This is a very special group photo, that represents well over 12 years of collecting work and dedication. The study and collecting of DT sabers has always been a real passion for me, and I wanted to (try) to put together a series of all the known Double Telescoping prototype sabers. (As if a "normal" DT Vader isn't hard enough to find) Of the pieces show in this group photo, 5 of them are unique examples. I would also cannot thank enough the other collector who allowed me to finally add the missing piece of this puzzle, the Mushroom Tip DT Vader. Without his
consideriation, this set would not exist.
First Shot Prototype w/ Double-Double Telescoping Saber
First Shot Prototype w/ Mushroom Tip Double Telescoping Saber
Engineering Pilot w. Test Shot DT Saber (translucent - low yield mold)
Engineering Pilot w. Correct (production) color prototype DT saber "Circles" variant
Engineering Pilot w. prototype DT saber (low yield mold)
Unproduced First Shot (not a DT, but a cool piece :))
Engineering Pilot w/ final DT saber design
This is a special section of the site where I like to showcase some of the all time favorite or special items from my collection. This will be a fairly open, and eclectic mix of the old and new, toys and others types of items. One of the greatest things about having a "character focus" on Darth Vader is the sheer amount of items out there, and the diversity that comes along with that. I think everyone's collection is really a reflection of the collector him/her self, and I truly hope you enjoy the items I have showcased here.
This is widely considered to be one of, if not the rarest vintage US production Kenner Star Wars item. There are
less than 5 known examples, and is a true grail piece for most collectors. This ESB Special Offer case is a true
32b, and includes Ig-88, Bossk and Boba Fett figures. It is commonly referred to as the "Bounty Hunter Case" for
the inclusion of these specific characters.
** Due to some new information, I think we need to review the "production" status of this piece. I am not leaning
more towards this being either a test market piece, or possibly even a sample. The cardboard/paper-stock used
for the sleeve is unique to this case,**
Vintage Marco Darth Vader Lightsaber
The first company to ever produce prop replicas for Star Wars was Marco Enterprises based out of Anaheim California. This company produced a range of pieces for every major Sci-Fi movie and TV series of the time.
From Star Wars, Star Trek, and Blade Runner to regular TV series such as "Battlestar Galactica" and "V".
The most popular replica for Star Wars were the full scale Stormtrooper armor sets, and the Droid Caller. Less
widely known were the full scale lightsabers for Luke and Darth Vader. The first series were hand made, highly detailed metal replicas, and the second series were cast from resin, hand painted and detailed.
The first series Darth Vader, as seen above, is an amazing piece considering the vintage. It featured an internal
sound and light FX board which would produce a series of lightsaber "sounds" with a blinking internal light which would illuminate an acrylic saber/rod which could be attatched to the end.
These are exceptionally rare prop replicas, and even at the time were very difficult to obtain. (Considering the
original MSRP of $450usd over 15 years ago, it isn't hard to see why not many of these were produced)
To date, this is the only example I have seen for the metal saber.
"Luke's Destiny" by Frank Stockton (for Mondotees)
This is a modern era (2010) art print created by Frank Stockton for Mondo(tees). The print runs for these are usually very small, and this was no exception. Only #350 were produced, and I was fortunate enough to pick
one up on the secondary market. (I think these sold out via Mondo in under 2 minutes). I really appreciate the
level of sophistication that this type of art brings to the hobby.
Needless to say, I am in love with this piece. I think the combination of the subject, colors, perspective, and of course, this is one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time - It's rare when I can say there isn't a single
complaint, or issue I have with this piece of art. (aside from the stock photos, which aren't even on the same
planet with how amazing and beautiful this is in real life)
I was taken when I saw the stock photos, but I wasn't prepared to take this in once mine arrived. Here is a relative comp. shot to show how amazing it is in real life:
This is easily one of my favorite Darth Vader prints of all time. As soon as I get the oppotunity, I am having this professionally framed, with matting to take advantage of all the colors. As mentioned above, these are sold out from Mondo, so your best bet is to find one on ebay, or some of the various forum classifieds. Obviously, I couldn't recommend this piece any higher to any collector - I am just still blown away with this.
The only thing that could be better than finding an amazing art print for your collection is having the original
art for the print. I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to add this to my collection, and if possible is
even more amazing than the final print. The details and rendering are truly amazing, and I think even more impressive than the final version.
"Luke's Destiny" original Darth Vader Art by Frank Stockton
Don Post - Darth Vader Master Prototype Casting
"Deluxe" Series Prop Replica
This is the actual hand built, mock up prototype saber that was built for Lucasfilm, by Master Replicas to secure the prop-replica license. (Which was
ultimately awarded in 2001, and led to the foundation of the company itself)
Constructed by none other than the legendary Stephen Dymszo, using access to
the LFL archives, and vast documentation, this is widely considered the most accurate 1:1 scale ANH Vader Saber.
The really interesting feature of this piece, and is really a testiment to the genius of Mr. Dymszo, is that compared to a production example, roughly 95%
of the details and features carried over. The quality of craftmanship, and attention to detail is, by far the most profound I have ever seen in a prop replica. Considering the provenance of the piece, and the historical significance
of the saber I would have to consider this one of the most important pieces in my collection. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to add items like this to my
ever growing collection, and will hopefully be something that is appreciate by
Star Wars, and especially Darth Vader fans alike.
This is another incredible prop-replica related prototype that I have had the fortune to recently add to my collection. Don Post was the first company to produce a 1:1, prop-detailed series of replicas based on the original props from the LFL archives. Don Post was allowed to make actual molds off the props, and from these
a "master casting" was made to create the production molds.
Originally (1996-1997), Don Post created two versions of this helmet; the Deluxe "Classic Action" helmet, which came complete with padding, and straps for use as a costume piece. The second was a more high end version was created in fiberglass, and more detailed and hand painted as a display piece, Both examples were produced in limited numbers, and are highly sought after by costume fans, and prop-replica collectors.
This master casting is as close to the original prop as you could possibly get. It is also a very impressive display piece, and weighs in at a massive 16+lbs. There has been a fair amount of clean up work on the inner lip of the helmet dome, which can be seen in the picture. The black extension at the base is not a stand, it is actually part of the casting itself, but does serve as a nice base to display the helmet.
Needless to say, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to find something on this level, but even to be found in one piece, let alone in this type of condition is miraculous . Most of these were destroyed out of hand to prevent reproductions, and this is the only known example for the Darth Vader helmet.
I really admire friends of mine who are part of the infamous 501st Legion, but as a blanket statement for
"interested" parties; at this point I have no desire or intention to have fresh molds made. I think this is a truly historic piece, and the demands of preservation, or protection of the piece itself outweigh the risk of having reproductions made. Sorry guys and gals.
Master Replicas - "ANH" Darth Vader Saber - LFL Prototype
Prototype Double Telescoping Darth Vaders - Complete Series