Monday, May 17, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,284: 181st Squadron TIE Pilot

181ST SQUADRON TIE PILOT and TIE Interceptor
30th Anniversary Collection Toys "R" Us Exclusive
Item No.:
No. 87477
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, TIE Interceptor
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $34.99
Availability: 2007
Appearances: Expanded Universe

Bio: The elite TIE Interceptor starfighter slices through space at blinding speed with its dagger-like wings and ultrasleek design. under the command of Baron Fel, the pilots of the 181st Imperial Fighter Group fly these fast, deadly fighters on the side of the Empire during the Battle of Endor. The red stripes on a 181st unit's elite TIE Interceptor are badges of honor, indicating that the pilot has destroyed ten or more enemy vessels. Each pilot's uniform
also displays the red stripes, crediting him for his victories in battle. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam's yard.

Commentary: I really like this 181st Squadron TIE Pilot and his fighter because it was something different. Not super-different, but you know, not yet another movie vehicle that has slight improvements, Hasbro did some creative stuff here. For example, the pilot looks more like what I assume many of us expected from a Baron Fel figure. (Hasbro still hasn't nailed him yet.) The white body and red stripes are pretty distinctive for a figure that's otherwise a run-of-the-mill 2004 mold. The articulation is really nothing special, but he can sit just fine and that's what matters for a figure like this. Because he looks so unique, I'd say fans of the Empire should track it down because seriously, how many all-black pilots can you have? (Answer: hundreds.) The ship is nice too, so give this one some consideration if you can get beyond the fact that it doesn't have 14 points of articulation. Seriously kids, there was a time when all figures didn't have ankle joints!

Collector's Notes: This set had a bit of a price flux when released, and, for me anyway, was a pain to track down at first. Because the figure comes with a TIE Interceptor covered in kill marks, how can you not love it? Not many show up on eBay at press time, so I dunno if it's a premium-priced item or not really. If you had to dump $50 or so on the figure and pilot, I'd say it was worth it.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,284: May 17, 2010


Cameron said...

I'd warn collectors to be careful when moving the pilot. Some other collectors as well as me have broken the head off when just barely trying to turn the neck as if they glued the head down or soemthing by accident.

JGS said...

I bought the pilot as a loose figure in a comic book store, and, yup, his head was disconnected and I had to glue it back on.

I got him cheap, though, and the unique design is still well worth it. I wasn't as big on the red-stripe version of the interceptor itself - too outside the look of the movies for me.

Thanks for FOD, Adam. Always a fun diversion from the work day.

Chris said...

Reminds me of the time I was at a cousins house and I found Skeletors purple panther with a Vintage Endor Han Solo head stuck in his jaws. Found the body aswell and my mum managed to remove the head and glue it to body without restricting movement. Thank god for Mums!