The ubiquitous TIE (or Twin Ion Engine) Fighter – aka ‘The Eyeball’ – has been the mainstay of the Imperial Navy since it first rolled off the Sienar Fleet Systems’ production lines at the start of the Galactic Empire’s ascendency to power, and has its roots in Darth Maul’s Sith Infiltrator and the Galactic Republic’s own V-Wing Starfighter – both of which have been realized as LEGO sets over the last 20 years.
Having had six previous System subtheme releases – in five different forms – since the stock standard TIE Fighter was added – as 7146 TIE Fighter – in 2001, LEGO has chosen 2021 to reveal their latest revision of the Empire’s most basic space combat vehicle.
The second release of the TIE Fighter came in a period where LEGO was re-packaging existing designs and issuing set numbers – a practice that would only last two years before being revived in 2020. The limited edition 10131 TIE Fighter Collection was a direct-to-consumer set, released in 2004, that included two 7146 TIE Fighter models, Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter (from set 7150 TIE Fighter & Y-Wing and 7152 TIE Fighter & Y-Wing which had been reissued in 2002) and the TIE/D automated fighter from the Dark Empire comic books). Following this, 2005 saw the arrival of 7263 TIE Fighter, which sported a slight re-design and came with a Darth Vader minifigure that had a light-up lightsaber.
Following a seven-year gap, the TIE Fighter returned with an all-new design and came packed with four minifigure in set 9492 TIE Fighter. Two years later an even-more improved version – 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter – came out, and followed by the entry-level 75237 TIE Fighter Attack, which formed part of the new 4+ subtheme.
The current feeling among fans is that 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter, released as part of the Solo: A Star Wars Movie collection in 2018, is the pinnacle System-scale version of this vehicle and it came as a surprise to the LEGO Star Wars community that a new TIE Fighter was coming out less than two years after the previous version.
75300 Imperial TIE Fighter
Kids can roleplay as the villains from the classic Star Wars™ trilogy with this cool LEGO® brick version of the 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter. Capturing the authentic, sleek design of an iconic starfighter in the Imperial fleet, it features an opening LEGO minifigure cockpit and 2 spring-loaded shooters.
There are also 2 LEGO minifigures: a TIE Fighter Pilot with a blaster pistol and Stormtrooper with a blaster, plus an NI-L8 Protocol Droid to inspire fun creative roleplay and storytelling.
Star Wars action in LEGO style
The LEGO Group has been creating brick-built versions of iconic Star Wars starfighters, vehicles, locations and characters since 1999. It’s become a hugely successful theme with an awesome assortment of toy building sets and the best gift ideas for kids and fans of all ages.
- Fans can build their own missile-shooting LEGO® brick version of the iconic Imperial TIE Fighter (75300) and reimagine scenes from the classic Star Wars™ trilogy with this buildable playset.
- Includes 2 LEGO® Star Wars™ minifigures: a TIE Fighter Pilot with a blaster pistol and a Stormtrooper with a blaster, plus an NI-L8 Protocol Droid LEGO figure for role-play adventures.
- The TIE Fighter features an opening LEGO® minifigure cockpit and 2 spring-loaded shooters for action-packed play.
- Great for solo building or sharing the fun with friends and family, this set makes the best birthday present, holiday gift or surprise treat for creative kids and any Star Wars™ fan aged 8 and up.
- Measuring over 6.5 in. (17 cm) high, 5.5 in. (14 cm) long and 6 in. (15 cm) wide, it makes a striking display piece in any child’s bedroom between playtime battles.
- Looking for an engaging building toy for a child who is new to LEGO® sets? This 432-piece Star Wars™ set comes with clear instructions so they can build independently and with Jedi-level confidence.
- LEGO® Star Wars™ sets are fantastic for kids (and adult fans) to recreate scenes from the saga, play out their own creative stories or just build and display the collectible construction models.
- Ever since 1958, LEGO® components have met stringent industry standards to ensure they are compatible and connect consistently – no need to use the Force.
- LEGO® components are dropped, heated, crushed, twisted and rigorously analysed to satisfy demanding safety standards.
While the set is smaller in piece count, dimensions and (importantly) price point, its resemblance to the last two properly minifigure-sized TIE Fighters (9492 and 75211) is as obvious as it is reassuring.
Without a doubt, 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter is a fun and easy build that is well placed for the suggested 8+ starting point, and after 18 years of building increasingly complicated TIE Fighter this new version was a breath of fresh air. It’s a relatively fast build that took this experienced adult less than an hour to construct, and so a builder who is closer to the targetted age range would take longer to finish it but wouldn’t find it any more difficult to complete.
Though the lower piece count does mean fewer details on this set, the lack of greeblies is refreshing. That’s not to say that this model is as sterile as a Kaminoan cloning facility – the cockpit controls in particular are minimalist enough to carry off a nod towards authenticity.
That said, it’s about time the LEGO Star Wars design team gave us a more accurate reactor exhaust at the back of the cockpit’s ball.
While the final model doesn’t have any accessories like the launch stand or control consoles that previous TIE Fighters have, this 432-piece set does have three minifigures – a TIE Fighter Pilot, a Stormtrooper, and an Imperial RA-7 protocol droid that has been given the name NI-L8. The more hip readers will recognize this as leetspeak for ‘annihilate’, while the geekier readers will spot that this moniker has been recycled from the deepest depths of the Expanded Universe! You can track the evolution of this minifigure in our ongoing Mini Steps series of feature articles.
Because of their “only the best is good enough” credo, the constant upgrading and improvement of LEGO sets – whether they are City, Ninjago or Star Wars – continually puts LEGO in the corner, and with the last TIE Fighter having a $70 price point there was no way make a better version for the same amount of money. And with fans complaining about the ever-increasing costs, LEGO seemingly decided that a reset was needed.
This new scale and proportions, which is closer to the original 2001 TIE Fighter (7146) and are similar to the original 3-3/4″ scale Imperial TIE Fighter produced by Kenner, creates a new opportunity to reintroduce an important vehicle at a more reasonable price-point. Consider that the original TIE Fighter was $20 and was made up of 171 pieces (giving a dollar per brick value of $0.11), or the previous Imperial TIE Fighter’s $0.13 DPB price, the new version’s $0.09 is a favorable correction.
If you find this most recent set underwhelming, then you might want to look to the LEGO community for inspiration – specifically Nano Bricks, who has come up with an excellent alt-TIE Interceptor build that uses no extra parts and can be completed in a handful of minutes.
Interestingly, the TIE Interceptor has only ever had one minifigure-scale release – 6206 TIE Interceptor – way back in 2006. Hopefully, the Bearded One will see this as a quick (and money-saving) way to add a new fast-attack space superiority starfighter to the Imperial Navy.
Whether this new direction proves successful to consumers (or acceptable to collectors) remains to be seen, but the timing could have been better. The 20th anniversary of the LEGO Star Wars license in 2019 would have been a more apt time to release these as a retrospective collection and leverage nostalgia to introduce the new proportions.
Give them their due, LEGO is trying out new ideas in order to prevent the LEGO Star Wars theme – which doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon – from going stale.
While some fans feel that its only redeeming feature is that its lesser size gives them a reason not to add it to their collection, those just starting their LEGO Star Wars collections will find the 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter an affordable and easy-to-build model.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.