Yub nub! Review: 10236 Ewok Village
There are toys that stand out as “the one” that everyone wanted to own, the toys that define the absolute best of the line. The U.S.S. Flagg or the Defiant from G.I. Joe. Castle Greyskull from He-Man. The classic five from Voltron. Scooter from the Go-Bots (okay, not really, though I will admit to owning one). The original Super Soaker. The Sewer Set from TMNT. Fortress Maximus from Transformers. And the Ewok Village playset by Kenner for Star Wars.
At least this was true in the 80s, which redefined toys from something you played with for a few years to something that will suck away all of your disposable income for the rest of your foreseeable life. Funny how that’s still true with LEGO collecting, especially when LEGO goes and releases the Ewok Village set for a commanding $249.99, evoking both a feeling of nostalgia and mourning for your wallet.
I doubt there are many people on the fence when trying to decide to get this set… you either are going to get it, going to skip it, or wish you could afford it. The last set of this size and scope, the Death Star, was a much bigger attack, at $400, almost exactly double the pieces and some half-a-million minifigures. Unlike the UCS line, which focuses on scale over playability, this sucker is a super-sized playset, and not something built to scale.
Here, we have 1990 pieces and 17 minifigures, some re-releases, some remakes, and a few gloriously new. Using my twin guns of sarcasm and more sarcasm, let’s see if your $249.99 is money well spent.
Return of the Jedi is the movie that I typically call my favorite in the series. I concede that Empire is the “best” movie in the series, without doubt, but I was one when it came out. I can vaguely remember seeing Jedi in the theaters, and I rented it all the time from the video store when I was younger. Sure, looking back at it now, I understand how silly Ewoks are (and realize that all of the signs that Episode I would be a boondoggle are in this movie), but as a kid, I absolutely loved them. And, in a bit of shame, I still do.
I’ve reviewed the new Ewok Attack set once upon a time, and had more than a few musings on the forum over the Battle for Endor set, so the Forest Moon of Endor is a well-traveled area for me. We’re getting a huge focus of Return of the Jedi sets this year, with Jabba’s Sail barge, the Desert Skiff, Escape Pod, A-Wing, and an X-Wing all available right now in the system line. In short, it’s actually a pretty good time to be an OT collector.
This set has a whopping 17 minifigs (Shop@Home says 16, because they apparently hate calling R2-D2 a minifig… they can’t handle the dome): Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, C3PO, R2-D2, two Rebel Troopers, two Scout Troopers, two Storm Troopers, and the Ewoks Wicket, Logray, Chirpa, Teebo, and an Ewok whose name I can’t find anywhere. What, you didn’t know that the Ewoks other than Wicket had names? Everyone in the background of a Star Wars movie has a name… even the Ice Cream Machine Guy (Willrow Hood, if you were curious).
I mean, I couldn’t even get all of these guys in a picture together effectively. So instead, I broke them up into logical groups, and then spent far more of my day comparing these figures to older versions than I’d like to admit. Side note… wouldn’t an Ice Cream Machine Guy minifigure make a wonderful Comic Con exclusive?
It was especially tough for the Ewoks… until I realized that there are basically just two Ewok molds out there and they keep repainting them. I’ll cover that more a bit later, but yeah. Interesting note on the set is that the figures are spread out through the entire building process. I think there was only one bag number that didn’t also have a figure as part of it. It feels a bit annoying, since you don’t feel how the characters fit together, but it’s also totally understandable. These figures are going to carry a premium, with so many little changes and premium figures tucked into the set, it’s nice that they’re not in one or two easy to steal bags.
First up is a brand new Jedi Luke, with that little chin-butt and all, and an angry face and the bottom of the chin-butt and the alt-face sticking out under the hair. Curiously, his hair apparently changed color since he was on the Sail Barge, from tan to dark tan. Of course, they did it right and switched out one of the fleshy hands for a black glove, with is good attention to detail.
The alt-face is the same as what we got in the Sail Barge, and still weird to see an angry face when they made such a point that he was capable of moving beyond his anger and not “giving in” to the dark side.
The torso printing is completely new, and a pretty huge improvement over the generic jedi torso we’d gotten in previous versions of Jedi Knight Luke. The little lightsaber ring on the belt is a cool printing touch, and we also get some detail around the belt. That being said… is it wrong to wish they had a version in red so I could make a Captain Kirk minifig (from Wrath of Khan)?
What’s weird is that, once-upon-a-time, Leia was one of the most-rare minifigs in the Star Wars universe. Even once they’d released her in more sets, there was really only the Episode IV cinnamon bun version of her as well (or that Cloud City version most of us never had a chance to get. Then we got a Slave Leia, and a Hoth… then a couple of Episode IV versions, an Endor version… and now another Endor version.
The head isn’t different from other recent versions (I don’t think), but the rest of the figure is new… ish. The torso is obviously new, and for the first time in the history of I think ever, LEGO managed to get the flesh printing on a torso (other than the all flesh-colored Slave Leia) to actually look right. Though they did make her collar bones look like an adam’s apple, so take that as you will.
The rest of the figure is stuff that’s been color swapped. The leg printing is the same from the Olympic Diver minifgs from the Collectible Minifig line, just in flesh and dark/tan. The skirt is a new cut, but a design that has showed up in a lot of minifigs. The hair is a recolor of the Forest Maiden hair, also from the CMF line. Still, there’s a lot to like in the figure, and it does fit how she looks in the Ewok village.
Where did she get all of these outfits in the middle of a war? More than that, where did she get them in a village full of Teddy Ruxpin dolls?
Han is the same that we get (for some inexplicable reason) in the A-Wing set. That’s kind of a shame… I would have loved to see some variation on the figure, maybe the trench coat or the like. Still, no alt-face, so there is that. And he’s Han Solo, which means that even in minifigure form, he’s cooler than anyone else.
Is there anyone in the Star Wars universe who gets stepped on quite as much as Chewbacca does? Outside of the fact that his only lines are basically dog sounds, that he got screwed out of a medal, and that he was offed in the EU for basically no reason except to tick-off fans (spoiler warning for that previous sentence)… he’s also been in the exact same LEGO form since the beginning of the series. No, sorry, he wasn’t even included in the beginning, we had to wait for two years to get a main character in a proper set.
This is a universe that has given us two versions of Lobot for crying out loud and four variations of Han Solo in a Parka, and we can’t get a Chewie that is given a facelift so the fur matches the colors in the movie. The only update he’s ever gotten is because they changed the color they use for Brown. So either LEGO is lazy or this is amazing attention to detail on how much Chewie gets screwed over…
C-3PO is the same as the one we got in the Escape Pod set. Those pupils still bug me…
R2-D2 is a weird case in this set. Technically, this is a new figure… except not really. This isn’t the light-grey head we’ve gotten in most of the sets lately, it’s a pearl silver head that appeared in one other set, the Clone War’s Anakin’s Y-Wing that pretty much six people purchased. I didn’t, and no one else in chat did either. Even Don, with his frightening devotion to all things R2, doesn’t own that version.
Don was nice enough to point out that the big problem with the head is that they just used the Clone Wars version of R2, not the movie version. And that fanatical devotion pointed out the tiny little notch under the eyepiece, which is apparently how you Clone-Wars-ify R2. I guess that’s the astromech version of demon eyes? The body is the same as the regular body with a couple little variations, like the lack of grey printing inside a couple of panels.
Once we get on to the various Troopers, we’re treated to a pair of Storm Troopers. These are the newer printing styles, with the head faces. I don’t believe there are any differences between them, but I have so many Storm Troopers by this point that it’s hard to pick out the various slight variations. Feel free to correct me in the comments if there’s something new about these guys.
When I first saw this set, the first thought was “holy crap, that reminds me of the Kenner playset from the 80s!” Once I started to look into the details of the set though, the first thing that caught my eyes were the new Scout Trooper minifigs. At long last, they were going to look almost like the movies, which featured black arms and legs (though white boots). The head is the same as the stormtrooper, the helmet is the same as ever, but the torso and legs are totally new printing.
Compare the old guys to the new ones… that’s a huge difference. Also, props to LEGO for getting printing to line up. This is a couple sets this year that I’ve noticed that on, so it’s about time they figured it out. Flesh printing and patterns lining up? Madness! These guys look great though… my only complaint (other than the lack of white boots), is that now they look awesome compared to all of the other Scout Troopers I have. And I have dozens of Scout Troopers. This is version two of printed Storm Trooper legs…
While the set description lists two rebel commandos in the set, we actually get two different troopers, both similar (or nearly identical) to previous versions of the troopers. First up is the bearded version of the commando, which was exclusive to the Battle of Endor. He has an alt-ace and commando-ish torso, which isn’t exactly new (having been in the other sets with the Rebel Commandos).
However, this is an update to the old figure. The torso printing is mostly identical to the other version, with just enough variation for me to chalk it up to variations in printing. The face, however, is new (I think, I couldn’t find another one though it looks familiar), meaning that this nameless Rebel trooper (okay, I’m sure he has a name, I just don’t want to look it up… I spent too much time today naming Ewoks, and the word Ewok isn’t even said in a Star Wars movie) has had two exclusive heads, and we have the same Chewie that we had since 2001 (and more than a few female characters that share generic faces)
Trooper number two is the same as the one that came in the Battle Pack. I’ll always take more Rebel Troopers, even thought here were, what, maybe a dozen of them seen in Return of the Jedi?
The first of the “new” Ewoks we get is Teebo, the grey Ewok with a headdress seen in flashes during the battle between Teddy Bears and the walking embarrassment that is the Imperial army. He’s a repaint of Logray, the tan chieftain from Ewok Attack, who we also get in this set. New and exclusive to this set, but no variation other than coloring.
Chirpa, who is the chief of the Ewoks (I guess), identical to the one that came with the Battle of Endor set in 2009. So if you missed him, he’s back. He’s identical to the version from that set.
Green Hood here is the only Ewok I couldn’t find a name for, even after spending more time than I’d care to admit on Wookiepedia. He’s a repaint of the generic warrior type, using the same mold as Chirpa, Wicket, etc.
Seriously… there are only basically two Ewoks, they just keep getting repainted as something different. Not saying that’s wrong, but I never realized that Ewoks are basically furry astromech droids. We’re very close to seeing them released “With a New Hat!” I can feel it…
Curiously, we get a new Wicket paint, which is a bit odd, since we got him in Battle of Endor. None of the other figures got repainted, just Mr. Willow up there. It’s a noticable but small change, I suppose, with the accents added around the eyes and muzzle.
He’s the only Ewok to have three different versions, which makes sense, given that he was the only one that really had a role of any note in the movie.
Last up is Logray, who is the same as what we got in the Ewok Attack set. And if you want to hear some depressing backstory for a character in the EU, I think this guy probably got the shortest stick there is. I mean, the EU is the place that makes the most insignificant of characters (like Ice-Cream Machine Guy) into some sort of inter-connected super spies. Logray was apparently kicked out of the tribe and ignored by all Ewoks, dying in exile, most likely. Who hated this guy?
Still with me at this point? I’m just finishing up describing the minifigures and I’m 3000-words deep into this thing! After so many figures, it’s almost shocking to learn that there’s a set here too. Okay, maybe not, given that if it was just minifigures, they’d average $14.50 (which is lower than I would have guessed initially). Maybe if they were all super-special… but yeah, there’s a set here too. And it’s huge, with four trees, a catapult, a speeder bike, the platform for the village, and a rope bridge to connect them.
The set itself, even with all of the minifigures, is the bulk of the “stuff” in the set. It’s a deceptive set when you’re putting it together. From the pictures, you’d think that it’s absolutely gigantic. Even if you flip through the gallery, you see that the entire set is rarely seen together, and they lay out the figures in such a way that it looks loaded with features. The set is loaded with features, but the overview picture on Shop@Home is a little deceptive…
See all that stuff in front of the troopers? Those are the weapons all the minifigures are already holding. That clear pole? Holds up the floating chair for C3PO. Most of the other stuff just fits randomly into barrels or containers. It’s weird how they highlighted certain elements of the set in this picture without focusing on what really makes it cool. Minor quibble, in the grand scheme, but it really feels odd when you build the set, since they don’t spend much time actually placing minifigs in the set as you’re going through the instructions.
We have Scout Troopers, so of course we have a Speeder Bike. Which is kind of strange that we only get one, given that we have two Troopers. It hasn’t changed all that much from the bike in the Endor battlepack or a bunch of other recent sets. Pretty much a couple of color changes and that sporty little base to hold it up. I love that base, and now want to try an implement it for the dozen or so other speeder bikes I have.
This set does suffer from a problem that’s increasingly common in Licensed sets… it’s trying to capture more than one scene into a single set. We saw it with the Malibu Mansion Attack, and it’s a problem with The Council of Elrond as well (though to a lesser extent… that review will come out in the near future). We get parts from the initial visit to the village (and the BBQ), the celebration, the battle for the bunker, and speeder bikes that lead up to the whole run in with Teddy Bear Junction.
We also get a catapult with the set, because it’s not an Ewok set without a catapult. I’m not kidding, every set with an Ewok has also included a catapult, dating all the way back to the original set. We’re also given our first few inclusions of battle droid arms.
The mechanism in this catapult is really strange as well, especially given that the catapult from the Battle of Endor was fairly effective, and the one from Ewok Attack wasn’t all that bad. This one, however, uses a little rubber Technic connector as a stopper. I’m not sure if it’s intended to give it some bounce, but it seems to really just dampen the whole mechanism. The instructions give us a comical “don’t shoot out your eye,” but I’m certain the only way you could hurt yourself with this thing is if you tripped and landed on it eye-first.
The build for this set progresses through building the trees and the stuff around it. All of the trees that make up the village are brick built, starting with a smaller, stand-alone tree that has a rope ladder up and connects with a bridge to the “main” section. Right away, we get the feeling that this isn’t just a display piece, but intended as a really big playset. In a certain way, that’s odd, because I can’t see all that many parents dropping $250 on a play toy. Sure, some will, but this is a set that is primarily going to end up in the hands of adult collectors (I’d think), or with kids of adult collectors.
Like all of the trees, the brick-built nature is apparent from the ground-up. The stand-alone tree is the only one that doesn’t have a single-plate base, building a little swoosh shape complete with mushrooms. You start building up the trees with an outer slope structure, typically in dark brown, brown, or the occasional dark flesh part. Unlike stuff like walls, where mixing colors never looks right, on woods like this, it looks okay. The blending is done well, so it never looks like something is out of place. The only real beef I had with it had nothing to do with the set, more with the quality of printing in the instructions that sometimes made it difficult to pick the right part.
That being said, parts typically repeat themselves a lot in the same colors, and there’s not a whole lot of crossover between colors. All of the 1×4 slopes, for example, are in dark brown, and all of the arches used to jut out branches are brown. The 1×2 wood brick patterns are dark flesh, and the 1×4 ones are brown. Once you get the hang of that, you can get over the poor color quality in the printing. Of course, the next problem is that the printing makes it difficult to figure out if you need a 1×2, 1×3, or 1×4 slope at times…
The stand-alone tree has a little ramp and trap door to send your Ewoks flying towards the ground. I don’t remember that particular feature in the village, but it’s still kind of fun to have.
I’m thinking that the little tap there is supposed to represent releasing someone, but it doesn’t do anything. The trapdoor slides out by pulling on the little handle. It works for the most part, though a figure can get caught on the lip of the door and bounce up into the tree instead of falling. Mostly it’s about positioning the figure.
A brick-built bridge connects the two sections. When I first saw this set (and later wrote the Review for The Goblin King Battle), I didn’t even realize that there was a bridge in the set. Turns out that the whole “brick built” bridge like this has been around for a long time, though this particular variety is a bit different from other implementations. Instead of hinge clips, it’s battle droid arms that hold this thing together. While all of the other arms in this set (and there are a lot) are dark brown, these are tans, and we get a lot of the new jumper bricks to hold them together.
This is kind of a hard thing to judge. On one hand, it looks very much like a rope bridge that belongs there, but it’s hard to get it positioned right. The droid arms that hold it in place hold it a bit too well, which means it’s mostly about positioning the trees a certain way than anything with the bridge itself. And they hold it so closely together that there’s no slack at all in the rope… effectively, it moves like one somewhat-flexible piece. In that picture above, there’s nothing holding the rope straight except the plates that connect it.
The main section of the set is really where the bulk of everything happens. It’s really the focus, since in a lot of the pictures on Shop@Home, this is the only part featured. You can take off the other tree and the bridge and the set still looks fine, which is a testament to the niftiness of how this is built. There are three trees, again, all brick-built, that support the deck structure, and loads of play features and scenes sprinkled throughout the set. It’s actually hard to review, since there’s so much and it doesn’t really break down in a cohesive way. There’s just a lot of detail there.
The easiest place to start, really, is the platform. This is really the “village” part, where the Ewoks laugh, play, love, and eat people. After all, it’s not that Luke and Han are going to be executed for being evil or something… they’re the dinner menu for 3PO’s feast. What do you think happened to the people that wore those helmets? Trooper Soup!
Like I said earlier, there are a few different pieces here going on, though most of it is around the initial cookout being held. Han is on the spit, and there are two poles to tie up others. The drums from later in the celebration are also here, so I guess it’s really going to be a party, featuring the other, other white meat. I felt like those drums could have done more (given that they were in a line and there were five in the movie), but they do have the variety. It’s an easy enough thing to MOC in, I guess, but you’ll have some hat-less troopers.
In the movie, it was Chewie and Luke that were tied up (R2 was as well, so I wanted to see what he’d look like on here… answer: not good). I honestly didn’t even realize what these were for initially, because one of the really strange things about this set is that it never shows minifig placement in the building instructions, with the exception of getting Chewie in the net (see, screwed again). You just keep jumping around from piece to piece, and after you put these poles up (one of the first things built on the deck), you build the fire for the spit, then the throne area, then the drums, before getting back to the spit. So you don’t really make the connection until you get to the very last page of the instructions.
Unless you’re like me (and I’m willing to bet the majority of users) and skip that last page once you have the set built. In hindsight, it was obvious what these were, but still weird to have seventeen minifgs and then set them aside as you build a massive set. If this was a UCS set, I’d get it, but it’s a playset, so I’d expect the playset features to get highlighted better.
Speaking of playset features, we do get the little floating throne that was such a centerpiece of the playset (and the C-3PO figure from that era… one of the few Star Wars figures I actually owned back then). Of course, it really doesn’t float on its own, it just sort of positions there using a clear bar, but it’s a nice little touch. And I’d much rather have to move it around by myself than have a ridiculous mechanism than we get in the Geonosian Duel set (another review that’s coming soon). Turns out sometimes the fun of playing with a set is just picking it up and playing with it.
On the back of the platform, we get a couple hammers, I suppose a trap for catching stray AT-STs to eat. They sit too low to hit an AT-ST, and too high to hit a speederbike, so I’m not exactly sure what these do. They’re kinda cool, juts not very functional from a playset perspective.
Under the tree, there are a couple of platforms that position between each of the trunks. These don’t serve a structural purpose, they’re only for decoration. In fact, they don’t even fix on to the bases of the trunk, they just set on top of the tiles. They look cool, but without fixing to the base, they flex just based on the natural size of the parts. You can see above on the left how it doesn’t fit quite right.
The bottom actually highlights one of the most innovative (and cool) building tricks to hold the tree pieces together. Anyone that’s ever built with these things (or put together a set that uses them) knows that the branches, like the dark green ones above, do not stay stuck on to anything, especially each other. The solution here? A carrot topper. It sticks them together and it works. Plus, it looks right. Shame they only used it on the bases here… the rest of the time, it’s either 1×4 brown plates that hold them in place or 3L bars to raise branches.
These add some appearance, but are still kind of strange. They give places to hide Ewoks out looking for food, I suppose. I bet some trooper and mushroom soup is quite popular in the village.
Each of the trees has some different playset features sprinkled in, starting with the left one (closest to the rope bridge). On the bottom, there’s a swing out spider web. It’s such a weird feature that I can’t even really come up with a joke for it. It’s also only held in place by a single clip, which can come off. The annoying part is that it’s very difficult to get back on once that happens, and it’s not easy to take apart the tree trunks.
Above the platform, we get a couple of little alcoves with railings that run around on the outside. The alcoves fit, we see Leia walk out of one to see what’s cooking in the movie, as do the railings. Unfortunately, in the set, the railings are probably the most annoying part to build. There’s a lot of fun building to be had here, but every time I got to one of these railings, I shuddered a little. Those poles are all straight when you pull them out of the bag, so you have to try and bend and shape them.
On the underside, that’s not all that big of a deal. But most pipes have multiple battle droid arms holding them together, and then more droid arms holding those to another pipe. A few are just held with multiple arms in one spot, the rest with seven arms spaced out. The instructions aren’t a whole lot of help in positioning the railing… it’s mostly trial-and-error. While the trees themselves are quite fun to build… the railings are not fun in any way.
One funny thing in this set has got to be the stickers. While getting stickers is hardly ever fun, there was something hilarious about opening such a big set and seeing three tiny little stickers along with it. I’ve had $10 sets with a dozen stickers in it, but this $250 set had three. And they’re all little jokes sprinkled through the thing, like the one above, that has a picture of that terrible glider and a spear, along with Aurebesh writing. If you were curious, it says “Skin Glider” and “Pointy Way Up.” Both sound like the punchline of a dirty joke…
The set is built in a very modular way, with the lower trunks and the platform being a (mostly) solid piece, and then each of the tops connecting on a turntable base and positioning.
The middle pillar is the shortest of the three, with a little opening alcove to stash weapons. Above, it’s just a fireplace and an opening, not a whole lot else other than one of those awful tiny catapults on the roof.
One curious thing sprinkled in the set, especially odd given the fact that they’re basically living in the middle of a whole mess of kindling, is that Ewoks have fire everywhere. Torches directly under dry leaves, torches sticking out of firewood, torches next to torches and accented by torches. So basically, bears that eat humans and keep fire all over the place.
The right tree is the tallest and most packed. It’s got a big branch with a little net, presumably with a rabbit inside to trap an unsuspecting Wookie. It’s a simple mechanism to raise and lower the net, though not to release it. Basically… the string just feeds through and has a stud on either end. It’s basic and effective, with no bundle of wasted parts for an overly complicating mechanism you won’t want to play with anyway.
There are also a lot of branches and foilage here, along with a little kitchen area. On top, we have a little alcove for preparing the food that’s not made out of people. We get a bag for a carrot, a fire pot positioned on a few studs that can be knocked off by looking at it funny, and a barrels with some veggies and a couple of sausages (presumably made of people).
The bottom of this tree also has a little alcove with the other two stickers inside. It serves no purpose other than to stash an Ewok to do things I’d rather not imagine (though I bet there’s a few fan fiction stories that go into graphic detail on it) and make you laugh when you look either side.
On the left, we get a count of how many scout troopers the Ewoks have killed (and presumably eaten). On the right, a little heart in Aurebesh. If you’re curious, it says Leia and whoever hides in this alcove (probably Wicket) has killed and eaten 67 scout troopers.
It’s actually pretty cool how the whole tree structure fits together. When the top pops off, it’s just a turntable that holds it on.
The base of these (as well as the base of the trees) are just big
hexagonal octagonal plates, the bottom of which has been shaped to fit on the turntable. I’ve gotten a few sets with these, but don’t remember ever seeing them used this way. I’m sure they have used them, guess they’re just in sets I never bothered to actually build them.
The bottom of the trees actually snap into the platform with a pair of hinges on each trunk.
In fact, those clips highlights another strange thin in the instructions for this set. As a whole, this set was obviously designed to be very buildable and hold up to play. But the instructions don’t highlight it. The play features don’t highlight the minifigure placement. Above, where the trees are each clipped in, the bases and the platform are all color coded (left is red, blue is center, and right is yellow). But this isn’t really highlighted at all in the instructions, you just position them. This is the kind of thing that should be called out (especially for a 12+ set).
The piece count in this set is really hard to pin down. The number is fairly high, given the number of minifigures, but a lot of those parts are a small or repeated. There are more than 80 battle droid arms in the set, used in everything from the catapult to the railings to the bridges… not exactly an in-demand part (I would think). But there are also 22 3L brown lightsaber bars (the short poles), sprinkled in a bunch of different things, from connectors for leaves to weapons to torches.
You also get a whole mess of slopes, mostly in brown and dark brown, obviously, and a lot of plant parts. But you also get the various bases, including the big hexagon bases (that surprisingly fix to turntables), the long poles used for railings, and did I mention battle droid arms? Because there are a lot of them.
All of these complaints feel minor in the grand scheme of things. Is the set worth $250? For the target audience of this set, without a doubt. This isn’t like some system set that will be gracing the shelves at Walmart or Target, it’s a big set for big collectors, no matter what the 12+ age label says. This set is basically a love letter to the adult collector who plays with the toys, much like the Death Star playset was before it. It’s pricey, but that’s the kind of price you pay to get something like this all together.
Sure, you could build something similar yourself and probably save money (though i’d bet not as much as you would think), but this set does everything you’d want it to. It looks right, it feels right, and it’s fun, even when parts of the build are not. You can certainly MOC something that’s bigger and better, but if that’s your thing, you’re probably not looking at sets much anyway past parts value. And I’d guess that the type of parts in here are what you’d need to build a larger version of this scene, and they come in the kind of bulk you’d need to do it.
What I liked:
- It’s about time we got a new Jedi Luke Skywalker figure… now if only we get a new Dagobah Luke
- The rest of the minifigures fit well, especially those wonderful new Scout Troopers and the Endor Leia (even if her face is a little scary), and there are a bucket-load of them
- Little Easter Eggs that are obviously jokes for the dedicated fans, like the slide in the tree, the hidden area with Aurebesh, or things that remind you of the old Kenner playset. Not bad from a designer that had never watched the movie before…
- Brick-built trees for it make the set, and are wonderful
- Some very unique building steps, with innovative ways to put things together (like the super-structure inside the trees)
What I didn’t like:
- While I like the Scout Troopers a lot, they should have picked a theme with it… either go all village or more battle. One speeder bike feels strange, even if they are easy to get
- The catapult inclusion is even worse… I wish it was an AT-ST to smash in with those hammers or another speeder bike or two for a good chase
- Some very tedious builds, especially when it involved making connections with arms
- The railings are hard to shape correctly, awkward, and come off easily
- Instruction printing doesn’t have enough contrast, with all the dark brown, brown, and occasional black
- Some playset features are kind of strange (swing out spider web, for example)
- Chewie needs some love, and deserves a repaint
Verdict: What do you think? Buy it. It’s big, it’s expensive, but it feels worth it. Go pick it up right now on Lego Shop@Home (now for VIP members, Sept 1st for everyone).