Figure Review: Darth Vader (POTF2)

Figure Review: Darth Vader, Power of the Force (POTF2, 1995) | Green Card Back

Power of the Force, 1995

Accessories: Lightsaber, Removable Cape
Appears in: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi

Card Back: Once known as Anakin Skywalker, expert pilot and hero, Vader studied the ways of the Force under young Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. His impatience with the Jedi training made him susceptible to the dark side, which corrupted him as he gave in to his anger and aggression. Vader was almost killed in a confrontation with Kenobi, and was forced to adopt his current life support systems and fearsome body armor.

No OT Star Wars action figure line would be complete without Darth Vader and POTF2 was no exception. As surely as he adorned the card back, Vader took his place among the very first collection of figures…

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Revenge of the Fifth

darth-maul-kyle-katarn-star-wars-episode-1-potf2-action-figures-1995-2000-green-card-back
Revenge of the Fifth – Darth Maul, Kyle Katarn

Darth Maul: an extremely well-designed character who was underutilised and ultimately wasted. If more were made of his backstory (and in an ideal world his rivalry with Kenobi turned into one of the driving forces of the PT), then I think that The Phantom Menace may have had more depth and would have done a better job of setting up the next two films. Of course, less Jar Jar and Jake Lloyd would have had the same effect.

I was going to write that Star Wars Day 2015 was an exercise in restraint but that would be misleading. The weekend (Monday was a Bank Holiday here in the UK) saw me pick up three figures from the Rebels line, listen to the ESB soundtrack whilst writing and also find time to watch a bit of Clone Wars. Although in fairness absolutely none of that sounds too different to any other weekend…

As a final aside it’s now less than four months to the street date for TFA merchandise. Get your spoiler tags at the ready!

A Royal Audience

A Royal Audience | Green Card Back - Star Wars Action Figures 1995-2000 Emperor Palpatine Darth Vader POTF2 Power of the Force 1995 1997
A Royal Audience – Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader

I’ve mentioned before that there are a few POTF2 figures that still stand as the definitive plastic version of a particular character, and Emperor Palpatine is arguably one of them.

Released in 1997, the year of the Special Editions and just as the POTF2 line was beginning to hit the heights in terms of sculpts and paint apps, Emperor Palpatine updated the vintage version with a spot-on likeness and fearsome visage that Hasbro hasn’t managed to top in nearly two decades. Not bad for a figure with less articulation that your average Happy Meal toy…

Figure Review: Darth Vader with Removable Helmet

Darth-Vader-Removable-Helmet-1 | Green Card Back - Star Wars Action Figures 1995-2000

Power of the Force, 1998

Accessories: Lightsaber, removable helmet, removable hand, removable cape
Appears in: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi

Card Back: Luke Skywalker removes his father’s head gear so that Anakin may look at his son with his own eyes for the first time. Darth Vader became one with the light side of the Force when he rescued his son from the clutches of the Emperor.

1998’s Darth Vader with Removable Helmet is a fondly remembered high point for the POTF2 line, and deservedly so.

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Your Skills Are Complete

Luke Skywalker surrenders to Darth Vader on Endor, Return of the Jedi | Green Card Back: Star Wars Action Figures 1995 - 2000
Your Skills Are Complete – Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader

There are some POTF2 figures that are just disappointing – Bespin Lando Calrissian and the Rebel Fleet Trooper being two such examples. When collectors round on POTF2 (and in my experience those collectors are generally the same older bunch who want the figures exactly like they had when they were 10 but then balk at 5POA) it’s best to know what fights to pick.

Which brings us onto Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. Yeah, he’s got the classic POTF2 Luke face sculpt, a pronounced and uncharacteristic hunch and an indeterminate costume, but then there are the ocassional moments where the look comes together perfectly to make the Return of the Jedi Skywalker that you want.

And did anybody notice the new tag?