Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Star Wars The Force Awakens – 3.75” scale First Order TIE Fighter



Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

I love TIE Fighters. It can’t be any clearer than that. I’ve taken a liking to it since I first heard its roaring elephant-like sound while watching ROTJ on the big screen as a wee little child in ’83. I thanked my late father for that, bless his soul. I took my son to watch The Force Awakens the other day (and several times more after that) and the little man was ecstatic every time he saw Finn and Poe make their escape on a stolen TIE Fighter on board of the Finalizer (**oops, spoiler!**). He loves the sound of Star Wars’ vehicles and had been looking to hear the TIE Fighters roaring as they fly.

Most Star Wars collectors would probably know by now that Hasbro had also produced one big scale TIE Fighter in the 6” scale Black Series line. I’d love to get my hands on that one (supposedly you can place two pilots back-to-back like how it was in the movie, how cool is that??!!) but for now I’d be content with what I have.

The packaging

Let’s be honest here. The Poe Dameron X-Wing packaging was bigger than this TIE Fighter packaging yet the X-Wing itself was abysmally scaled down. I’ve blogged about that X-Wing before and despite many negativity about that toy I still found myself liking it thus playing down my concerns on its size and scale. So how does the TIE Fighter scale correspond to its box/packaging you ask? Unfortunately for us, the TIE Fighter box IS smaller than Poe’s X-Wing box.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter
Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

I do love the packaging art. It shows two TIE Fighters flying away from...err...nothing really. And the side box art shows the TIE Fighter pilot standing majestically proud of his fearsome black visage of a uniform/helmet.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

And when you pop the toy open, you can see that the starfighter is unassembled and the parts are efficiently arranged to minimize space in the holding tray/box.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter
Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

The toy

I don’t have high expectations on its size since I last saw how small the VOTC TIE Fighter was in 2010. I think we last saw a ‘proper/acceptable’ sized TIE Fighter in the Revenge of The Sith (ROTS) line in 2005 (and I think that mould was subsequently re-used for a comic-based TIE Fighter design some years later).

For size comparison purposes, here is the First Order TIE Fighter side-by-side with the one I have from the 2005 ROTS line.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

Technically, the cockpit size didn’t change that much over the years but it’s rather the wings that got reduced in size. In today’s economic condition it makes perfect sense for Hasbro and other toy companies to reduce the plastic in their toys while maintaining just about the same price points for their consumers. While I am not happy about this direction myself too, I kind of understand why they had to do it. I wish Hasbro would just stick to the old large wings format.

How about the pilot? Well, I'm glad they've stuck with the black-visage design for the pilots. I wouldn't have it in any other color really. I appreciate it that Hasbro also gave him a removable helmet.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter
Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter
Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

The negatives

Let’s get this out of the way first. Apart from the obvious scale issue, I am also bothered by the fact that getting 5-POA (points of articulations) action figures are a norm these days with Hasbro. It further irritates me to know that getting our hands on fully articulated 3.75” action figures of the same characters off the Black Series line would be next to impossible especially for us overseas collectors i.e. they only get released in Walmarts. What a bummer.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

I also found that the TIE Fighter wings are a bit warped and does not line up properly when viewed from the front. We had the same problem with Poe’s X-Wing but I have yet to hear anyone sending their TIE Fighter wings back to Hasbro for replacements.

Aesthetically speaking....

I love the colour scheme on this First Order TIE Fighter! The overall black and that splash of red really made this toy stand out on my display shelf. And I totally dig how the grey color on its wings breaks the black-red combo.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter
Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter
Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

I like it that at least we’d get to stuff in two (2) TIE pilots (or Finn and Poe according to your preferences) into the cockpit, just like in the TFA movie. There is also a slot to place the TIE Pilot’s blaster gun i.e. on the underside of the cockpit roof. This is great since most vehicles do not have these kinda slots for you to secure those easy-to-lose accessories and weapons.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter
Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter
Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

Play feature...

Usually I won’t even bother to insert missiles into my vehicles because they’d either get accidently launched at some point or (worse) go missing after they get accidently launched. This time however, I opted to insert both missiles into place since they complete the look of the TIE Fighter. Seriously, without the missiles, your TIE Fighter would look incomplete. These ‘missiles’ are actually the TIE Fighter’s main blasters in the movie so I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to complete the look for it to be awed upon on their display shelves.

Star Wars 3.75" First Order TIE Fighter

The Rebel’s verdict...

Regardless of its size, this TIE Fighter is bound to turn heads if you have it displayed in your home, action figure room or even your office cubicle (if you’re allowed to do so that is!). It is certainly one of the most recognisable icon from the whole Star Wars universe and as die-hard fan I simply can’t go by without having this in my collection. It’s currently flooding retail shelves everywhere right now. The X-Wing is slowly disappearing and I believe in time the TIE Fighter will follow suit too. It’s just a matter of time really. After all, we are only 10 or 11 days after the release of the movie. If price is your concern then you can gamble and hope that some over-stocked retailer mark their price down soon....*shucks*.

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