I wasn’t really looking forward to another version of this character, since Hasbro pretty much got it perfect with the Legacy and the Evolutions offerings of a few years ago. In my mind, this figure released in 2012 to coincide with the Episode I 3D launch was going to be just another repack with only a few new accessories thrown in. Boy, was I wrong…
It turns out that Darth Sidious (VC79) looks completely different from those other versions without the robe, even though there seems to be a few re-used parts in his construction. I think the forearms are the same as in the Emperor Palpatine figure from the Evolutions Set, and the legs appear to be taken from the Darth Sidious (VC12) released in the first couple of waves in the Star Wars Vintage Collection.
The torso , upper arms and head are newly sculpted pieces, as well as the tabard/belt piece at his waist and I must say that the end result is very good as far as body proportions go. The sculpted detail on all the new pieces display Hasbro’s usual proficiency and it is something of a shame that all of it will spend most of the time hidden under the fabric robe.
The head sculpt is an excellent portrait of actor Ian McDiarmid, although it seems to be a bit younger than the way he looked during the events depicted in Episode I, probably because of the hair color they gave him.
• Ball jointed neck.
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Swivel waist.
• Swivel hips.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
Even though the rubber hood doesn’t really prevent the use of the neck joint, it looks best only within a rather narrow variation margin, but the rest of the articulation works great with the soft-goods robe.
From the pictures you can tell there is not a lot of paint operations on Sidious. Since he is almost entirely molded in black plastic, there was only need to paint a few details on his belt and the neck stem. The head has the most paint applications consisting of light brown hair highlighted with a dab of lighter tan paint and the usual two-color eye paintjob.
Aside from the black rubber hood and fabric robe, Darth Sidious comes equipped with a red bladed lightsaber and a deactivated lightsaber hilt that can be attached to a peg-hole in his belt; both of these accessories are decorated in silver and bronze paints.
Even though in Episode I Sidious does not see any sort of real action, this figure offers a lot of Expanded Universe possibilities, since it could be used to represent a younger apprenticed Sidious or be used as the basis for customizing a number of other dark side force adepts.