Review: 7956 Ewok Attack
Ewoks are a curious thing to Star Wars fans, and how you feel about them, in a lot of ways, is based on your age. I’m in my early 30s, so I was just a little kid when I first saw Jedi in the theaters. I only have the most vague recollection of seeing the movie in theaters, and remember it more when my dad rented them all in the mid-80s. By that time, bear fever had gripped the US, with Teddy Ruxpin, Gummy Bears, and even a cartoon, Star Wars: Ewoks (which was awful, even back then).
And now, they’re set to take over again, with Ewoks appearing in their first low-end set since 2002 (they were actually redone in Endor Bunker, but more on that later). At $25, this certainly isn’t a cheap set. Is a tree and a couple of Ewoks, along with a speederbike, worth your money?
Maybe, maybe not. A lot of it depends on what you already have, and how many Ewoks you want. This set is a remake of a set that was considered by a lot of people to be a failure, 7139 – Ewok Attack, released back in 2002. It’s a funny thing, looking back on it. Back then, the Star Wars line was in a little bit of a rut; save for a few hit sets (original RGS and Jango Fett’s Slave I), most of what we were getting were minis and repacks.But at the same time, there were very few places that were ever out of stock of Ewok Attack.
If you visited a KB Toys back then (remember those), or even a Walmart or Target, you would find absolute piles of these sets. I bought four of them on a 75% off clearance sale from KB Toys. It used to be a $13 set, so that means I paid about $3.50 with tax. You can barely buy one minifigure for that now. And I left probably forty of them sitting on a shelf, where they stayed for several more weeks.
But once it was out of print, a lot of people wanted the set. I actually used them in my very first trades here on FBTB (well, the old site); and ironically, the only bad trade I ever had involved one of them. So you see a lot of sentimentality for a set that was either overproduced or underbought. People wanted those Ewoks!
We get two more Ewoks, in the same style (and one the same mold) as the revised Ewoks we saw in Endor Bunker, along with the venerable Scout Trooper. Our little buddy with the green hood is named the ever descriptive “Ewok Warrior.” I’m sure if I looked hard enough, I could find a fifteen-page article on Wookiepedia detailing what his real name and backstory is, and how he was critical to the whole attack on the Imperial Bunker, if only the camera would have caught him.
This is the exact same sculpt as Paploo (I think), with some differences to color. It almost feels like a throwback, with the nearly uniform black throughout the fur and face. The eye highlights don’t exactly show up as well in the photo as they do in real life, but this guy is very basic overall. Not saying that’s a bad thing. Maybe the green hood is the Ewok version of a red shirt.
Our second Ewok is a new sculpt, Logray, the Ewok Shaman/Leader/Chief/Whatever. I actually did go out to Wookiepeida to read up on him, and now I wish I hadn’t. Ignoring all that, his head looks very good, the skull gives him a very unique look, shame it’s all part of the same thing, and they didn’t find a way to make it a hat. That would have been kind of fun. He also seems a touch too young, but I’m not sure how you fix that on a minifig scale.
Now, mostly because I’ve done it in all my other reviews where I’ve had them, let’s look at the Ewoks we’ve had over the years. The left three are from Endor Bunker, then our new two, and on the far right, one of the originals. I know some people really hate added detail on newer minifigures, but the old Ewoks always looked very unfinished. It was always odd, considering that these guys were originally from an era when LEGO printed on everything.
Our last figure in the set is a Scout Trooper.No changes to him, the same as he’s always been. It’s a plain black head, same as in Endor, but that’s perfectly fine in my book. The old ones with the visor printed on were a pain to line up. And there’s no printed back, so there’s no need to run out and replace a whole bunch of old scout troopers. This guy drops right in.
I know it’s odd and all, but I absolutely love these guys. Their helmet is one of the best looking in Sci-Fi, let alone Star Wars, and the scene where they were in the movie is a bit over the top, but when you’re a little kid, it’s just pure awesome. Who here hasn’t always wanted a speeder bike? That’ what I thought. And for course, we get a speeder bike in this set.
The same general shape, still captured in this set as it has been several other places. The actual build here isn’t all that much different from the speederbike that we saw in Endor Bunker. The front of the bike section is a different slope brick, now with a lip, which gives a nice contour, and uses lances as the bars up to the front. Otherwise, about the same. Still uses the three-wheeler as the base and seat, which works out quite well. This is also basically just a color reskin of the same speeder bike in the Hoth Echo Base set.
Kind of amazing how much more of a profile they put into these things, isn’t it? I have the original as well, but didn’t have a chance to dig it out of storage for these pictures. Suffice it to say, the two most recent look much better. But the nice thing about all of these is just how nice they can look around each other. I’ve never had much issue parking different versions of these bikes together.
Of course, the speederbike is basically a tack-on in this set, set to the whole Endor scene. It’s called Ewok Attack, after all, so the core of the set is… a very small tree. As I remember Return of the Jedi, Endor was a forest moon (because Long Long Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, you could not have two descriptions on the same planet), and those trees were absolutely massive. Those Ewoks basically built Chicago up there, and a bit too much to drink meant you’d best be Superman when you went over the side.
It’s a somewhat odd diversion, since this is called Ewok Attack, and a tree is rather hard to move. In previous sets, the things featured were catapults, traps, etc. The original Ewok attack was basically a flimsy glider and a catapult that you could use to launch 2×2 round bricks at your cat. This thing? It’s a short tree, maybe a stump, a tiny catapult, and a branch. Or perhaps a tree’s tongue.
The catapult is of supreme dissapointment. I think these are new to the Star Wars line, but castle or pirates fans can tell you all about how much these little things suck. First, a basic stipulation of the laws of physics state that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, something about levers and fulcrums, and maybe quarks. Basically, these things are capable of launching a little 1×1 cylinder about six inches.
Often not even far enough to clear the set. You could apply more force, except that would usually break the set. Compare that to the catapult from the old set and the Endor Bunker, with a long arm, that could scare a cat all the way across the room. While I am not advocating scaring cats unless comically appropriate, these small catapults are a complete waste.
The most humorous thing ever put into a LEGO manual is the safety warning for them, warning you not to put out an eye using it (much like flick-fires). Make sure you videotape it when you try it, because if you manage to so much as irritate someone’s eye with this, you should probably be a Navy Seal or something (please note, FBTB is not encouraging you to launch projectiles into anyone’s eyes).
The bigger issue is the secondary “weapon” for these Ewoks to use, the “log” rollers, pictured above. On one hand, I always want more of those joiner bricks for use in castle and pirate sets, and we get six of them here. On the other, these logs are shorter than a minifig’s legs. As I remember the logs the Ewoks used, they were the size of a Volvo, and smacked apart AT-STs and the like.
The only way this would be an effective weapon would be if the enemy happened to stop under them, but having seen those speeder bikes in the movies, I know a few things have to come up Millhouse on this plan. First, those bikes float, and would zip right over these. Second, the speeder bike would have to go right by the tree. Third, the Ewoks in the tree have to do some pretty amazing math to release these with the exact timing to catch a speeder bike that is going to come whipping by at about 500 miles an hour.
The much more effective weapon would be the branch pictured above. Hit that on a speeder bike and your head and torso are going to get a very nice, if short, view of your legs and bike zipping off ahead. For some reason, this branch is retractable, meaning that either the Ewoks rigged a branch to slide out (most likely making it weaker and prone to snapping off), or these trees are magic. I’m inclined to believe magic.
In the end, this is a set I really wanted to love. I like Ewoks, and don’t carry the nerd rage usually reserved for them. The original set was iconic, and got me introduced into the community in a lot of ways. But at $25, it’s too expensive, and unlike the other expensive sets in the current lineup, this thing is also fairly fragile. I had the tree break apart several times trying to put it together, because of the use of hinges and connections on one brick.
There are some decent selection of parts, with dark browns and dark green, some plants, etc. But so many aren’t that special, like those ladders you just sort of accumulate after you collect for a few years and the aforementioned worthless little catapults. What could have put this set over the edge, for the same price, is to have included a rebel trooper or a scout trooper. But we got more in the last Ewok Attack set and almost half the price.
I hate having to keep harping on value, but that’s been the huge problem with most Star Wars sets lately, and as the low-end keeps creeping up ($25 is the new $20… and most of those sets should be $15), they’re actually removing value from the sets.
The hope I have, and one that we’ve all had over years (go into the wish list threads and see how many times it’s been mentioned), is that this whole set is basically a setup for a new battlepack. A battle pack with the Ewok Warrior, a few rebel troopers would be absolutely sick. Add an imperial one with a couple of scout troopers, a storm trooper, and an officer and the AFOL community will weep tears of joy (and buy thousands of them).
Build Quality: 5/10
Accuracy: 6/10 (and all 6 of those points are for the Speederbike)
Reviewer’s Tilt: 5/10
Final Score (Average): 5.67
Verdict: Skip, until like the last Ewok Attack, it’s on sale or clearance. But don’t complain if you want it in two years and they’re all super expensive…