Author Topic: Evolutions: Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader  (Read 1205 times)

Offline CorranHorn

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1745
  • I can't think of anything witty to say...
    • View Profile
    • The Power Of The Customizer
Evolutions: Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader
« on: August 17, 2005, 05:50 AM »
I just picked up this set on Tuesday and overall I think it's a really cool collector's piece. The overall quality of the figures and accessories makes this a sure hit from Hasbro. Here's a breakdown of each figure in the set, along with some pictures I took just for kicks...



Note: Keep in mind my personal rating scale for action figures is:
10 = VOTC Stormtrooper (obvious no?)
1 = POTF2 R5-D4 (hasn't changed in 8 years)

Episode 2 Anakin Skywalker - A sturdy and well built figure with a nice array of articulation at 12 points. I was a bit surprised not to find the ankle articulation the other two figures have, but it certainly does not detract from the overall presentation of the figure. What does detract however is the hideous headsculpt this poor guy has. The time frame between E2 and E3 is 3 years, so one would expect E2 Anakin to have similar facial features of E3 Anakin, but he doesn't. Instead we get a huge forehead and a "duh" look on the face as his mouth is left open.  The rest of the sculpt of the figure works nicely and though it doesn't show in the pic above, E2 Anakin is a wee bit smaller than E3 Anakin. The detailing on the clothes and boots work nicely and the "leather" outer tunic/skirt combo looks nice, though it feels a bit flimsy and I was fearful of tearing it. A nice touch with the swappable hands from flesh to robotic, but the robot hand's peg doesn't seem to want to stay in the arm hole, not good. In the end this is a good figure, certainly better than any E2 Anakin released before, but the head sculpt really detracts from this guy and along with a couple of other minor points, leads this guy to a 6.



Episode 3 Anakin Skywalker - To me this was really the driving point in getting this set as I already have enough E2 Anakins and Vaders and I thought all of the E3 Anakins available were crap. The overall sculpt of this figure is fantastic, the head looks as close to E3 Anakin as possible, although the paintjobs on the two sets I saw had flaws. The set I picked up, has Anakin's eyes painted a bit oddly and the set I left behind at the store had rough yet glossy paintjob on the face that made the great headsculpt look bad. The detailing on the body is top notch, from the buckles on the right glove to the folds on the tunic, to the creases in the boots, the sculptor really did a great job here. What hits a snag in the overall look to me is the overly big left arm as it looks a bit bulky compared to either right arm. This figure is almost an SA figure, I say almost because even though it has 14 pts of articulation, it has the lame cut elbow joints instead of the far superior ball joints that the E2 Anakin got. At first, I thought that was ok because they did the right arm swap feature, but then I got to thinking, why have that feature when we never see Anakin in his tunic with his glove off. If they skipped that feature, they could easily have done ball jointed elbows and made this truly SA. Also of note is the softgoods skirt that this figure has, while it certainly is nice, it was designed such that it partially inhibits the movement of the legs at the hips, I think that could have been avoided if the skirt wasn't so tight on the figure. Nonetheless, this has quickly become one of my favorite ROTS figures as it certainly is one of the best and it gets a rating of 8 from me.



Original Trilogy Darth Vader - Even though the box labels this as E4 Vader, I rather dub it the more generic OT Vader as it has features seen in Vader in ESB and ROTJ. Since the Commtech Vader, it's been hard for Hasbro to screw up a new Vader figure and they certainly didn't here. The sculpt and look is what you would come to expect, including 15 pts of articulation, but nothing really new until we get to the head. The removable helmet gives us a look at the disfigured visage of Anakin in all his glory from ROTJ. It's a really great sculpt and certainly trumps previous efforts and what's really neat is the head moves inside the breathing apparatus, so technically the head has 2 pts of articulation! The only catch, at least on my Vader is that the helmet is rather loose and will fall off with the slightest budge. It doesn't appear to have the best fit. The paintjob was vibrant in all areas except on the shoulder armor. The silver wasn't so shiny, which I would guess translates to the ANH look or Hasbro just being lazy. What bothers me about the sculpt is the right hand, as it's opened in a similar fashion to the SAGA Bespin Vader. While a nice nod to ESB, it prevents this figure from realistically holding his lightsaber in both hands. The softgoods look good on this figure and it's a nice touch to have it along each side of his body. They've yet to get the chain around his neck right, but to be honest at this point I've given up on Hasbro getting it right. Overall, this is likely the best Darth Vader figure we'll ever see as it beats out the VOTC Vader due to the ball-jointed elbows and as such gets a rating of 8



Accessories - This set does come with a nice handful of accessories, though some of the execution comes off odd. Starting with the lightsabers, why two Anakin handles but only one blade? What if we want both Anakins to have lit sabers? I had heard that some people were questioning what the handles were the same, I feel it's because the Anakins don't just cover the movies, but the Clone Wars as well. E2 Anakin goes from AOTC thru the first 2 seasons of the CW toon, while E3 Anakin goes from the 3rd season of CW thru ROTS, as such the saber handle would be from when it was built during the Clone Wars. Still, not having two saber blades is just stupid, but being able to put the handles on their belts is a nice plus. And why doesn't the Vader saber have a removable blade while the Anakin saber does? That seems rather contradictory. The detailing on all of the removable arms is nice, but as I mentioned the E2 Anakin robot arm doesn't seem to want to stay in place and the E3 Anakin robot arm is redundant and alters the articulation possible for that figure. But still its nice to have a choice of arms available. The removable robes look nice and have a smooth texture to them, however they're rather bulky on either Anakin. This is something Hasbro still can't seem to get right with these types of robes, maybe one day... The chain for E2 Anakin looks nice, but is rigid and doesn't lend well to much playability. Overall, outside of the swappable arms, the accessories are not anything we haven't seen before, and even the arms are a stretch. It would have been nice if we had gotten some stands with this set something to denote each figure, but oh well. I think the accessories overall get a 6, if for anything else the total number of items we got.



So if grading the whole set by averaging the individual scores, this set would get a 7, but that's by letting the E2 Anakin and the accessories lower the grade. So screw that, the E3 Anakin and Vader deserve more, so I'm going to give the entire set a rating of 8! I hope you've enjoyed this review and the pictures as I was having some fun with my camera as you can see. What are your thoughts on this set, does it meet your standards and should the concept survive, or should the H move on?

Offline Jesse James

  • Staff Member
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 31565
  • Slippery When Poopy
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender.com
Re: Evolutions: Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2005, 07:25 AM »
I've yet to pick the set up Jason, but nice review all the same.  One's in the mail to me so hopefully soon!

The point about Anakin's head seems to be a major agreement about the set frommost who own it.  I think I'll find the head passable, however a replacement using SC Anakin may be in order?   :-\

The accessories disappoint me some as well...  Just hearing that they skimped a little.  The Clone set seems similar as well, in that they didn't arm them to the teeth (and I'm sorta disappointed in the new Clone rifle due to it being a completely unique sculpt to the acceptable one that already existed, but I digress).

I'd probably be a bit more critical on lacking areas of articulation like E2's lack of ankle joints.  To me they can do it, so they should do it.  Hell, I'd even be happy if they just used the mold on SC Ani's feet to save a dime.  They'd work fine.  Still, it'd probably be a minor gripe to me since they at least have the knees done and that's much more important (look at Kit Fisto ROTS for an example of the ankles being something I consider an acceptable loss!).

Nice review man, good pics too.
2011 Rebel Fleet Trooper Gets My Seal Of Approval!  But Where's The Friggin' Holster On Him!?
Jedi Defender.com Contributing Editor, Twitter @JediDefender & @Jesse_James77

Offline CorranHorn

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1745
  • I can't think of anything witty to say...
    • View Profile
    • The Power Of The Customizer
Re: Evolutions: Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2005, 06:30 AM »
Jesse, thanks for checking out the review.

I hadn't thought about it, but yeah the SC Anakin head. could work nicely in place of the Evo E2 Anakin head. I think I have a spare one at home, I'll have to hollow it out and see how it works.

As for the lack of ankle articulation, while annoying because 2 of 3 do have it, so why not all 3 ya know, i think it's not a big deal because really the articulation isn't widely usable in my eyes. But I did grade the figure partially on the loss of the ankle art. at least in comparison to the other 2 figures.

Offline Jesse James

  • Staff Member
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 31565
  • Slippery When Poopy
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender.com
Re: Evolutions: Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2005, 03:33 AM »
I got my set in the mail from JediMAC recently and I'm still formulating opinions... 

I'm against the grain on the E2 Anakin.  I don't mind him much really...  He's not the best headsculpt but better than some.  Ya know what irks me more than anything?  The accessories (or lack there-of).

Like only one saber blade, no hilt/removable blade for Vader, etc...

The ankle joint's silliness is frustrating to me when I see it because how easy would it have been to even re-used SC Anakin's feet ya know?

Also, am I crazy or didn't Anakin wear basically the same outfit in E2 and E3?  I'm not saying I like Hasbro to cut corners or anything, but ya know I don't think I'd have minded if E2 and E3 Ani's shared an identical body.  I thought the costume was the same...  If not then I see their logic.  It looks the same to me though (another reason the ankle joints are annoying too since they have the molds to do that).

I like the set though, immensely.  I think it's one of the neatest things in the line.  This is a great idea they've got (albeit one that I think has been discussed in collector circles before Hasbro came up with it...  I hate to give them too much credit :P ), so I hope we see more Evo's down the road.  Even the "bad" with these is so low the good is about all I can think of. :)
2011 Rebel Fleet Trooper Gets My Seal Of Approval!  But Where's The Friggin' Holster On Him!?
Jedi Defender.com Contributing Editor, Twitter @JediDefender & @Jesse_James77

Offline Muftak

  • Jedi Padawan
  • *
  • Posts: 511
  • Nearly Retired Collector
    • View Profile
Re: Evolutions: Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2005, 09:18 PM »
just got this set the other day, and I have to say I was impressed beyond what I thought I'd be by it.

Ep II Anakin doesn't bother me a bit, actually he's quite posable, and wears the SC Anakin's robe well enough.  He was the one that made it necessary to compare sets in order to find a decent looking face, but I found one that passed my test. The swappable arm is good, but I would have liked the option of making him an armless "defeated" Anakin as well, with no hanging sleeve.Thats a nit to pick, though. He passes as a great standard Padawanakin.

Ep III Anakin is the reason I bought the set. I had just picked up Pilot Obi-Wan (A figure so nice I got giddy looking at him in the store) and he so needed an Anakin to duel. This works well, but the robe is just too disco-shiny for my tastes. He won't be wearing it.

Vader takes the VOTC Vader another step with the right kind of elbows, more accurate cloth pieces and the removable helmet, his only drawbacks are the open hand and the missing peg-hole for a hilt. They're a good tagteam of Vaders, with VOTC seeming more pensive while Evo is more action. Or maybe I'm just looking too hard.

I'm not after the next two Evolution sets, but I'd be eager to see some future offerings in the single-character line. I still say an Obi-Wan set with swapable Ep I/Ep II/Ep III heads could cover all six films...
I live my life with no regrets...by taking absolutely no risks.
Custom Display Shelves

Offline blaster_e11

  • Jedi Initiate
  • *
  • Posts: 352
  • Charming to the last
    • View Profile
    • My blog
Re: Evolutions: Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader
« Reply #5 on: October 6, 2005, 09:41 AM »
nice review

i'm still waiting for the evo pack i ordered

i've only bought it because i wanted a decent anakin to fight my obiwan pilot  8)
"Wars don't make one great"