Although I may deeply lament the ongoing death of American toy retailer Toys “R” Us, as with their demise they also take one of the deepest joy sources of my childhood, I can at least take advantage of their store closing sales to get some discount LEGO sets, even if it only leads to me saving a couple dollars. On my most recent visit to my local Toys “R” Us store in the nearby suburb of Schaumburg, I was fortunate enough to grab two similar LEGO “Star Wars” figure sets - the Stormtrooper Commander (set #75531) and the Elite TIE Fighter Pilot (set #75526). I am an independent adult who spends his money responsibly.
As both sets are fairly similar in their piece counts (the Stormtrooper Commander consists of 100 pieces, and the Elite TIE Fighter Pilot consist of 94 pieces), with build times of roughly 30 minutes, and sharing similar features and characters, I have included both into the same LEGO-set review. The construction of both sets is very similar to just about every other LEGO figure-set, with a lot of tubes, sockets, and pins holding the set together firmly. Although they both come from different era in the “Star Wars” canon, with the Stormtrooper Commander coming from the Original Trilogy and the Elite TIE Fighter Pilot coming from the Sequel Trilogy, both sets still portray the familiar, faceless grunts of their respective factions, with their sleek armor, amped blasters, and emotionless facades.
Beginning with the Stormtrooper Commander, on its surface, this set portrays the widely-familiar “Star Wars” Imperial Stormtroopers, from their iconic full-body armor to their helmet designs. The most notable aspect of this is its modularity; the commander’s orange shoulder pauldron and ammo pouches can be easily removed to make the figure resemble an ordinary Stormtrooper. In addition, the figure’s weapon can be built in one of two configurations - a standard blaster rifle or a heavy blaster. In both configurations, the weapon also has a usable spring-loaded shooter, introducing an element of play potential. As with all LEGO figures, the set also allows for satisfying amount of articulation as every limb can be bent into a variety of action poses.
The Elite TIE Fighter Pilot is very similar to the Stormtrooper Commander in its construction, with similar plate pieces and armor molds. The most distinguishing feature would have to be the figure’s striking black and red color palate, indicating that this figure is a pilot, not a soldier. The pilot’s helmet also includes a flexible tube piece that connects into his chest, portraying a breathing apparatus. The pilot also comes with a blaster rifle with a spring-loaded shooter.
Overall, both sets bring in much needed icons to the LEGO “Star Wars” figure collection, adding in generic villain characters to the lineup of Jedi and Sith characters. As both display and play pieces, the figures make fine additions to any age’s LEGO collection. The two sets can be bought for an average retail price of $20 each, anywhere LEGO sets are sold.