This isn’t the first Imperial TIE Fighter in The Vintage Collection, you know. At the peak of line’s illustrious run Hasbro created two retailer exclusives for TARGET: the Imperial TIE Fighter and the Rebel Armored Snowspeeder. Each utilized the greatest sculpt of the line up to that point. But the Imperial TIE Fighter had to come with smaller wings so that it could fit within the Mid-size Vehicle assortment. Collectors of the line didn’t care much at all and were just so pleased to have a replica of the vintage Kenner vehicle with stunning box graphics once again in their collections. The vehicles retailed for $24.99 each and collectors gobbled them up and they sold through rather quickly. Back then you could always find a few stragglers at the end of a season on clearance, so collectors that waited for clearance managed to score them for a lower cost as well. Fast-forward eight years later, Hasbro decided that the Imperial TIE Fighter would make for another great retailer exclusive. This time, they made the vehicle in proper scale (by utilizing the larger wings of other vehicles), included a pilot and multiplied the original MSRP of the $24.99 release by more than three times. Prepare for the Walmart exclusive Imperial TIE Fighter [Star Wars] vehicle, because it’s going to blow your mind in more ways than one. It’s a bittersweet release. We’ll be honest about that. While it’s wonderful that Hasbro is taking the initiative to bring more vehicles into The Vintage Collection, we’re not sure that a vehicle like this and its corresponding retail price is going to sit well with most collectors. We brought you a first look sneak peek of this vehicle before Hasbro announced it. But now let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of this release. You might be surprised by what you learn.
In all honesty, we’re not too impressed with this release, folks. The Imperial TIE Fighter [Star Wars] vehicle possesses a couple of issues. Firstly, we’re not digging the packaging all that much. It’s great to see the vintage Kenner logo and Star Wars racetracks encircling the perimeter of the box. But it feels as if Hasbro struggled how to apply the original graphics on a much larger box, so they went with a design completely out of the box here. And for us, it doesn’t succeed in capturing that original vintage Kenner magic. It looks like a forced attempt to squeeze it into The Vintage Collection, instead of feeling like a natural addition that mimics the original release. The packaging sizes of this vehicle and the original Kenner release are vastly different. But something is lacking, and we’re not sure if we can pinpoint what the deficiencies are here. The vehicle itself is quality, but the packaging has warped the wings of our sample slightly. For us, we find this unacceptable at this stage of the game. The Imperial TIE Fighter [Star Wars] vehicle is a significant repaint of the 2009 Legacy Collection Imperial TIE Fighter TARGET exclusive vehicle. It comes with the revised larger-scaled wings and the completely retooled cockpit with an ejector seat. The same features, the same scale, and the same “everything else” is brought forward to this Walmart release. The Imperial TIE Fighter [Star Wars] vehicle has a noticeably darker gray color than previous releases. But this time the red “glass” of the original release is changed to a smoky clear color. Essentially, the Imperial TIE Fighter [Star Wars] looks great. It’s a welcomed addition to the line as many collectors who were out of collecting in 2009 and 2010 will have another shot at this release now. That’s always a good thing.
The Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot is an interesting re-released figure. Firstly, it comes in a “Kenner baggie.” When was the last time we received a figure in a baggie from Hasbro? Usually, Hasbro fastens the pack-in figures with elastic, but that isn’t the case here. It’s a retool and repaint of the Lt. Oxixio (TIE Fighter Pilot) figure from the Toys R Us exclusive Battle Over Endor (1 of 2) set. (Remember when Hasbro used to give us awesome multipacks like this?) This time, however, Hasbro has glued the head to the helmet. We no longer have the removable helmet option. And the clone portrait is no longer visible. It’s also painted all black. Hasbro didn’t bother to paint the portrait which is smart on their part. No need to expend that money when you’re taking away that feature from the action figure. Still, we’re quite disappointed that Hasbro felt it was alright to include this old sculpt once again in The Vintage Collection. In our opinion, this was the most opportune time to revisit this character from the ground up with a state-of-the-art sculpt. This figure dates back to the 2008 The Legacy Collection Evolutions line. And as you may or may not know, this sculpt suffers from having spindly legs without any ankle articulation. Also, the large helmet and disproportionate upper body make this figure obsolete at this point anyway. The last point we're disappointed about is the MSRP. The Imperial TIE Fighter [Star Wars] vehicle retails for $79.99. That’s a lot of money for a vehicle that was about half that not too long ago. If they had updated the Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot significantly or given us an all-new sculpt, we wouldn’t take issue with the price at all. But they didn’t do that, so we do take issue with the price. If you don’t have this Imperial TIE Fighter mold yet, pick it up, but most of us can probably skip this without missing a beat.
Imperial TIE Fighter [SW]
Assortment Number: E2826
Retail: $79.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Imperial TIE Fighter
Status: Imperial TIE Fighter is a repaint of 2009's LC Imperial TIE Fighter TARGET exclusive vehicle.
Features Count: 8
Feature Details: cannons, opening hatch, fits figure, ejection seat, includes figure, premium detailing, wings blast off, wings fit back into place
Accessory Count: None
Accessory Details: None
Date Stamp: 2009
Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot
Status: Imperial TIE Fighter PIlot is a retool and repaint of the Lt. Oxixo (TIE Fighter Pilot) figure from 2011's SW [SOTDS] Battle Over Endor (1 of 2) Toys R Us exclusive multipack. This time the helmet is glued onto the clone portrait inside and is no longer a removable accessory. The portrait is also completely black.
Articulation Count: 18 points (12 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left glove (1), swivel right glove (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: blaster
Date Stamp: 2008