A couple days ago I got to ramble about my love/hate relationship with Galen Marek in my Starkiller Vintage Collection figure review. I don’t have that kind of history with Darth Malgus. Just like Shae Vizla, this is a figure I pulled out of the case and was like, “Oh, so that’s what that character everyone’s talking about looks like.” And at first, I was kinda underwhelmed, truth be told. Another disfigured Sith Lord with a respirator? But once I got Darth Malgus out of package and started to really analyze him, I realized that his design is very distinct and interesting, despite the homages to Sith Lords of the past…
I’m never going to play “The Old Republic”, so I went ahead and read the Wookiepedia article on Darth Malgus to give myself some background on him. If you’re going to play it, beware–I’m gonna spoil every bit of it in this paragraph. The backstory on Darth Malgus is about what you’d expect–a Great War-era Sith who rose to power, killed his Master, and murdered his lover. Oh, and along the way he also led an attack on the Jedi Temple that destroyed the temple and killed half the Jedi council members. So as far as Sith go, Malgus was pretty damn successful. Maybe not Palpatine-level successful, but pretty good nonetheless.
The Vintage Collection Darth Malgus is yet another 100% all-new sculpt. Hasbro is plainly putting a ton of effort into the Star Wars Vintage Collection again this year, as a huge chunk of the figures released have been completely new tools, just like Darth Malgus. I just wish Hasbro was able to make it possible to actually find all this new goodness in stores!
The Darth Malgus figure has a very distinct appearance, even amongst his fellow Sith Lords. While he’s still covered in traditional Sith black, he has a much bulkier and more padded look than any of the other Sith I’m familiar with. With all of the pads all over Darth Malgus, he reminds me a bit of the “popular” 90′s G.I. Joe, Captain Grid-Iron. Darth Malgus is sort of the linebacker of the Sith legacy!
You might be fooled from a distance into thinking this Darth Malgus VC96 figure is under-detailed to his monochrome color scheme, but this action figure is actually covered in great sculpting from head to toe. The metal armored parts of his body have a smooth, metallic feel to them, while his limbs are mostly covered in a texture resembling Kevlar. The metal chest plate on Darth Malgus is particularly well-detailed, with lots of little intricacies sculpted into it. Meanwhile, his boots and gloved hands look like real leather, and Malgus’ bald head is the only part of his whole body that actually looks organic. I was stunned to see that the little buttons on Malgus’ forearms are actually sculpted and not just painted on! Hasbro put an insane amount of effort into this Darth Malgus figure, and it really does show.
Equally impressive is the paint deco on VC96 Darth Malgus. The closer you get, the more attention to detail you can see in the paint applications on this figure. There are little pieces of Darth Malgus that have paint deco for battle damage, red and silver painted buttons on his aforementioned cybernetic forearms, and even a superb paint wash on the flesh of his head. Until you really have this figure up-close and in-hand it’s hard to understand how marvelous the paint apps on it really are.
Despite being a hefty gentleman, the Darth Malgus action figure still maintains the level of super-articulation prevalent in the Star Wars Vintage Collection. He has double-jointed ball-joints for his shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles, along with a ball-jointed head, swivel waist, swivel wrists, and T-Crotch swivel hips. It’s pretty evident that Darth Malgus isn’t as lithe as some other Sith Lords, so I don’t have a major problem with the T-Crotch hips this time. This nothing that really stands out and particularly excellent about Malgus’ articulation–it’s all very solid, as has become par for the course with the Vintage Collection.
Darth Malgus includes three accessories: a hooded Sith cloak, his lightsaber, and his unique lightsaber hilt. Both lightsabers have nice paint deco on them to make them clearly recognizable as Darth Malgus’, and the hilt has a peg in it that allows it to be attached to Darth Malgus’ hip. The shape of Malgus’ lightsaber is actually one of the most fearsome-looking lightsabers I’ve ever seen, and intimidates me a little bit even though I’m not entirely familiar with the character.
There are two aspects of this Darth Malgus figure I wasn’t crazy about–one is a design issue and the other is quality control-related. Quite frankly, I hate the soft goods Sith robe/cloak that Malgus comes with. I thought this style of soft goods cloak looked terrible when it debuted with Mace Windu in the 30th Anniversary Collection, and I still can’t stand it today. The robe is just far too bulky and poofy looking, and Malgus’ head looks shrunken inside of the enormous hood.
The other problem I had with Darth Malgus is that his hip joints are tremendously loose. I haven’t heard anyone else complain about this problem, so it may be isolated to my Darth Malgus, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a common problem due to Malgus’ bulky legs. I can cope with Darth Malgus not having ball-jointed hips since he’s clearly a power-based fighter and not finesse-centered, but it’s a lot harder to ignore that Darth Malgus’ legs keep losing their stability and causing him to fall over on the shelf.
Darth Malgus has been released for a couple months now and has been in multiple case assortment, but I’ve never seen one at retail. In fact, I’ve never seen any of the new figures he’s packed with at retail either. It’s a dark time for Star Wars collectors trying to buy from their local stores. I gave up and bought the complete case off BigBadToyStore and got Starkiller, Tarkin, Darth Malgus, Shae Vizla, and a whole bunch of other Vintage figures I’ve never seen at retail as well, all for less than $10 each. I can’t really complain about that.
Darth Malgus is rather pricey online by himself, but various online stores have him available individually, or you can always try your luck bidding on the current auctions for Darth Malgus.
Overall: Darth Malgus is not a character I had a high level of anticipation for–in fact, I didn’t even realize he was in the case I ordered until I pulled him out. He was one of the last figures I opened and really not one I had a particular inclination towards–until I really got to examine and play with him, at which point I really developed a respect for the figure. The sculpting on Vintage Collection Darth Malgus is spectacularly detailed, and the closer you get to the figure and touch it, the more you become impressed. The paint deco on Darth Malgus is just as good and greatly complements the sculpt, and the super-articulation of the figure seals the deal. I totally loathe the style of soft goods cloak that Darth Malgus comes with, and his hip joints are troublesomely loose, but otherwise this figure is a total knockout. Even without having any predisposition toward this Darth Malgus Vintage Collection action figure, it surprisingly blew me away and definitely earns itself a high recommendation.