It’s May the Fourth, so of course that means Star Wars day! (Any day, really, is Star Wars day, if you ask me.) I’ve recently been purchasing various 6 inch action figures across several lines. On a whim, I purchased a “life sized” Marvel Legends Ant-Man, which led to picking up quite a few Power Rangers from the Lightning Collection. When the Mandalorian became available in 6 inch form, I grabbed one immediately. And, naturally, I then decided I REALLY NEEDED a Darth Vader, too. After all, he’s the most iconic character from Star Wars, and a personal favorite. Gotta have it, ya know?
After doing some searching, I learned that finding a Black Series Darth Vader might be a tad expensive. Several options were available, all around $30 or so. I decided to wait until I found one on store shelves sometime. Then, while browsing Amazon for Transformers, I came across a listing for this beauty.
I was immediately enamored of this, but the $50 price tag gave me pause. Still, the vision of this impressive depiction of the first on-screen appearance of my favorite Sith Lord kept dancing in my head. I saved a search on Ebay, and lo and behold, I found one shipped for $28. This led me to pull the trigger. I also knew Vader needed a few lackeys to accompany him, so I tracked down a couple Stormtroopers for a reasonable price. (More on this later.)
So, let’s look at some pictures, shall we?
The centerpiece itself comes in three parts. It was easy to put together. Darth Vader needs some assembly, too. He’s basically a plastic sculpture, not articulated in any way. That might be a deal breaker for some, but I like it as the pose is very dynamic.
Probably the coolest part of the centerpiece is the light-up feature. The blast effect and the saber-melted doorway glow with a pulsing light. It’s very pleasant to look at. I especially like the way the orange reflects onto Vader’s black costume.
There are various holes in the centerpiece, and enough pegs to put in these holes to support four or five figures, easily. There’s even a place for storing the extra pegs underneath. As a fan of pegged bases from my G.I. Joe days as a kid in the 80s, I really love the support for posing figures on the centerpiece.
There are a couple things I don’t care for. For one, the orange and black paint applications around the edges of the broken door look bad. Compared to the high-end nature of the lighting effects, especially, they aren’t impressive at all. My only other complaint would be the lightsaber. I don’t care for the placement, it seems it should be more a focus of the centerpiece. With a more creative location, lighting up the lightsaber, too, could have been possible. This would make the centerpiece virtually perfect!
Now, about those Stormtroopers. I was shocked at how expensive Black Series Stormtroopers from the Original Trilogy were. I would have guessed that you’d find these guys released every other year or so and available in large numbers. Maybe they have been, but troop builder collectors nab them up. Anyway, I wasn’t about to pay $35-$40 for one Stormtrooper. The cheapest option I found was battle-damaged Stormtroopers from a recently-released Amazon exclusive four-pack. Two of them ran $47 with shipping on Ebay. Strange that these guys cost nearly as much each as the entire Vader centerpiece did. Hasbro really needs to sell these guys in large quantities on Pulse, similar to the cheap army-building option available for Marvel Legends Hydra Troopers.
I didn’t want the same battle damage on both troopers, so I took a Magic Eraser to one while watching TV. After nearly three hours of constant rubbing, I was only able to remove the paint apps from the head, arm, and leg. Aggravated, I wet the Magic Eraser with 91% Rubbing Alcohol and this sped the process up considerably. I took the pictures with one clean and one battle-damaged trooper, but later went back and cleaned the second guy up as well. I’m pleased with the way the Stormtroopers turned out; they really make the display look amazing.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the Star Wars Black Series Centerpiece Darth Vader. As I get older, ease of display trumps articulation, and this set is perfect for that. Vader looks amazing, the light-up effects are nifty, and the built-in peg options for Stormtroopers are a great inclusion. The only real problem I have with this set is that it makes me kinda want the Kylo Ren Centerpiece, too…