I was able to do a hard pass on most of the 3.75 inch Star Wars toys. For the most part, I love them. Before, we would get really good vehicles and lots and lots of characters to play with. I have a whole bunch of figures from Episodes 1-3, as well as some other figures that came out along with those. Somewhere along the way, Hasbro went back to the old 5 points of articulation. That saves a lot of money, but the figures were still the same price. On top of that, they came out with The Black Series 3.75 inch figures that did have all of the good articulation, but the prices are insane. With the lack of good figures, and really high prices on the vehicles, it was pretty easy to pass on the vehicles.
Today I found the First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter at ROSS, marked down from $30 to $16.99. That is a great markdown, and at 40% off, that was the right number to get me to pull the trigger.
I could tell just pulling the TIE out of the box that I was going to really like this vehicle. It comes in a lot of parts. The old TIEs just had the wings removed. This one has two wings, the body, the cockpit hatch, the bottom gun mechanism, two firing blaster bolts, and the antenna array.
First off, I busted the TIE Pilot out of the box. He looks rather TIE Pilot like. He has his all-black suit with matching black helmet and chest-mounted breathing apparatus. The helmet is an update from the Imperial TIE pilots, this time around looking more similar to the First Order Stormtrooper helmet. He comes with a blaster. Always nice to have if you actually survive being shot down on one of these things.
Looking inside the TIE before it is put together, you can see two seats. Since they made the pilots without knees, they had to have them sitting with their legs out straight. That will not work to have them sitting back to back, so they are side to side, with their legs facing opposite directions. All of this could have been more realistic to the movie, had they given the pilots knees. Then they would have had to do the same for Finn and Poe, since kids would also want them to play in there too.
In the canopy, there are tabs that allow the pilot to store their holdout blasters. What a great touch. Many of the older ships have guns rattling around in there, since there wasn’t a place to keep them. Now there is. And a place for two, so each pilot can have a gun. Nicely done Hasbro!
The details on the solar collectors is amazing. The colors are backwards from the old TIEs with the body parts being black, and the solar collectors changed to a grey color.
Once together, this is one fantastic mode. It is easy to see where the upgrades to the new TIE/sf are located. The original TIE/LN models did not have an antenna array, and they were strictly a one-seater. When the First order updated the TIE/LN to the TIE/fo, the armaments and shields were upgraded. For the Special Forces, they needed something a little extra, so that is where the TIE/sf came in. The first designation is the bright red patch on the left side of the cockpit. This is reminiscent of the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing that flew TIE Interceptors with a red stripe on the wings. You can see very robust attachment points from the cockpit arms to the wings. That is a lot stronger than the standard TIE configuration.
The TIE/sf is equipped with the same chin-mounted laser system as the TIE/fo. It then has the addition of a turret that can fire forward or backward.
The greatest gimmick that the TIEs ever came with were spring loaded wings. This one is no different. What they did though was hide the buttons better to blend in with the body. On some of the TIEs that have the spring wings, they tend to kind of fall off. These really pop off well, and add to the playability.
The antenna array folds down as well as swivels. I am sure there is a kid out there that will love the little extra play they can do with this.
Looking at the back end of the TIE, it is clear that there is a lot of new stuff going on from the standard TIE. First off, there is a window. The gunner can actually see out the back, rather than relying on weapon systems alone. There are engines back there, but they are more robust than the old engines that looked like tiny openings. That is because these are capable Hyperdrive engines. A new touch that the standard TIE did not have. If you were left behind, when the capital ship left, it was a long ride back to wherever you were going.
This is a great ship. If I can find any others from this line at the discount stores, I will be all over them. I would love to get the standard TIE/fo, to be able to see them side by side. There are also a couple of X-Wings I would not mind having too.