Preview: DARTH VADER'S TIE ADVANCED X1 STARFIGHTER
The Saga Collection Vehicles
Item No.: Asst. 85196 No. 87160
Includes: Firing Rockets, some assembly required
Action Feature: Spring-loaded launching rockets, extendable cannons, opening canopy
Appearances: Primarily Star Wars
Bio: Developed specifically to Darth Vader's specifications, this highly advanced starfighter featured a reinforced spaceframe designed to stand up under the most strenuous battle conditions, as well as a hyperdrive and deflector shields. Lord Vader piloted this deadly ship in the Battle of Yavin, destroying several enemy fighters, and nearly bringing down Luke Skywalker, had it not been for a lucky shot landed by the Millennium Falcon. (Taken from the vehicle's box.)
Images: Behold, the living room of Adam Pawlus and the treats within.
Commentary: It's release #3 of a vehicle from 1997, but it's the best-- by and large. The vehicle has tons of dirt, battle-damage blast marks, and most shocking of all, some really amazing painted detail inside on the control panels. (And a label.) Hasbro rarely focuses on the interior of a one-man vehicle, and this was, to say the least, a huge shock. It's this sort of attention to detail that actually makes you want to buy this vehicle again, although maybe not necessarily for the third time.
The detail on the rockets are also striking. The fully retractable dual blaster cannons have an added black dot painted on the barrel, so now it looks a smidge more... "realistic." The firing green rockets are now entirely green and molded in green plastic. The 1997 release had green painted tip rockets, or plain blue rockets. The 2004 release had only plain blue rockets.
It may look like the canopy is a wee bit discolored-- that's because it is. For whatever reason, it doesn't match the rest of the ship. It's not a huge sore point, but it is something to keep in mind when making a purchase-- yes, it looks different. Get used to it.
Collector's Notes: The back of the box shows the vehicle being piloted by the Revenge of the Sith Darth Vader action figure, which is very well designed to sit inside vehicles such as this despite being "inauthentic" to the film. (Obviously, Darth Vader looked a smidge different in the original Star Wars.) It's also worth noting that unlike the other vehicles released in the Starfighter Assortment (Grievous' Wheelbike, Tri-Fighter, Jedi Starfighters) that this has a uniquely sized box-- it's much wider than the others. For those wondering if this means Hasbro had plans to release other, larger vehicles in this assortment, it looks like all signs point to "it's possible."
The vehicle requires more assembly than you might be used to. The brackets for the wings must be screwed on, so be sure to have a philips-head screwdriver handy if you hope to put this vehicle together.
In 1997, this vehicle was released for $19.99. In 2004, a Toys "R" Us exclusive rerelease went for about $29.99, and was slightly recolored and the red laser cannons fit in more snuggly while the retractable cannons were a bit smoother. This version is the most refined to date, with the best paint job, the best performing mechanisms, and no shortage of detail. In short, this new release is well worth your attentiom.
This sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth on July 7.