form is a crime against humanity. This is a figure that, by itself, isn’t a bad effort by Hasbro. But given the state of the line these days, it only serves to make me angry. My goal is that by end of this review, you will overlook the good things about this figure and be as angry as I am about it.
Not surprisingly, Darth Vader has made it into every 5POA line since Hasbro/Disney headed down the current dark path. A cartoony Vader was included in the Rebels line, a Vader with a soft cape was in the TFA line. this figure with a plastic cape is part of the Rogue One line, and Hasbro managed to sneak a Hoth Vader into the TLJ line as a pack-in with the Probe Droid. If you go back to the beginning of the modern line, there might actually be more 5POA Darth Vader figures than SA versions, and we’ve only been adding to that tally lately. As far as I’m concerned, they all serve the same purpose: to widen the gap between collectors and the line itself.
My colleague, Chris, is something approaching a Darth Vader connoisseur. But after he did a recent Chopper figure review, it was too much for him to handle this review as well. So, I’m not going to spend too much time going into the minutiae of what might make this figure good, but here it goes: It’s got a nice helmet sculpt and it has a 6th POA (waist). The robes that are sculpted over the chest armor make this a Rogue One- / A New Hope-era costume, so Hasbro deserves some kudos there. There’s no red tint to the eye lenses, which might otherwise be annoying. The inner skirt is sculpted plastic, but leaves enough room for leg mobility.
But here’s the thing, and I believe that Peter Griffin states it best…
Why should we care about any of these things when we’ve gotten no less than 478 better, super-articulated Darth Vaders? There’s simply nothing here that would compel anyone who already has a Darth Vader figure to buy this. At least most of the 5POA figures over the past few years have been character / outfit debuts from media sources that basically lacked any meaningful collector-grade support. The fact that Hasbro showed here that they can pay attention to detail and add an extra point of articulation beyond the now standard 5POA is just more of an insult than anything else. From my point of view the Jedi are evil Hasbro spending extra time on a 5POA figure that already exists in SA form is a complete waste of time and resources, and might as well be spent on an SA figure. Hasbro didn’t even think to just repack the VC93 Vader into the Walmart line.
The figure comes with a lightsaber and a stupid gummy spring-loaded launcher thing. Ackbar thinks it’s yummy.
So I am completely disinterested in Hasbro’s efforts here. Totally unnecessary for this figure to have been manufactured. Any time Hasbro adds “old media” characters into the current 5POA line simply hammers home the point that the line was once so great, and it’s basically one big disappointment now. It gets a 2. If this were a new media character that had no other releases, it would score higher. Another Darth Vader in 5POA? You can keep this, Hasbro. Keep it in the vault, and never let it see the light of day. We deserve better.