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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Star Wars: The Power of the Force (1995) Wave One

Star Wars Power of the Force (POTF2) Wave One - 1995 | Green Card Back

POTF2 has had a rough ride since 1995.

The second Power of the Force action figure line, nicknamed POTF2 by collectors, brought the Star Wars saga roaring back to toy shop shelves after a ten year absence. The revitalised series featured all-new sculpts offering unparalleled levels of detail and depth, and for those of us young enough to be in the target market these figures presented the first step into a wider world of Star Wars collecting.

Yet at the time, the first generation of Star Wars fans were less than impressed with Hasbro’s offering…

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Days Late, Dollars Short: A Star Wars NYTF Wrap

Star Wars Black Series Darth Vader 2017

While Hasbro nailed New York Toy Fair 2017 with Marvel Legends, the Star Wars releases lacked anything truly surprising or exciting. The headline act was the complete reveal of the 40th Anniversary Collection, a subset of mostly re-released 6″ figures on distorted vintage style card backs that were already leaked before the event. The online collector reception has pretty much consisted of one big shrug, and it’ll be interesting to watch how the line sells over the coming months.

With an 18-24 month production time for new figures it’s easy to see how the ever-shifting release schedule of the new films is hurting what Hasbro can show and when. That said, I think a lot of people expected more than just repacks for the franchise’s 40th anniversary – but then there’s still plenty of time left this year. With Celebration and SDCC still to come (not to mention The Last Jedi in December), there will be more than enough new releases to get through.

Massive props to Hasbro for being organised behind the scenes though – these were revealed and put up for order at the weekend, and US collectors began receiving them yesterday. Can’t ask for any more than that.

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Right the Second Time

Rogue One Spoiler Free Review

A spoiler-free review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

While some over-exuberant fans praised The Force Awakens for taking them back to their childhoods, there was a significant portion of the Star Wars fandom who felt that the recycled plot, confusing character arcs and return to a status quo resolved in Return of the Jedi was not satisfactory. The charm, or magic as some called it was certainly present in whispered glimpses; but these glimpses could only disguise the shallow plot machinations and rushed production if you consciously chose not to look. With another year to gestate The Force Awakens could have been good; the characters and their arcs could have taken true form. Unfortunately money talks, and it was not to be.

One year later and where The Force Awakens failed, Rogue One has succeeded – and spectacularly.

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How The Force Awakens Can Still Work

Reboot Theory - How The Force Awakens Works | Green Card Back

Personally (as you may have guessed since this is my second successive post on the topic), I’m still struggling with The Force Awakens.

New Star Wars will always be exciting, no question – it’s the single most-important cultural mythology of the last century. But knowing that I’m being fleeced as part of a deliberate and calculated marketing plan tempers my enthusiasm by incalculable degrees, especially when the new entry to the series is as underwhelming a sequel as The Force Awakens was. But then (and this is what Disney is counting on), it’s still Star Wars.

Today I came across a point of view that gave voice to my concerns and helped me to realign my feelings on Disney’s stewardship. Given that this is currently proving the single most divisive event across fandom, I thought it might be useful to share this take on the subject…

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