That's a little heavy for a toy review, but I'm impressed by the care that went into the design. It's one of the more powerful toys I've reviewed because it radiates personality. Anyway! Let's look at details:
At nearly two feet tall, the statue couldn't be unboxed with my normal set up. I had to move to the floor of my office and improvise. It arrived in a cardboard shipping box and a sealed styrofoam case is inside the product box. A certificate of authenticity is included, too. It's the kind of packaging you'll want someone to help you with if possible just because of the length. My cats were of no use with this but investigated everything thoroughly once the statue was out of the box. They approve.
The styrofoam was cut to perfection - so much so that I had a tricky time boxing my statue back up (I still need to find the perfect display spot for Vader). I was glad I took a photo first so I knew where everything went. The secure packaging meant everything undamaged and looking good.
Once I extracted every single piece from the box, I was thrilled to see that assembly was simple. The base has spots for Vader's feet to fit into, and they do so snugly. The figure doesn't wobble and in fact, it took me a second or two to get Vader back out of the base. Huzzah for stability!
You have three different head and arm statues for the figure, and they all fit into two indentations. They're magnetized and it is the easiest thing to swap out pieces. I love the flexibility and being able to change Vader's pose up in mere seconds. Here's how Darth Vader looks in his helmet and with the arm holding the lightsaber:
There are two unmasked heads, and one looks like Sebastian Shaw and the other resembles Hayden Christensen. Bravo to Sideshow for including both actors as options.
As you can see, another available pose is Vader holding his helmet in front of him. It makes for great, "Alas, poor Yorick!" jokes, but this is the emotional aspect of the toy that gets me right in the gut. It's unmasked Vader looking at what he has become - the machine he has transformed into. It's heartbreaking.
Or maybe I'm being too serious and he's just holding out the helmet to polish it. Either way, it's a cool pose.
And now the details. The base shows the fiery lava of Mustafar and the paint job is layered and textured. It looks as much like real lava as paint can. And look at the effect of the lava on the rest of the statue! The red-orange glow on Mustafar lights the cape, the detailed chest plate, and even the back of the Yorick-style helmet pictured above (my camera flash makes it look a little green but it's more of a yellow orange).
They managed to make the statue look as though it's lit from the bottom without the presence of any additional lighting. It's like magic.
Look closely at this cape! Click to enlarge the picture (you can do that for all of them) and just admire the details in the polystone and in the paint. The fabric looks like it's flowing in the wind and the pants are wrinkled. It's all about the little things. Sideshow Collectibles doesn't screw around when it comes to examining every square millimeter and making it look good.
Seeing what this figure looks like in person makes me want to check out the rest of Sideshow's Star Wars Mythos line. They have Boba Fett and Ben Kenobi polystone statues in the same vein as this beauty. This one, Darth Vader, is 21 inches tall and weighs 14 pounds. You'll need a sturdy and solid surface to display this collectible, and if you live in an area that's prone to earthquakes, you should take every step to secure it and make sure it wont' get knocked around.
The technical details about what comes with the statue:
Interchangeable Portraits of Hayden Christensen and Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skywalker
Interchangeable Right Hands: Holding Lightsaber, Helmet, and Hand Clenched in a Fist
Light Saber hilt (for display on belt)
Detailed Display Base
Tom Gilliland (Creative Director), Seth Rinaldi (Design), David Igo (Design), Kai Lim (Key Art), Anthony Mestas (Paint), David Whitford (Paint), Brian Fay (Sculpt), Martin Canale (Sculpt), Hernan Azcarate (Sculpt), Jesse Lincoln (Development), The Sideshow Collectibles Design and Development Team
You can purchase the Darth Vader Mythos statue at Sideshow Collectibles for $349.99 plus shipping. And yes, they have a payment plan available.
Full disclosure: Darth Vader - Mythos was provided by Sideshow Collectibles for review purposes. This did not affect my review of the product.