Tag Archives: Unboxing

Santa Raided the Vault!

That’s right; the Vader’s Vault!

Yay for Black Friday sales, but truth be told I do feel a bit guilty about it given the financial issues we’re dealing with. I have faith the lawyer will get us out of them though. 🙂

What did Santa bring? A copper trim finish Protector Elite saber:

Polishing cloth and thumb drive with extra sound fonts included

The Vader’s Vault store page for the Protector Elite.

This has all the bells and whistles of my Custom Battle Wrap Havoc lightsaber, and a few extras as well. That little window at the front is a LED screen that will display which “sound font” (lightsaber sound and color settings) you’re using, the battery life, a digital “kyber crystal” and a few other goodies, and even play about 6 different games such as Pong (the world’s first video game BTW). Like the Havoc, there’s also a juke box that plays The Imperial March or the Cantina Theme.

That’s the Havoc behind the Protector. If it’s not obvious, the Havoc is made of aircraft grade aluminum while the Protector is chrome steel, AND an inch or so longer. That gives the Protector a fair amount more weight than the Havoc. Both are comparatively light, but you feel it in the wrist more if you use the Protector for an extended period of time. Continued practice will get you in shape though, lol.

Slightly surprisingly, the grip on the hilt is quite comfortable. The squared off sides give it an effectively oval shaped grip which fits in the hand quite nicely. I really shouldn’t be surprised though. When we got to tour Vader’s Vault, the owner said he won’t make a saber unless it’s built well, comfortable, and FUN to use. 🙂

As with the Havoc, this saber came with the option to have multiple blade colors. You CAN buy a saber with a single blade color at Vader’s Vault, and that’s a cheaper option, but why do it when you can customize to your heart’s content?

No, you’re not seeing things in those last two pics. The blade CAN display and cycle through multiple colors at the same time. The Havoc can do it also, but didn’t come pre-loaded with some of the ‘sound fonts’ that this one did.

The fifth picture is supposed to be with a Yellow blade, but the blades are so bright that Yellow got white washed out by the camera.

Unlike the Protector v1 in the video above, this v2 model will let the “seismic charge” and power button light up in whatever color you have the blade set to display, even if it’s a multi-color like in the last two pictures.

As a trade-off, I did give my Mace Windu Hasbro Black Series saber to my cousin-in-law’s son as a Christmas present. I have to admit, I’ll miss it strictly for the potential collector’s value, but it was worth it to see his face light up. We played the whole thing off like in A Christmas Story also. Enough so that for a minute I’m sure he thought he was getting a Red Ryder BB gun, lol.

The better construction and grip on the Vader’s Vault sabers just make it hard to appreciate the Hasbro ones on the same level though. Some day, down the road, I MAY have Vader’s Vault whip me up a custom Mace Windu saber to replace the Hasbro one, but for now I still have Dooku’s saber.

And for those asking WHY Santa would be handing out weapons… Because some people (and Sith) make the naughty list:

Master Windu, Welcome.

Today is an ultimate geek out day for me. 😀 I got my Star Wars Black Series Mace Windu Lightsaber!

For those whose geek credentials are lacking, ‘The Black Series’ is the elite level of officially licensed toys and memorabilia from Hasbro.

Ironic trivia here: Kenner (Hasbro’s chief rival) made all the Star Wars toys through the 80s and 90s.

Explanations taken care of, you all get to see the unboxing and get a review! Yes, I said unboxing

A real fan HAS to open the box!

The packaging is fairly nice, as the first two pics indicate. Here’s what you see when you open it up:

Yes, that’s a framed Yoda poster off to the side. Do or Do Not; There is No Try.

As you can see it’s well protected in the package, which is nice given that this puppy was kind of expensive. Not near as bad as an Ultrasaber like my other lightsaber, or one from SaberForge, but still expensive.

I really couldn’t resist this. I’ve been drooling over Mace’s saber since episode 2 was released. I didn’t lose my head over it the way Jango Fett did though, LOL. More importantly, I had the opportunity to get a working copy for 40% of what it would have cost via Ultrasabers.

Here’s our beauty unboxed and with the blade ignited:

Yes, that IS a damned odd stand too. I’ll be swapping it out for an aftermarket one and putting it back in the box at some point in the near future.

As you can see, the blade is bright enough to be visible in a bright room. I took it into the bathroom, closed to door and turned off the light to let it really shine though

The Review: How Does it Compare?

I know a couple of you are curious anyway. 😀 I wasn’t really sure what to expect here, but was pleasantly surprised. I knew the hilt was metal before ordering, not plastic like those $25 kid’s toys. The hilt turned out to be nicely polished and fairly thick also. Not quite as thick as the Ultrasaber, but thick enough to be pretty sturdy.

It’s certainly nicer than the Galaxy’s Edge sabers that Disney sell at their parks (and via Amazon) for far more money also:

Galaxy’s Edge collector sabers at Amazon Note the price on the Kylo Ren version too… ouch!

Here’s a few close ups of the hilt:

The Mace Windu saber is closer to the camera than the Cal Kestis one, so it looks bigger. The Windu hilt is a hair more than 11 inches (28 cm) long as compared to the Cal Kestis one being 16 inches (40.6 cm) long. You can see the chrome and electrum finishes are nicely done, and that parts of the hilt also have a rubberized inlay:

Overall, I’d say the hilt is very well done. The test will be how well the electrum trim finish stays in place, and if the rubberized faux leather starts to peel up. No signs that either will be an issue thus far.

The innards of the hilt aren’t accessible the same way an aftermarket saber’s are, but it seems to be made along similar lines, with a power switch, emitters, motion sensor / sound controller and the battery holder with integrated speaker at the bottom.

The sound is a tiny bit muffled, but that’s a common complaint on even the best aftermarket sabers. The motion sensor is a little weak also. Slow movements may not even get noticed and even light bumps might only register as a swing. Still, overall not TOO bad here.

The blade itself is where buyers seem to have issues. It’s made for light contact only, no dueling or even getting carried away whole playing. While it’s also very bright, it’s also not actually a purple blade. It’s more of a magenta as the earlier pictures show.

The BIG issue with the blades on Black Series sabers is that you can’t detach them like with something from Ultrasabers or Saberforge. So you have to display it with the polycarbonate (plastic?) tube on AND even though it comes with a covertec style belt clip, you cant attach it to your belt. Unless you want to drag the blade along the ground anyway.

The reason for this SEEMS to be that the blade has LEDs running all up the tube. The positive result of that is when you turn it on, you get the effect of the blade extending outward via powering up the LEDs one at a time. Same is true in reverse when powering it off. With the other brands, it’s just on or off, with the appropriate sound effects.

My Verdict: It’s great if you want a saber to toy around with or for cosplay if you don’t mind having to carry it in your hand everywhere. Even with the blade attached it still makes a fairly nice display piece also. The premium aftermarket ones make be better display pieces and duelers BUT they also cost $300 or so more; enough to buy this a second time and have cash left over. This also has the advantage of potentially going up in value as it’s an officially licensed product.

Any REAL Star Wars fan definitely would have taken it out of the box too, BUT I sure as heck did save the box, and the papers that came with it:

#8 in the series…