One of the best kept secrets of 2006 was TARGET’s exclusive Imperial Shuttle. After the difficulty collectors had with obtaining the 2003 Star Wars “Saga: version, Hasbro knew they had to give us another chance at this elegant vehicle. Fortunately for all, they worked up a deal with TARGET and minorly updated the vehicle to look gloriously magnificent for holiday shoppers. Of course as the holiday season grew nearer, rumors of this vehicle began surfacing. But it wasn’t until right before the vehicle’s release that fans were treated to the official confirmation that it was coming again to grace our collections. Retailing for a very reasonable $59.99, the vehicle sold steadily through the holiday chaos and then ultimately just disappeared from store shelves. That’s the way a lot of TARGET exclusives go. They hang around and then out of the blue sell out in seconds, never to be found again (especially during clearance periods). Many collectors for the second time missed out on this incredibly cool vehicle and we imagine a third release would still benefit the collecting community. And if you missed out on this opportunity, you're in trouble because the aftermarket is commanding ridiculous prices for Imperial Shuttle now.
The Imperial Shuttle has a stunning paint job. It looks like a straight repack of the 2002 SW Imperial Shuttle, but there are some variances in the color of the vehicle and the way the dirt patterns were applied. There are enough differences here to consider this version unique. But what may be more important to note here more than the way the vehicle was painted is the retail price. In 2002, the Imperial Shuttle was an FAO Schwarz exclusive for $99.99. In 2006, this vehicle has dropped down to $59.99. That’s a $40 saving even after four years of inflation. So we’re impressed that Hasbro managed to contain cost for collectors and keep this vehicle at a very fair price. But again, now that they're long gone, you won't see these low prices now. As far as the vehicle is concerned, it's still a great vehicle and offers a lot of fun to the collector. And it's decorated very well. The base gray color of the vehicle is very pale. But the dirt and debris the body of the vehicle has picked up looks incredibly realistic and the Imperial Shuttle just somehow manages not to age after all of these years. Keep in mind this is a 1984 sculpt. And Hasbro keeps it remarkably ageless.
Packed with the Imperial Shuttle is a 2002 SW Royal Guard (Coruscant Security) ('02 #19) and 2004 VOTC Darth Vader figures. Not necessarily the most needed figures you'll come across, it is still nice to get two more figures included for the same price as what the vehicle could have cost alone. The figures are “old” and “dated” at this point and unless you need to collect one of every figure, there is really no purpose for the packed-in figures. Keep in mind that the Imperial Shuttle has not been retooled in any way and we’re actually fine with that. If Hasbro were to make any tweaks, we’d rather they just rebuild this vehicle from the ground up and give us an all-new version with accurately scaled parts and additional features. That may be next to never before that happens, but there is really no sense in upgrading something that is fine as is. The Imperial Shuttle TARGET exclusive is perfect for now and if you didn’t get the 2002 version, this one is slightly better and has the upper hand. We think it should be the recommended version to pick up. But if you’re waiting for better, well, you might be waiting a very long time! But forever changing the Star Wars universe it. And an anniversary of Return of The Jedi may just make a retool or all-new vehicle a strong possibility.
Status: Imperial Shuttle is a slight repaint of 2002's SW Imperial Shuttle. This time the vehicle includes a Royal Guard and Darth Vader as pack-in figures. Royal Guard is a straight repack of 2002's SW Royal Guard (Coruscant Security) ('02 #19) figure and Darth Vader is a straight repack of 2004's VOTC Darth Vader figure (complete with same accessories).
Articulation Count: 8 points
Articulation Details: opening cockpit, fold-down ramp, 2 opening 28" wings, 2 turning laser cannons, 2 movable blaster cannons
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: 2 torpedo missiles, 3 projectiles
Date Stamp: TBD
Assortment Number: 87203
Retail: $59.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.