Darth Vader (Light-Up Lightsaber)

November 17, 2012 | By More


Today I’m reviewing something that is, evidently, a novelty figure. However, even within the constraints imposed to this type of toys, I have to admit Hasbro did a really good job with this Darth Vader (MH20), released as part of the 2012 Movie Heroes line.


Let’s start with the sculpture. At this point, there is simply no arguing that Hasbro has pretty much mastered sculpting Darth Vader from any of the movies.


This one is clearly based on his appearance in A New Hope, and the amount of detail is as good as anything found in the collector-oriented Vintage Collection.


With playability being the focus here, this Darth Vader is designed with no fabric elements on his costume, so the removable cape and the non-removable skirt pieces are made of pliable black rubber.


Even though the sculpture is all around great, some concession had to be made at the right arm because of the built-in gimmick, thus the forearm/lightsaber hilt came out looking rather bulky, but until the electronics industry come up with brighter, smaller form LEDs, this is as good as it will get for the time being.


The articulation design also took a hit in order to accommodate the internal electronics in this Darth Vader figure, although the overall joint design is still quite functional, consisting off:


• Swivel neck.

• Swivel shoulders.

• Pegged hinge left elbow.

• Swivel left forearm.

• Swivel hips.

• Pegged hinge knees.


And, believe it or not, that’s pretty much all this figure needs to be fun. The only caveat is that the arc of motion for the right arm is limited to a roughly 90° arc, with hard stops at the upper and lower positions to prevent tearing the internal wiring by twisting the arm all around.


The inside of the right arm contains a bright red LED, covered by the removable lightsaber blade. The blade has a very slight pink hue, but when the light from the LED hits it, the resulting glow is very visible in a normally lit room, although it doesn’t come off that bright in pictures.


The activation button is concealed as the belt buckle on the figure and you have to keep it pressed down to light up the blade, unlike last year’s TRON figures where the light lasted a few seconds on its own after pressing the button down.


The figure uses three button cell batteries to illuminate the sword, hidden somewhere inside the torso. There is no access hatch on the figure, which means there is a definite expiry date to the action feature in this Darth Vader, be it because the power runs out or the batteries leak and just die inside the toy.


On a happier note, the figure still has a nice amount of painted details in the form of lights on his control box, gunmetal silver armor plates and bright silver accents on his lightsaber hilt. Gloss black paint was applied over the shoulder-pads, boots and helmet, giving a really elegant look to this figure.


As usual with the Movie Heroes line, Vader comes with a plastic display base, a Galactic Battle Game card and a playing die.


So, while I would not say this is an indispensable figure in my collection, I must say that this Darth Vader turned out to be an extremely cool toy, and one you should probably give a try, as long as you don’t expect it to last forever.


Errex Score: 80/100




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Category: Featured, Star Wars, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.