This review will be on the 8087 Tie Defender
Built in response to the Rebellion’s highly-skilled starfighter forces, the top-secret TIE defender is the ultimate expression of Imperial power and technology! Never before made as a LEGO set, this unique 3-winged TIE fighter blasts into battle with 6 flick-launching missiles and an opening cockpit that rotates when the model turns.
Set Name: 8087 Tie Defender
Theme: Star Wars
Here are some quicklinks Lego.com, Brickset, Bricklink
Wanna see some pictures? Let's start with the normal box arts and manuals!
Box art is very nice. I can't figure out why they included a Stormtrooper. Maybe a hanger crew to load all those missiles. But not a Stormtrooper.
It's funny that the pilot is loading his own ship. I'm curious on how he's gonna get up to the launcher. Interesting thing is thy show the cockpit rotates. I never knew the real (Ha!) one rotated. And I used to fly this on the old PC computer game. Some other things they show is the new ARC-170/Droid Tri-Fighter/ and Freeco Speeder. On a side note, I hope they release new sets from season 2 of Clone Wars. Many new ships are now being shown.
Instruction manual cover
Like other sets, LEGO is using the same cover as the front of the box. Not bad.
Here are some things the fighter can do. The cockpit really does stay stationary. I was going to do a video, but I couldn't get a nice clip. There are 6 flick-fire missiles. That's the most I've seen on a fighter. The cockpit opens up to fit the pilot. Besides placing the pilot down, there is nothing else in the cockpit. No controls. There is room to add something like control sticks but they didn't.
Nothing fancy. Except that propeller part that looks like it's from a technic set. #4568027
Sometimes I have to wonder about LEGO and what sets it decides to use numbers. Bag #1 is used to build the cockpit and minifigs. Bag #2 holds all the wing parts. With just 300pcs. I'm sure they could've done away with the bag numbering. Especially when you consider the wings are repeats 6x.
Yup. That's it. Nothing more and nothing less.
The build process
Ok, why the red part? Can't you get that same part in grey or black? And as you see, I don't think that red piece is used for anything.
Here is the rear shot. Now you can see what that tri-technic piece is used for. Center hub to rotate the cockpit on. Or rotate the wings on, depending how you look at it. The thruster is very simple by design. Nothing to fancy, but it does look like the drawings I've seen of the rear of the Tie Defender.
It's funny when you think abut it. The top hatch is supposed to open to let in the pilot. Yet, almost every single LEGO Imperial ship with this type of hatch never uses the hatch. The front dome always folds open in some way.
Ah yes. This was a easy photo. Going from left to right. Step 1, 2, and 3. Now you have the mounting arms for each of the wing sections. Very smart. And by building it this way, they made the wings easy to come off for some blow-up play action. Hey.. Darth Vader's Advance Fighter used wings that was mounted this way too.
Here you have the finished cockpit module. I like it. Looks like a ship all by itself. Even without the wings. It even could be made as a fighter class variant of Palpatine's Shuttle due to be released later this year.
And the Above two photos show the top and underside of the wings and top and undersides of the completed wing sections. Very bare-bones. But I guess there isn't much you can do to enhance the details without making the wings heavy. You can also see each of the flick-fire missiles on each wing tip. No way to shoot all of them at once. Or even two at a time. Oh well.
Here is a finished photo with a closeup of the cockpit open with the pilot and Imperial Stormtrooper. I have no idea why LEGO didn't at least include controls in the cockpit. Maybe if I can some spare parts, I'll add something as I'm pretty sure the clear canopy can house a console and two antenna sticks for controls.
Isometric front view. Go ahead, I know you want to click on it for a larger close-up view.
Isometric rear view. Yeah....Looks sweet.
Comments: When I first heard LEGO was going to release a Tie Defender I almost jumped out of my seat. I was so hoping it was going to be a UCS. Then I saw the fuzzy pre-shots of the box. Knowing it wasn't going to be a UCS from that photo, I was a bit sad. But was going to buy it anyways. Then I saw the final box photo and piece count. Meh.... Sounds like the same league as Darth Vader's Tie Advance and other Tie fighter's LEGO has released over the years. It didn't look great. Finally I saw it at the store. I couldn't resist and bought it. Did I mention TRU here in Hawaii was trying to sell it at $70? After building it, I'm happy I got it. And bought it at a not-so-reasonable $54.99. I think it could've sold for $39.99-$45.99. Only thing that bothered me was the cockpit interior design. It's so LEGO Star Wars of 10 years ago. No controls and just a place to put the minifig. And again, I still don't see why they added a Stormtrooper.
Playability: 4/5. This is very "swooshable" for kids. I can't take it flying at work, but doing a dogfight between a X-Wing and this will work. I guess that's why they built it at this scale. To match the other sets that are out.
Design: 3/5. You already know my concerns for the cockpit. And semi-plain look of the fighter. Still, it does look like the Tie Defender.
Build experience: 2/5. You don't need to be a pro at making this. Bags are numbered. And in this set, you really build this part six times. And that's 80% of the set. By the 3rd wing, I could do it with my eyes closed. Hmm... I hope I didn't leave any parts out when I did that..
Overall: 3.5/5. I hate to give a .5 but it's not great enough to give a 4, and it's really as good as other sets so it warrants more than a 3. Would I buy it again? Yes! Would I pay the amount I had to pay again? No. I'll wait for clearance. Or at least a 25% off LEGO's MSRP price. Not my local store prices.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!
All photos are click able for larger, bigger-than-life picture sizes! You can see all photos used here, including the larger build pictures: 8087 Tie Defender.