Ah, Variant Play Arts Kai, that action figure bastion of minimalist design and modesty. Square-Enix's toy line hit Tokyo Game Show last week with a few sneak peeks at some upcoming figures - including this rather extravagant first entry in a line of Star Wars toys.

The unpainted prototype is from PAK's 'Variant' series, which is usually where Square-Enix go over the top with an interpretation of a character, but this Darth Vader is surprisingly low-key for the same line that brought us Tetsuya Nomura's HYPER MEGA DEVIL BAHAMUT-MAN. There's little different about him except for an angrier-looking helmet that touches closely on McQuarrie's original artwork for Vader, a dramatically ripped cloak, and a bodysuit that's a little more 'Mech Pilot' than 'Dark Lord of the Sith' - but it still actually looks like Darth Vader. Being able to say that is a scant rarity with PAK's variant line, sometimes.

The monochrome prototype cast actually looks pretty good for Darth, so it'll be interesting to see what differences actually come in the final painted figure. Who knows, his body suit could be lime green with red racing stripes. I wouldn't put it past Square-Enix.


There's no scheduled release date for Darth, or price tag, but I would expect to see him sometime next year.

[Images via Hobbyblog and David Shimanski]

You're reading Toybox, io9's new blog for all things pop culture. From merchandise to awesome fan creations, TV recaps and critical commentary on the hot topics of the day, you can find it all here!