It’s the start of a new year, which of course means it’s time for some new Lego sets! Every January 1, Lego releases a long list of new builds, and this time Star Wars fans got a wonderful and long-awaited treat: A new TIE bomber set. And it only took two decades of waiting. But it looks like a fantastic set containing some neat minifigs and details.
While popular Star Wars ships like the X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and Millenium Falcon often get new Lego models, other ships from the galaxy far, far away aren’t nearly as lucky. Chalk it up to popularity, a lack of interest, or just that Lego is limited in how often it can create new designs and Star Wars is so big that it will always be playing catch up. Whatever the reason, the TIE Bomber was one of the more famous and beloved Star Wars ships to be put on the back burner by Lego after getting only one set way back in 2003. There was a vote in 2020 held by Lego to select the next high-end UCS (Ultimate Collector Series) set, and one of the options was the TIE Bomber. But it and the Nuebulon B Escort Frigate lost to the Republic Gunship. (I voted for that ship and bought it when it came out last year. Yes, I’m part of the problem. I know.)
However, it seems Lego has finally remembered the ol’ Bomber exists and released a new version of the ship on January 1. This new TIE Bomber (753470) is similar in size to the original 2003 version, but oh so much better in nearly every other way.
First off, this new TIE Bomber isn’t blue and black. Look, I get that some folks have nostalgic feelings for the classic Lego Star Wars designs. And I too have some warm and fuzzy memories connected to the blue and black designs of the old Imperial vessels. But over the last 20 years, Lego’s color selection and detail work have advanced tremendously, and it’s satisfying to finally have a modern, fantastic-looking TIE Bomber, complete with all the little details and design touches you expect from a set these days. On the downside, this new TIE Bomber costs over twice as much ($65) as the original $30 set from 2003, without inflation factored in.
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I’ve also seen some complaints surrounding the minifigs included in this new TIE Bomber set, and while I do think it probably needed one more fig to help offset the higher price, I’m very happy with the figures included.
In the set, we get a slightly new Darth Vader figure, a decent-looking TIE pilot, Vice Adrimal Rae Sloane, and last but not least an Imperial Gonk Droid. The last two characters are the most exciting inclusions. This is the first time we’ve gotten Sloane in a Lego set. The character is from the books and comics and has never appeared in a live-action show or movie. (Yet.) So it’s awesome to see a slightly more obscure character get a minifig. Even better, Sloane has a new torso print, too!
Finally, we get our first Imperial Gonk Droid figure. Technically, this version of the iconic droid has no real basis in canon, but apparently, the designer behind the set was able to convince Disney to let him include it as a fun joke character. I’m happy he was able to convince Lucasfilm and Disney to let him include this new Imperial bot, and I’ll gladly be adding it to my growing collection of Lego Gonk Droid variants.
Overall, while I know some diehard Lego Star Wars collectors are disappointed with the price, I’m more than happy with this new Lego TIE Bomber. I’ve been wanting a modern, nice-looking Bomber for a long time, and you better believe I swooped one up the moment it appeared on my local Lego Store’s shelves. Now I just need to find more room in my apartment to contain all my Lego sets…