I knew the 1:12 scale First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter was going to be big. I had seen it at SDCC ’15. But actually holding the box and then the vehicle itself in my hands is a completely different experience. This thing is massive!
I find it hard to review vehicles. I guess my collection is so action-figure-based that I rarely get even have a chance to mess with them. Even when I collected the 3 3/4-inch Star Wars line in the late ’90s I didn’t buy many of the ships. Reviewing action figures, I have a specific mindset. Sculpt. Paint. Articulation. Take any of those away and it throws me. And vehicles take away articulation, at least in the terms of what I’m used to. Ships can have some points of movement, so I guess I just overreact.
Maybe it’s the fact that I never thought we’d get 6-inch scale ships, but when the TIE Fighter was shown at SDCC, I couldn’t help wanting it. It looked big and impressive. And expensive. But like all high-priced items when they are first announced, I thought that feeling would pass. And it did. Until I ran across it at Toys R Us while I was looking for the exclusive Snowtrooper. The box just called to me. I had to have it.
This box is HUGE. Over two feet across and a foot deep, I happily lugged this crazy thing to the register and plopped down the $160. Fifteen-percent-off coupon, you enabler you.
Interestingly enough, one end of the box is just red with a label and a mysterious 01.
If this does well, could we get more huge ships in the future? Or even medium-sized vehicles? A-Wings and a classic TIE Fighter? An X-wing? Landspeeder? Pleeeeeeease? Because if we can get more transports with the quality of this TIE Fighter, I would be one happy collector. With a lot less space.
Opening up the box, or crate, really, you find the TIE in pieces. Kind of obvious, there was no way a 25x20x20 toy was going to be put straight into a box and sent to retail.
Assembly is easy. There are even instructions showing how to put the upper gun, under gun, canopy, and wing panels on. Which is essentially plugging them all in. Quick and simple.
To get a better idea of just how huge this thing is, check out my video review of this big bad boy.
I also review the First Order TIE Pilot Elite in the video, so let’s get him out of the way first.
The figure features an awesome sculpt. What little paint on it is nice and clean. As for articulation, the elbows are a little hindered by the wrist guards and there isn’t a huge amount of movement in the torso, but everything is there. In fact, his ankle hinge has more range of movement than most.
The pilot comes with a small pistol that does the job nicely.
Comparing him to the classic TIE Pilot, the new First Order Pilot just looks sleeker. Don’t get me wrong, the classic look and helmet is one of my favorites, but the new figure is just better proportioned.
But what is a pilot without something to fly? After assembling the TIE Fighter, you get this magnificent beast of a toy:
Enormous. It absolutely dwarfs the standard 6-inch figure. The pilot is directly under the cockpit here:
This thing is packed with sculpted details. The wings have a sculpted texture to them on the light gray parts, a kind of grid-like washboard pattern. The outer dark gray parts in the center are full of little kibble parts and detail. The cogs that attach them to the body are crisp and symmetrical.
And for those who were worried that the wings were going to be flimsy like the 3 3/4 inch TIE, and that includes me, don’t. These things are solid. Sure, there is a little flex because they are plastic, but they will not warp under the weight.
Which is good, because this has some heft. Not super-heavy, but it will surprise you at first.
The detail extends to the main body too. It’s smoother because of the design, but there are nice panel lines and the windows look great. On the back there are thrusters sculpted on both sides of the back window. Yeah, back window for the backseat gunner to see.
There are silver painted bits here and there, but it’s mostly the black airbrushing on the red that sticks out at me. It’s done well and shows wear to an otherwise clean look.
The only points of movement are a swivel on both the under gun and top gun, and while I think the upper gun hinges down to point forward and around, I can’t seem to get it to hinge.
There is even more painted details inside the cockpit, and the sculpt gets crazy good in there too. All kinds of buttons and levers and displays along with the two seats that are back to back. Excuse the bluish hue, I had to use the flash to actually get pictures down in the cramped space.
There is some odd yellow and red stripes on the “roof” of the cockpit. This is a detail that’s easy to miss since it’s up and inside the opening, but it’s cool of Hasbro to actually include it.
But the cockpit is where the one problem, at least for me, comes into play. Or more specifically, the seats. Because of how the ship is designed, getting in there to properly seat the pilot is a chore. The seats feature clips to hold the pilot in the seat, but the way they are positioned causes them to snag on the figure’s belt pouches if you don’t get it down far enough. Which you can’t with the legs in the traditional sitting position with thighs forward and shins down. What I ended up doing was bending the double knees all the way back until the feet were by the butt and then shoving him in and back against the seat. I show this in the video.
That all sounds strange, but it doesn’t affect the look at all. Because of the fishbowl design where you can only see in from the top and through the windows, you will never see how oddly the legs are posed in there. The illusion remains unbroken.
Overall though, I am ecstatic to have this monster. I have no clue where I’m going to put it or how I should display it, but I have it. It is the same big and impressive piece I saw way back at SDCC, but now I’m able to hold it in my hands. And try not to knock it against doorways when moving it from room to room. Maybe with a piece of glass it can double as a bedside table? My wife will totally go for that!
You’re going to pay $169.99 for this piece unless you have a coupon. BigBadToysStore has it on pre-order for $164.99, due this month. I feel that the TIE is worth it, but you may feel differently.