Sixth Scale Figure Upgrades: Worth the Extra Cash?

One of the best feelings as a collector is acquiring that grail piece you have had your heart set on. Getting that immortalization of one of your favorite characters from your favorite TV show, movie, game or even comic book is a satisfying feeling.

Of course, with time, there comes newer technologies and ideas. Fans will make custom accessories or custom figures that either compliment the original release or, in some cases, put them to shame. With this in mind, Hot Toys and a number of other sixth scale figure or collectible companies will release a second, improved version of select characters. A version 2.0, if you will.

This begs the question: do you, as a collector, upgrade to the newer version?

Let’s look, for sake of argument, at Star Wars One Sixth Scale by Sideshow and Hot Toys.
You could easily use the multiple versions of Darth Vader as an example here but, each iteration of the Big Bad is so very different than the last that they are not as easily compared as other Star Wars Hot Toys figures. Let’s look instead at the likes of Mark Hamill’s Jedi Luke Skywalker, Ray Park’s Darth Maul or, my personal favorite, Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine. All of these, as well as others, have been released more than once and you really need to ask yourself as a collector; do I need the new one?

CEO of Hot ToysHoward Chan seen here with a group shot of some Hot Toys Star Wars 1:6 scale figures

One thing that you should always look at is the price point. As the quality increases the price of one sixth scale figures from Hot Toys and other producers continue to climb. Having just recently dropped $400 CAD on the deluxe version of Hot Toys Emperor Palpatine it’s clear that figures these days sure ain’t cheap! Previous releases of Emperor Palpatine by Sideshow in sixth scale form while a lesser quality than Hot Toys was available at a much cheaper price point. If you do decide to get the newest offering you have to ask yourself, do you sell the original? As each version is released, unfortunately, the price of earlier releases tends to decline. Ultimately, whether or not a figure is worth the cost is always in the eye of the collector.

Another thing you need to evaluate is if the figure is indeed an improvement. In the case of the Emperor Palpatine from Hot Toys, it was definitely an improvement over the earlier 1:6 scale Sideshow Collectibles release. The latest release came with a much more detailed, although made from much lighter material, throne. The throne from the previous release was sold separately and was not cheap. Other improvements are the Force Lightning effects and enhanced portrait / head sculpt. Let’s be honest, the snarling visage from the first release looked more like a portrait of constipation than menace.

Emperor Palpatine (Deluxe, w/ Light-Up Throne) by Hot Toys – Sixth Scale Figure

I suppose the biggest thing to consider when making this decision is: does the character mean enough to you to get him or her again? Like I mentioned before, one of my favorite characters from the Star Wars Universe is Emperor Palpatine or Darth Sidious. I can’t help it having read the books and getting a taste for how truly powerful he was (is?) he becomes rather awe inspiring. I mean, come on, it took both Anakin and Luke Skywalker to defeat him! So yes, I have both versions (and most other scale offerings) and have every intention of keeping them both.

So I leave it to you, fellow collectors, is that better portrait or swoosh effect worth, what is essentially, buying the same sixth scale figure a second time? Really only you and your bank account can answer that question.

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