Pros: Darth Vader; bank.
Cons: Can be loud.
I think that the amount of merchandising that accompanies movies today is simply amazing. Just when I thought there could not be another Star Wars toy, game or accessory out there that we did not already have in this house, a new one appears. This time, my son received a gift of the Star Wars Electronic Talking Darth Vader Bank.
This bank has a ten-inch tall hard plastic Darth Vader figure attached to a base, making the entire toy twelve and one half inches tall. The base measure seven and one half inches square, so that this is a fairly large item to find room on the shelf for. The bank (both base and base) is primarily black, with some gray/silver accents.
Darth Vader's feet are attached quite securely to the base so that if it is picked up by the doll, it will not snap off. Of course, the entire item is just plastic, so it could eventually break if abused.
On the front right corner of the base are the words "Star Wars" printed in silver on a rectangular button. When you insert a coin in the slot in front of Vader, or press this button, you will hear the Darth Vader's movie theme music followed by Darth Vader's heavy breathing and then "Impressive. Most Impressive. But you are not a Jedi yet." The theme music then plays again. As the sound plays, three lights (one red and two green) on Vader's chest-plate flash on and off as his upper torso swivels, and after he finishes speaking, the three lights remain on as his right arm raises his light saber which then glows red. The sequence lasts about thirty seconds and once it starts, there is no way to stop it.
The speaker is on the bottom of the base, but since it sits on small feet, it does not sit flush with the shelf so that the voice and music can be heard loud and clear. In fact, it can be heard clearly more than twenty feet away, even with other household noise in the background. There is no volume control, but a small towel or piece of cloth placed underneath it does muffle the sound if you find the volume too loud.
Coins are easily removed by twisting the cover off of the bottom, and no screwdriver or special tool is required. A small screwdriver is required to replace the three "AAA" batteries used to power the lights and sounds. Though there is no on/off switch, the batteries last a long time since it is only activated when a coin is inserted or the button is pushed.
Banks are generally intended to be items that sit on shelves as display pieces to be used occasionally when you have some change. This one, however, has been used in play duels with other Star Wars figures, and has held up just fine.
I like the fact that this bank has a button to press to hear the sound and see Darth Vader move. Growing up, my brother had a bank collection, and he and I constantly emptied coins out of them so we could keep hearing or seeing those with movable parts do their thing. This button helps ensure that the coins remain in the bank rather than being lost all over my son's room.
The Star Wars Electronic Talking Darth Vader Bank is recommended for ages 4 and up, and my eight year old definitely loves his. I do however know a number of adult Star Wars fans who have indicated that this bank would be a great statue to have in their office, so fans of all ages would enjoy this bank - of course, if they prefer the Dark Side, that would be a help!
Other Star Wars items my family enjoys:
Build Your Own Light Saber
Star Wars Vader Force Sprinkler
Wookiee Blaster Super Soaker Water Gun
Darth Vader Voice Changer Mask
Star Wars Monopoly - Saga Edition
Star Wars Mpire: M-Trooper and M-Vader
Star Wars Mpire: M-Grievous & M-Obi Wan
Star Wars Mpire: M-Peror and M-Anakin
Star Wars Mpire: M-Bacca & Mace