Bored of regular TIE Fighters after their reappearance in The Force Awakens? Gareth Edwards hears you. Say hello to 75154 TIE Striker, the final set under Brick Fanatics’ judging eye from the inaugural LEGO Star Wars Rogue One wave.
Price: £59.99 / $69.99 / €69.99 Pieces: 543 Available: Now
With most of the EU TIE variants being phased out of the new canon, it was about time Disney introduced a new ship for the Empire (that wasn’t just a regular TIE Fighter with a bite taken out of it). In comes the TIE Striker, an atmospheric fighter that swoops low over the shores of Scarif while dispensing with rebel troops – at least according to the LEGO set’s box art.
Boasting a pair of pointed wings, the ship strikes (ahem) a cross of sorts between the classic TIE Fighter design and a TIE Interceptor. Its cylindrical cockpit, meanwhile, borrows design cues from the TIE Bomber. In LEGO form, these aspects are all well-recreated, though perhaps in excess: the Striker, like the rest of the Rogue One wave, is strikingly (sorry) large, where it really needn’t have been.
While the ship’s exterior is all muted black and grey – with a smattering of sand blue thrown in for both variety and, presumably, a throwback to the classic black-and-blue TIE sets of yore – its structure is as colourful as they come. A technique often used to break up monotonous builds for younger fans, the somewhat over-engineered cockpit has plenty of room to include bright, primary colours in its skeleton.
A pair of hatches lift up on the hull; one for the cockpit, and one for access to a rear cargo bay, in which a radio, blaster and binoculars are stored. The Technic parts used to do so feel rather superfluous, with the radio sitting loosely in via its antenna – simple clips would perhaps have done the job better.
The wings can raise and lower individually, by way of a Technic lever system that locks them in place while raised, but not lowered – so turning the ship upside down in the latter position will cause them to ‘fall’ up. This wouldn’t be a problem if the craft looked halfway decent in this setting, but it doesn’t. That’s not a fault of the LEGO set, of course, but of the original ship’s design, which has been recreated faithfully. With the wings raised, the results aren’t pretty – the cockpit is simply too big.
To that end, the TIE Striker simply doesn’t strike (there it is again) a menacing silhouette like its siblings. It doesn’t help that the ship features one of the worst examples of stud shooter implementation going – a stark contrast to their ingenious incorporation into the U-wing. A simple four-piece plate and SNOT construction affixes them garishly to the underside of the hull, where they’re a complete eyesore.
Thankfully, they can be easily removed, though that does leave the craft with zero firepower – unlike the Interceptor, the Striker is not blessed with wingtip cannons. Incorporating the spring-loaded shooters into the base of the cockpit, protruding where the 1×2 inverted slopes currently sit, would have been far more preferable.
75154’s minifigure line-up also leaves something to be desired – the solitary Shoretrooper shares its helmet mould with that of the Hovertank pilot in 75152, a compromise which suits neither minifigure perfectly. Rebel trooper, TIE pilot and Imperial ground crew minifigures round out the set, none of them proving standouts, but all slotting well into the established ranks.
The ground crew member’s batons at least give him something to do other than stand around, a la the First Order crew member in 75101 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter. Either way, a named character like Saw Gerrera (or an extra Shoretrooper) would have gone a long way here – though without one, you may not feel so compelled to buy it. Swings and roundabouts…
Perhaps the best that can be said of the TIE Striker is that its excessive size makes for an imposing craft, and with its wings down, the bulk of the unwieldy cockpit is masked, making for a more attractive vessel. Unfortunately, there are too many flaws in both the source material and the LEGO version to grant it praise the likes of the rest of the Rogue One wave has deserved.
75154 TIE Striker is available now from shop.LEGO.com. You can help support Brick Fanatics’ work by using our affiliate links. Don’t forget to check out our previous Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reviews, including 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank, 75153 AT-ST Walker, 75155 Rebel U-wing Fighter and 75156 Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.