How’s about a little bonus Sunday content, folks? I started playing around with these new ships today and decided that since the week ahead is already packed, I’d slip in a quick look at these today. I started collecting the Hot Wheels ships last year, I was pretty happy with what I got, and I’ve been meaning to get back to them. The new Rogue One offerings seemed to be a good jumping back on point.
I like the packaging on these. The cards have been re-branded for Rogue One and you get unique card art depicting the ship that’s in the package. The two-pack consists of a Tie Striker and an X-Wing (Red Five to be specific) and the single pack is the new U-Wing design. I don’t want to nitpick but I would have thought that the Tie Striker and U-Wing would have made a better Versus Pack, since they are the two new ship designs that everyone seems to be focusing on. What? It’s just a marketing ploy to get me to buy the X-Wing again? Well, that makes sense. Anyway, let’s start with the U-Wing Fighter.
So, there’s a lot of speculation over what kind of ship this is. It’s called a “fighter” on the package, but in the trailer it looks like it doubles as some kind of drop-ship for troops. Either way, I really dig the design a lot and this little fella is a damn fine recreation of it. And yes, I’m in the camp that is getting a strong Buck Rogers vibe off this ship and that is not at all a bad thing.
The body is die-cast and the wings are plastic, but you get some nice cut panel lines on both. Some aspects of the ship, like the front guns are a tad chunky and the engines on the back are sculpted rather soft, but these are pretty small ships and overall I think they did a nice job with it. The paint features some yellow and blue markings, some of which shows some weathering. You get black paint on the canopy windows, and some gray on the engines and engines.
The wings are also articulated. I wasn’t certain that would be the case, so it was a nice surprise. I’ve seen the Hasbro 3.75-inch version of this ship with the wings positioned angled forward, but a lot of the concept shots I’ve seen have them angled back. This Hot Wheels version is capable of doing both. I really dig the swept back look. Moving on to the Versus Pack, let’s look at the Tie Striker!
Another new design from the upcoming film and one I like a lot. It’s basically an elongated Tie Fighter body with what looks like a Tie Interceptor wing cut in half and stuck on each side. Egads, that’s a terrible description, but the end result is quite cool looking. The Hot Wheels version sports a lot of sculpted detail and some nice texturing in the wing panels and this fighter features four laser ports under the canopy. You also get some very convincing looking weathering, which includes scorched black areas and some burns on the wings. The battle damage looks amazing, although it makes me wonder if there’s a single packed clean version.
Once again, the body of the ship is die-cast and the wings are plastic. And, as with the U-Wing, the Tie Striker’s wings are articulated and can be angled upward or downward. And that brings us to the X-Wing…
Probably the least exciting ship of the three, only because it has a sense of been there, done that. Truth be told, I don’t own the regular Hot Wheels X-Wing, just Poe’s from The Force Awakens, so I didn’t mind picking this one up. The X-Wing is a good looking ship with lots of cut panel lines and sculpted detail. The paint is mostly limited to the red and yellow markings and the black paint used for the canopy windows. The guns on the wings are a little chunky, but again, these are pretty small ships, so I’m willing to forgive a lot. Alas, this is the only ship of the three that does not have articulated wings. S-Foils are indeed locked in attack formation.
If you haven’t noticed, Mattel has also redesigned the stands for these ships. The old ones were designed so you can put them on your finger like a ring… or at least a kid could. These abandon that concept in favor of simple discs. The stands look a little misleading in the package. The connections are sculpted to look like they might be hinged, but they’re not. You can’t even swivel the arm in the stand or the ship on the arm. So, really, you’re not getting anything other than a more conventional stand with the ship’s faction on the base. They do work well, and the sockets are the same as the ones on the old ships, so I’ve been able to use either type of stand with any ship in my fleet.
I really like these little ships a lot and I’ll definitely be picking up some more and possibly even backtracking to get some of the ones I’ve missed. The U-Wing was $6.99 and the Versus Pack was $9.99, which overall feels like a decent deal for what you’re getting. In a world where action figures are getting more and more expensive, it’s great to have a cheap fix like these ships to collect. My one conflict here is whether or not to try out any of Hasbro’s Titaniums. I have yet to pick up any of those and I’d be real interested in hearing opinions from anyone who has had some experience with both lines.