Y-wing Fighter
Hasbro
Released November, 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on October 29, 2004

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instead of new molds, Hasbro's 2004 Star Wars brand has a lot of repackaged and recolored items, like this Y-wing Fighter. This exclusive Toys "R" Us package is a repaint of the mold used in 1999 for a POTF2 Target exclusive Y-wing Fighter, but this time around it has a brand new paintjob that was never seen (to our knowledge) in the films. But it looks like it might have been.

The set includes one vehicle and one figure as well as a "bomb" accessory.

The Vehicle

This variant of the Y-wing Fighter is based on the two previous action figure scale Y-wings, but the paintjob is inspired by the red squadron Action Fleet vehicle released a few years ago.





So, what's new?

The paint, labels, and plastic are all new-- when compared to the 1983 version. The same shorter guns, lack of electronics, and dedicated R2 unit remain here (for better or worse) so unfortunately we fans aren't able to put whatever droids we deem amusing in the socket behind the cockpit, which is a real shame.

Since the mold is more or less old hat minus the removal of the electronics button, there's really not much to say about the sculpt other than it goes to show how some molds hold up better than others. Ironically, the only things you could possibly add to improve this would be a droid socket and electronics-- and those were all removed for the 1999 release which was exclusive to Target.

The paint job is totally new and actually pretty slick. The newly added blast damage looks fantastic, and the red highlights look like they belong on the ship. While some took issue with the green A-wing from last year, this ship looks like it would be right at home on the Death Star assault, and if it were CGed in a future Special Edition odds are most viewers would never even notice. The biggest change, though, was the addition of shiny metallic silver paint to cover the exposed wiring and mechanical bits, and I have to say the end result looks absolutely stunning.

Overall, it looks and feels a little better than before, with more lifelike colors and more realistic dirt and damage. Also, all the plastic coloring has been changed, so the greys are not the same greys you saw in 1999. It's a pity the ship isn't yellowish orange-- with all the new blast marks and such, it still would've been worth the purchase.

Weapons & Features

The vehicle has an opening canopy, retractable landing gear, and a dropping bomb.

While many have complained-- astutely-- that the 1999 upgrade had shoddy landing gear, it isn't immediately obvious if the new release has the same problem. The mechanics feel sturdier, but obviously this is a problem best revealed by time and not by pushing down on the ship. (And, like before, gutting the landing gear out of the 1983 edition will most likely solve the problem.)

The seat still holds the figures nicely, and the labels aren't the same ones you saw in 1983 or in 1999, although they are very similar to the previous release. The colors are different and there are some other minor changes. It's a minor detail, but I really like that Hasbro took the time to make new labels-- which, by the way, are expertly preapplied.

The bomb is from the same mold as the 1999 version, which is similar to the 1983 version with a few exceptions. One, the color is different, and two, it's a one-piece payload. The original 1983 toy was a two-part mold so if you had it set right, it would split apart on impact. This also makes it easy to know a reissue piece from a vintage piece, and it's something else I'm glad to see Hasbro do.

As far as the electronics go, there are none-- the battery compartment is still there, but you can't easily get it open. I didn't try to force it because I didn't want to ruin the toy, and as such, we advise you to not force it.

The Figure

This is a repaint of the 1999 pilot, which itself was a Biggs Darklighter with a new, crappy head. Better Y-Wing pilots have been made just this year, so it's unfortunate that they reused this old one.



As no changes were made to the mold there's not much to say-- it's a perfectly adequate pilot figure, just not exactly exciting, and certainly better than no pilot at all. A new head would have been nice, though-- this one isn't Hasbro's finest hour.

Packaging

This completely new and very large box features numerous battle scenes and has a giant window so you can see the ship. It's quite nifty.




Never let it be said Hasbro doesn't know how to do a nice box. This set easily trumps the 1999 release, the 1983 release, and almost any vehicle packaging Hasbro has attempted save for maybe the POTJ Snowspeeder from 2002. It looks like a little trench scene diorama, and you can't find anything quite like this elsewhere in the line. This is one of the few vehicles that looks so nice, you might want to buy one to keep packaged.

Availability

This Toys "R" Us exclusive is just starting to show up in stores, so keep your eyes peeled.

I should also note that the first one I saw (and accidentally bought and had to return) was a 1983 one repainted and put back in the box very carefully-- there's a real rash of this going around in my neck of the woods, so be sure to examine the vehicle closely before purchase. Keep in mind the bomb and all pieces should be visible in the window with only the manual and a product catalog hidden from your view-- so if anything appears to be missing, pass on it.

Fin

This is Hasbro's second non-film repaint of a movie vehicle, the first being the green A-wing Fighter from last year. Rather than feeling like a cheap rehash, it really does look nice and like it belongs in the film. It's a shame they didn't reinstate the droid socket, but if Hasbro did everything right the first time, what would they sell to us a second, third, or fourth time down the road?

The value question here may be a little hard to swallow-- the 1999 release of this toy was a mere $19.99 and included no more or fewer parts than you get with the OTC release today. The fact that the only new thing created for this release was a box and a different paint op makes the price more than a little hard to swallow, but given the collector-nature of vehicles in this day and age and the fact the POTF2 one was selling as high as $90 for a while there, $29.99 doesn't sound quite so bad.

Highly desirable if you have the shelf space-- if you liked the green A-wing, you'll love this. Here's hoping Hasbro goes back to the well one last time in a few years to do blue versions of both the A-wing and Y-wing. (And Hasbro, you can keep the B-wing and X-wing rehashes for the time being.)

Our sample was obtained from Toys "R" Us in October 2004.









 
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