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Star Wars Darth Vader (ESB Poster Pose)
Est. 2005-2007

Unproduced Darth Vader Prototype Figure - ESB Poster Pose

Photo Courtesy of Bill McBride

In the mid 2000s, the toy company Hasbro was hard at work coming up with new and creative ways to keep their iconic Star Wars 3.75" action figure line feeling fresh and exciting. One particularly imaginative concept pitched was to create figures based on the classic theatrical posters for the original Star Wars trilogy films. The idea was to capture the iconic poses and compositions from the beloved posters in 3D action figure form, allowing fans to bring a piece of that classic poster art into their collections.

One proposed figure that got far enough to have a prototype made was Darth Vader in his menacing pose from The Empire Strikes Back poster. The prototype figure perfectly recreated Vader's imposing stance as he stands before a starfield backdrop with lightsaber ignited. Unfortunately, despite the passion behind the concept, the poster figure line was not approved for mass production. But for Star Wars collectors, the Darth Vader poster figure prototype remains a highly sought after holy grail, representing an entire line of toys that might have been.

Beyond Vader, initial plans for the aborted poster figure series also included other characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia in their iconic poses from the other classic Star Wars trilogy posters. Though the poster figure concept died on the vine, it demonstrated Hasbro's constant drive to celebrate Star Wars legacy in new ways while also showing the creativity bubbling within the toy company's design team. The posthumous cachet of the rare Darth Vader poster figure prototype proved that, though it went unrealized, Hasbro's novel poster figure concept clearly tapped into the passions of Star Wars fans and collectors.

The Empire Strikes Back Poster
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