TIE FIGHTER with Darth Vader
Power of the Force Gunner Stations
Item No.: Asst. 69665 No. ???
Includes: Rockets, Darth Vader figure
Action Feature: Moving seatbelt/yoke, kickstand, firing rockets
Availability: Fall 1998
Appearances: Star Wars
Bio: Re-enact famous Star Wars battle scenes from Darth Vader's TIE Fighter cockpit! (Taken from the toy's cardback.)
Image: Adam's toy room.
Commentary: In 1998, Kenner was going full-blast on its new toy concepts to see what might stick for the prequels. The TIE Fighter Gunner Station was one of the experiments to make a better $10 figure with accessory, and for what it was, it's pretty neat. Unfortunately, a lot of these elements could have just as easily been integrated into a Starfighter toy. The toy has a few elements which sort of make it a mini-rig, but it's an incomplete ship. You get a seat, a window, some firing rockets, a handle, and something that's basically a flight yoke. It's an extremely clever toy, and if you remember that in 1998, a figure cost $6, this mini-"ship" is quite the bargain at $10. The sculpting is great, the mechanisms all work, and this is a sign of a healthy toy department firing on all cylinders to come up with something great. Problem is, it falls just short and fans didn't quite jump at it. If the toy had little wings-- even super deformed ones-- odds are this would have been a much stronger release because, in its current state, the only thing that says "I'm a TIE Fighter" are its window and the packaging, and who reads the packaging anyway?
For a fun little toy a kid can run around the house with, this is a killer release. It's small, comes with a decent figure, and was designed to actually sit on a shelf when you aren't playing with it. The engineers did a bang-up job coming up with a creative new toy, and I personally really hope they revisit this concept with original vehicles. Toss on a couple of fake wings and throw in a Clone Trooper and you've got yourself an awesome little toy.
Collector's Notes: This item was actually somewhat difficult to come by in some markets before a glut of them magically appeared on insta-clearance a few years later. As such, don't pay a premium for it.
Day 757: June 1, 2008