In a prototype TIE Advanced fighter, Darth Vader attacks Luke Skywalker in a high-speed chase through the Death Star trench. The Rebel hero races his X-wing fighter toward the Imperial battle station's vulnerable exhaust port. He is the only Rebel pilot who can save the Alliance base from the Death Star's destructive blast. In an advanced TIE fighter, Darth Vader takes aim at Luke, but is stopped just in time by Han Solo. Luke uses the power of the Force to fire the one-in-a-million shot that blows up the mighty Death Star.
Let's talk about the elephant in the room and get it over with ASAP. There often are times in Star Wars collecting that we become overwhelmed asking ourselves why certain exclusives get priced the way they do. While we know that it’s retail (and not Hasbro) that sets the prices, it’s ultimately Hasbro actually dictating it because they have to come up with a net price to charge the retailer. When considering the Toys R Us exclusive Death Star Trench Run, it’s obviously overpriced and we bet that most of these units will move off of the shelves at Toys R Us when they begin to go on clearance. Toys R Us unfortunately has the longest attention span and will hold onto product for much too long. But perhaps with the sheer size and price of the Death Star Trench Run will force Toys R Us to act swiftly with this set. Who knows? But we will tell you that this set is better than it appears and the updates to the X-wing Fighter alone are just plain incredible. And really for that reason alone we must give this set a thumb's up and share it many positives with you. We were due for a rerelease of Luke’s X-wing fighter for quiet some time. In fact, the last release was also as a Toys R Us exclusive during The Saga Collection line and it was based on scenes from The Empire Strikes Back. Hasbro steps back one film to create a set based on the wonderfully exciting conclusion of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Yes, the set is expensive and it comes with the same old darn TIE Advanced Fighter we've seen a hundred times before but the set as a whole is very satisfying. Packaged in the mediocre “Shadow Of The Dark Side” line look, there is some impressive imagery on the packaging that we just can't take for granted either. And the product details on the back of the box look like blueprints. It's very attractive packaging.
A more palatable price point of $79.99 would have been a much wiser decision for this set. In fact, that's the price Toys R Us advertised for this exclusive through November 23, 2011. The contents include a newly retooled X-wing Fighter, a repainted TIE Advanced Fighter (both are not officially named on the packaging interestingly), Luke Skywalker (X-wing pilot gear), R2-D2 (battle-damaged) and an incorrect Darth Vader. Specifically, Darth Vader is the only action figure that fails because he is outfitted in his Episode V and VI costume instead of his unique Episode IV look. Despite this, all of figures fit wonderfully in their respective cockpits (and in the case of R2-D2 a droid socket) but it’s not as if we didn’t already expect it. If you think about it, this is the first release (ever?) that contains premium pack-in figures of Luke Skywalker and to pilot the vehicle (or any X-wing pilot for that matter). Figures are so well made for the most part and it's great to know when they are compatible with their vehicles. Typically in the past we would be lucky to get a figure with any noteworthy articulation. But since Hasbro is now in the business of making incredibly sculpted action figures, it looks like our pack-in figures will continue to be of a very high quality. The fuselage of Luke’s X-wing fighter is all-new. New features include a hidden 360 degree torpedo launcher, a retractable front landing gear with opening hatch and a storage compartment with opening door. These are impressive updates to this classic vehicle. The cockpit also sports stunning new tooling including the targeting computer. It's significantly different to the one seen most recently in 2011’s TVC Y-wing Fighter, but you hopefully get the same idea. Extra tubes and hoses were added for aesthetics and there is plenty of color on the vehicle's dashboard. In fact, the dashboard is removable and actually is shaped like a small snowspeeder believe it or not! What’s more, the droid socket is functioning so you can position the included R2-D2 figure nice and snuggly in there. These updates almost warrant the high cost of this se. Of course we're exaggerating a little bit here, but hopefully you catch our drift. There are significant improvements here. It will be great however if Hasbro makes another exclusive with the X-wing fighter vehicle by itself.
Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter is quite a disappointment as you might expect, but in all honesty we didn’t really anticipate anything much else. Hasbro once again dusted off the POTF2 mold and gave it a relatively new paint job. The front red cannons appear to be "newish" this time around. We could be wrong because there have been so many releases of this vehicle that we may have missed it previously. They also included realistic colored cannons (but also includes the "play feature" green ones as well.) The vehicle has no problem at also housing the included Darth Vader action figure at the cockpit which should be a relief to most collectors. This vehicle is no stranger to incessant release after another. Typically available in the mid size vehicle assortment, the vehicle was most recently available in The Legacy Collection and the Legacy Collection lines (blue and red phases respectively). The pack-in figures all appear to have slight differences from their original releases, but it's doubtful if most of you will care. If you calculate that each included action figure would cost you on average $7.99 each and the TIE Advanced Fighter would cost you $24.99 in the vehicle assortment then that would leave a balance of $51.03 to cover the cost of the X-wing Fighter. That is too expensive for our taste. A price point of $35 to $40 is much more fitting for this vehicle irrespective that it has new and revised tooling. But as we have mentioned, the vehicle is part of Toys R Us’ Great Big Toys R Us Book holiday shopping guide and the promotion lasts through November 23rd. We highly recommend picking it up for this price. This brings the cost of Luke’s X-wing starfighter down to $31.03 which is a steal. The Death Star Trench Run exclusive was obviously made with the best intentions. We of course would have liked to see more work get put into Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter, but the other enhancements are worthwhile providing you are able to find this set on sale.
Death Star Trench Run
Assortment Number: 33235
Retail: $99.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: X-wing Fighter is a retool of 2002's SW Luke Skywalker's X-wing Fighter Toys R Us exclusive. This time the fuselage is all-new including a 360 degree rotating torpedo launcher with closing door, "lightsaber" storage compartment, targeting computer, tethered dashboard and front retractable landing gear with closing door. (A lightsaber can also be stored in the cockpit.)
Articulation Count: 11
Articulation Details: opening cockpit, sliding and rotating targeting computer, X-wing configuration lever, rotating torpedo launcher, 3 sliding landing gear, 2 opening doors, swivel steering column
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: projectile
Date Stamp: 2011
Status: Luke Skywalker is a repaint of the Luke Skywalker figure from 2008's TAC Luke Skywalker/R2-D2 Droid Factory (6 of 6) set.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel gloves, ball-socket torso, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: lightsaber, lightsaber hilt, removable helmet
Date Stamp: 2005
Status: R2-D2 is a slight repaint of the R2-D2 figure from 2008's TAC Luke Skywalker/R2-D2 Droid Factory (6 of 6) set.
Articulation Count: 7 points
Articulation Details: swivel dome, 2 swivel legs, 2 swivel feet, swivel third foot, retractabe third leg
Accessory Count: None
Accessory Details: None
Date Stamp: 2004
TIE Advanced Fighter
Status: TIE Advanced Fighter is a repaint of 2006's TSC TIE Advanced x1 Starfighter.
Articulation Count: 2 points
Articulation Details: opening cockpit, sliding lever (to extend cannons)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: 2 projectiles
Date Stamp: 2003
Status: Darth Vader is a repaint of 2006's TSC Darth Vader (SAGA 038) figure. The battle-damage from Luke's lightsaber to his right shoulder blade is still present thus proving further that this is indeed an (incorrect) Episode V version of Darth Vader.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: swivel neck, 2 swivel shoulders, 2 swivel elbows, 2 swivel gloves, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: lightsaber (It's impossible for Darth Vader to hold his lightsaber.)
Date Stamp: 2005