Nice story, Pete. Stick it to the man!
Anychance you have the VOTC Vader? If so, could you compare it with the Chamber Vader? They look almost the same to me in pics...
Ok Diddly - here you go...
The VOTC Vader came with a cape, lit lightsaber, and unlit lightsaber.
The 500th Vader comes with a cape, lit lightsaber and an interchangeable set of right hands - one right hand holds the saber, the other is the one the figure is shipped with - an open, relaxed hand that "rests" on his right knee when sitting in the chamber.
The VOTC Vader features a ball joint neck, shoulders, and knees. Rotating joints for the elbows, articulation at the wrists, hips, wrists and waist.
The 500th Vader features ONLY ball joined knees. The neck and shoulders have reverted back to SW Standard rotation only joints. The elbows, hips and waist are all articulated the same.
The two figures themselves are completely different pieces. I really couldn't tell that any VOTC parts had been reused on the 500th Vader figure. The closest items are his legs, which have been modified/re-tooled to offer Vader a wider stance in the 500th figure.
The torso, arms and head are all new, particularly because the head of course now features a partially removeable helmet and because how all of these pieces come together now with rotating joints instead of wide range of motion ball-like joints.
The belt looks the same, but is new, it does not feature a hole to insert an unlit lightsaber, probably because the figure doesn't come with one. This IMHO was a mistake, his lightsaber should be holstered while he is sitting in the chair.
The cape of the VOTC is supposedly removeable, but I have never tried to remove it. The cape of the 500th figure looks to be identical, but you can remove it - in fact it is not in the figure in the packaging, but folded into a square in a plastic bag underneath. The cape still suffers from the awkwardness of the silver cloth "chain" that doesn't hang right on the figure no matter what you do.
The shape and sculpt of the helmet on both figures differs - the 500th Vader head is wider and the removeable dome piece is shaped differently than with the VOTC version.
Both figures, as I mentioned, have that lousy rotating elbow joint which should have been replaced by the same type of joint used in the elbows of the SA Clonetrooper.
For being the 500th figure, Hasbro presents a nice display piece. A piece that will display well either in or out of the packaging and they provide a protective shell for the packaging that even openers of their toys may want to keep simply because the plastic it's made out of is so sturdy.
If they were going to have this figure stand out from the VOTC version instead of decreasing the level of articulation they should have increased it. I would have started with the VOTC figure as a base, changed the head and then added ball jointed elbows and hips to provide the ultimately articulated Vader. The ball joint elbows on my SA Clonetroopers and ball joint hips on my AT-TE Gunner are sturdy and while they may cost a bit more since this figure wasn't going to be at the $5.99 price tag, if it means another $1, they should have taken this opportunity to add to the articulation.
Do I like the piece? Yep. I know it seems like I said more negative comments then positive ones, but as a stand-alone piece, not comparing it to the VOTC version, it's nice. It really only starts to loose it's appeal when you compare it to previously released items and then you start to wish they had done a bit more.
That's my thoughts on it. Now I just need to find a MIB one for my packaged collection!