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An Honest Review of the "Star Wars" Hero Series 12" Action Figures

Kyler J. Falk is an avid collector and enthusiast of eclectic goods ranging from action figures to weaponry.

The "Star Wars" Hero Series 12" action figures are a bit underwhelming, if I'm being completely honest.

The "Star Wars" Hero Series 12" action figures are a bit underwhelming, if I'm being completely honest.

It has been a long time since I took the time to actually immerse myself in the Star Wars universe, and this is solely due to Disney's vulgar appropriation and misconception of the culture around the franchise. The sting of it is starting to wear off, though, and I'm slowly making my way into the modernity of the franchise. My first purchases since Disney's appropriation of the franchise were two Hero Series action figures.

Now, I went into this purchase—and this subsequent review—with an open mind free from my bias toward Disney, and I'm not too disappointed with the figures. However, it must be stated that I am disappointed with the quality overall, and I want you to know everything about these figures before you purchase them yourself.

Without further ado, let's get into the nitty gritty of these Star Wars Hero Series action figures.

General Review of the Hero Series Action Figures Line

It had been years since my last purchase of Star Wars memorabilia and merchandise, but I recently picked up a Hero Series Darth Vader and a Red Sith Trooper. Back in the day—late '90s to mid-2000s—I was absolutely obsessed with the Star Wars franchise and its action figures. When Disney took over, I ended up divorcing Star Wars, and I made my way over to Warhammer 40k, but as always I've found my way back into the loving arms of my alma mater.

My first two purchases on my way back into the Star Wars fandom were from the Hero Series. Darth Vader and a Red Sith Trooper really caught my eye, and I absolutely had to have them. They have a fierce, but magnetic aura to them that drew me to purchasing them first, and I'd say that I'm pretty neutral about the purchase now that I've had the time to fondle and fiddle with them.

By all appearances these are great examples for what action figures should be, and this is how I felt while observing them in their aesthetic black boxes. My sentiments changed when I opened them up and began to put them through the usual collector's scrutiny. These action figures aren't just made for younger children, but they are made as cheaply as is possible.

As a whole, the Hero Series is great for any child who wants some Star Wars action figures to beat up and toss around. I'd also suggest getting them for any Star Wars fan as a cheap stocking stuffer. For serious collecting, though, look to more quality products within the franchise.

It wouldn't be fair to generally discuss these figures and leave out all of the finer nuances, so let me start by giving you an in-depth look at the Hero Series Darth Vader.

Vader always look so cool, and intimidating, but his Hero Series figure has no versatility!

Vader always look so cool, and intimidating, but his Hero Series figure has no versatility!

Manufacturer Specs for Darth Vader

  • Company: Hasbro
  • Theme: Star Wars
  • Product Type: Action Figures
  • Character: Darth Vader
  • Age: 4 +
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Packaging Height: 12.00
  • Packaging Width: 2.00
  • Packaging Length: 4.00
  • Weight: 0.650

"Darth Vader remained in service of the Emperor for decades as he sought to crush the Rebel Alliance. However, Luke Skywalker would prove there was still good in the Sith Lord.

Enter the world of Star Wars and launch into action and adventure! Discover a galaxy of starships and vehicles and get immersed in exciting stories of good versus evil against a backdrop of a galaxy populated by heroes, villains, droids, and space creatures with the Star Wars Darth Vader 12-inch scale action figure!

With the Star Wars Hero Series figures from Hasbro, kids ages 4 and up can imagine the action and adventure of the Star Wars Galaxy. Featuring movie-inspired design and several points of articulation for poseable fun, boys and girls will love creating favorite moments from the Star Wars movies!"

What You Need to Know About Darth Vader

I was super excited to unbox and start posing my Hero Series Darth Vader the second I bought him, and as I drove home I couldn't stop looking over at the glory of the Sith Lord as he sat upon my passenger seat. If only the unboxing had paid off to the degree I hoped it would, because he underwhelmed in almost every aspect. Don't get me wrong, I still love what he is and represents, but he just doesn't do anything revolutionary, groundbreaking, or even interesting.

First and foremost, this Darth Vader action figure is made out of that cheap, overly-glossed, shiny plastic that not only feels delicate, but gives you no sense of realism whatsoever. When you hold him in your hand he may as well be weightless, he has no oomph and weighted presence. Even his cape feels underwhelming when you look closer, and you see that it is only clamped between his front and back half.

His lightsaber that the manufacturer boasts as one of his main features is permanently attached to his hand, but the blade is detachable. Having his blade, "turn on and off," by attaching and detaching could be said to add to the immersion, but I just decided to permanently affix the lightsaber blade into the hilt with super glue. Maybe if Vader had more joints, more freedom to be posed, I'd not have permanently affixed the blade.

This Hero Series Darth Vader only has 6 movable joints, and by quality standards that just isn't enough for freedom to pose your figure. He has his hips, shoulders, wrists, and neck as opposable joints, but everything else is rigid and unmoving. I have figures with fourteen joints, and some with up to twenty, and they cost me around the same price as Vader with better quality material to boot.

Darth Vader from the Star Wars Hero Series underwhelms in every way, except in appearance. Leave him in the box, admire him, save him for posterity, give him to your young kids, but he isn't really anything special.

The Red Sith Trooper is poorly designed, and to such a degree that I'd call him a weak attempt at a greedy cash grab.

The Red Sith Trooper is poorly designed, and to such a degree that I'd call him a weak attempt at a greedy cash grab.

Manufacturer Specs for the Red Sith Trooper

  • Company: Hasbro
  • Theme: Star Wars
  • Product Type: Action Figures
  • Character: Red Sith Trooper
  • Age: 4 +
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Packaging Height: 12.00
  • Packaging Width: 2.00
  • Packaging Length: 4.00
  • Weight: 0.650

"In its ultimate push toward galactic conquest, the First Order readies an army of elite soldiers that draw inspiration from a dark and ancient legacy!

Enter the world of Star Wars and launch into action and adventure! Discover a galaxy of starships and vehicles and get immersed in exciting stories of good versus evil against a backdrop of a galaxy populated by heroes, villains, droids, and space creatures with the Star Wars Sith Trooper 12-inch scale action figure!

With the Star Wars Hero Series figures from Hasbro, kids ages 4 and up can imagine the action and adventure of the Star Wars Galaxy. Featuring movie-inspired design and several points of articulation for poseable fun, boys and girls will love creating favorite moments from the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!"

What You Need to Know About the Red Sith Trooper

I was much less excited to open my Hero Series Red Sith Trooper than I was to open my Darth Vader, and after opening Vader first I was ready for the ultimate disappointment. As it concerns being disappointed, I was not disappointed as far a my expectations coming true—if you can excuse my flippancy.

What can I say? I have all of the same complaints about this action figure as I do with Darth Vader, but this one somehow managed to be even worse!

My main complaint with this guy is how clumsily stiff he is, I mean, just look at the picture above and tell me that this action figure doesn't look like the goofiest thing you have ever seen. It really has no versatility and freedom of movement, so I can't even stick him on a shelf to look cool. The Red Sith Trooper from the Hero Series really is just a box display-only figure if you're a serious collector.

It's really unfortunate that I have to give him this kind of judgement, as well, because I absolutely adore playing as the Red Sith Trooper infiltrator in Star Wars Battlefront. Alas, he will make for a fine addition to my son's collection of toys.

"Warhammer" definitely wins a more important place in my heart, and has nearly replaced my love for "Star Wars" completely.

"Warhammer" definitely wins a more important place in my heart, and has nearly replaced my love for "Star Wars" completely.

Final Verdict: You Could Do Better, but It’s a Great Value!

With everything that I have said already, I'd like to close this review out by saying that these action figures are of an absolutely wonderful value. Their quality to price ratio is pretty spot on, reasonable, and overall fitting. If you're looking for a cheap Star Wars toy to give to your young child without worrying about a serious choking hazard, you've found the product for you.

My son is really enjoying battling with me using these two action figures, and he is only 3-years-old. It's nice to be able to share a common interest with him, and to get him interested in a franchise that defined my entire childhood. Equally worthy of being appreciated is the fact that these Hero Series action figures don't have a lot of choking hazards I have to constantly pull out of his mouth, and he can play autonomously without me worrying if he so chooses.

Should you be looking for high-quality action figures, the kind you can display with the utmost pride and attention to detail, this series just won't fit the bill. They can't be posed in any meaningful way, their material leaves much to be desired, and they just don't impact you the way they should. You'd be better off taking interest in the Warhammer 40k franchise, and their superior action figures.

© 2021 Kyler J Falk

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