This completely slipped my mind yesterday, but this week we need to talk about Darth Vader. His menacing presence, raspy breathing, willingness to chock subordinates and of course the fact that he killed most of the Jedi helped make Darth Vader one of the best movie villains of all time. Vader was released in '78 on a 12 back card and was available to the end of the end line. Like the other figures with with lightsabers of original 12, Vader first came with a double telescoping lightsaber, but it was quickly replaced with the common single telescoping version. And like many of the original figures the picture on the card was replaced for the ROTJ line. Vader can be found on most major types of card backs.
Again a truly essential figure to have as a kid. If you did have a Darth Vader to terrorize your other figures with, you had a deprived childhood. This is also a figure that is very hard to review (I mean its Darth Vader, how can you not like Vader if your an SW fan). Overall I think its a successful figure and I mostly have negatives to point out. The body is pretty good, tall and well detailed, but maybe a bit too thin. The neck I think is also too thin. The hands (what is it with Kenner and crappy hands?) are useless. The left is the karate chop hand and the right holds the lightsaber. You can go look at my Luke Skywalker review for my opinion of the telescope lightsaber. Finally I wish the cape were cloth, but the vinyl works and works well on this figure.
The Vader I posted a picture of is my second Vader. I got this one for Xmas of '84. My first Vader pretty much got destroyed (I played with him a lot). The lightsaber and cape were both lost by taking them on and off. Later the head came off when I was coming in from playing with him in the snow. I dropped him into the court yard at my parents house. I must have dropped him just right because the head popped off. After that I use him to reenact the Dagobah duel. At some point I lost the head and now have one headless, capeless and unarmed Vader.