Even the best of us get duped from time to time.
Recently while out toy shopping I ran across this TIE Fighter.
I thought, mistakenly, that this was from Return of the Jedi. When it comes to Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back toys I’d call myself an expert, but there were a few late Return of the Jedi toys that I never owned. I know that later in the line they switched from white to gray plastic, so I assumed this was one of those. I was wrong.
The key is in the ship’s “wings” (I always referred to them as “solar panels”).
In the one I bought, you can see that the grooves in the solar panels are molded. You can run your finger across them and feel the ridges. Compare that to my original 1977 TIE Fighter and you will see that on the original, the “ridges” are simply a smooth sticker.
The other giveaway is the color of the windshield piece. The old ones are clear; the new ones, gray. After doing a bit of research I was able to identify this as a TIE Fighter from the Power of the Force line of toys released in the mid-90s. Even though it’s almost 20 years old, it’s what I would refer to as “a newer one”.
I’m sure I’ll be keeping this ship (it’ll make a good shelf filler, if nothing else), but as I feel myself getting back into Star Wars collecting a bit it appears I need to brush up on my knowledge before it costs me too much money.