Way back when in the early days of 2019, Hasbro unveiled a brand new Darth Vader figure unlike anything they’ve produced before. And thanks those same mighty fine folks at Hasbro, we at Kastor’s Korner were lucky enough to get our unworthy mitts on the Sith Lord before his imminent arrival at your favorite toy store of choice.
Under the already established Black Series banner, this new Vader figure was teased by Hasbro as being “hyper real” with the company going as far as even calling this new line just that: Star Wars: The Black Series Hyperreal figures. And the first one out of the gate? None other than the destroyer of Younglings, himself: Darth Vader.
Well…all these days and months later, the Hyperreal Vader is imminently making his way to I know. I know. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “My friendly neighborhood jman, what’s the big deal, here? Hyperreal? Haven’t we seen and heard this dance before? Isn’t this just another version of the “real scan” technology already out there? And do I really need yet another Darth Vader figure.” Now, look…if that really is what you’re thinking, then let me just answer you with a very short: Yes. You absolutely need another Vader figure. Cause if there’s an ultimate action figure of the Sith Lord, this one be it. Based on his appearance in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, believe me now, and hear me later when I say that this Hyperreal Darth Vader is not your child’s action figure. It’s not even your casual toy fan’s figure for that matter.
The biggest selling point for this guy is the thing you can’t even see: His steel armature. It gives Vader a more stable, articulated core, and a bit of heft, as well. Beyond the unseen, is, of course, the seen. Take the soft goods, for example. Vader’s cape is a thing of beauty. Floor-length and regal, the cape is one of the biggest highlights of the figure, for ya boy.
Hasbro didn’t skimp on the attention to detail, either. From the classic Vader helmet (sorry…no scarred Anakin head underneath that iconic helmet) to the detailing on his chest plate, belt and hands. It’s all impressive, shiny and black. And speaking of hands, the figure includes eight of them (in various states of openness), along with Vader’s signature Lightsaber (with removable blade), cool clear force effect and a Bespin-inspired faux metal grate base.
All this hyperbole aside, there are some drawbacks to the figure. The scale for one, may put some hardcore collectors off. At 1:9 scale (eight inches), Vader is larger than the other Black Series/Marvel Legends figures, but still smaller than the sixth scale (12 inch) figures of Hot Toys and their like.
File this next point under “unusual,’ instead of a “drawback”. Vader’s appendages are a bit…unusual, They’re not solid molded plastic arms and legs, like his 6 inch counterparts. Instead the Sith Lord’s arms and legs, are solid, but…squishy? It’s hard to quantify, but if you’re expecting solid plastic, it will surprise you.
Then there’s the price point. $79.99. If you, like me, were a little put off by Vader’s price point, it’s understandable. But, with the ever growing popularity of Japanese companies like Mafex and Figuarts releasing comparable, if not slightly sub-standard (when compared to Vader) figures for starting around 60 bucks, and Mezco Toyz continuing to expand their über popular One:12 Collective (with figures beginning at 80 bucks), you begin to realize that this Vader is right in line with the rest of the growing high-end action figure crowd.
One more thing of note. For all you completist out there, be warned. If you pick up Vader, he’s not a one and done. There’s a Hyperreal Bespin Luke Skywalker coming on the horizon, so you’ll be able to easily recreate all those fun father and sons scenes from Empire.
Thank you again to Hasbro for this figure sample.