First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter (LEGO)
As us collectors here on the site recover from the sudden deluge of new toys with the launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens products we are still finding ourselves playing catch up. Today, I’ve had the chance to play around with LEGO’s First Order Special Forces TIE and am here to bring my thoughts on it. Come inside for the full review.
The last LEGO review I did for you guys was the Naboo Starfighter, which of course, came from The Phantom Menace, the first film of the Prequel trilogy. So it seems kind of fitting that this LEGO review comes from a new(ish) ship from the first film in the SEQUEL trilogy, The Force Awakens. Well, that and the fact that it’s the ONLY Force Awakens LEGO set I’ve picked up...but that’s neither here nor there.
Let’s talk some of the basics real quick. This isn’t your normal TIE fighter. Forget the red markings on the side which denote it as an “Elite” fighter (manned by special troops who are better than your average fighter), and it’s still markedly different from the TIE fighters we remember from the original films. For one, this is a two person craft now, with room for two pilots (or minifigs in this case). One goes in the “front” while one sits in the back. Presumably one is the gunner who controls the ship’s weapons.
The LEGO version of the TIE doesn’t show the new mounted turret guns on the bottom of the ship, opting instead to go with a stationary looking design as well as the built in “lasers” that launch out when you hit them. The cockpit is slightly different, featuring windows on each side, along with a new antenna array on one side. While the basic design of the Special Forces TIE is instantly recognizable as the iconic fighter we all know and love, close inspection reveals the new hotness.
This attention to detail even for the LEGO version is what really makes this set interesting and fun. LEGO has released a couple versions of the TIE over the years: one is much smaller, and the other is much larger (consisting of nearly 1700 pieces). While The Force Awakens one shares similarities to the previous ones, and should be familiar to collectors who already have them, it also feels unique and significant enough to warrant another purchase.
The set also comes with four minifigs for you to play around with. It has two pilots, a First Order officer, and a crew member (who would be like a repair/prep team person). The figures are pretty basic, but if you’re looking to build up your First Order troops for display they are nice to have.
Like many of the mid-sized to larger LEGO sets these days, the set comes in a handful (four total in this case) of numbered bags that you open as the instructions tell you too. They’ve done it for a while, and it’s still the best way for people to enjoy putting the LEGOs together.
Rather than spending a bunch of time sorting through ALL of the pieces at once to try and figure out what goes where, you can focus your attention one bag at a time. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of pieces to sort through in each baggie, but the overall task is made much simpler. It’s great for kiddos, meaning they can have just as much fun putting the set together as adult collectors will have as well.
The Special Forces TIE is sturdy. It’s a solid piece of construction, and once it’s all together sits nicely (though sadly there’s no display stand to this one) and looks great. Despite the wing panels being clipped onto the middle section via grasping pieces, they don’t flop around or feel like they can fall off by playing too hard. The construction of the wings builds in a little ‘nook’ for the snapping parts to sit in, meaning the connection is fairly deep, keeping things solid without being flimsy.
Considering that so many of the TIE fighter toys released through Hasbro over the years have been flimsy, with the wing panels warping, folding, or falling off without much play behind them, it’s really nice to see how sturdy the LEGO version has turned out to be. My kids and I were able to ‘fly’ it around the house and play with it like a normal toy, and never had so much as a single brick fall off.
Once assembled, it’s well built and fun to play with. The build itself is fairly straightforward, taking only a couple hours to fully assemble, but it looks great once it’s done. The details on the wing panels look sharp, adding in another display element that means it’s great to look at on the shelf and play with.