Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hot Toys Rogue One: Darth Vader Figure Review (MMS388)

darth vader hot toys rogue one
Text art credits to Urbinator17 (Deviant Art)
Whenever I go to toy conventions, I always admire the awesome displays of 1/6 scale figures at the collector's toy gallery. Every time I see my favorite Hot Toys characters, I usually ask myself "Would I have one of those someday?"

Hot Toys and Sideshow are known for making ultimate action figures in 1/6 scale which are sculpted close-to-actual character with great articulation, accessories including changeable head and hand poses. If you are into toy photography, having these bad ass figures will give you many poses and great close-up photos even in the smallest detail.

I've always wanted my own Sideshow Darth Vader but it took years to raise budget and availability is running out.

Hot Toys Rogue One Darth Vader Box
A nice cardboard cover awaits when you open the box!
Then recently Hot Toys has announced it's latest sixth scale Darth Vader - the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Movie Masterpiece Series. It was released on the first quarter of 2017. And finally being one with the force, I found Vader at Filbar's Online.

Now there is also a previous Hot Toys version of this which is the Episode IV - A New Hope - Darth Vader that comes with a Vader sound, light-up belt and lightsaber. This previous release is also nice but I saw some reviews that are having issues with the inconvenience of operating the electronics and other malfunctions. Speaking of which I can add some figure comparison of the Rogue One version and Episode IV.

Both versions have almost the same helmet sculpt and body armor. BUT two factors stand out with the Rogue One version - it has a more glossy helmet and a better cape. Episode IV version is better when it comes to the availability of the light-up saber, Vader sounds and the extra Interrogator Droid which make A New Hope version a price higher.

darth vader hot toys helmet rogue one
I think the MMS38 has nailed the helmet sculpt according to the actual screen version in Rogue One. The triangular mouth is not too big and the size of the dome is large enough which make it so far the best Vader helmet sculpt in the sixth scale line-up.

The Rogue One Vader may NOT have the extra features of having a light-up lightsaber and sounds but the new cape fabric will suffice your expectations.

hot toys darth vader right sidehot toys darth vader capehot toys darth vader left side
Like most review of the MMS388, the cape drapes better and I can attest to that. It's soft to touch yet some amount of weight on the fabric makes it drape perfectly according to the body's posture.

You will never get creases on the cloth and I like how neat the stitches were done to the corners of the cape.

hot toys darth vader chest belt box
A closer look of Vader's chest box and belt boxes.
The chest box is secured by a chest harness and are slightly hidden in the inner robes. Notice the leather-like texture of the belt? Very nice paint job on the boxes with no sign of paint overlaps on the buttons. The paint chipping on the corners of the boxes added some battle damage effect.

Hot Toys Darth Vader belt box light
Did I mention that the MMS388 has a light-up belt boxes? Yes it does but I have to warn you to read first the instruction manual because I had a hard time putting the tiny lithium batteries on. To make it worst-I lost the metal spring contact that popped out when I was re-inserting the batteries.

It comes with an on/off slider at the bottom of the boxes which requires an extra tool every time you want to use them. You can detach the belt boxes by unhooking from the thin belt which could break apart from extensive pulling.

The Rogue One Darth Vader has a leathery body suit with nice quilt lines on them.

The boots have detachable shin guards which are slightly secured by a reclosable fastener tape. I don't recommend detaching them often because it may lose the adhesiveness of the tapes.

It comes with a rectangular stand base and a glossy cardboard platform. I just wished they just glued it on so it won't easily slip off from the base.

There is also nameplate at the center with a carved Star Wars logo next to the character name.

Hot Toys stand base Darth Vader
Below the nameplate is the black rectangular arch that is not attached to the base. I just wish they have put some keyhole slots on the back so it always stays in place. I'm suspecting they did this for easier packaging.

Hot Toys Darth Vader hands
The Rogue One Vader has a nice set of hand poses which covers most of the famous gestures on the big screen.

Hot Toys Darth Vader Rogue One
"Join me and together we can rule the galaxy!"
Hot Toys Darth Vader Rogue One
You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor! Take her away!
Hot Toys Rogue One Darth Vader
Darth Vader pose in the carbon freezing chamber (Cloud City)
Hot Toys Darth Vader I am Your Father
And of course, "Luke, I am your father!"
The Rogue One Darth Vader also comes with a tall cardboard backdrop. On one side is the popular Death Star interior and on the back side is the reddish hologram of the Death Star. You need to be careful with this soft cardboard especially on the sides which creases easily.

A Darth Vader action figure won't be complete without of course his lightsaber. I may not be too familiar with the exactness from the screen but looking up close, the paint and sculpt details is a thumbs up. There's also a small hook on the left side of the belt for hanging the lightsaber. Like most toy reviews, I agree with the pale representation of the translucent sword. Perhaps a stronger red palette would be fine.

Hot Toys Sideshow Darth Vader Clone Troopers
Hot Toys Darth Vader with the Sideshow Clone Troopers.
In the photo above, Vader's height (6'8") is in proportion with the average height (6') of the Clone Troopers in 1/6 scale. Vader's base is just too thick adding extra inches to the figure's appearance.

Hot Toys Darth Vader Review
Talking about articulation, he can accomplish most of the popular poses in the movie and considering the design of the armor, it's kinda' impossible to do some of the Jedi fighting moves as Anakin Skywalker. There are limitation of shoulder movements because of the shoulder plates.

Hot Toys Darth Vader Helmet
A well-crafted Darth Vader helmet! Notice the metal pattern on the mouth.
You can turn the head sideways and can look up and down. I just have some concern on the dissimilar paint of each tusks on the mouth. On the right tusk is pure silver while the other has a black outline. Is this normal?

Sixth Scale Hot Toys Darth Vader
Vader waiving his hands like a Jedi mind trick.
I think this hand gesture is supposed to be in the reaching out pose when Vader is tempting Luke to join the dark side in the Bespin Duel.

I am really happy with the Hot Toys Rogue One: Darth Vader. I may have mentioned some issues with the belt boxes, stand base and others BUT that won't stop me from enjoying the closeness of this figure to the actual character. Also another points to the new cape! The cape adds a more realistic presence of Vader as you spread them and let it drape on the figure. I gave this figure a 9 out of 10.

I hope you enjoyed this another toy review and I would like to hear from you, what do you think of this figure. So until the next episode, happy toy hunting!

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