STAR Wars fever may be over for now (at least until the next film comes out), but a true fan never rests, especially when he is also a Lego buff!
Courtesy of Lego Malaysia, we got the chance to review the latest wave of Star Wars Lego sets, mostly from The Force Awakens and the Rebels TV show.
From the cute little Microfighters to the highly posable Buildable Figures series, they certainly made us feel like kids again, and reminded us just how fun Lego is (and how painful it is to step on a Lego brick).
The big sets
There are two big sets in the new wave of The Force Awakens sets – the Battle on Takodana playset, and the Resistance Troop Transporter vehicle. (The ship Princ… sorry, GENERAL Leia lands in. You know, the one that looks like a Subway sandwich.)
The Battle on Takodana depicts the battle in front of Maz Kanata’s castle on the planet of Takodana. It comes with five minifigures – Kylo Ren, Finn, Maz Kanata, and two First Order Stormtroopers, one of which is that awesome dude with a riot baton who fights Finn in the movie.
The centrepiece is a part of Maz’s castle, and building the set is a little basic (we only took about 30 minutes to brick it). Personally, we were a little underwhelmed by the set, especially since this is one of the more expensive sets in the new wave. It does have some redeeming features though, including some neat little action features such as the main sliding door entrance (you can actually slide the doors open and closed), a falling tree, and a little gear wheel that pushes sections of the wall off to simulate it being destroyed during the fight.
The Resistance Troop Transporter is a lot better. Fans of minifigures will be glad to know that you can get both Leia and Admiral Ackbar here, along with two generic Resistance troopers. The set is a bit more complex to build than its chunky look suggests. A lot of nice details have been incorporated, including a realy cool rear engine, some well-hidden missile launchers, and a cockpit that can be opened with a little gear wheel.
The main body of the ship opens up to reveal seats and computers, and Ackbar even comes with a little mug so you can imagine him drinking tea while exclaiming “It’s a trap!”
The best Star Wars Buildable Figures are typically the bad guys. General Grievous is pretty awesome, Darth Vader looks cool, and the standouts from the new The Force Awakens line are Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma (see, she’s not totally useless) and the First Order Stormtrooper.
Assembly is easy enough, with relatively large parts, so youngsters should be able to piece this together fairly independently.
Some of the figures, like Kylo Ren, Finn, and Rey, even have a nifty little action feature – a knob in the back lets the characters swing their weapons. The figures are also highly posable, which makes displaying them a lot of fun.
In terms of character likeness, the ones in armour and masks tend to fare better.
Kylo Ren looks suitably menacing with his crossguard lightsaber and makes for a kick-ass display alongside Darth Vader from the previous wave.
Captain Phasma and the Stormtrooper are also equally impressive, though we would have liked it if Phasma was a bit more, well, shiny.
We approached the Rey figure kit with some concern, expecting her to look like something out of a cave painting. It’s hard enough finding any Rey merchandise as it is. But hey, the figure is actually pretty cool and the face is as good a likeness of Daisy Ridley as likenesses go in Buildable Figure territory.
The angular moulding makes her look a little cyborg-ish – hey, it’s RoboRey, the future of law en-Force-ment – but it’s softened somewhat with the inclusion of a fabric tunic. If you have a Finn Buildable Figure, which comes with the blue lightsaber, just give that to Rey as she was meant to wield it. Wish list: for the Episode VIII line, have the swinging action two-handed. Especially if Rey gets to wield a dual-bladed lightsaber.
Depicted in his X-Wing pilot uniform, Poe Dameron is a nice-looking figure that will have you wishing you had an X-Wing Fighter of the same scale to seat him in. Though not as detailed as Poe, the Finn figure is also a lot of fun to build and highly posable too.
We love the Microfighters sets. Essentially minituarised vehicles that are just big enough to fit one minifigure, they take less than 15 minutes to assemble, but are cute little things that should give the kids hours of fun.
At RM49.90, it’s a relatively affordable introduction to the Star Wars Lego universe too.
The recently released Star Wars Microfighters Series 3 has six sets in total – Resistance X-Wing fighter, First Order TIE Fighter, First Order Snowspeeder, and the Wookie Gunship, All-Terrain Defense Pod (AT-DP) and The Ghost from Star Wars Rebels.
The Ghost is probably the most well-known of all the vehicles featured on the Rebels animated series. The ship is a cute little thing with a colour scheme that is more kid-friendly than the others, though our favourite part of the set is probably the minifigure of its Twi’lek owner and pilot Hera Syndulla.
The AT-DP’s initials make it sound more like a droid than a mean machine of the first order (lowercase, it’s Imperial), but it’s one cool little Microfighter. Ever since the Microfighter AT-AT, we’ve been impressed by how posable Lego manages to make these things. The bipedal AT-DP, seen on Rebels, is no exception, as you can display it standing, strutting, or in the Karate Kid’s Crane stance. Well, maybe not that last one.
What would a Wookiee do with a gunship when it’s run out of ammo and fuel? Toss it on some Stormtroopers, most likely. This is a no-frills gunship from the Rebels TV show that comes with that rarity in the Lego Star Wars Universe: a Wookiee minifigure! Another rarity: the size of the Wookiee “overlay” on the regular minifigure body template gets in the way of the bowcaster stock, making it impossible to display with the hand weapon pointing straight ahead.
While the standard blue and grey colour scheme of the Resistance X-Wing Fighter isn’t as striking as Poe Dameron’s orange and black water taxi, the S-foils are movable and it comes with a bearded pilot minifigure. (Is that Snap Wexley? Too skinny.)
The minifigures are also the main draw of the TIE Advanced Prototype and First Order Snowspeeder sets. The TIE fighter is cute enough, but the Snowspeeder looks a little too generic.
Sometimes, all you want is an army. If building an army of Stormtroopers (and a Rebel army to fight them) is your dream, then the new Battle Packs are for you.
The new wave includes three new battle packs – the Rebel Alliance, The First Order, and Resistance Trooper. Each battle pack includes four minifigures, and a vehicle/weapon platform.
A boxy short-barrelled gun platform with stud shooter is the centrepiece of the First Order Battle Pack set. But come on, the minifigures are definitely the main draw of any battle pack and here, you get two First Order Stormtroopers and two gun crew. Each figure has a hand weapon with more of those stud shooters, and the main gun swivels 360°. Two movable hatches give you the option to keep some ammo out of sight, but fixed in place so they don’t rattle around when you carry the platform around (or fall out when you open the hatch). Thoughtful!
Resistance Trooper Battle Pack is a really cool set with a Resistance gunship complete with articulated heavy weapon (dual axis mounting) and four minifigures – three regular troopers with two-piece helmets and one officer. Stud-shooter hand weapons for each figure, and the main gun also has one but oddly enough, it fires from what looks like the targeting mechanism rather than the primary gun barrel. Oh well. It’s still a nice addition to dioramas with larger Resistance vehicles.
Last but not least is the Rebel Alliance Battle Pack. In terms of value for money, this one has the other two beat. It comes with a neat little two-seater speeder bike, and four minifigures with stud shooters, as usual. But wait! Two of the minifigures also come with … wait for it … jet packs! And that’s not all; two minigures are human, while the other two are a Rodian (like Greedo), and a Duros. Score one for minifigure diversity!