Monday, January 29, 2018

The 2017 Darth Vader's TIE Fighter Ornament Rocks!

The Good: Great rendering, Cool sound effect, Very neat light effect, Amazing detailing
The Bad: Back-heavy
The Basics: The Darth Vader's TIE Fighter ornament is an impressive Storyteller Star Wars ornament that pops on the strand!

The Star Wars Storyteller ornament series is an intriguing concept and it will be interesting to see how Hallmark pulls off the idea. The Storyteller concept is that there are seven Star Wars ship ornaments that will fit on a single Hallmark Power Cord and interact. Hallmark, wisely, chose the Death Star attack sequence as the subject of the Storyteller line and for 2017 Hallmark released the Death Star, an X-Wing Fighter and Darth Vader's TIE Fighter. Hallmark has announced the Millennium Falcon for next year and one assumes there will be a regular TIE Fighter for the strand, leaving two wild card ornaments. Tonight, I find myself considering the 2017 Darth Vader's TIE Fighter ornament.

For those unfamiliar with the Darth Vader's TIE Fighter, this is the fighter that Darth Vader used to participate in the defense of the Death Star in A New Hope (reviewed here!). Darth Vader only used his TIE Fighter in the one battle and Hallmark made an asweome ornament of it.

Hallmark has the ship alone as the subject of the 2017 Darth Vader's TIE Fighter ornament.


The "Darth Vader's TIE Fighter" ornament faithfully recreates the Imperial attack ship in fine detail that is instantly recognizable! The ornament, released in 2017, is an impressive casting of the altered Imperial ship with an immaculate paint job and very cool light and sound feature. Measuring two and one-half inches tall, 4 1/8” wide and 3 8/8” deep, the Darth Vader's TIE Fighter ornament is a re-imagining of the ornament that Hallmark made many years ago.

The Hallmark "Darth Vader's TIE Fighter" ornament is made of a durable plastic and has the ship on its own, as is typical for Hallmark's starship and vehicle line of Star Wars ornaments. Darth Vader's TIE Fighter is detailed incredibly, from the basic shape, which features the standard TIE cockpit section attached to two folded wings and an extended aft section. The cockpit is molded with the primary window in black translucent plastic, but wisely the coloring makes it impossible to see inside and thus critique Hallmark for not getting the pilot or cockpit right! The wings have different colors for the engine sections and they look incredibly accurate; Darth Vader's TIE Fighter looks identical to the model used in the film.

The coloring is as impressive as the molded details. This is essentially a black and gray fighter, with finely textured panels on the wings and panels molded into the aft section. This looks like a high-definition version of Darth Vader's TIE Fighter.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, the "Darth Vader's TIE Fighter" has a light and sound function. The vehicle is powered by the special Keepsake Power Cord (which is not included). At the touch of a well-concealed button on the aft section, the Darth Vader's TIE Fighter lights up on the aft section in reaction to various sound effects. The subtle red and white light effects accent the ornament in very cool ways.

The Darth Vader's TIE Fighter plays various pieces of Darth Vader's dialogue from the final Death Star scene in A New Hope. As well, there are sounds of Darth Vader's TIE Fighter shooting its weapons and the engine noises from the vehicle that play when the ornament is powered!


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake "Darth Vader's TIE Fighter" ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, one of the "Darth Vader's TIE Fighter" ornaments is a great addition and for those collecting the Storyteller line, it is indispensible. The ornament has the standard steel hook loop embedded into the top center of the ornament, right behind the cockpit section. From there, the Darth Vader's TIE Fighter hangs with a slight bias to the back. The ornament is just a little backheavy.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!). Since then, they have made ornament replicas from properties like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Tron. The "Darth Vader's TIE Fighter" ornament seems to be appropriately produced and it sold out at all Hallmark Gold Crown stores. The Darth Vader's TIE Fighter ornament is already appreciating on the secondary market and one has to assume that as collectors try to finish the Storyteller line, it will continue to increase in value.


The Darth Vader's TIE Fighter is a perfectly molded, perfectly colored ornament with a great sound and light effect, even if it is a little off-balance.

This is an ornament I proudly sell on my website, please feel free to check out my 2017 Darth Vader's TIE Fighter current inventory!

For other Hallmark ornaments of Star Wars ships, please check out my reviews of:
2006 Imperial AT-AT
2009 Luke's Landspeeder
2010 Rebel Snowspeeder
2011 Slave I
2012 TIE Interceptor
2013 All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST)
2014 Sandcrawler
2015 Y-Wing Starfighter
2016 T-70 X-Wing Starfighter
2017 Death Star
2017 X-Wing Fighter


For other ornament reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2018 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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