Transformers Review: Darth Vader (Star Destroyer)


Intro:
            This particular character that I will be reviewing now, probably do not require any introduction. He is undoubtedly one of the most iconic villains ever created in the history of Hollywood. His signature costume; that rough, slow and heavy breathing – he was, and still, one of a kind.
            Now if you’ve read my earlier review of Star Wars Crossover Yoda, you’d know that this isn’t my first Transformers Darth Vader figure, which I will be reviewing sometime in the near future. The other Darth Vader figure in the line – the Death Star – has been quite elusive for me, and so unfortunately, I won’t be able to do a review on him, unless of course God is also reading this and decides to intervene…
            Anyways, the next Darth Vader figure to be served to us this time around is the Star Destroyer figure. From photos that I’ve seen, both the Death Star Darth Vader and this version are about the same size.
            Apart from the appeal of the character itself, which would definitely attract many Star Wars and TransFans who are familiar with the Star Wars franchise, the allure of four-different transformations modes would definitely put this figure on top of any fan boy’s wish list. 
            The box itself promotes that Anakin Skywalker flew his Jedi Cruiser into battle and used the Force to convert his aircraft into a mech resembling himself, and then would later be drawn into the Dark Side and morphs in Darth Vader and changes his cruiser into a Star Destroyer.
            A good concept, but how well will that be translated into figure form? Let’s see…

Alternate Mode (Jedi Cruiser):
            Although the figure comes packed in Vader mode, I’ll review the Jedi Cruiser mode first instead, for the convenient of the transformation flow. Well, I guess one word sums up the Cruiser mode – HUGE!!! The craft spans about slightly over 14-inches in length and about 7 ½ inches at its widest. 
 
            One particular thing that I like about this figure is how immensely detailed the figure is. From the close-ups photos attached, you can see just how intricately designed the figure really is. Although the figure is not really that heavy, it does have a certain heft to it. 
 
            This mode also comes with some electronic feature. By pressing the button on top of the craft to shoot the well-camouflaged bullets, it will also activate the laser-blasting sounds and also light up the blue LED in front of where the cockpit I presume would be.
            Having said all that, the figure isn’t all that perfect. The set also comes with a couple of translucent blue light sabers, which would be utilized by Anakin in his robot mode, and also Darth Vader’s fiery saber (yes, you heard correct, he’s sick and tired of using a plain old light saber – he goes for flamin’ instead, hehe…). Now unfortunately, there is no way to store any of these extra weapons in this mode, or at least I haven’t found any. There is an option though, for you to store the light sabers into the turbo rockets at the back of the cruiser, thus creating an unlikely effect of the cruiser going into warp mode of sort. I don’t quite like it, but I’m just saying that it’s an option. So that just leaves you with the fiery saber itself with no place to store. 
Sound Effect Switch
Rocket Boosters
Accessories
Kibbles
            Also, on both sides of the cruiser, there’s a huge kibble where you can clearly see the hands gripping to the side of the robot’s body. I know that the shape is quite accurate, but I just wished that they could’ve somehow cover up that part, thus making it seem less ambiguous.  
 
            Anyways, all thing considered, it’s one good looking mode.

Robot Mode (Anakin Skywalker):
            The transformation is fairly easy, but could be quite tricky at first. The articulations aren’t that bad, but aren’t that great either. The head surprisingly doesn’t turn. The shoulders, although they are mounted on a combination of joints that should provide all-around motions, they are unfortunately heavily limited by the size of the shoulder pads. The elbows bend and turn, and wrists also turn. The hips are on ratcheting universal joints. The knees bend and the ankles tilt forward and back, which unfortunately don’t tilt sideward. 
 
 
While I do think that the figure is visually proportionally designed, I can’t help it but noticed how back heavy this figure is! The size of that backpack he is carrying behind him is humongous, thus it’s so heavy that it renders most of his limited articulation useless. The figure itself can’t even stand on its own two feet and for most of the time it has to rely on his cape-flap as a third support!!! 
 
To make matter worse, due to the inability of the ankles to tilt sideward, you can’t really put him in the poses that you would want him to. 
            The electronic gimmicks are kinda okay. There are basically 4 types of sounds: 3 of them are lines from the scripts and the other is the sound of lasers firing. Basical the 3 lines goes in a loop, and in between each lines, there would be the sound of the blasters. The lines are as follows:
a)      The Sith will never transform me.
b)      We got them right where we want them.
c)      You’re no match for a Jedi master.
You can also listen to the electronic gimmicks on the video below. 

The head sculpt is quite okay and it kinda tried to emulate Anakin’s look from the third movie where his right eye sports a scar. Anakin also comes with several accessories that he could wield. First in line is the pair of blue translucent light sabers mentioned earlier. Also mentioned in the instructions, you can have Anakin wielding one light saber and a shield (formed by the lower hull of the Jedi Cruiser). There is a slot behind the shield that pegs on to the peg behind the arms, as shown in the photos below. The way how the shield plugs on to the arms kinda put the arms in a humanly-impossible position. 
Peg On Arm
Peg on Shield
The turbo boosters mentioned earlier can also become a pair of blasters that shoots blue translucent light sabers. Now, the unique thing is that the blasters can also combined to form what look like an arm blaster, pegging on to the same peg that the shield uses. 
Again, there are no storage areas found to accommodate all the unused accessories and weapons.

Robot Mode (Darth Vader):
            Well, as far as what’s been said on the box, this is supposed to be the star of the set. Unfortunately, that is not the case. With articulations exactly as that of Anakin’s, except that the legs are pulled out longer, the extreme back-heaviness of the figure makes it even more difficult for Darth Vader to stand on his own two feet, having to depend on his back-flap again. To add to that already heavy backpack, he has two more attachments on top of it to make him look more regal.
 
            The electronic gimmicks differ from that of Anakin’s, especially now featuring scripts clips uttered by the character in the movies. The blue LED that was predominant on Anakin, was now red. 
 
            While the figure itself had a lot of promise, I can’t help it but wonder what went wrong during the execution stage.

Alternate Mode (Star Destroyer):
            Well, I guess it’s rather expected that this mode was going to be a little too simple… the Star Destroyer mode is literally the Jedi Cruiser flipped upside down, with a little bit of modification. Although not exactly accurate to the movie design, it’s at least distinguishable as the Star Destroyer.
 
            Here at the robot kibbles are not too obvious, but unfortunately at the expense of the Jedi Cruiser kibble all over the bottom. 
Kibbles
            Also, the set of electronics affects are changed as well. Again, it features red-color LED, accompanied with the sound of lasers firing and also Vader’s voice.
            While it is not really that impressive, it is massive and as with the Jedi Cruiser, the ship’s surface details are quite neat.

Overall:
            Well, let’s face it; this Darth Vader still has a long way from beating the Death Star Darth Vader as the best Darth Vader figure in the line. This figure had the potential to be one of the best, but unfortunately bad execution plagued it. Seriously, I was badly hoping for this to be a fitting substitute for the Death Star figure, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

            Final verdict: 6.5/10. 

1 comment:

  1. very good review, thank you! I decide not to buy it.

    ReplyDelete