The 6-inch line of Star Wars Black has been with us now for about a year and a half and it’s been a pretty bumpy ride. I think it started really strong and while we continue to get some really solid figures out of the line, there are a number of releases that haven’t been all they could (or should) have been. Case in point, the most recent Wave of four figures has put me off enough that I was willing to pay a premium for the one figure I really wanted and take a pass on the other two (one of them is another repack from a previous Wave). So, let’s check out the Imperial Tie Fighter Pilot.
There he is in what’s become the new standard box for the line. It’s black, it’s minimalist, it shows off the figure pretty well, and I have no regrets about shredding it to get to the goods inside. And if you read the back, they actually attributed a quote to this guy, “Look Out!” I’m not sure if it was intended, but it got a chuckle out of me nonetheless. I remember way back in 2013 a lot of people questioning the point of an X-Wing Pilot Luke in this line when there will likely never be an X-Wing for him to pilot (ironic, since I think that is one of the best figures in the line so far). Funny enough, I haven’t heard the same grousing about the release of a Tie Fighter Pilot. People just seem to love their Imperials, and I don’t blame them.
I’ve always loved the designs of these guys because they look so sinister. The Tie Pilot features a sculpted black flight suit with all the appropriate stitching and rumples. The breathing apparatus mounted to the front of his vest includes two flexible tubes that run into his mask, which resembles a Stormtrooper wearing a flight helmet. I think Hasbro did a great job on the helmet sculpt. It looks spot-on perfect to me. The tubes are removable from the helmet, but thankfully don’t pop out too easily when I’m posing him. The detailing on the life support panel is well done and features some very clean paintwork.
Speaking of paintwork, there isn’t much more of it to be found on this guy, which is understandable. He’s black on black on black. You do get the silver Imperial emblems tampo’d on his helmet and shoulders and a silver belt buckle. There’s also a keypad on his left forearm. I can detect a bit of difference in the black plastic with the boots and gauntlets and helmet being a bit more glossy than the suit itself, but it’s a very subtle difference.
Tie Pilot features a functional holster on his left hip to hold his only accessory: An E-11 Blaster. It seems to be the same weapon that was bundled with the Stormtroopers. The blaster fits nicely in the holster and he can also wield it in either hand.
For a guy who spends most of his time sitting in a cockpit, this figure sports some mighty fine articulation. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the neck and a swivel in the waist. It feels like he’s got some torso articulation, possibly being blocked by the vest.
Besides being a genuinely solid figure, the release of the Tie Pilot makes it all but certain we’ll be seeing a 6-inch AT-AT Driver at some point down the road. You know, to go with that 6-inch scale AT-AT we’ll be getting. I jest, but I’m actually looking forward to the inevitable repaint and remold of this guy because like a lot of people, I just love my Imperials! Alas, I had to plunk down $25 for this guy, which is pretty steep, but when I consider the alternative of paying for a mediocre Yoda and Clone Trooper and suck down a second Prequel Obi-Wan, it’s a price I can live with.