A regularly updated blog about my vintage Kenner Star Wars toy collection. Some stuff that I've recently acquired; some stuff that I've had since I was a kid. Some rare, some common, but all sharing the warmth, charm and character of the "first generation" of Star Wars toys - the ones we played with as kids in the late '70s and early '80s.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

TIE Interceptor Vehicle



The original TIE Fighter has spawned many variants throughout the Star Wars universe. Some are unique, like Darth Vader's TIE Fighter. Some are unusual, like the TIE Bomber. Some are just ridiculous, like the triple-winged TIE Defender abomination and the preposterous TIE Crawler. But hands down, the flat-out coolest of the TIE Fighter variants is the TIE Interceptor.

My own example of the toy is boxed in Kenner RotJ packaging, the only way these toys were packaged in North America. Let's have a look!

The side of the box demonstrates the "wing pop-off" feature common to all TIE vehicles in the Kenner mini-action figure line - the TIE fighter (and its Battle-Damaged variant) and Darth Vader's TIE Fighter also share this feature. 

This kid seems super-enthusiastic about popping those wings off!

The box bottom repeats the image from box front, along with the legal text.

Box end is just a close-up of the main image and illustrates the electronic features - the flashing laser light and "battle alert sounds".

My recreation of the box front image. Lucky Stormtrooper is saluted by Vader as he's about to take off in this awesome vehicle. His buddies and some Emperor's Royal Guards look on with envy. 

"Hey!" TIE Fighter Pilot is a bit miffed that the Stormtrooper is in his seat. It's a bit confusing to me as to why Kenner didn't use a TIE Fighter Pilot figure in the box art. After all, you'd think Kenner would take every opportunity to promote a variety of figures in the collection. The TIE Fighter Pilot was released in the ESB wave so he certainly would have been available for use in the box art for a toy that was only released with RotJ. Another mystery that may never be solved, but my money is on a rush job where the Kenner folks forgot that they had a TIE Fighter Pilot figure available for use.

Copyright and patent information appears on the battery cover on the underside of the toy. Interestingly, the copyright date is noted as 1978, when the toy was actually released only in 1984. Presumably this is due to the part itself fitting all variants of the TIE Fighter toy.

However... looking back at the original TIE Fighter we see slightly different information - copyright is to GMFG Inc. rather than Lucasfilm Ltd. as on the Interceptor. One other fun fact to note is that the central pod is identical on all Kenner TIE variants with the exception of colour (original TIE white, Darth Vader TIE "evil grey", Battle-Damaged TIE blue-grey, Interceptor dark grey) and the slotted top hatch that appears on the Battle-Damaged and Interceptor variants. 

There's also a very unobtrusive "(c) LFL 1983" on the inside of one wing

It still lights up!

Battery compartment. Watch out for dead and leaking batteries here, and corrosion in toys you might pick up second hand.

Cockpit view.

I rearranged the tableau with our friend Mr. TIE Fighter Pilot in his rightful place.

Here's some more beauty shots of this very cool looking starfighter.

Again, I have to say that this ship is by far my favourite Kenner TIE variant and is one of my favourite Kenner vehicles, period. The angular, aggressively cut-out wings and wing cannons are menacing in the extreme. The toy has had some longevity in the toy aisle, too - Amazon shows a Power of the Jedi version as well as a special 30th anniversary "elite TIE Interceptor". All pretty neat but the original is still the greatest, whether flown by a TIE Fighter Pilot or by a mere Stormtrooper!

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