Thanks to our friends at Hasbro, this weekend we received the new Hyperreal 8″ Darth Vader figure. This is the inaugural figure of a new scale within The Black Series and it is only fitting that it begins with the focus of the entire Saga, Lord Vader.
We also received the following press release and images:
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES HYPERREAL 8-INCH DARTH VADER Figure
(HASBRO/Age: Adult/Approx. Retail Price: $79.99/Available: Fall 2019)
Featuring super realistic detailing and articulation, along with an exterior skin and interior skeletal structure for seamless posing, STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES HYPERREAL figures let fans recreate galactic scenes with a faithfulness to the STAR WARS entertainment that includes the STAR WARS comics, movies, and animated series. The entertainment-inspired STAR WARS details and 8-inch-scale make these figures an impressive addition to any STAR WARS figure collection. This STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES HYPERREAL 8-INCH DARTH VADER figure features STAR WARS: EPISODE V THE EMPIRE STRIKE BACK movie-inspired detail, fabric costuming, interior skeletal structure with seamless joints, and hyper-articulation for realistic posing. Includes figure, 8 accessories, and figure stand. Available at select retailers.
Now before we begin, it should be noted that we are devout 3 3/4″ figure collectors and still struggle with the fact that Hasbro now favors and flaunts the 6″ line over their smaller predessesor. Because of this, this new larger scale figure was not on the top of our anticipation list. With that being said, we are surprised at how much fun and how impressed we were with this toy. Lord Vader comes in collector grade packaging which opens in unconventional ways.
With easy to remove plastic trays, the figure could be returned to it’s packaging for shelf display or storage. Some may also want to keep the 7 additional hands and blast effect within the package.
Once Anakin has been released from his package I was amazed at my conflict over what iconic position to place him in first. This figure which was demoed at Star Wars Celebration Chicago earlier this year has a skeleton that is near as versatile as a Bend’em (those cheesy bendable figures which preceded Hasbro in Star Wars figures in the early ’90s). The figure bends both with ease and with stability, meaning it is firm enough to keep any pose indefinitely. The rubber which encases the internal structure is unlike any used in the small scales of figures. There are no mold lines or seams on this figure making it a photographer’s dream model. But I too share the concern over the rubber used, if it will stand the test of time. Hasbro has used rubbers on their talk Yodas and the such in the past that degraded over time. Although this is a concern which won’t be discovered for many years if at all.
We find that some of the hands are easier to attach than others. This is to do with the peg having to fit in the socket so deeply in the hand that either the peg moves out of place or the rubber around the forearm moves slights.
Now once the hands are attached the fun of posing Vader can begin. This figure is based on his The Empire Strikes Back armor and the robes are some of the best soft goods we have ever seen Hasbro produce. The weight of them is perfect for the size of the figure and the robes appear to fall from his armor in realistic ways. We are not usually fans of fabric capes but this figure is a huge exception.
The former Jedi comes back with just one lightsaber but the blade is easily detachable. The base plate included is notched on the sides which leads us to believe it will be able to attach to the Luke Skywalker in Bespin Fatigues Hyperreal figure due on May the Fourth Be You Day 2020. It also includes what appear to be small peg holes but no pegs were included. I should be noted that Vader too has peg holes in his feet.
At first glance, we believed that Hasbro had missed one small but important detail. Part of Skywalker’s belt was covered by his inner cape and we did not see a hook for his deactivated saber to hang from. But after a thorough investigation, we found the very tiny hook which works really well for its size.
The really nice thing about this toy is that it does stimulate the imagination in figuring out how to pose him next. We also found ourselves want to watch Episode V immediately to look for new inspiration for stances and arm positions.
Again, we can not stress enough how this figure was nowhere near our radar but it really is a great piece to have in a collection. In the past, we enjoyed collecting Hasbro’s Collector Series 12″ figures due to both the price and detail integrated into those figures. Once they were discontinued, we really stopped with large scale figures due to the high prices for Sideshow and Hot Toys figures. Hyperreal is a great in-between line bridging playable and high-end figures in terms of cost. And with only one or so figures a year makes the $80 price tag even more manageable.
We are surprised, more than anyone, that this will not be our only Hyperreal figure and now even more so looking forward to Bespin Luke’s release next year. The question now appears, which figure would you like them to do next? Han Solo from A New Hope would be a great one to take advantage of the super-possibility feature. Leia from ANH would be great too but I fear unless she came with an Artoo, like the Forces of Destiny version, the price would have to come down. Will Hasbro venture into aliens (because a Jar Jar would be killer in this style)? Will they venture into molded or real-rooted hair? And if the latter, what would Chewie look like? Our vote is for an Obi-Wan Kenobi and who knows if this line is a success and continues then with Kenobi getting his own series there just might be hope. Hasbro, you are our only hope.
Until then, we are gonna continue enjoying our new Dark Lord of the Sith and count the days until he can duel his son (who is up for pre-sale at Hasbro Pulse right now).