Gentle Giant Darth Vader

Dan is back tonight with a great Gentle Giant guest review - what's the 411, Dan?

Howdy there! Itís Dan again. I really havenít found the time to write big long reviews, mostly do to the Science Fair, which was just a few days ago at my school. 

Now that thatís all over with, I have time to write a review on the first statue I ever bought: Gentle Giantís 1/6th Scale Darth Vader statue. This has been out for quite awhile now, but I only got it just last month, at the New York Comic Con. 

Packaging - ***1/2
One thing that right off the bat impressed me about the product was its packaging. The graphics do not allow you to see the actual statue, like Gentle Giantís bustsí packaging. However, on the front is a great shot of the prototype. On the back is a little blurb about the famous Dark Lord, but Iím sure anyone who buys this doesnít need to know any more about Vader than they already do. 

The statue inside is held in there really tight and there is layers upon layers of tissue paper. 

Sculpting - ****
Now Iím a huge fan of Gentle Giantís mini-bust line, and this statue is on par, if not better, than those sculpts. This Vader is based on his appearance in Revenge of the Sith, so the pants are supposed to be as baggy as they are. 

There really isnít much to say about the statue because the Vader suit and helmet has been perfected by several different companies, each adding their own uniqueness to their version. One thing on this statue that I have never seen on any other version of Vader is the sown cape. You can see in one of the pictures that there is an indentation close to the end of it.

One of the things I really love about the sculpt is the amazing detail on the helmet. It just makes the statue more appealing to me, seeing as it is the iconic part of the character. 

Some people have complained about Gentle Giantís decision to use black bases for every statue, but I think it works really nice for Vader. The base is smooth and golly, so he reflects on the base. It feels like Vader is just standing in a room with black tiles. This base doesnít work for characters like Chewbacca and C-3PO, because they should not be associated with the evil color black. 

The statue is also very heavy, as it is made with the same resin material that Gentle Giant uses for their busts.

Paint - ****
How hard can it be to paint a man in all black? Even I could do that, but there are parts of Vaderís breathing apparatuses that some companies ignore. Gentle Giant hits all the bases, from the tiny lights on his belt to the tiny lights on his chest box. 
One thing that I really love about high end collectible versions of Vader is the glossy black that is used on the helmet. It just makes it so more incredible. 

Design - ***
I really love the pose Vader is in. With the lightsaber ignited and hanging by his side, like it is only a weapon of last resort and his hand out in that threatening way. 
What makes this statue breath taking is that Vader isnít just standing there...Heís standing in the wind. The way the cape and Ďbelt-capeí flow perfectly into one another... It really is just an amazing thing to look at. 

So why did I take off a full star? I donít like the way his head seems cocked to the side. It just looks odd to me. 

Value -  ***1/2
This is the most expensive thing I have ever purchased in my life, but I thought it was completely worth it. I paid $165, which is ten dollars less than retail. I suppose if you do some searching, you might easily be able to pay less, seeing as this statue has a really high production run (7500). However, seeing as itís twice the size of an average bust, donít you think you should pay twice the price? It never works like that, but it would be an incredible deal if this went for $100. Remember though, this is a statue of one of Hollywoodís greatest villains and heís a Star Wars character, so yeah, it is going to be a lot of money. 

Overall - ***1/2
I donít think I could have picked a better statue to be my first. I have quite a few busts and plan on growing that collection, so I think this will be my only statue. If you have budget constraints, but really want a Vader with this quality, Iíd say go for the mini-bust. That had a huge production number (20,000) so you should have no trouble finding it anywhere. 
If you are considering buying it, I would. The pose is magnificent, as is the paint and the price isnít too bad. 

Darth Vader is such an important character in the world of movies and science fiction that he would be a perfect statue to be looking over your collection.

Gentle Giant has just started shipping the next 1/6th scale statue, Darth Maul and at the Toy Fair, they announced the Emperorís Royal Guard. 

Score Recap- 
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ****
Design - ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Figure from the collection of Dan Levine.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour