Well, this story has a happy ending. I called the local K-Mart this morning to make sure it would be okay for me to return the Vader to them (considering this wasn't the K-Mart that I bought the doll from in the first place) and they assured me it would be. I just returned from, well, returning the doll and it went very smoothly. The woman at customer service was extremely nice and understanding and helpful; I could not have asked for a smoother return experience, and as such, I will be giving this K-Mart more of my business in the future. At least its employees are generally nice, which is more than I can say for Wal-Mart.
And while I was typing this post, I received an email from Hasbro regarding the email I sent them last night. It was as follows:
Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate your taking the time to share your opinion with us.
Consumer satisfaction is very important to us. We will share your comments with our management team so that they are also aware of your views.
Since our ultimate goal is to bring happiness to the consumers who use our products, and certainly not disappointment, under separate cover we will be sending you a coupon for you to use when you purchase your next Hasbro product.
We want to assure you that we are dedicated to maintaining quality products and service. We hope you and your family will enjoy our products for many years to come.
Although a coupon isn't necessary or warranted (IMO), I do hope that my comments sent to them regarding the doll will lead them to use one of the newer style bodies (with a note saying that it is "IMPROVED" or something on the package) in future Anakin/Vader dolls. I'm not advocating a total recall (DAMN YOU KUATO!), but at the same time, for such a visible and important piece of ROTS merchandise to be of such low quality is disheartening.