Review: 75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Starfighter

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The LEGO Star Wars Rebels range has been excellent so far and I am hoping that the three large sets being released this summer will maintain the record set over the last couple of years. As season two began some of our favourite characters and craft from the Original Trilogy returned, including Darth Vader, his famous TIE Advanced and the A-wing fighter.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Starfighter offers all of those and more in a single set, so seems like one of the most exciting Star Wars sets of the summer wave. Hopefully that will prove to be an accurate expectation.

Minifigures

This is Sabine Wren's first appearance in her guise from season two and I think the updated version is significantly better than the previous figure which was included in a couple of sets last year. Unfortunately her skin tone has not been altered and it is still too light as a result, although I like her colourful hair very much.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

Her head is the same as usual, with a grimace on one side and a neutral expression on the other while her torso and legs have been updated to include much more printed detail on the front and back. Her belt does not quite match between the hips and torso but it looks alright to me and is certainly a huge improvement over last year's effort.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

Sabine's arms have also been improved quite significantly. Gone are the flesh coloured components, replaced instead by black with dark orange gloves. It would have been wonderful to see some printing on the arms, but this is a step in the right direction. A pair of blaster pistols are included but her helmet is absent which is annoying. I have no idea why LEGO seem so reluctant to include Sabine's helmet but the hair is great so the minifigure is impressive nonetheless.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

A generic A-wing pilot is also included. She is clearly based on Phoenix Two from the season two episode 'Homecoming' which is interesting as the character only appears for a matter of seconds before being brutally shot down while trying to escape a skirmish. The colour scheme of her fighter matches that of the model in this set as well which shows impressive attention to detail.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

The existing helmet mould is excellent and I like the new colours which adorn it in this set, although we only see the pilots with their visors lowered in the animated series due to limited animation budgets and this exposed face is therefore slightly inaccurate. Nevertheless, this is an excellent minifigure and I am pleased to see the ranks of Rebel personnel bolstered.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

Darth Vader has only been slightly updated since he appeared in 75093 Death Star Final Duel last summer. He now has a new printed design on the torso which reflects the more angular appearance of his animated character model as opposed to the live action version seen in the films. His helmet has not undergone the same treatment and is therefore rather inaccurate to Star Wars Rebels, although I do like the helmet which was introduced last year.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

It consists of two parts and can be split to reveal Vader's scarred head underneath, which is printed on the front and back. It still bothers me slightly that the helmet is shaped as though Darth Vader is looking upwards but it is an improvement over the older design in my opinion.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

As ever, Darth Vader wears an intimidating cape and is equipped with a red bladed lightsaber. Unfortunately there is nowhere to store the lightsaber onboard the TIE Advanced but I am glad that it is included.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

The fourth and final minifigure is Grand Moff Tarkin, who has been a thorn in the side of the Rebels since the end of season one. Incredibly, this is only Tarkin's third appearance in a set and the first since 2008, so the minifigure has undergone and enormous update as one would expect. His uniform is now dark tan to reflect the Imperial attire seen in Star Wars Rebels and his hair has also been altered to more closely reflect his onscreen appearance.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

This is the first time the hair piece has appeared in dark bluish grey and it looks splendid, as does his wrinkled face. He looks decidely unfriendly on both sides and is accordingly armed with a blaster pistol.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

The Completed Model

The A-wing fighter has been a consistent presence in Star Wars Rebels since the end of the first season. Its design has been drawn closer to the original concept artwork produced by Ralph McQuarrie and this model has been created accordingly, so departs quite dramatically from earlier versions such as 75003 A-wing Starfighter.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the A-wing is the colour scheme which has been chosen. These dark green markings have appeared on a couple of starfighters in the show but the blue designs are far more prevalent and more appealing in some respects. I wonder whether the blue and grey colour scheme of 75149 Resistance X-wing Fighter decided the pattern which would be used on this A-wing.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

Regardless, the combination of dark green, light bluish grey and yellow looks splendid to me and I appreciate the unusual colour choice. The shape of the model is spot on as well, with angled stabiliser wings and completely enclosed thrust vector control rudders, just as we see in the animated series. I actually prefer this sleeker design to that which appears in Return of the Jedi, although that will obviously vary from one person to the next.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

The cockpit canopy can be opened to seat the pilot inside and a stickered control panel is also included. You can also move the laser cannons on either side to face forwards or backwards during dogfights. The engine pods look great and the new fin elements which are used on the top and bottom of each one form a very attractive profile.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

Landing gear is hidden underneath along with a pair of white rubber bands which are attached in three places. These are used for the primary feature of the A-wing, although it might not be immediately obvious given how well this function has been hidden.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

By pulling back on the entire central section of the model you can launch a pair of missiles from the front! This is almost invisible from most angles and works perfectly so I am quite pleased with the feature. However, it must be acknowledged that it seems rather overengineered in some respects as a simple button could have accomplished the same thing.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

It is over seven years since Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1 has been seen in a LEGO set and building techniques have advanced enormously in that time. It is therefore somewhat surprising that this model has changed relatively little since 2009, although many of the alterations which have been made are certainly for the better.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

The most notable of these centres upon the cockpit which now includes a pair of printed 6x6 hatch elements which were introduced last year. These look brilliant and it is difficult to imagine how the design could be improved in future, particularly given the impressive level of detail inside the cockpit. Darth Vader can be seated comfortably behind the controls and the hatch on top can be opened for access to the minifigure.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

Spring loaded shooters are mounted beneath the cockpit and these can be activated remotely by pushing down on black buttons on top. The exposed Technic elements beside the cockpit are slightly bothersome but do not detract from the model too much as the wings conceal the inconsistent colours very effectively.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

The wings are angled appropriately but are attached using Technic pins so tend to wobble a little during flight. This is a great shame as I had hoped these issues had been resolved following the more secure construction method used in 75101 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter last year. Nevertheless, the design looks good and is certainly stable, just not quite to the extent I would like.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Starfighter

The large rear section forms a perfect place to grip the model when flying it around and is decorated with some detailed stickers which replicate the designs seen in the show very accurately. It looks as good from the rear as it does from the front!

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

Overall

This is a thoroughly impressive set on the whole but there are some drawbacks, the most significant of which is definitely the price. The two models are roughly the same size and neither is worth £39.99 if they were to be sold individually, so they are not worth £79.99 when combined.

75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Fighter

However, in all other respects I like this set very much. The minifigures are splendid and the two fighters are also very impressive, striking a perfect balance between play features and faithfulness to the source material. I think a reduction of around 25% would be reasonable and at that price point I would certainly recommend this set if you are a fan of Star Wars Rebels.

What's Missing? Revenge of the Sith has been delayed until next week to make room for new set reviews but keep an eye on the homepage next Sunday!

This set was provided for review by Norton & Co. but the review is an expression of my own opinions.

JANGBRiCKS' video review

41 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Great review as always! I never knew that Darth Vader's new helm was tilted upwards. Perhaps he is looking forward to flying his new Tie Fighter!

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By in Netherlands,

@CapnRex101
Thanks, and an excellent review!

I agree about the price, it is too expensive. In the Netherlands RRP is €110 both at regular toyshops as well as [email protected], which is utterly insane. However I managed to buy it last weekend with 20% discount for €88 which I think is still expensive.

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By in United Kingdom,

Nice set
. Will probably buy Jestro's evil lair instead

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By in United States,

This set looks totally amazing. Problem is, two small-ish ships for $90 is kinda ridiculous... for $70 or $80, it would be a great buy, but neither one of those ships is worth $45 individually... the last A-Wing was $25 and the last TIE Advanced was $40, although this A-Wing is understandably much more complicated. Jang was very impressed with it. :P

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By in United States,

I wish Darth Vader's head looked more like it did in the Rebels finale.

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By in Sweden,

In Sweden, this set costs 1199 SEK (129 euro)! A 25 % or even higher discount would make it feel too expensive, especially for a 750-piece set with only 4 minifigs. Good review, though.

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By in United States,

I love that the spring loaded shooters are so well hidden. Especially so in the A-Wing! While I'm generally not a fan of projectile mechanisms being tacked onto models I understand Lego's desire to enhance the playability aspect, and I feel the design solution here is a really well done compromise.

That being said they still have absolutely no place in UCS sets. I'm looking at you Hoth!

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By in Netherlands,

Also the Darth minifig from #75093 does not have any back-printing on his torso, and has an 'old fashioned' stiff cape.

At first I was rather ambivalent about the new helmet, but I have become really fond of it now. It looks not only really comical, but I think it is more accurate, and thus much better than the old model Darth helmet. Also just like in the first SW movie (ep.IV) David Prowse, who played Darth Vader, walked around with a helmet that was way too big, this helmet seems like a bit of an homage to that, as well as Spaceballs. You might have noticed that David Prowse did not wear that same helmet in ESB. Plus, I think all minifig's, even the ones that portray the most evil villains, should have that funny comical adorable charm about them. And this minifig with his new helmet and face/head print just has all that.

Also I just love both spaceships, as well as all the other minifigs in this set. This set is just epic!

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By in United States,

The last paragraph alludes to other reviews - Big Ben and the Porsche 911??

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By in United States,

@mike978: It's probable CapnRex is referring to the "What's missing?" articles they have been doing.

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By in United Kingdom,

Excellent review! I've been looking forward to the Star Wars reviews getting started this summer as I appreciate the subject expertise which only the Brickset reviews bring.

I saw this set in Smyths a few days ago and spent a while looking at the box but decided it could wait until I can spend some VIP points on Wednesday when the sets are released at LEGO stores. This, Captain Rex's AT-TE and maybe some Super Heroes sets are on my wish list. Fingers crossed for more reviews of those soon, particularly the Scarecrow set if possible.

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By in Germany,

Thank you for the review! It's surely nice and I don't like the Rebels TV show or the new designs in it, but the A-wing is surely a nice model, even with those strange, hip 2016 colors. Still, 100€ for this is a little too much.

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By in United States,

Because it is a Rebels set I do want to get it, cool ships. The price is way high, I have seen somebody already selling this on OfferUp in my area for $60, which is more reasonable. Such a bummer Lego has held back on Sabine's helmet! I don't get it!

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By in United States,

That price though.

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By in Canada,

At that price we should have also gotten a Zeb re-release and at least two or more other Minifigures, even if they were just generic Stormtroopers. An excellent set aside from the price and the Minifigure count compared to the cheaper Super Hero Airport Battle which has 100 more pieces and 7 total Minifigures.

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By in United States,

No helmet, perhaps due to a Mandalorian Licensing Agreement?

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By in Canada,

Thanks for the review. I will definitely be getting this.

I appreciate you pointing out that the A-wing design is based on the work of Ralph McQuarrie... I find it ironic when people complain about the "new" designs in Rebels that are actually the original designs!

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By in United Kingdom,

Hopefully will be getting this set and the at-te on Sunday, love rebels and have all the other sets. Again I think its a little over priced, but seems to be the way Lego are going as they know star wars sets will sell regardless of price. Great write up as usual.

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By in United States,

i waited all sunday for the whats missing article so am glad that it is next week. The set is a little over priced, the new resistance x-wing has more pieces and is less expensive than this set.

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By in Australia,

A current Lego set being over-engineered? What are the odds, right?

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By in Australia,

Cool to see the first LEGO set of the R-22 Spearhead, commonly nick-named the A-wing, the precursor of the later RZ-1 Interceptor A-wing seen in Return of the Jedi.

I will get this set if I see discounted enough, and plan to lengthen Vader's X-1 to movie accurate proportions.

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By in United States,

Jeez, this is a nice set and all, but definitely not worth $90 to me.

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By in United States,

My experiences with this set pretty much parallel yours CapnRex, glad to see that I'm not alone in my feelings about this set looking great but also being overpriced and over-engineered. The A-wing is especially troubling being made up from so may tiny parts and being so darned heavy. This is especially noticeable when you hold this model in one hand and one of the older A-wings in the other.
I do, however, think that the TIE Advanced is a little truncated and short. Even my wife agreed that it is almost starting to look like a chibi starfighter.
We can only hope that LEGO comes around some and does one of those permanent price reductions on this set, because there is a lot in this set that it would be a shame for LEGO Star Wars fans to miss out on because of cost.

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By in United States,

I actually just got this set for $50, about to put it together. Excited. I wouldn't have boughten it for retail price. I think it's one of those sets that will be on discount at some point in the near future. So hang in there.

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By in Czech Republic,

Retail price is over 100 USD in the Czech Republic. Too much for my liking. I love the A-wing design but I will wait for a way more reasonable price.

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By in Australia,

I'm cringing at what this will cost us Australians.

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By in Australia,

Sithspit it's on Lego Shop and it's listed at $160.

http://shop.lego.com/en-AU/Vader-s-TIE-Advanced-vs-A-Wing-Starfighter-75150?fromListing=listing

It's a bit of a punch in the wallet, but the First Order TIE Fighter is $100, while the A-Wing is far more substantial than Obi-Wan's Jedi Interceptor at $45, and contains a lot more pieces than the vanilla A-Wing from 2013 which was $40.

I'll be buying it as I'm quite a fan of TIE Fighters and I don't have any Darth Vader minifigs yet.

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By in Netherlands,

Good review of a nice set that I definitely want to add to my collection. I do agree though that the RRP of this set is too high, especially here in The Netherlands. I'll just use my patience to wait for a good discount some time. Sooner or later it will be available for an attractive price. :-)

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By in Australia,

This set, especially the TIE Advanced look fantastic. I've been looking forward to this since it was announced months ago, so it's really disappointing how expensive this is. Thanks for the great review as always, but I'm going to have skip this :(

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By in Germany,

People keep saying the Rebels A-Wing is based on the McQuarrie design, but it's not, really.

They took the blue/white colourscheme with the white triangle (which regrettably didn't make it into this set), and the thicker guns. That's it. The McQuarrie ship is noticeable longer and sleeker than the one in the movie . Proportionally, the engines are longer, the fins even further behind the cockpit, and there's a "kink" in the leading edge of the main hull.

The Rebels A-Wing doesn't really do any of those things. If anything, it looks flatter and wider than the movie A-Wing. This model is even more extreme in that look, with the engines this far (too far) apart.

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By in Australia,

From an observational standpoint, this is quite possibly the first time I have seen a Lego Star Wars set (that's not a UCS model) be better thought-designed than the current trend. The comparison of the new A-Wing and the previous is a stark contrast. It's reminiscent of previous generation model kits where parts per design were not so compromised. Finally, a set I can add to my own sporadic collection.

Unfortunately guys in Australia and Sweden and others, we're all going to be hit by taxes.

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By in United Kingdom,

Not worth that price though.

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By in United Kingdom,

Does anyone know how the TIE Advanced in this set compares in size to 2009's 8017 Vader TIE set?

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By in United States,

Both ships look great, and as soon as I saw pics I put this set on my wish list. However, it is a shame that it's at least 20.00 over-priced at 90.00 US. The A-Wing alone w/2 figs would be reasonably priced at 30.00, and Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1 would be 35.00-40.00 tops, also w/2 figs. I just can't help but wonder how much that Disney logo is costing us? That said I can't wait to pick this up on sale!

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By in United States,

Hoping this one is produced in large quantities and ends up on sale at some point.

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By in United States,

No one, I repeat, NO ONE should waste their money on this set. Totally not worth $90. Are you kidding me, LEGO? This isn't even worth $60! I own the 2009 version of Vader's TIE Fighter and that set retailed for $30 and was bigger! I am aware that there is another ship and three more mini-figures, but that still doesn't justify this outrageous price tag. This set is not worth that. If you want this new Darth Vader mini-figure, buy him separately on BrickLink or go buy Death Star Final Duel, which is a far better deal than this set.

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By in United States,

Cool set but overpriced it should be 70$

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By in United States,

Three reasons that I won't buy this set. 1. to expensive. 2 I've never seen the SW Rebels show.
3. I have less than $30.00 In my wallet at the moment.

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By in United States,

Observation: A-wing pilot head printing is the exact same as Clara Oswald's

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By in Austria,

I'm almost done building the TIE X1 with pieces I already own. I hope I can find the cockpit-circle-pieces somewhere online. still better than having to pay €100 or more for two small fightercraft.

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