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8017 Review: Darth Vader's TIE Fighter


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Poll: How do you rate this set? (45 member(s) have cast votes)

On a scale of 1-5

  1. Poor (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Below Average (1 votes [2.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.22%

  3. Average (10 votes [22.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.22%

  4. Above Average (18 votes [40.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.00%

  5. Excellent (16 votes [35.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.56%

Which hilt color do you like better?

  1. Chrome (28 votes [62.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.22%

  2. Metallic Silver (13 votes [28.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.89%

  3. Bley (1 votes [2.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.22%

  4. No preference (3 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

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#1 JimBee

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:53 AM

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Hello there, and welcome to my review of the new version of Vader's TIE. This is the first of the Anniversary sets set for release in 2009, and probably the most anticipated of the first wave for Original Trilogy fans. But, does it live up to it's expectations? How does it compare to previous TIE models? You'll soon find out as you read on...

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Set Name: 8017 Darth Vader's TIE Fighter
Number of Pieces: 251
Number of Minifigures: 1
Price: 29.99 USD/ 29.35 GBP/ 36.99 EUR
Theme: Star Wars- Classic
Year Released: 2009
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Let's start the review.

Box
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The box is what you might call a blast from the past. It has several items on it that imitate those of 1999 Star Wars boxes. The main two are the gold Star wars logo (instead of the Clone Wars blue or the older white-on-red logos) and the classic design on the upper right corner. The design with the seven characters of Original Trilogy Star Wars may have changed a little, but the relationship is obvious. Also worthy of note are the silver anniversary icon in the bottom left corner, and the "EXCLUSIVE ANNIVERSARY EDITION" banner on the bottom. The icon has a picture of Darth Vader in minifigure form, and writing around the edge saying "LEGO Star Wars 10 Year Anniversary 1999-2009".

Back of Box
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The back of the box shows the usual- the features of the set and other sets released in the same wave. We see the classic design in the upper right corner again, but more importantly is the box itself. When you open the box, you'll notice that you have to punch out holes, instead of the regular taped flaps. Obviously TLG wanted to make the set as "classic" as possible.

Instruction Booklet

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There's nothing special here, except for the anniversary icon and the classic design. However, the banner is not present on the manual.

Random Instruction Page
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Here's a random page of the booklet. As you can see, piece call-outs are not present. Then again, they're probably not needed for a set of this size.

Poster
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This is a neat poster in the back of the booklet, featuring the Republic Shuttle and the AAT. Also in the back of the manual are highlighted features of the set, sets released in the same wave, and the usual Lego Club/ Magazine subscription.

Now, let's on to the set itself.

Overview
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Well, this is it: Vader's TIE Advanced. It's actually pretty big compared to a minifigure, so I'm guessing it's to scale with the movie version. It's also pretty movie-accurate, especially with the change of the TIE color scheme (previous Lego TIE fighters used blue as the primary color, but the now it has been changed to gray, for the first time. The real color of TIE fighters can be debated among Star Wars fans). The ship itself has some nice detailing on it, although the dreaded sticker sheet is included.

Front
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The model looks neat, I suppose, and is fun to swoosh around. It has that "new" look about it that have been found in recent Star Wars sets. You'll notice that there are two stickered pieces that are seen from this view; one just above the cockpit, and another that is towards the middle of the ship's body. In addition to these stickers, there are also two printed parts in this picture; the 4x4 disc just above the cockpit, and the cockpit windshield. What a pain that would've been if we had to apply stickers to those pieces! Also note the black stud on either side of the cockpit. We'll get into those later.

Cockpit
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As you open up the windshield, you see the cockpit. The windshield lifts up in the normal manner that most TIE ships do, except the two 1x1 clips (from older TIE models) have been replaced by a 2x2 hinge piece, for more stability. The cockpit itself is quite roomy, and the addition of the 2x2 brick piece in the back that "dips" inward is nice to accommodate Vader's protruding helmet. One con about the cockpit, though, is that the (printed) control panel is on the floor. Why would it be there? A 2x1 brick or a 2x1 hinge piece could have easily fit in the cockpit, but maybe it is for easier accessibility for children.

Flick-Fire Missiles
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Yes, this set does come with flick-fire missiles, which might be a disappointment for some of you. But, they aren't so bad for this set. Remember those two black studs on the front of the ship? Those are actually attached to the missile pieces, which are pushed out by the mechanism shown here. That Technic piece attached to the Technic bar is pushed in, and the missile on that side is ejected from the ship. This is a neat way to sort of "hide" the missiles, instead of having the usual Technic "hole" pieces, where you actually flick the missiles. However, these only fly about a half of a foot, but it's a nice play feature for some.
     Also note the two trans-red studs, which offer detail, and the detailed stickered piece mentioned before. Those two, plain gray 2x2 tiles hold together most of the black plates on the middle of the ship, so they often pop off.

Flick-Fire Missiles

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These flick-fire missiles are basically the same as any other, but the black stud blends in much better than transparent or cone pieces.

Wings
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The wings are pretty basic, but follow the design of the movie's version. The wing sets on each side are exactly the same, and the top and bottom wing on each set are mirror images of each other. There is some greebling on the wings, and there is one stickered tile on each wing set. The new gray color scheme is most noticeable here, and note the hinges that are on all four wings.

Hinged Wings

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The hinge system on each wing allows moderate flexibility for them, so you can see the wings at a better angle.

Minifigure
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Finally, we come to the single minifigure of the set, Darth Vader himself. The Vader minifig has had some changes in the past, but none as dramatic as this one. For starters, he has a brand-new torso design, which not only adds robe detailing, but this little guy also has a better breathing er... "machine" plate on his torso. The silver markings on the torso are metallic, and have a grainy feel to them. It's probable that these markings could wear off due to "playing" with it, so I would just leave the figure on display.
     Additionally, there is a new lightsaber hilt color for all Jedi and Sith this year: metallic silver. This new idea provides the ability for lightsaber hilts to be much more attractive than in its light bley form, but also less expensive than the chrome version. I personally prefer my lightsabers chrome, but this plan of action is understandable, as chrome paint is getting more expensive for the Lego Group to use. I'm sure chrome hilts will still appear in limited edition sets, though.

Vader Comparison
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here you can take note of the differences between the new Darth Vader (also found in the Death Star Playset of 2008) and an older version (this one is from the 6211 Imperial Star Destroyer). You can see slight differences in the faces, with the new one having a slightly more "cartoonish" look, similar to the case of the new Darth Maul figure. You can also compare the two different lightsaber hilts, which both look better than bley, in my opinion. But the main difference, as I said, is the redesigned torso.

TIE Interceptor New Color

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As an added bonus, I've included a few pictures of what a TIE Interceptor (2006) might look like if it was colored bley instead of blue. I see a major difference, and for the better, I think. The bley is a lot more accurate, and a lot less retro, and perhaps less... obnoxious or outstanding than the blue.

Well, the review has just about finished, it's time to wrap it up with the...

FINAL VERDICT

Build: 6/10, Nothing special or interesting here, should take the average builder about 40 minutes.
Playability: 6/10, There really isn't much playability to be had for this set. You can swoosh it around, flick the missiles, and place Vader in the cockpit, but that's about it. This and the 6212 X-Wing Fighter would make a great pair, to recreate that famous trench scene.
Swooshability: 7.5/10, It is good for swooshing around, and pieces rarely fall of when you do so, as long as you hold it right.
Minifigs: 10/10, you really couldn't have asked for more. This Vader figure was only included in one other set (which was quite expensive), and it's really the only figure needed.
Design: 6/10, The middle section holds together pretty well, and the cockpit design has definitely improved since previous TIE models, but the wings fall of very easily, and as you try to put back on the pieces that fell off, more pieces do the same. Most frustrating.
Price: 6/10, 30 USD for little more than 200 pieces is definitely a rip-off, but TLG could have slapped a "Limited Edition" sticker on there and made it 50 USD, and the rare Vader is included, so it's not completely regretful to pay this price.
Pieces: 6/10, There's not much to see here, but perhaps those bley tiles will come in handy.

Overall Score: 6.78/10, Not a bad set, but not a great one, considering it's the first of the 2009 anniversary collection. It could have had a lot more details and greebling, and perhaps have had a lower price. I would recommend this to any hardcore fan who wants to recreate that famous trench scene to go along with their X-Wing, but if your looking for a good parts pack, or just a reason to spend money, this is not for you. I'm sorry to say that this set did not make my favorite SW sets list (if I even have one...)

And that wraps it all up, Vader's TIE in a nutshell. Expect to see more SW and Indy reviews in the very near future. And, as always, feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

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#2 CommanderCody77

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 06:16 AM

Great review :thumbup:  I voted excellent
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#3 ILikePi

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 06:43 AM

Thanks for the review!  :classic:
I voted average and chrome hilts.
I think that chrome looks the best, even though I've never owned one, let alone touched one.
I do hope that LEGO will still make them, as I want to get at least one (not including the angled chrome one that I'm going to get in the magnet set).

EDIT: Aren't those "extra pictures" about a TIE Interceptor? Your description of the pictures says that it's a 2006 TIE Advanced.

Edited by ILikePi, 28 February 2009 - 06:44 AM.

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#4 pr0visorak

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 02:54 PM

Great review! I also agree that the tie is not that great. I think I would be better of buying the magnet. :classic:
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#5 Palin Jax

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:39 PM

Wonderful review...  I enjoyed the added "bonus" immensely :tongue: .  Mayhaps a re-badging shall be in the works in the near horizon.  While I am not discouraged by this recent rendition, I am, however, slightly disappointed that Lego didn't take the opportunity to streamline there cockpit design.  The pod is still too blocky.  Your summary is right on...  surprisingly, as I am more apt to score TIE's biased-ly higher...  But heres to hoping for the Defender or re-imagined Bomber...
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#6 JimBee

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:28 PM

View PostILikePi, on Feb 28 2009, 12:43 AM, said:

EDIT: Aren't those "extra pictures" about a TIE Interceptor? Your description of the pictures says that it's a 2006 TIE Advanced.
I'm not sure what you mean... the two TIE Advanced pictures are of the original TIE advanced fitted with new bley colors, instead of the old blue.

View PostPalin Jax, on Feb 28 2009, 09:39 AM, said:

Wonderful review...  I enjoyed the added "bonus" immensely :tongue: .  Mayhaps a re-badging shall be in the works in the near horizon.
...But heres to hoping for the Defender or re-imagined Bomber...
Thanks, Palin, and welcome back. :sweet: I personally don't want to see all of the TIEs remade just for the new color, but I am hoping for a (bley) Defender soon.

View PostPalin Jax, on Feb 28 2009, 09:39 AM, said:

While I am not discouraged by this recent rendition, I am, however, slightly disappointed that Lego didn't take the opportunity to streamline there cockpit design.  The pod is still too blocky.
I think it's fine, since the movie versions were blocky. I do see what you're getting at, though, maybe a 6x6 disc would be a better windshield piece? It would certainly be more useful than the regular windshield in MOCs, that's for sure.

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#7 Ratshot

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 07:50 PM

Nice review, I might, just might mind you pick this up.

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#8 ILikePi

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:09 AM

View PostJimButcher, on Feb 28 2009, 10:28 AM, said:

I'm not sure what you mean... the two TIE Advanced pictures are of the original TIE advanced fitted with new bley colors, instead of the old blue.
Well, the title of the bonus pictures says "TIE Interceptor New Color", and inside the description of the pictures it says "As an added bonus, I've included a few pictures of what a TIE Advanced (2006) might look like..."

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#9 Zatrom

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 04:46 PM

You have definetly persuaded me to pick up this set and BTW good review.

#10 JimBee

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:47 PM

View PostILikePi, on Mar 7 2009, 02:09 AM, said:

Well, the title of the bonus pictures says "TIE Interceptor New Color", and inside the description of the pictures it says "As an added bonus, I've included a few pictures of what a TIE Advanced (2006) might look like..."
Ahh, okay, thank you, I wasn't quite sure what you meant at first. I'll change that "Advanced" to "Interceptor" right now. :blush:

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#11 Millacol88

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:05 PM

Very thoughtful and detailed review, JimButcher.  :thumbup:  Your comments about the set make sense and it's obvious a lot of effort went into this. I also really like your TIE Interceptor recolour.  :wub:  It's a shame there are already three reviews for this set, this would have made a good addition to the index.



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