Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 242: TIE Fighter Pilot

Saga Collection, Original Trilogy Collection, also Pack-In
Item No.:
Asst. 84715 No. 84765
Number: 0414
Includes: Stand, blaster pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: Spring 2004
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Imperial TIE Fighter pilots were dedicated warriors with unending loyalty to the Emperor. These combat pilots were the elite of the Imperial Navy, well trained to overcome the inherent design flaws of the TIE fighter and turn it into a formidable and deadly vessel. Their determination and skills were put to the test when they fought the Rebels at the Battle of Yavin. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: The toy ghetto of Adam Pawlus.

Commentary: For years, fans praised the 1996 version of this figure-- but once the new, 2004 edition of the TIE Fighter Pilot hit, the old one was instant crap. The old-style pilot is still packed with some exclusive TIE vehicles, but fans will complain until they're blue in the face about the fact that the figure they were given which serves no purpose other than to sit in a closed vehicle where you can likely never see it is some sort is crap-- that's how good this new one is. This figure was one of the first nearly super-posable action figures of Imperial helmeted trooper types, making a lot of other action figures look crappy by comparison with its 12 points of articulation and smaller blaster pistol.

This particular pilot can do what he needs to do and do it well-- and that's to sit. The figure isn't as good as some of the later Imperials Hasbro would go on to make (or remake), but it's excellent and easily the finest Imperial Pilot figure Hasbro has ever designed. There's a little room for improvement, but the key is "little." This is probably as good as we're going to get for a while, so if you have the chance to buy this figure (or an as-of-yet-unrevealed new figure based on this mold), you totally should.

Collector's Notes: People love the hell out of this figure. It sold crazy good in 2004, and it was reissued as an OTC figure later in the year-- that one sold just as well. Some of the Toys "R" Us exclusive big-wing The Saga Collection TIE Fighter came with this figure, although more had the 1996-style version. Fans are still clamoring for more of this figure and so far, Hasbro has opted not to make it again. I'm crossing my fingers for an Expanded Universe version of it retooled with a removable helmet as Baron Fel. I'm also hoping for a slight redeco with the unique silver stripes around the eye lenses as (not) seen from Star Wars, but you can see them in some behind-the-scenes photos. George Lucas was recoloring troopers long before the Clones, you see.

Day 242: January 3, 2007

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