The original TIE Bomber was released in 2003, and since then the design and techniques used in LEGO sets have increased in quality drastically.
The TIE Bomber was part of a 2020 LEGO Ideas fan vote to choose the next UCS set, but lost to the Republic Gunship. It now makes its return in this 2023 playset for the price of US$64.99; is this a worthy purchase? Let’s find out!
This is a guest review from our resident LEGO Star Wars correspondent, vaderfan_2187, who is covering the new wave of LEGO Star Wars sets. Check out his review of 75345 501st Clone Troopers Battle Pack!
Check out Vaderfan’s previous reviews, 75323 The Justifier, 75342 Republic Fighter Tank, 75336 Inquisitor Transport Scythe, and 75333 Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi Starfighter, and be sure to follow him on Instagram, or read some of his other guest reviews.
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for sending this set for review.
75347 TIE Bomber Set Details
75347 TIE Bomber Packaging & Design
The front of the TIE Bomber’s box art shows the bomber flying through an asteroid field, dropping bombs and firing stud shooters along the way.
Interestingly, the top right of the box art has a printed logo indicating this set celebrates 40 years since the Return of the Jedi movie, despite the fact that this ship was featured more prominently in Empire Strikes Back and the set comes with Rae Sloane, a post-ROTJ character.
Nonetheless, this doubtless means more Return of the Jedi sets are on the way, and it’s nice that LEGO is commemorating milestones like this.
The back of the box shows the TIE Bomber landed in a hangar, and shows off some of its play features.
75347 TIE Bomber Minifigures
The first minifigure in the set is the TIE Bomber Pilot, who gets some small updates like new printed legs. It’s a good-looking minifigure overall, and I like its all-black design.
The back of the torso has more detail but this helmet mould still shows a huge portion of the back of the minifigure’s head, which is an odd look. Perhaps it’s time for a new helmet mould?
Underneath, you’ll find a generic minifigure head, continuing LEGO’s trend of moving away from the Angry Clone face print. Is that Lex Luthor piloting the TIE Bomber?
The next minifigure in the set is Vice Admiral Rae Sloane, who commanded the Imperial Navy at the Battle of Jakku.
Despite not being an Original Trilogy character, it’s nice to get her in minifigure form as she played a pretty crucial role in the timeline in between the original and sequel trilogies. She has a new face print and wears a grey Imperial outfit.
Although Rae Sloane wears a white Admiral outfit in the post-ROTJ books, here she does not yet have the rank of Admiral so the grey uniform makes sense.
I would have liked some dual-moulded grey and black legs though, to represent the Imperial officers’ boots.
Next up is a Darth Vader minifigure! This variant of Vader is the modern arm-printed version, which looks great as ever, with a nice level of detail on the torso, legs, and arms.
He gets a new head print to represent the Original Trilogy version of Vader with white skin – you can see the scars printed on the back of his head.
His head has a more sour expression printed on the front – likely due to the fact that this is a pre-redemption Vader, so the kinder expression used on previous Vader minifigures would be a little odd.
He is armed with his signature red lightsaber.
The final figure is a brick-built Imperial Gonk Droid. It has a pretty okay design, using a 1×2 ingot piece in dark grey to represent the control panel on the front, and has the Imperial logo printed on the sides.
That printed Imperial logo is actually due to the use of a 2×2 crate piece, meaning you can store some stuff inside the Gonk droid if you want.
Overall, the minifigure selection is okay, but could be better. The TIE Pilot is decent but definitely not a must-get, Vader is good but you can get arm-printed Vader in cheaper sets, Rae Sloane is a nice figure but some boots would’ve been better, and the Gonk is just a brick-built box. I think the set should’ve had at least one more minifigure, especially for the price point.
75347 TIE Bomber – The Builds
The main build in the set is the eponymous TIE Bomber. It looks good and has a pretty high level of detail overall, but it is smaller than I expected – only about 20cm (7.5″) by 16cm (6″) in size, which feels pretty undersized for a US$65 set.
Here’s the top angle of the ship. I applaud the designers for being able to get that nice curved shaping of the central pods while still maintaining the overall structural integrity of the ship.
Here’s the back of the model – you can see the twin ion engines, represented by trans-red tiles.
The wings look alright; they are attached to the main body via Technic pins, but the connection is secure enough that the whole model can rest on the wings.
The winglets are connected with hinges so can be posed at different positions, but by default they are folded at an accurate angle. The 2×2 round tile in the centre part is printed – no stickers are included in this set!
The cockpit is attached via a Technic pin, and can hinge open to give you access. Do note that if you hold the model upside-down, the cockpit will open on its own as there’s no locking mechanism other than gravity.
Another downside is that the 4×4 cockpit glass piece is attached to an opaque 4×4 round brick, which means you can’t actually see through the canopy piece.
You can fit the TIE Bomber pilot in here, and he gets a couple of printed tiles plus a slot behind his head for his pistol.
It’s a bit of a tight squeeze though. Unfortunately that’s all the interior space that this half of the model gets – the rest of the area behind the pilot is basically unused space.
There’s a couple of stud shooters mounted next to the cockpit, which fire off trans-green tiles. On the right is the actual bombing pod, which has a nice 6×6 printed dish at the front.
The actual bombing mechanism just involves four flick-fire missiles mounted downwards.
You just push on the missiles on the top of the ship, and they fall downwards. It’s a rather underwhelming feature to me, especially when compared to the more interesting bombing features in sets like 75188 Resistance Bomber or 75172 Y-wing Starfighter.
I get that the designers were probably limited in terms of space because of the rounded shaping of the craft, but just having flick-fire missiles fall to the ground is a bit disappointing.
The TIE Bomber does have a brick-built bombing chute on the bottom, although the actual bombs don’t drop from there.
Overall, the TIE Bomber is a good-looking build with a nice level of detail and good exterior aesthetics, but the play features and usability seem to have been compromised to achieve that external look.
There is a side build included, which is this little tram that carries around two extra bombs.
You can put a minifigure to drive it, but it really doesn’t do anything interesting, and honestly feels like an unnecessary use of pieces.
What I liked:
- Rae Sloane, Vader minifigures are good additions
- TIE Bomber looks great overall and has nice details
- All decorated parts are printed, no stickers
What I didn’t like:
- Final model is small for the price
- Minifigure selection could be better
- Underwhelming bombing feature
- Unnecessary side build
Final Thoughts: Overall, 75347 TIE Bomber is a decent set that brings back a long-forgotten Star Wars ship into the LEGO arsenal.
It does a great job in the aesthetics department, but the play features are a little lacking as a result. The minifigure selection also could be a little better, although getting Rae Sloane and arm-printed Vader is nice.
Perhaps the biggest issue is the price – if the set was cheaper, some of these compromises could be excused; but at US$64.99, it just doesn’t feel worth it.
Build  – Despite being a little undersized, the bomber looks great aesthetically.
Minifigures  – Rae Sloane and Vader minifigures are good, but the selection as a whole could definitely be better.
Real Value  – It’s a detailed build with 600+ pieces for $65 USD, which seems like a decent deal on paper. However, the bomber feels undersized and some parts are used on a superfluous side build.
Innovation  – Nothing super innovative, although it’s nice that LEGO managed to make a play-scale TIE Bomber again after 20 years. A more unique bombing feature, would’ve definitely improved this score.
Keepability  – Rae Sloane might not be a minifigure we see again in LEGO for a while, and the return of a LEGO TIE Bomber after 20 years means this set is fairly noteworthy.
Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set over for this review
Let me know your thoughts on the return of the LEGO TIE Bomber? Will you be picking this set up?
To get the latest LEGO news and LEGO Reviews straight in your inbox, subscribe via email, or you can also follow on Google News, or socials on Facebook, Instagram (@jayong28), Twitter or subscribe to the Jay’s Brick Blog Youtube channel.