Star Wars TF Darth Vader obtained and reviewed
Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 1:35pm CSTCategory: Site News
Posted by: Sideshow Sideswipe Views: 22,426
Vader is a very good looking TIE advanced fighter. He is 9.5 cm long and roughly 11cm wide. He has all the detailing you would expect and looks no different from any other TIE fighter toy. There is no obvious robot kibble, aside from the chest details on his underside that can easily just pass for tech details. The blades of his light sabres do poke out from the back of the vehicle, though you could image that they are rocket exhausts of some description (despite TIT fighters not being rocket propelled). Pressing the buttons on his wings fires the sabres from underneath the spot where the body of the ship meets the wings. Vaderâ€™s cockpit does open, and even has a seat inside, but unfortunately due to it being loaded with the robot head the mini-Vader figure that comes with the ship cannot sit inside. The mini figure is 3.3cm tall and can move his arms and bend at the waste in order to sit down. He is very similar to the old Star Wars Action Fleet Vader, in fact they might even be the same model (not sure about that though). Just like the big ship he is nicely detailed and has no trouble standing up.
Take off both of the TIE wings. Fold up the four panels on the back of the fighter and pull the robot legs out. Twist them around at the knees and flip out the feet. Stand Vader and rotate his fore arms slightly. Flip down the front two panels on his back. Use the slides to flip out his hands and use the fire button to detach a light sabre from the launcher. Place it in his hand. Open the TIE cockpit anf flip out the head. Close the cockpit and clip the head to the TIE window. Take the right wing and pull the three sections apart.slightly. Place the wing on Vaderâ€™s back to form the cape. Place the other wing on the tabs on Vaderâ€™s left arm to form a shield.
Although obviously not as nice as the vehicle mode Vaderâ€™s robot form isnâ€™t all that bad. The body is, for the most part, nicely proportioned and the slightly boxy robotic look actually works well for the character. The head is too small for the body really, and sits on a fairly skinny neck that detracts from the look of the toy. The head sculpt is good, but I donâ€™t like the open area of tech detailing on the back of the helmet. It is gold coloured and looks very out of place (but hey, it wouldnâ€™t be a Hasbro transformer if there wasnâ€™t an inappropriate and ugly use of colour somewhere). The arms look really great and are nicely articulated (shoulder, bellow the shoulder, bending and rotating elbows and wrists). The sabre launchers end up on the forearms so that the blades poke out beyond his hands. I really like the look of them poking out as guns (very Starscream). Unfortunately the sabres launch backwards because they launch out handle first in vehicle mode , and so are useless in robot mode. Vader looks very good holding both of his light sabres. The TIE wing shield looks stupid mounted on his arm and gets in the way when posing, so I take it off and put it aside in robot mode. The other wing makes an okay cape, but I wonder what the point of it splitting into three sections is as it doesnâ€™t make the cape look any wider, and invariably the sections just flop together anyway. The mini figure can sit in the cockpit in this mode, but just annoyingly rattles around when you move Vader. As well as the afore mentioned arm articulation Vader has ratcheting hips, two knee joints (one rotating, one bending). and can move his head from side to side (no exorcist-style rotations though due to the neck of his mask getting in the way). He stands at approx seven and a half inches tall.
Conclusion: Vader is a cool figure. Although great in TIE fighter mode some dodgy proportions in his robot mode spoil him a bit, as do his useless missile launchers in robot mode and the ugly wing shield (I would have used the extra wing to make the cape bigger). It also irks me that the small figure cannot sit inside the TIE fighter mode. Vader is also VERY unstable in robot mode, and will fall over if someone farts 3 miles down the road from you. If you love both Transformers and Star Wars then Vader is a must. If you arenâ€™t much of a Star Wars fan, or love Star Wars but donâ€™t like Transformers, Iâ€™d skip him as he really isnâ€™t anything special as a Transformer and is a bit poor as a stand-alone Star Wars figure.
I will be buying the rest of the Star Wars Transformer on the strength of Vader. Despite his faults I really like him. I saw General Grievous in the plastic and he is AMAZING looking (I couldnâ€™t buy him though as they had all gone to pre-orders). One thing to mention is the packaging. In the style of the Takara bubble cards it can be resealed (well, almost), and there is a spinning disk on the front of the bubble that has Vaderâ€™s vehicle mode on one side and the robot mode on the other. It is a great feature that I hope migrates over to the mainstream Transformers line. Something else I liked is that he is free of tewist ties, instead he is held in place in the packaging buy those little soft plastic loops. They are tied up with lsome little curvy plastic "H" shapes that I thought were rather spiffy.
I really hope that future wave of the Star Wars Transformers include Transformers characters that turn into ships, as they could really be something special. Without having to worry about the odd non-human proportions in robot mode Star Wars Prime, Megatron, Starscream etc could really shine.
Credit(s): Mr Dogworm