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JEDIpartner
11-07-2004, 10:16 AM
Okay... I buckled and bought it. It was really calling to me. I think I gave into the Dark Side!!

I have to say that the mask and helmet are on par with most of the Don Post-type Vader masks. No, it is not 100% movie accurate and the helmet is a little smaller than it should be, but it looks NICE and that's what counts.

I had a couple items to return to TRU (as I was going through my closet) and managed to get it for a pretty fair price.

There are vents along the neck area to prevent fogging from occurring so that's the only thing that isn't great. Still, they are rather difficult to notice once the mask is on. Customisers could probably get a nice lightweight cotton material to glue to the inside to mask them even further.

The helmet comes in two pieces. There is the actualy helmet itself and then the mask. The mask has a nicely done eyes so you can't really see into the mask once it is on. They are black and not red, but what are you going to do? They appear SLIGHTLY tinted when you look through it.

There is a little microphone with a bendy rubber stem behind the mouth area of the mask, so you can adjust where it hits your mouth.

The face mask portion is rather substantial, leaving only the back 1/4 exposed. The "adjustable" portion of the mask comes via two straps that are designed a bit like that on a ballcap. You know... the kind with the holes and pegs that snap together. Once you have it adjusted, you can, more or less, just pull it on or off.

The helmet is a full helmet and it hides the little "exposed" area at the back of the mask quite well. It slides on over the top of the mask and there is a tab right above the nose that locks it in place.

The electronics box is detailed enough and is connected by two, sturdy cloth straps that join it to the bottom of the face mask at the neck. The wire going from the microphone runs through one of the straps. The nice thing about the length of the straps is that they made it long enough to accomodate the chest plate if you so desired to create a full costume.

There is one button that plays the classic breathing sound. It plays for about 10 seconds, which doesn't seem like much, but it does the job. There is another button that activates the phrases from the movies. It's fine enough and has a good amount of volume.

The Voice Changer mode... that's another thing altogether. The instructions tell you to lower your voice and do pretty much all that you can to sound like Vader on your own merit. There are three settings you can use for the "vocal assist". Two of them add either tons of reverb or echo. Neither of which makes you sound much like Vader versus just standing in an empty auditorium. The third setting is fine enough, but you really have to try to do your best Vader impersonation to make it work. It adds a little bit of the metallic, hollow, resonating sound which everone is familiar with.

Overall, the helmet and the electronics box are quite nice and will help a person on a budget create a great Vader costume (without having to spend $60 on a "fair" mask and no box). The actual voice changer is kinda iffy, but the appearance really makes it all worth it.

I give it a solid "A".

JEDIpartner
11-07-2004, 10:19 AM
Oh! And these seem to be rather plentiful at the TRUs in Cleveland, so it won't be tough to find one.

Happy hunting!:D

plasticfetish
11-08-2004, 12:03 AM
I'm sold.

It's pretty certain that I'll be buying one of these for the kid for X-mas, and I'm more than likely going to get myself one. I can already predict weekends where we both just sit around talking to each other in "Vader voice" until my wife freaks out and start screaming at us.

JEDIpartner
11-08-2004, 09:11 AM
:D Yeah... it's pretty cool. I keep going back and forth between wanting to touch and look at it and actually wearing it. God, I'm sad. :rolleyes: