Mighty Muggs
Darth Vader (Version 2)
5 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
2009
$9.99

This is actually my first Mighty Mugg review, although I purchased my first Mugg (Iron Man) nearly two years ago when K*B Toys was going out of business. For whatever reason I never took that one out of the box and despite being tempted to purchase others… I never did. I’ve been wowed by the charm and allure of Muggs again so expect some reviews in the weeks and months ahead.

Darth Vader was the Sith title given to Anakin Skywalker by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine after he embraced the dark side. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, Vader was charged with retrieving the stolen plans for the Death Star and finding the hidden base of the Rebel Alliance. Finally challenged by his long lost son Luke Skywalker, Vader overthrew the Emperor. In his final moments, he pleaded with Luke to remove his mask so that he could look on him with his own eyes. Vader found redemption in the light side of the Force. Darth Vader was no more; Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, had returned and brought balance to the Force.

I decided that Vader fit in with the March of the Robots theme. How so? Okay so Darth Vader really isn’t a robot. If anything, he’s a cyborg, but I’ve been pretty lax about what qualifies as a robot for March of the Robots. Plus as Obi-Wan said, “He’s more machine now than man; twisted and evil” and that’s good enough for me. Who are you to doubt Obi-wan?!

As for Vader himself, I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a Star Wars purist, but generally speaking I found the prequels as failures if for nothing other than the fact they pretty much took perhaps the most awesome villain in cinema history and turned him into a pansy. Plus the three prequels build up Darth Vader as if he’s already the centerpiece of the Empire, but in the original Star Wars film he’s not even second in command until Tarkin dies. It’s like the “rise of middle management” or something, but your mileage may vary. Since Vader’s cool persona has been castrated in my mind, so I’m fine with having a Mugg of him. He’s not a bad ass, he’s bobble head and bubble bath fodder now.

Packaging:
Mighty Muggs are packed into nice little window boxes. Hasbro was clearly taking a page out of designer vinyl when they came up with the Muggs and so the window boxes sort of follow the trends set in that field. However, Hasbro didn’t just phone it in, opting instead to create some nice, stylistic boxes.


This is the “version 2” type of Darth Vader. That means that this Vader is from Return of the Jedi when he’s dying and has his mask removed to reveal Hayden Christensen’s face. I’m kidding of course, Lucas hasn’t “fixed” that part of the original trilogy yet. Maybe for the 40th anniversary!


Since that’s the exclusive part of this figure, his large Mugg cartoon shows off his bald head. It wraps around the full package. It’s a pretty cool display piece as a result and I know a lot of people keep their Muggs in package.


The back of the package shows off the other figures in the series. It also shows off an important feature… This Mugg’s head can turn around to make him NORMAL Darth Vader. That’s important. I say that because I wasn’t ever going to buy this guy because I don’t need an unmasked Mugg Vader, but once I realized this version also allowed me to make a regular Vader, I bought him in a heartbeat.

Sculpt:
Mighty Muggs mostly use the same sculpt, but they do add to it when appropriate. Vader uses the basic sculpt, but his hand is removable to give the effect of his robotic hand that Luke cuts off in the movie. That’s a neat feature and it gives this figure a bonus point of articulation.


The head sculpt underneath the helmet looks surprisingly like Sebastian Shaw, the actor who played unmasked Vader in Return of the Jedi. It’s scary how much that looks like him, considering Mugg’s limitations. If you’ve ever seen Shaw in real life, he pretty much looks like that.


The best part though is that you can remove the top of the helmet, turn his head around and have a regular Darth Vader. The helmet fits on pretty snug, but it’s easy to pop off and on. The paint work is really well done on all fronts. I have no complaints whatsoever about the paint. This is really one of the more complicated Muggs in terms of paint detail as well.

I do have a minor quibble with the fact that his lightsaber is sculpted into his hand. There’s no real point in that since the other lightsabers are removable. The hand is almost impossible to swap in and out as well. Finally, the cape is worthless. For whatever reason ALL Mighty Muggs’ capes are longer than the figure and thus they can’t wear them and stand. They need to be about a half inch shorter.

Articulation:
Mighty Muggs have 3 points of articulation. Head swivel, arms swivel. Vader actually has 4 points of articulation making him practically the McFarlance Spider-man of Hasbro’s Muggs. His wrist has another swivel in it, since it’s removable. All this wrist swivel manages to do is make you realize that all the wrists should swivel on these guys. And no, even though it looks like the legs should move, they don’t.

Accessories:
Since the lightsaber is stuck in his hand, all you really get is a cape that’s too long and the helmet.


Personally I think Mighty Muggs should all come with a couple of weapons to balance out the cost, but it is what it is. Real designer vinyl can cost an arm and a leg, so I guess this isn’t so bad. The lightsabe not being removable is dunderheaded though and the capes need to be redesigned.

Value:
Meh, $10 is pretty steep for a toy that’s got so little going for it. However these are very stylistic and they offer up something that caters to a specific genre. For that reason alone they can’t really be graded in the same way I do most action figures. At $10 a pop these are a “decent” value, but if you’re looking for a true blue toy, you can do better.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 3
Accessories – Removable Hand, Helmet, Cape
Value – 6
Overall – 6 out of 10

Mighty Muggs are an acquired taste. If you like the neat stylized look of these guys, Vader is the bee’s knees. The only real flaw is the lightsaber being made into the hand. If you’re a regular toy collector and don’t care for the style so much, don’t bother. These won’t be for you. They truly are nerd hummels, but they are quite cool in that sense. If you want to see some similar figures, check out my reviews of the Halo Odd Pod Orbiter and Odd Pod Spartan Hayabusa reviews. They rode in on the Mighty Mugg wave.

4 Responses to Mighty Muggs: Darth Vader Review

  • Cloud says:

    I would say the value is pretty good or at least not as bad. I would give them an 8. The thoughtful box packages which have individual graphic design for each Mugg. The plastic use for them is sturdy and have some weight to them.
    The capes for Mighty Muggs aren't too long but mostly a bit on the hard side. You have to dip them in hot water to making them softer and adjust the neck part and they will be the exact height as the Muggs.

  • Yeah, I don't think you should have to remold the cape out of the package. Just a bummer in my view.

  • Toyoverlord says:

    Nice review, I agree about the issue with the cape, it’s a problem with the Mighty Muggs line. But overall they’re one of my favorite vinyl toy series produced.

    • Newton says:

      It burned hot and fast, but I think it had a lot of potential. Definitely a lot of neat toys came out of it.

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