FIRST ORDER SPECIAL FORCES TIE FIGHTER
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“The elite of the First Order straighter pilots have access to specialized craft, such as the two-seater TIE craft outfitted with enhanced weapons and sensor systems. The skilled pilots of the First Order launch into combat aboard advanced fighter craft, hunting down enemy vessels and protecting space around installations and warships.”
There’s no denying that vehicles are a defining piece of the Star Wars mythos. They’re so important, that the scale of the vintage line was largely chosen to facilitate the inclusion of these vehicles. They’ve been an important part of the line for the past 40 some years, and its part of why the 3 3/4 inch scale has never fully died out. When Hasbro introduced the 6-inch Black Series, it was kind of assumed by the fanbase that this line would be without any vehicles. Fairly early on, there were a few smaller items (such as the speeder bike), but full scale vehicles seemed more than a little cost-prohibitive. Imagine the fanbase’s surprise at SDCC 2015 when Hasbro unveiled a 6-inch scaled TIE Fighter, as part of the products tying into The Force Awakens. I’ll be looking at that vehicle today!
THE VEHICLE ITSELF
The First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter (gosh, that’s a long name) was released as a special deluxe item in Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series, which hit in the winter of 2015. The TIE has a pretty large footprint, at a whopping 18 by 18 inches. It’s sizable enough that I was half tempted to just put a flat surface on the top of it and just use it as a coffee table. It has an articulated antennae, a rotating lower cannon, and an opening hatch at the top. Like the smaller scale TIE, this vehicle is based on the slightly updated TIE Fighter design seen in TFA, which isn’t too far removed from the classic TIE design. The sculpt is, understandably, unique to this particular item. It’s a pretty solid piece of work. Hasbro took advantage of the larger scale, and has filled every inch of this rather sizable piece with tons of detail work. Speaking of scale, this TIE is a fair bit closer to proper scale with its respective figures than the smaller TIE was. It’s still not 100% spot-on, but you can get two people in the cockpit sitting back to back as seen in the film, which is a step up indeed. Said cockpit is definitely the coolest part of the Fighter for me; it’s got two full seats, plus all of the various instruments and panels seen in the movie. There are clips in each seat, to help hold the figures in place. They can make it a little difficult to get the figures in there, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad. A definite plus, though, is that you don’t have to be quite as picky about the figures that go into this Fighter, unlike the smaller one. I was able to get Poe and Finn in there without too much trouble at all. The paintwork on the Fighter is decent enough. It’s pretty clean overall, and there’s some sharp work on the interior of the cockpit. There’s also some pretty sweet accent work on the red Special Forces stripe. The TIE Fighter’s only real accessory was an exclusive TIE Fighter Pilot figure, which I didn’t get with my fighter. It’s the same as the single-release First Order TIE Fighter Pilot, just with some extra red detailing.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As cool as the novelty of this item was, when it was originally released with a $180 price tag, I passed. That’s a lot of money and it takes up a lot of space. And then I was out to dinner with my family, and there was a wait for our table, so Christian, Tim, and I walked over to the Goodwill across the parking lot. At said Goodwill, they had this behind the counter, marked at $20. So, for the price of a single Black Series figure, I got this huge freaking thing. It’s pretty awesome, I gotta say. Sure, I don’t have either pilot for it, but Poe and Finn look pretty at home in there, and I can’t stress enough how awesome it was to get this thing for 11% of its original retail price.