Angle.jpgWelcome to my review of the new Star Wars, First Order, Special Forces, Tie Fighter. This toy, which is a real handful, is coming soon to Best Buy. Keep an eye out for it, along with other cool Star Wars toys like the Star Wars Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid, the Hasbro Star Wars Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaberand the Star Wars 16″ Legendary Yoda Interactive Robotic Toy. Also, keep on reading for all the pertinent details of this cool set!

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Initial Impressions

The first thing I thought when I saw this play-set was YIKES, that thing is HUGE! My second thought was WOW, it’s pretty cool too! I was very impressed with the amount of detail on this toy, and I found the included pilot action figure to be highly detailed as well. When I received the toy, it was already out of its box and mostly assembled, so I didn’t have to put anything together. This partially led to the impression its size made on me. Had I seen the box first, I might have expected the size. Later I realized that the assembly is not really all that difficult. The fighter comes with its wings detached from the body / cockpit, and the hatch & a couple of small weapons also come detached. You simply snap a few pieces into place and you’re ready to start playing―provided you can lift it! 

Charting the Key Considerations 

  How much set up time does Tie Fighter require? The Tie Fighter arrives initially disassembled, but it’s only in 3 major pieces and a few smaller accessory pieces. It just takes a few minutes to put together, and then you’re playing.
  What type & quantity of batteries does it take? None―this is an action figure play-set with no lights, sounds, or other electronics whatsoever.
  What is the suggested age range for the Fighter? The age range here is 4 and up, which may be a bit ambitious unless your 4 year-old child is a miniature body builder. Ok, it’s really not all that heavy, but it’s big enough to be really awkward, and I doubt that many 4 year-olds will be able to run around the house pretending to fly it. Other than that, I think it’s a pretty fun toy for people of nearly all ages.
  How much of a WOW factor (on a 0-5 scale) does the Tie Fighter have?

The Tie Fighter scores a 3.5 / 5 on the WOW scale for me. This is mostly due to its amazing level of detail, it’s included (and highly articulated) 6 inch pilot figure, and it’s status as a major piece of equipment in the upcoming Star Wars movie.

Testing & Play

 
In Cockpit.jpgPlaying with this set mostly involves using your imagination. It’s just how play used to be. I find this rather refreshing in the current electronic age. With so many of this year’s top toys being electronic, it’s nice to be able to play like we did in the old days. 

On a side note, check out the cockpit detail in the photo at left. There are numerous flight & weapons control panels (and monitors), 2 pilot’s seats (back to back), a huge front-facing (circular) window, and countless other moulded-in details that make this set both believable as a miniature replica of a real Tie Fighter (if such a thing existed) and super fun to play with & imagine spectacular battles and space adventures.

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The included action figure is extremely well articulated. He’s got a ball jointed neck, though the oxygen hose (or is it some other type of hose?) that runs from his chest into his mask greatly hinders the movement (it’s not overly flexible). He also has shoulder joints that are a bit hindered by his shoulder pads. Still, his arms can rotate 360 degrees at the shoulder and are only hindered from moving outward from the body. His elbows are both fully articulated from a straight-arm position to a 90 degree bend, and he has ball joints embedded in his wrists for a full wrist swivel & back-and-forth action.

At the chest he’s got a full 360 degree range of motion, along with a little ab crunch & side-to-side action (likely from a hidden ball joint). There’s no separate waist swivel, but both thighs have swivels near the top, and his hips have good mobility as well (though a soft plastic strip does hinder his range here). You can see the flexible loops running from his belt to approximately the outside of his knees in the photo at right. The knees themselves are each double jointed, so he can bend his leg nearly all the way under itself.

Finally, his ankles also have 2 joints in them: one for forward and backwards movement, and one rocker joint for tilting from side-to-side. These joints are great for posing the pilot figure, but the various hindrances do interfere significantly when trying to achieve some cool poses. His joints are all very stiff in the beginning, though I’m sure they’ll limber up with a bit of use. I personally prefer stiff joints to initially loose ones as loose ones can make an action figure very floppy and unstable. This guy actually stands extremely well (once properly posed) and might be nearly perfect if not for some of his equipment getting in the way.

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He also comes with a cool little blaster pistol (see below) that fits very nicely in his hand. All in all, he’s a nice little figure. It’s just a shame there’s only one included with the set. Two pilots would have been perfect here as there are 2 seats in the cockpit.

For & Against

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The biggest pluses for this set are that it’s highly detailed and includes a very well articulated 6 inch fighter pilot figure. When it comes to this type of toy, where using one’s imagination to develop fun little scenes and scenarios is the key play pattern, a high level of detail is very important. Details enhance the imaginative experience and lead to maximum fun! Equally, a well articulated action figure allows kids (adults?) to pose the figure in cool action poses, both for play & display, and increases the overall enjoyment of owning the toy. In this respect, the Tie Fighter play-set really proves to be a winner. 

Front Angle.jpgThe only real knocks I have against this set are its lack of a second pilot figure & the fact that it’s just sooo big. The average 4 year-old child (its minimum recommended age) might have an easier time fitting into it than picking it up. Ok, maybe they won’t fit in it, but they likely won’t move it around much either. I have personally always loved the 3.5 inch Star Wars figures and their corresponding play-sets myself, and I can’t help but think that this set might have been a whole lot more fun if it were scaled down to that level. With that said, more detail is possible at this larger size, and that is definitely cool!

Examining the Video Evidence

Please check out my video review of the First Order, Special Forces, Tie Fighter:

 

Final Thoughts

Through Window.jpgWhat it really boils down to with this set is whether or not you’re collecting the Hasbro The Black Series 6 inch action figure line. If you are, then this play-set is pretty close to being a must-have item. If you’re not collecting the 6 inch figures, however, then there’s far less reason for you to get the set. Two exceptions include that you just love Star Wars and want a serious Episode 7 display piece for your toy room, or that you’re getting it for your child. Either way, it couldn’t hurt to pick up an extra pilot figure for the second seat. All in all, this is a very nice set that’s sure to be popular among Star Wars fans everywhere. Until next time, have an excellent week!

Mini Gallery of Additional Photos

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