Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,116: TIE Pilot (The Black Series 6-Inch)

TIE PILOT 6-inch debut
The Black Series 6-Inch Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. A4301 No. A6521
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #05 (Blue Box)
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: Holster can carry blaster
Retail: $19.99
Availability: November 2014
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: TIE Fighter Pilots battle Rebel starfighters during the Battle of Yavin.  These elite Imperial pilots deploy from the Death Star Battle Station and blast the Rebel fighters with laser cannon fire.  "Look out!"  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary: While Yoda was a good figure but a bad figure for the price, there's no such question that Hasbro's TIE Pilot is actually pretty good.   You don't get as much stuff in the box, but presentation counts for a lot and there's really nothing bad about this figure.  You get 20 or so points of articulation - depending on how you feel like counting them - on a nice frame with a non-removable helmet.   You may also be curious to note that this is Hasbro's first complete overhaul of the TIE Fighter Pilot sculpt in any articulated size since about 2004.  3 3/4-inch releases retained the Saga sculpt with a few minor tweaks, so this is Hasbro's first fully-sculpted figure with ankles.

The sculpt is basically as good as the best 3 3/4-inch figures and is also just as good as other 6-inch "trooper" figures in this line.  There are ample sculpted wrinkles on the body suit with double-jointed knees, bend-and-swivel wrists, and of course the famous helmet with the tubes leading to the chest device.   His arms stick out a tiny bit, but unfortunately that's par for the course with most of Hasbro's super-articulated figures in nearly any scale.  As such, you can't get that "at attention" pose that troop builders often demand, and, ironically, can only get on the 5-jointed figures when Hasbro deems it worthy to make them that way.

His holster is notable in that it's a loose, rotating piece like the ones added to the 3 3/4-inch TIE Pilots around the Legacy (2008-2010) era.   It gives the figure a little more heft, and it means you don't have to keep him holding his gun all the time - a plus when it comes to figures of this size.

With glossy black boots and gloves plus silver highlights here and there, this is a TIE Fighter Pilot you can be proud of for twenty bones.  It has no problems standing, and it feels sturdy and pleasingly chunky.  However, he can't sit well due to the crotch formation blocking the legs from swinging forward to a 90-degree angle.   Most of the figures in this line share this problem, and it either says to you that a) there won't be vehicles, or b) like G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary figures they lacked foresight to prepare figures for hypothetical non-bike vehicles down the road.  So when you make your scratch-built 6-inch scale TIE Fighter, remember to get a second pilot figure and shave down the hips a bit.

Collector's Notes: This figure is in major online and brick-and-mortar stores in the USA now.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,116: December 30, 2014

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