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Series: Star Wars Crossover
Allegiance: Other Villain
Year: 2008

The Imperial TIE pilot flies his ship toward the planet's surface to unleash proton bombs on the Rebel Alliance base below. But before he can complete his mission, a heroic Rebel fighter arrives to stop him. The TIE pilot quickly converts into a menacing TIE bomber mode and takes aim with his laser cannon to blast the Rebel fighter out of the sky!

Robot Mode: The entire concept of the Star Wars Crossover line of toys is for familiar Star Wars vehicles to transform into their signature pilots. For the evil Empire’s various TIE models this means, of course, those guys in the black variant of the standard Stormtrooper armour. We saw them briefly in all three original movies, I believe. And the robot mode of this toy nicely manages to depict these evil pilots.

Of course they aren’t entirely black, as the bluish-grey parts of the TIE bomber have to go somewhere and there are those two big wing panels. These go onto the arms of the robot, looking nicely like big shields, and as the robot is very nicely articulated, he can bring them to bear in a number of cool poses. The look and colours of the robot actually remind me of Movie Blackout, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.

What else? The TIE Bomber Pilot comes with a missile launcher for a hand weapon, a simple gun launching a black missile. His big lower legs give him a solid stance and articulation is, as I mentioned already, very nice. So bottom line: a very nice robot mode, no complaints worth mentioning.

Alternate Mode: The TIE bomber is, as the name says, the bomber sibling of the classic TIE fighter and was seen in “The Empire Strikes Back”, bombing asteroids as the Empire was hunting the Millennium Falcon. Between the familiar side panels (the Twin Ion Engines that give the TIE his name) you have a double hull, one being the cockpit (with the little pilot figure inside), the other housing the bombs.

The vehicle folds together very nicely (though the transformation is quite a bit harder than it looks), there are no visible robot parts, and the gun / missile launcher can be mounted underneath the fighter. The cockpit opens up to seat the figure. So to sum it up: a fully satisfying vehicle mode, no complaints at all.

Remarks: Looking back on the Star Wars Crossover Transformers, I’m kind of miffed that they didn’t make it a true crossover instead of just applying the concept of transforming vehicles to the Star Wars universe. I’d have loved a Grimlock who transforms into a robotic Rancor or the Aerialbots as the various Rebel starfighter types. Instead we a got a line of Star Wars vehicles that just happen to transform into robots modelled after Star Wars characters. Don’t get me wrong, there were some nice toys in that line, but overall I think a lot of potential was missed out on here.

Anyway, the TIE Bomber Pilot was the last SW Crossover toy I bought some years ago and I only now get around to reviewing him because there were always other toys in the pipeline I felt more inspired by. Still, he is a pretty nice toy in both modes and the TIE Bomber happens to be my favourite among the various TIE models. So bottom line: a nice toy. Certainly not a must have, but good.

Rating: B
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