Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More Than Just A Re-colored AT-AT Driver, The Vintage Collection TIE Fighter Pilot Is The Ultimate Sculpt Of The Character!

The Good: Amazing coloring detail, Good accessory, Wonderful articulation, Fits TIE Fighter, Great balance!
The Bad: Low collectible value, Minor grip issue for blaster.
The Basics: Arguably the very best TIE Fighter Pilot action figure on the market, the Vintage Collection TIE Fighter Pilot has balance, articulation, a cool accessory and a pretty neat playable feature!

I’ll be completely honest up front; I am one of the many people who is currently buying Vintage Collection Star Wars figures in order to get my premium, exclusive Prototype Boba Fett action figure that Hasbro is now offering. While this might seem lame, it did force me to start getting some figures that are part of the Vintage Collection that have the Prototype Boba Fett offer on the card/in the bubble. The first one I have gotten in for this “noble” cause is the new Vintage Collection TIE Fighter Pilot. The TIE Fighter pilot puts to shame its Power Of The Force counterpart (reviewed here) and has a lot in common with the newest AT-AT Driver figure (reviewed here). Despite the initial appearance, this is not simply a recoloring of the AT-AT Driver (the head and weapon are different) and this makes for a perfect TIE Fighter Pilot!

For those unfamiliar with the TIE Fighter Pilot, they are seen briefly in the original Star Wars Trilogy (reviewed here!) actually piloting the TIE fighters. Clad entirely in black, they look menacing and efficient, though they seem to have about the same gunning capabilities as an Imperial Stormtrooper!

The 4" Vintage Collection TIE Fighter Pilot was completely recast from the prior versions of the TIE Fighter Pilot and it fits in perfectly with the latest figures.


The Vintage Collection TIE Fighter Pilot figure stands 3 3/4" tall with his helmet on. The figure’s helmet may be removed to reveal the human beneath. This is a very simple sculpt of the TIE Fighter Pilot, which is very accurate as well. The TIE Fighter Pilot is wearing the loose pants, high boots, and wide-wristed flight suit. What distinguishes this pilot from all other Imperials is that he is dressed all in black and the only real armor is his flight helmet. His flight helmet includes an environmental control panel that is attached to his chest via tubes and this sculpt is immaculate, looking just like the villainous pilots from the Star Wars Trilogy.

As for the coloring detail, the TIE Fighter Pilot is colored fairly blandly, but that is the character! The control panel has each button precisely colored, which is impressive and the helmet has the appropriate Imperial symbols emblazoned on it. The helmet even gets right the coloring details for the nose ridge and visor! The belt even has tiny silver-grey studs on it. The most complex element for coloring is the figure’s face. While the head lacks any realistic coloring or shading for the skin tones, the sculpt is good and the lips even have some pink to them. Despite the slight skin tone issue, the eyes are so precisely colored as to include tiny brown irises and even smaller black pupils!


The TIE Fighter Pilot is an Imperial shocktrooper and features a helmet that may be pulled off to reveal his face, but comes really with only one accessory. That accessory is a blaster pistol that seems unique to the new TIE Fighter Pilot. The TIE Fighter Pilot comes with a blaster pistol that is unlike any other Imperial blaster pistol. It is a 1" long plastic gun with a single scope and two tiny barrels. It also features two different grips and the figure may be posed with it holding the gun in both hands. Ironically, it fits much better into the holster on the figure’s right hip than it does into either hand. This is an unfortunate oversight on the part of those who made this figure’s mold. This is a monotonal black weapon. Despite the issues with the grip, the gun is in the correct proportions to the rest of the figure.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and TIE Fighter Pilot is exceptional in that regard, despite the issue with his grip. This TIE Fighter Pilot figure has great balance, not tipping over even when posed in some fairly outlandish positions. The figure does have holes in the bottom of his feet to allow him to stand tall on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or attach to pegs on vehicles. When seated, he fits perfectly in the new TIE fighter vehicle toy.

This TIE Fighter Pilot also has amazing articulation. He has hinged ball and socket joints at the knees, elbows and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows a great range of motion for the head (more so with the helmet off). The wrists, groin socket and waist each have simple swivel joints. This is the best-articulated TIE Fighter Pilot yet!


The TIE Fighter Pilot is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2011 and he is one of the pegwarmers of the collection. The TIE Fighter Pilot is Vintage Collection figure VC65 and redeems its overproduction by simply being the best of this type. Like me, it seems many of the last of these are being bought up by fans who need the UPC and redemption slip for the Mail-Away Prototype Boba Fett action figure. One suspects that once that offer is no longer good, his price will again plummet. This is one of the pegwarmers of the series and it might be best solely in combination with any number of TIE Fighter vehicle toys on the market.


While the TIE Fighter Pilot might not be the most incredible figure in the Vintage Collection toy line, it is bound to make those who bother with it very happy. It is not a grand investment, but it makes up for that with great balance, poseability, coloring and a sculpt that is the most accurate one yet. That, ultimately, makes it well worth the buy!

For other Vintage Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
VCP03 Boba Fett
VC01 Dengar
VC05 AT-AT Commander
VC10 4-LOM
VC11 (Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot
VC22 Admiral Ackbar
VC37 Super Battle Droid
VC41 Commander Gree
VC46 AT-RT Driver
VC48 Weequay Skiff Master
VC49 Fi-Ek Sirch
VC82 Daultay Dofine
VC85 Quinlan Vos
VC86 Darth Maul


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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