Box Sides (click to enlarge)
"BATTLE DAMAGED" IMPERIAL TIE FIGHTER VEHICLE
The STAR WARS IMPERIAL TIE FIGHTER is ready to destroy the REBEL ALLIANCE. This dramatic reproduction of an IMPERIAL space vehicle is now better than ever. Two sheets of self-sticking labels let kids choose between an IMPERIAL TIE FIGHTER that looks brand new or "battle damaged." A special button releases the solar panels on either side of the cockpit to simulate a hit by an asteroid. Manually operated lever raises seat and escape hatch to allow child to seat IMPERIAL COMMANDER and most other STAR WARS Action Figures. Push the rear deck button and a dramatic red laser cannon lights up and emits a whining laser sound. Two "AA" batteries and Action Figures not included. Ages 4 and up.
Source: 1983 Kenner Toy Fair Catalog
Released in mid-1983 as part of Kenner's Return of the Jedi toy line, the "Battle Damaged" TIE Fighter was an update of the original TIE vehicle. The principle traits distinguishing the "Battle Damaged" toy from its predecessor were its color (it was molded in blue rather than white) and its "battle damage" stickers, which came packed inside of the toy's box. The "battle damage" stickers weren't much more than black spots, which were intended to represent blast marks and such. But there was also another notable difference: whereas the cockpit hatch used on both the original TIE and Darth Vader's TIE was entirely solid, the one developed for the "Battle Damaged" version of the toy featured four slots, which allowed one to peer inside the cockpit.
Personally, I don't think either white or blue worked incredibly well as TIE Fighter colors. I prefer the "evil gray" of the Darth Vader TIE and TIE Interceptor toys. But the different colors allowed for some variety and made each product distinctive. The "Battle Damaged" TIE was available for approximately one year before being replaced by the "Collectors Series" version of the Vader TIE and the Interceptor, both of which hit store shelves in 1984.
First Issued: 1983 (ROTJ packaging)