The VADER’S VAULT that is!
Yes, that’s right, THE Vader’s Vault; home of some of the best custom made lightsabers on the planet.
So, cool background story… We had to run into Georgia today to take care of some other business. I’d also been gawking longingly at more lightsabers online, and found out that Vader’s Vault “store” (shop really) was only 27 miles away from where we had to go. I talked the spouse into a quick ride with the idea of checking out whatever kind of showroom Vader’s Vault had and asking a few questions.
In short, I wanted to try to get a handle on whether or not Vader’s Vault sabers are actually worth the money. Also get a look at a few sabers as well, I’d hoped. 😁
What I got was completely unexpected. Instead of a quick look and a few questions answered, we got… the grand tour!
We talked to somebody up front, and they went and got the boss (owner). He came out, gave us a quick run down of the stuff in the showroom and then asked if we’d like a tour.
The showroom included this case full of sabers and saber cases from their history:
That saber up at the top is one of only EIGHT real world copies of the “Twisted Fang” lightsaber available in the Star Wars: The Old Republic game.
A couple of other highlights from the showroom:
Their case of manufactured helmets.
More sabers, emitters and some toys on the bottom shelf. That’s a “mouse” droid in the lower right corner also.
That, unfortunately is all the pictures I got. The rear area of the shop had rooms for wiring work, CNC machining equipment, 3D printers, etc… I didn’t snap any pictures back there though because the owner was lamenting how any time he puts something online, there’s a cheap Chinese knock-off for sale a day or two later. They were also working on one completely new model and some tweaks to existing models (relocated power switches and a few other minor things). I have a sneaking suspicion that we MIGHT see that new model for a May the 4th sale too.
For any readers who may be wondering, I asked about the limited availability of sabers right now. It’s the usual supply chain issues. However, they expect to have a few models back in stock in the next few weeks. I did see them working on a batch of “Revancrist” sabers (Darth Revan’s lightsaber):
Those are one of the few sabers still currently “in stock” also.
One question led to a highlight of the tour also. I asked if their special made sabers with crystal chambers were duel worthy. The big guy brought out a Starkiller and explained in detail:
The cliff notes version is that the hilt itself is strong enough for it. The bracing rods on the chamber are full on steel. HOWEVER, their crystals are a piece of clear quartz which could break or break loose in heavy sparring. So, he advised against using such a saber for more than light to moderate horseplay.
Why quartz? Disney has “cool” 🙄 colored epoxy chunks that they sell for ONLY $30, you say? Well Vader’s Vault sabers have the ability to change blade colors, and the Starkiller will actually shine the same color as the blade into the quartz to make it look like that color Kyber Crystal. It will always match the blade no matter the color.
More importantly (lol) for a couple of moments, I got to hold a $2600 Vader’s Vault masterworks Starkiller in my hand. 😁 Well, minus it’s outer cover anyway.
We briefly talked about the differences in blades also. Plecter Pixel blades are just as combat worthy as the old LED tubes. Both are polycarbonate, and will eventually break at some point while dueling. The Pixel blade gives a much better and even light quality and is capable of producing effects that an LED “flashlight” type design can’t. All this at a higher price point, of course.
Personally, I’d probably save the Plecter Pixel blade for “show” sabers and use an LED one for dueling. We’re talking $30 vs $130 for a replacement when it finally breaks.
Are they worth the price and increased wait time?
I went in a little wary. Half of me was looking to rationalize buying elsewhere. They really are absolutely worth it in my opinion though. Here’s why:
are just plain stout. They’re like wrapping your hands around an old “D Cell” battery Maglite police flashlight. The Count Dooku saber is majorly off balance as well. I got to hold a Vader’s Vault copy of that same saber. The hilt is slimmer, more in line with what a real sword might have, the finish was brighter too. The machining was done so well that it was hard to see where the parts of the hilt actually connected together.
Better Sound Quality: I’ve heard people complain about Ultrasabers and Saberforge being bad in poor quality or muffled sound. My Black Series sabers are fair in this regard. Not great, but fair. Every Vader’s Vault saber I heard sounded like I’d just stepped into one of the movies. Crystal clear quality with sound effects for everything from swings, blade clashes and defected blaster bolts (all of which a plexer pixel blade’s light will respond to also).
Massive Customization: Vader’s Vault has features that Ultrasabers and Saberforge don’t even offer; hilt lighting and illuminated power buttons for starters. Some of their options they don’t advertise on their site. I suspect that has to do with variable costs involved. I saw sabers that were mirror polished, powder coated, weathered, acid etching engraved, inlaid with wood, leather wrapped… you name it.
THIS, I found out today, was done in the owner’s garage when it was just him and his wife. Imagine what they can do now!
Good Company Working Environment and Customer Service: Why is that important? Because even if you don’t care about the workers’ conditions, a happy staff is highly motivated to excel at their job. That means you get a defect free product.
Customer service should be self-explanatory in importance. If you have any doubts about Vader’s Vault though… Keep in mind they COULD have just run me off, or spent a couple minutes answering a few questions and then politely said they had to get back to work. Instead we got treated to an almost hour long tour with Q&A, looks at all their work areas, a demonstration of all a plexer pixel blade can do, peeks at several models in various stages of manufacture or remodel, and even a sneak peek at a pre-production prototype of an upcoming release.
How often do you see that nowadays in ANY sort of business?
Bottom line, you’re going to get a better saber made of higher quality materials and machined to tighter tolerances, better electronics, more bells and whistles, made almost any way you want, and better customer service.
What you’ll get elsewhere is poorly fit together sabers that can’t even hold up to a Disney toy: