TIE BOBER with Pilot
30th Anniversary Collection Target Exclusive
Item No.: No. 87499
Includes: Figure, 3 Bombs
Action Feature: Firing rockets, moving wings
Availability: Fall 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back
Column Notes: It's vehicle week! This week, we focus on the hardware created for our action figures, which gets too little attention. From giant space freighters to tiny bikes, there's quite a large variety of vehicles to be had, and we look at seven random examples over the next week.
Bio: TIE Bombers carry proton bombs or other explosive payloads that they drop on their targets to cause damage or destruction. Their design is similar to TIE Fighters, but they have elongated panels that boost their power. TIE Bombers are sent out in search of the Millennium Falcon after it escapes from Hoth and hides in an asteroid field. (Taken from the toy's box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy room.
Commentary: The third-- third!-- release of the TIE Bomber is arguably the best. The first two were a blue color that matched the original TIE Fighter toys, but this one was more of a light grey color that-- if you ask me-- resembles the movie a little more closely. (This could just be the result of special effects, but hey, it looks greyish to me.) Unlike the bulk of the TIE toys, this one actually has a weapon-- a bomb chute. While not an astonishingly interesting extra, it is unique because, well, there's no spring here. Just push a little button, and the bombs drop. They're loaded through a blowhole on the top, which is a unique design and one that I can say doesn't work perfectly. If you flip the ship upside-down, there's a good chance that they will fall out. It isn't perfect, but it kinda works.
The ship itself is the same as the 2002 and 2003 releases, with new coloring and paint. The wings are nicely sized, only slightly smaller than those in the original film. There's seating for one, and the interior sculpting of the cockpit is actually surprisingly impressive. As ships go, this is a pretty good one even though it could stand to have a little more to it, like a bonus "scout ship" or maybe a hidden seating area for a second figure. But that's kind of ridiculous, given the price point and the legend that this thing was created on the super-cheap in Hasbro's Rhode Island compound.
Collector's Notes: This was one of many Target exclusives to hit stores in late 2007. Due to the glut of product, it did hit clearance in many markets. You can get it on eBay for roughly retail including shipping these days, and it's worth the $30. Oh, and the pilot figure? It's the same one that's been packed with every TIE Bomber to date-- essentially the 1996 pilot, but with knee joints. Nothing too fancy.
Day 731: May 6, 2008