Suggested Age: 8-14
Casual Build Time: 2 hours
Dimensions: 9″ x 7″ x 7″
Brand: Star Wars
It’s been a while since I last got to build a spaceship so I decided that it was time that I took another look at the Star Wars range. I picked the TIE Fighter mainly because of its iconic design. I mean, just look at it! It’s impossible not to recognise it! While this design is specifically taken from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, variants of the ship appears in many of the films as it forms a staple part of both the Empire and the First Order’s armadas.
In addition to the pieces to make the spaceship, the kit contains four minifigures – 2 First Order TIE Fighter Pilots, a First Order Officer and a First Order Crew man – and well as three guns for them to wield. The TIE Fighter boasts two spring-loaded missile launchers, three opening hatches and a rotating antenna.
Here are some photos of the building process. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge:
The biggest disappointment of this kit was just how quickly it could be built. While I luckily picked up my set during a sale, it’s full retail price is £59.99 and I just didn’t feel that it was worth the money. The set was very easy to put together. The first two bags built the cockpits and the second two each made a wing. The age range on this kit was a bit misleading as it was incredibly easy to build. The only bit that I felt a child would need help with was clipping the wings into place as you have to put a bit of force behind it.
The finished kit is rather impressive to look at and is instantly recognisable. While the kit feels pretty sturdy on the whole, I’m not overly impressed by the black border on the wings. While it looks okay in the pictures, up close you can see that it doesn’t quite touch the pale grey pieces, causing it to feel a bit wobbly when handled. Much like the Imperial Shuttle Tydirium, the inner wings are also not very detailed which leaves it looking a little unfinished.
I liked the four figures and though they were well suited to this set, ensuring that there was a pilot for each cockpit as well as a couple of other recognisable First Order members. The pilots were my favourites due to the fact that their helmets included rubbery breathing tubes which I felt was a really nice detail. The only thing that disappointed me slightly was the lack of any named characters as this made recreating any scenes from the movie impossible without buying other Star Wars sets. It wouldn’t have hurt to have replaced one of the minifigures with Finn and/or Poe, given that both of the these characters fly a TIE Fighter in the film.
In terms of playability, I felt that this kit was a little bit better than the Tydirium. The finished spaceship is far lighter and so it’s easier to lift up and play around with. The hatch in the roof also makes it far easier to pose the minifigures in the cockpits. However, beyond firing the missiles, there isn’t much more that this kit can do. It lacks the moving parts of the other Star Wars kits that I’ve built as the wings are stationary. While it’s got the look down, I’d recommend Poe’s X-Wing over this one as it’s a lot more fun to play around with.
All in all, this has probably been my least favourite spaceship to date. While it looks awesome on my shelf, it isn’t very poseable and the fast build time made it pretty poor value for money. If you see it in a sale, grab it, but I wouldn’t recommend forking out full price on it.