LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber review
75347 TIE Bomber resurrects a ship we haven’t seen in two decades, and in doing so crafts nearly the perfect LEGO Star Wars set – just not for the audience you’d immediately expect.
You probably don’t need us to tell you that the last minifigure-scale LEGO version of this Imperial fighter arrived on shelves all the way back in 2003, in the form of 4479 TIE Bomber. To say it’s outdated now is a bit like saying the Spice Girls aren’t really in at the moment, so an update is long (long) overdue. 2023 finally brings us that model in 75347 TIE Bomber, a 625-piece rendition of the Empire Strikes Back ship that wrangles it firmly into the modern day.
The LEGO Star Wars team has previously cited difficulty in creating this ship at a reasonable price point, however: so will the set they’ve come up with be a fitting reward for our patience, or are the designers about to choke on their aspirations?
— LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber set details —
Theme: LEGO Star Wars Set name: 75347 TIE Bomber Release date: January 1, 2023
Price: £59.99 / $64.99 / €64.99 Pieces: 625 Minifigures: 4
— Where to buy LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber —
75347 TIE Bomber is available to purchase from LEGO.com and in LEGO Stores now. You can also find it through third-party retailers, given it’s a regular set, rather than an exclusive or hard-to-find product. Check out the latest prices below.
— LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber build —
In 2020, LEGO Star Wars designers Jens Kronvold Frederiksen and Michael Lee Stockwell stated that a TIE Bomber ‘may struggle’ with ‘the building experience and the potential functionality’ in relation to its price point, explaining the lack of representation for the Imperial fighter for the past couple of decades. It’s perhaps because of those concerns that 75347 TIE Bomber scales best to 2021’s 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter, a more affordable and accessible version of the iconic ship than 2018’s larger and more expensive 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter.
That has allowed the LEGO Group to keep the price of this new set relatively low (more on that later), but without compromising on either the building experience or the functionality – the two areas the designers predicted might suffer for a reduced price point. In fact, despite containing 395 more pieces than its 2003 predecessor, 75347 TIE Bomber comes in at almost the same size, using its expanded element library to create a more detailed and dense model.
It’s a surprisingly engaging build, especially in the hull, which offers more asymmetry than you’d expect from its twin cylinders. The wings are inevitably repetitive, but c’est la vie: they don’t take long to put together, so there’s not much risk of things getting tedious. Those wings take the same layered plate approach as the TIE Advanced ships we’ve seen over the past few years, rather than adapting the bordered design of standard TIE Fighters since 2012, but it makes sense: building those borders would probably have looked too ungainly next to the main hull.
What’s most surprising about 75347 TIE Bomber, though, is that this is a set seemingly designed for adults first and foremost. There are two big clues to that approach: first, the solution for the cockpit window gives us the first perfectly round minifigure-scale TIE design, but prevents the pilot from seeing through it. (Not a big deal for adults popping it on display, but drastically curtailing immersive play for kids.)
The second clue is that the bombing function is very simple, consisting of four flick-fire missiles that must be pushed manually through the hull. Improving either of these two features would likely have required more complicated assembly, potentially denting the display value of the TIE Bomber, so in their current form they perhaps provide a little peek into who the LEGO Star Wars team is prioritising with this set.
Or it could just be that this was truly all that was possible within the parameters of a TIE Bomber at this scale and price point, illustrating exactly what the designers were worried about back in 2020. Fortunately for us, the result is still a ship that absolutely looks the part.
— LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber characters —
75347 TIE Bomber includes four minifigures, which at first glance seem like a mysterious assortment: the TIE Bomber Pilot is an obvious one, and Darth Vader makes sense for The Empire Strikes Back, but Rae Sloane? A quick dive into the wider Star Wars canon reveals all, as this line-up is clearly inspired by the 2020 anthology book From A Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back. One of the 40 short stories in that catalogue focuses on Vice Admiral Rae Sloane’s role during the Empire’s pursuit of the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back, which featured the debut of the TIE Bomber on-screen.
It’s an obscure place to draw from, no doubt, but as the LEGO Star Wars theme moves into its 25th year, we’ll take any excuse to expand the roster of characters available to us. Rae Sloane is pretty well-designed, too, with a versatile head element we can see popping up elsewhere.
All four minifigures in this set are technically new, with Darth Vader a surprising highlight – he’s got printed arms, like the version in 75296 Darth Vader Meditation Chamber, and a brand new alternate face print. The TIE Bomber Pilot also features unique torso printing (you’ll have to squint to tell the difference from the last TIE Pilot), while the Gonk Droid makes smart use of the Imperial crate piece from 75311 Imperial Armored Marauder.
Rae Sloane could have done with dual-moulded boots, but otherwise you couldn’t ask for much more.
— LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber price —
Whatever the consequences for the design (and in particular the play features), limiting the size and scope of 75347 TIE Bomber has successfully prevented its price from spiralling beyond anything reasonable, allaying the LEGO Star Wars team’s concerns around this ship. That said, this is still pretty pricey next to 2021’s 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter – and at £59.99 / $64.99 / €64.99, it’s only £5 / $5 / €5 cheaper than 2018’s 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter.
It does include more pieces than that Solo: A Star Wars Story set, and from a price-per-piece perspective 75347 TIE Bomber seems fair. But a lot of its 625 bricks are pretty small, packed tightly into those two cylindrical hulls, so the final model you’re left with feels just a little underwhelming for the money you’ve paid. It’s really the only negative we can level at this set – cop it on sale, and you’re laughing.
— LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber pictures —
— LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber pros and cons —
It’s been a long wait for a new LEGO Star Wars TIE Bomber – nearly two decades in all – but the community’s patience has paid off brilliantly in 75347 TIE Bomber. This is the LEGO Star Wars team operating at the top of their game, crafting a display-worthy set that caters (however selfishly) to its adult audience first and foremost, even while coming in at that smaller scale.
All we need now is a new TIE Interceptor, and if this is what the LEGO Group can do with the Bomber, expectations are very high for such a set.
|LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber pros||LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber cons|
|Engaging build experience||Retail price still feels a little high|
|Credible minifigure selection||Gap between cockpit and hull isn’t ideal|
|Designed for display, so totally looks the part|
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO using our affiliate links.
— Alternatives to LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber —
If you’re in the market for more Imperial ships, 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter is still available at LEGO.com. As much as it’s a credible alternative to 75347 TIE Bomber, there’s arguably even more of a case for adding both to your collection (if you’re feeling flush). If you want the ultimate TIE Fighter, best to seek out 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter on the aftermarket, but it’ll cost you a pretty penny.
— LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber?
You’ll spend about an hour putting together LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber. It’s a surprisingly engaging build experience, too, with plenty of asymmetry baked into its twin hulls.
How many pieces are in LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber?
LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber includes 625 pieces, which is – surprisingly – the most of any original trilogy-era TIE Fighter variant.
How big is LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber?
LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber measures 10cm tall, 20cm wide and 16cm deep across its wings. It’s built to the same smaller scale as 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter.
How much does LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber cost?
LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber launched on January 1, 2023 and retails for £59.99 in the UK, $64.99 in the US and €64.99 in Europe.
One thought on “LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber review”
Very nice, when pray tell?