OK, so this isn’t vintage, but I thought you all might still like to see my Gentle Giant Ralph McQuarrie Darth Vader concept art jumbo figure (I know, that’s a lot to process).
When George Lucas set out to pitch his crazy idea for a Flash Gordon movie without Flash Gordon (because he couldn’t get the rights to use Flash Gordon), he hired concept artist Ralph McQuarrie to develop some character and vehicle artwork so Lucas could show prospective studios what Star Wars might look like. One of those pieces of artwork was an exciting lightsaber battle between the villain, Darth Vader, and the hero, Luke Starkiller.
For me, a big part of the appeal of Star Wars has always been the aesthetic. The helmets, the armor, the ships, the creatures – all of it is just as important as the story for me. Since McQuarrie had such a huge impact on the aesthetic of Star Wars, I’ve obviously been a huge fan of his work for most of my life. And I’ve always particularly liked his interpretation of Vader. There’s something about the angles of the helmet that makes it even more menacing than the final helmet design
Gentle Giant began producing jumbo-sized, 12″ Star Wars figures based on the original 3.75″ figures back in 2010, and I have been pretty much dying to own one ever since. However, at $80 each, I could never justify the price. In 2021, they started producing jumbo figures based on that early McQuarrie concept art for the movies, including Vader, Luke, and Han.
So, around Black Friday last year, I got an email from a toy website saying they had the McQuarrie Vader jumbo figure for more than 50% off! I immediately ordered it and told my wife it would just be part of my Christmas. I could not pass up a giant figure based on some of my favorite Star Wars art. The figure is intended to be taken in and out of the plastic shell for display, but I have never (and probably will never) take him out because I just love the total presentation.
Here’s a photo of the jumbo figure next to the original 3.75″ figure to give you an idea of just how big he is.
I have some other McQuarrie-related stuff to share with you someday, so stick around!