Star Wars 12-Back Darth Vader Double Telescoping Lightsaber
Yes, believe your eyes, you are indeed looking at one of the holiest grails in all of Star Wars collecting. While it doesn't look a whole lot different from a standard 12-Back Vader figure, the saber this thing is packed with is actually the double-telescoping version, which is incredibly rare to find on a loose figure, let alone on a figure that's still attached to its card. Contrary to semi-popular belief, evidence suggests these figures were actually released to the public, albeit in extremely small numbers.

By the time the initial waves of 12-backs were released in 1978, Kenner had probably already made the decision to axe the double-telescoping feature, in order to cut some of the cost of producing their figures. Whatever stock of the original sabers remained was utilized and distributed by the company before the move to the single-piece saber was made. As only the earliest shipments of the initial wave of product would have included the figures with the double-telescoping sabers, some of these rare figures shipped out to Kenner salesman (and a few have been found with such people), but some surely went to stores as well, which accounts for the fact that people have found these in several regions, through standard collector outlets. Chris found this one at a collectibles show, and--brace yourself--he paid the price of a standard 12-back Vader to get it.


Here's the real important view-- the side, which shows the all-important saber. Notice that there is no curve between the thick and thin portions of the saber; the thin stem appears to go straight into the thicker shell. The apparently short length of the thin portion is also a telltale sign of the DT saber. The "wick" portion would appear to be much longer on the standard accessory.

At this time, there are only about three of these carded DT Vader figures known to exist; there seem to be a roughly equivalent number of Bens. The DT Luke is found carded most frequently, there being on the order of fifteen examples known to exist.

Description by: Ron Salvatore
Photo: Vic Wertz
From the collection of: Lisa Stevens, Vic Wertz
Country:United States
Film:A New Hope
Category:Toys / Action Figure Related / Small Action Figures (Licensed)


Checklist by Duncan Jenkins, Gus Lopez, and the Star Wars collecting community
Software by Chris Nichols

All information © 2014 Star Wars Collectors Archive