Monday, August 2, 2010

Darth Vader's TIE Fighter (And I how stole it. Well...sorta.)


It basically started when I remembered that I wanted to pick up some Happy Meal Toys at my local McDonald’s because Marvel Comics Superheroes are featured.

Look here for details on THAT one…

(And as always, click on the images to see them at their higher resolution...)

As I go into the Food Court by my office to where the closest McD's does business, I take notice of one of Chicago’s many Street Vendors standing outside the building.

(That's known as the "establishing shot" within the film industry. More on him later.)

Well, I soon found out that the Marvel Comics Happy Meal Toys aren’t out yet.

"They will be soon." Said the lady behind the counter.

But not yet.


"How about some nice Last Airbender  toys?" She further offered.

As I suppressed to urge to literally laugh out loud, I left the place and headed back outside.

Well, at least I got out of the office for a bit, right? (A kinda rare thing for me, as many of you already know.)

So, now back outside, I *again* take notice of the Street Vendor and decided to see what goods he was peddling.

I quickly discovered that it was the usual fare of merchandise including tube socks, cheap cologne, Cubs & Sox paraphernalia and (of course) fake Gucci Bags.


And I had to blink to make sure I wasn’t imagining it…

Tucked away under a faux leather travelling pack...

Dude had this:

That’s right…Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter. Complete with an action figure of the Dark Lord himself.

I picked it up, looked it over. It was still sealed MIB (Mint In Box) and aside from some dust, there were no dings or dents on the package itself. (Which surprised the hell out of me, considering this was an item from a Street Vendor.)

Dude saw me looking at it and said “It at fordy bucks mon, but for you I take turdy” in a very Jamaican accent.

(Henceforth, "Dude" will now be referred to as "Vendor Mon.")

I was tempted to pull out my iPhone right there and then and check to see the price of that item online, but I didn’t because to me, $30 sounded just ABOUT right. Him saying $40 dollars seemed insulting to me, as the whole "jack-the-cost-up-and-then-offer-it-at-the-normal-price" tactic.


But…he was playing a game, and you know me…I play back.

I pulled out a twenty dollar bill and held it folded between the index and middle fingers of my right hand.

“Dude…I just have twenty on me.”

“No mon no…that too low. I need turdy dollars.”

I smirked a bit and waved the bill.

“I only got twenty.”

“Oh come oh mon. Look ad all that bling bling! You have more than that.”

(He was was referring to my watch, my rings, and most certainly my bracelets, by the way…)

This time I chuckled.

“Alright, but you know no one cares about Darth Vader. Star Wars is old stuff. Everyone wants the Captain Kirk and Mister Spock stuff now.”

I then put the box back down where it was initially. Sure, I know I just bullshitted the dude with the Star Trek reference that I basically pulled out of my ass. I was actually gonna bring up StarCraft II as well, (which I got yesterday, by the way. Woot!) but I figured it would fall on confused ears. Besides, I wasn’t all THAT crazy about getting Vader’s TIE fighter. Granted, it was a nice find but on my list, it fell under that "nice to have" category rather than the "must buy NOW" group.

As I started to leave, he actually called out to me.

“Okay mon, you robbing me blind. Take it. Take it.Twendy then for you.”

Holy shit. 

Did my bluff and demeanor of non-interest actually work?

“Alrighty then!”

I gave dude the twenty-dollar bill and didn’t look back.

And he was right.

I did basically rob him.

And I had a new toy on my desk!


However…I wasn’t QUITE sure how much of a steal I did get away with ‘till I got back to my office and did a quick online search.

Okay…that MAY be the ship I bought, with it obviously being a re-issue to promote the new Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI animated show,  but that’s definitely NOT the packaging of the one I have and it is MOST certainly missing the Darth Vader action figure. 

But still, based on those prices, I felt that I still made a good deal.

However, curious to see if the ACTUAL product that is now on my desk was still available out there I decided to search again, this time using “The Original Trilogy” as within the key search word.

As you can see here, the item I purchased from Vendor Mon is quite far more expensive than what I actually paid.

I was actually floored when I saw this range of prices, especially since I, stressing again, only paid $20 for this product and it was cash and carry…no shipping and handling involved.


Did I make a good deal?


Here’s a little info about Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter:

The TIE Advanced x1, or TIE/x1 was an advanced prototype starfighter touted as a replacement for the standard TIE Fighter and tested by Darth Vader at the Battle of Yavin and used by X1 during the Battle of Mustafar. At one point, the clone of Galen Marek stole Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1 to escape Kamino.
While it never made it into production, many of its best design features were later incorporated into the TIE/sa bomber and TIE/In interceptor. Further development of the Advanced continued, eventually leading to the TIE Avenger and TIE Defender. 
The TIE Advanced x1 featured a solar ionization reactor and paired twin ion engines like the original TIE Fighter. However, the x1 had an original spaceframe, with an elongated rear deck and reinforced durasteel-alloy hull. The x1's most important innovation was its "bent-wing" solar array wings, which had the advantages of increased surface area for more power while also reducing the craft's profile, compared to the TIE/ln starfighter's hexagonal panel wings. 
Speed was only slightly improved due to the added mass of the vessel; a good deal of the extra power was bled off to the deflector shield generators. While less maneuverable than standard TIE fighters, it was more resilient in battle. 
The TIE Advanced x1 had twin heavy blaster cannons in a fixed, front-mounted position, as well as a cluster missile launcher. In addition to its shields, it had a modest hyperdrive but no life-support systems. The target tracking system was also more sophisticated than the already formidable advanced targeting system on standard TIE craft, used to overcome the extremely powerful electronic jamming used by all combat craft to defeat target lock in battle. For best performance, the targeting system of the x1 required frequent adjustment in combat. 

Did you know? 

TIE is actually an acronym for Twin Ion Engine.

Want to know more?

Following Darth Vader's last scene in Episode IV, he flew his damaged fighter to a planet named Vaal and crash landed there. He was then attacked by a group of canine lizards known as hynex and became their master after slaying the pack leader.

Vader and his pack of hynex made their way across the planet, encounter various other hostile creatures all along the way. He eventually came across a small Imperial Outpost and finding a shuttle there,  was able to make the journey to Coruscant. 


  1. Wow - nicely played! I love scoring deals like that, but I don't very often because I am really bad at bargaining. I actually told someone that I wanted a hat sort of beat up because I was using it for a pirate costume (she apparently took pity on me and gave me a low price anyways).

    Also - love the Star Wars history lesson.

  2. :D

    Thanks...on all counts! friends usually ask me to come along with them when they make purchases because I actually like bargaining and/or getting something free from the deal.