Product Review: Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series Hyperreal 8 Inch Darth Vader

Things have just got real over at Hasbro… Hyperreal!

A while ago I mused over my time collecting Sideshow Collectibles figures and said I was looking forward to the arrival of Hasbro’s newly announced venture into the all-new 8-inch scale figure. So, when my Black Series Hyperreal Darth Vader arrived, I was eager to see what Hasbro came up with.

The packaging is different due to the tapered sides, but first impressions count as a collector and I like it. The fold out design is not dissimilar to the Sideshow or Hot Toys style of presentation box, but the angular design and cut make this feel fresh. Vader is posed, while this isn’t something new, as they have tried this previously for 3.75 inch figures many years ago and more recently for other franchises in similar scales, it does give Hyperreal an innovative feel.

With accessories including 7 extra hands, display base, lightsaber with removable blade from its hilt and blaster fire explosion, I think the there is plenty there for variation. A display base is what I would have liked to have seen introduced to the Black Series 6-inch range, but on first examination I thought the base was missing one vital element, foot pegs! I must admit to being baffled by the omission and curious as to why there are peg holes in the figure’s heels, but no pegs on the base. Then I turned the base over to find 3 small pegs and a clip to attach to the base of to the next figure in the series. I will say the pegs are fiddly to extract from there holding points and if you’re not careful they could be lost very easily, so be warned to take extra care.

The cape, body suit and armour are excellent in quality, but more importantly very high in their detail. One thing that did surprise me was that the body is actually a rubberised layer set over the skeletal system and not cloth set over a mannequin type configuration. I do like the fact that that you can attach the lightsaber hilt to Vader’s belt in the correct manner. I am not sure if anyone else has had an issue where Vader’s under cape has not been fitted correctly. This has caused it to drop down and be way too long, ironically I had the same issue with my Vader in 6” scale as well. Unfortunately, on this occasion, it looks like a bit of dismantling including head removal may be the only way to completely redress this issue. I hope this is an issue that doesn’t hamper the line for everyone.

Hasbro’s new skeletal system helps give the joints a seamless look and gives a high degree of posture. I had quite a lot fun here testing Vader out. Detaching and reattaching a hand is a very quick and easy process and the variation of positions for them is excellent. Kneeling, standing menacingly, wielding his lightsaber; the possibilities are huge. The stability of the figure when placed in a standing pose is excellent, with no looseness or excessive play in the joints. Obviously, some poses may require extra support, but on the whole the ability to pose Vader was excellent.

In a nutshell, the likeness is excellent and unerringly accurate for its scale. The huge leaps made in this area seem to be never ending and each new release seems to bring along something new. I will add that Vader is what I feel a safe start. Going for a helmeted character for a new product launch rather than a bare faced character is a good idea, but I am really looking forward to scrutinising the likeness for Luke Skywalker, the second figure in this series.

One thing I am curious for is why we still have this range tagged under the ‘Black Series’ banner. I feel that epithet could be dropped and just calling it ‘Hyperreal’ would give it a larger degree of separation and exclusivity from the other ranges on offer. On my wish list, I would love to have seen a light up display base, belt, chest plate and lightsaber, but I appreciate that would have a negative influence on the price point.

The overall quality is “Impressive, most impressive!”. After studying this first release and despite the small foibles, my overall opinion is extremely favourable. I’m also left thinking that Sideshow and Hot Toys need to look cautiously over their shoulder as the price point makes the Black Series Hyperreal series more attainable and therefore more collectible for many more Star Wars fans.

Well done Hasbro, but I don’t think my bank manager will be thanking you, I am grateful there will only be a couple of these releases a year!

A huge thank you goes to Hasbro and our friends at Comics & Cocktails for supplying Jedi News with this review figure, allowing us to bring you this review.

The Hasbro Black Series Hyperreal Darth Vader 8-inch figure RRP is £79.99 ($79.99) and is now available to purchase from Hasbro Pulse, Amazon, Comics & Cocktails and other high street and online retailers.

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