This is Kenner's 15" Darth Vader "Large Size" action figure.
In 1978, Kenner started producing Star Wars figures that were the extreme opposite of the small, insanely successful 3 3/4 scale action figures they had released earlier. Kenner started producing 12 inch, sixth-scale figures of the most popular characters from the first Star Wars film. Vader was one of the first four released along with Chewbacca, Luke, and Leia.
To this day, I'm unsure what compelled Kenner to produce these figures. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely a fan of figures in this scale. It's just that I don't quite understand the reasoning behind releasing these when they already "had a good thing going" with the smaller figures, vehicles, and playsets. I can only imagine that many parents weren't too keen on buying Johnny a new set of Star Wars figures in a whole new scale after having purchased so many items in the smaller scale.
As a kid, I was already vested in the smaller scale Star Wars figures. However, my appetite for Star Wars knew no bounds and I begged and pleaded to be able to get some of the new large Star Wars figures. My parents succumbed to my pleas...somewhat. I managed to snag two or three of the larger figures while they were on toy shelves.
My first figure was a Darth Vader. He fell off of a six foot shelf the first day I had him and the elastic keeping his arms attached to his torso snapped. Back to the store he went. However, replacing him with another Darth Vader was not to be (until 10 or 15 years later). The large size Star Wars figures were fairly scarce and another Darth Vader could not be found within a 20 mile radius from where I lived. I had to settle for a Luke Skywalker...but that's another story.
So, the large size Vader became the "one that got away," in a sense. I really felt the sting of having to give that Vader up. The sting of having it and then having to let it go so quickly. Silly, I know...but I was only a kid and girls and cars hadn't entered the picture just yet.
Kenner's approach to the large size figures was "all over the board," so to speak. Some were produced completely in hard plastic and some were produced in full "dolly" mode with a Ken doll style body and cloth clothing.
Vader is produced in plastic with his cape being the only cloth used for his costume. His articulation is very limited...only hips, shoulders, and neck. The only accessories that came with Vader are his lightsaber (gotta love that candy-like, semi-translucent plastic) and his removable cloth cape.
Despite his shortcomings, Kenner's 15" Vader is still a nice looking figure and is an impressive sight on any toy collector's shelf. Imagine how cool it was for kids back in 1978 when the only other Vader figure produced, up to that point, was about 4 inches tall.