I didn't see this item in the topic list, so I thought I would put it out there.
I ran into these at Target last week:
I thought I could share a couple of pictures and opinions, and this seemed like the place to do it.
Unfortunately, I can't seem to get images to work
. So I will just offer my two cents on this exclusive ship.
First, a warning. You may be like me, and have several TIE fighters in your launch bay ready to go. If you are like me, you paid anywhere from $10.00 to $20.00 for each. The first ones did not come with pilots, later ones did (except the OTC version).
Get ready to supersize the previous prices, much as they supersized the wings. These bad boys will set you back a cool $40.00.
The TIE fighter, backbone of the Imperial Navy, is a classic toy. Since its' first release in 1978, there has been room for improvement. The early versions had an electronic squealing noise, and light up "gun" in the front of the cockpit. They were also white in color, and had stickers to apply to the wing panels. Since many of us were 9-10 at the time, those stickers didn't all go on very straight.
In 1995 the TIE fighter was re-released, now with gray/blue coloring and wing panels that were a different colored, textured plastic. The electronics were gone, but the buzz of having new Star Wars toys around more than made up for it.
In 1997, Hasbro supersized the X-Wing fighter. It looked great, had electronics, and seemed like the ultimate size ship for the standard action figures. Everyone hoped a matching TIE would follow soon.
3 Prequels and 3 supersized X-Wings later, we have our Giant TIE Fighter.
It does not have electronics. It uses the same canopy and wing connections as the earlier versions. The new wings, are... magnificent. This is where I really wish the pictures were working. When you set it next to the POTF2, Saga, or OTC TIE fighter, you can see just how good the new one looks. The deco is the same, the only thing that has changed is the scale. It does come with a pilot, but it is the POTF2 pilot without knee joints. Why they reached that far back in the mold toy box is surprising to me. But it does sit in the ship just fine, and that is priority number one.
$40.00 for an exclusive ship, particularly one of this size, probably isn't that far fetched. But when you consider that the only new part is the wing panel, they have some serious profit margin on this toy. The addition (or re-addition) of some type of electronic play value would have made it much easier to understand the price point. It looks great, but looks are all you get here.
My main complaint isn't about the product itself. It is the missed opportunity to offer a cool mail-in or on-line offer to just get the wings out to fans and collectors.
We have just witnessed a generation growing up with Star Wars, much like some of us did in the 70's. We had cool mail-in offer after mail-in offer. Figures, accesory packs, you name it, we could get it with enough proof of purchases.
The group of kids that make up the prequel generation got zilch. There was a mail in Mace Windu prior to The Phantom Menace, and virtually nothing since. Burger King had coupons in their first weeks toys for Galactic Heroes with proof of purchases. It was nearly an invisible campaign, and I wonder how many kids even knew about it.
I think the TIE wings, and maybe future items like it, could make good candidates for these types of offers. The figures currently being marketed as exclusives (Wedge, clone troopers and astromech droids, re-deco clones) could have been done as mail-ins.
Maybe Hasbro has tired of the collectors getting the bulk of the items with such offers. I know I still have 5,000 + jedi points that will continue to sit in baggies until the end of their toy license. But my kids loved the mail in cookie jars from keebler this year, and even the poster from Cheese-Its. Hasbro is missing a chance to give kids some of that "mailbox magic" with their toy line, and that is disappointing to me.
That's my rant-
But I still ended up getting two Giant TIES, so I could make my trench scene with Darth and those big X-wings.