Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 1,055: TIE Fighter Pilot

TIE FIGHTER PILOT with Huge Freaking Gun
Power of the Force Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 69670 No. 69584
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Rifle, pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $4.99
Availability: March 1995-early 1999
Appearances: Star Wars trilogy

Bio: With its vast space fleet, the Imperial Navy is a model of military efficiency. The best pilots in its ranks are rigorously trained to useto use highly maneuverable and heavily armed Twin Ion Engine (TIE) fighters. The small ships are used to both attack-- and defend against-- Rebel forces. Unlike the stormtroopers, TIE pilots wear black plastisteel protective armor over an insulated high-gravity body glove. (Taken from the figure's cardback. It goes on a lot.)

Commentary: In the early days of the modern line this TIE Fighter Pilot was considered an early step in the right direction. The first 12 Star Wars figures in 1995 were largely muscular creations, and while beefy by modern standards this figure was slimmed down a little from, say, Lando. The figure was a pretty good example of what Hasbro could do, and a big improvement over the 1982 figure. He had and articulated head and waist, neither of which were on the original. He had proper logos, a different color of black for his helmet and boots, and a nicely painted chest console. Plus he could sit! That's the important thing, folks, a lot of fans lose track of that. If you make a pilot figure, it needs to be able to pilot a vehicle toy, and this figure surely could do that. Really, for his day, he was perfect-- he looked good, he could fit in the TIE (which would really be the only vehicle he'd be good for until after the year 2001), so a lot of us actually army-builded this guy. Turns out we wouldn't need to, as most TIE vehicles would go on to include a pilot. Oh well! Live and learn.

Most of all, this figure was remembered for its accessories. He has one normal blaster, and the largest weapon you'd ever hope to see was also included for reasons we never understood. I mean, look at that thing. What do you need a TIE Fighter for? Just clobber someone with that big thing.

Collector's Notes: This figure has been tweaked over the years, and variations on this figure were being circulated with vehicles as a pack-in as recently as a couple of years back despite an improved sculpt seeing release in early 2004. I wouldn't be shocked to see it again. Early on, this figure held a record for most numerous packaging variations, most of which were fairly insignificant-- like shipping in a new assortment, having a printed warning label versus a sticker, etc. You could army-build this figure just by buying one of each packaging change.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,055: June 30, 2009

No comments: