It seems that with every Star Wars series, there is a ship that is so prominently used it should have it’s own trailer on the set. For the original trilogy, we had the Millennium Falcon. The prequels didn’t have one and probably one of the many reasons why they sucked so bad. The Clone Wars series had the Twilight but admittedly I never watched it so I can’t say how often it was used but regardless of that, it wasn’t exactly warmly received. And now, for Rebels, we have 75053 The Ghost. It’s one of two sets right out of the gate from LEGO based on the upcoming cartoon, the other being 75048 The Phantom which we panned in our review. So how did the Ghost measure up?
Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
Ah, the Mos Eisley Cantina… a boil in the middle of a hive of scum and villainy. It’s notable for being the point in Episode IV where it really started to hit you just how… unique… the setting was going to be. Sure, the opening fight was incredible, but it was humans against humans. We liked Jawas, but they were in robes. Here though, we suddenly get dozens of different species, we get the murder of a bounty hunter (because HAN SHOT FIRST!), and we get to see just how cool a lightsaber can be.
Despite being so critical to the entire original trilogy… after all, this was the place that brought everyone together that would pretty much move through the rest of the films… it’s been basically ignored by LEGO. We’ve had exactly two sets that deal with the place, 2004’s absurdly overpriced Mos Eisley Cantina, and this year’s absurdly overpriced remake of the same name. Sure, we’ve gotten a couple of Landspeeders as well, but that’s about it. There are a bunch of similarities, outside of the size between the two sets: both have a Landspeeder with Luke and Obi-Wan, both have a Dewback and a Sandtrooper, and both have Han and Greedo.
At $40 more than the original, there is obviously a whole lot more to this set: 3 Bith, which fall into that “it’s about time” realm of minifigs, and a lot more parts. To be fair, I was excited when we saw the name first leaked, and then very let down when we finally saw this thing. It shows that LEGO knows exactly how to manipulate us AFOL fans with the inclusion of the Bith in the set, since I don’t think Greedo would have been enough by himself to get us to buy it by our first impressions alone. Of course, now that I’ve gotten it in hand, built it, and started reviewing it, the real question is does it line up to those impressions. And if so, what joke I am going to use to make fun of it?
When LEGO released the first images of 76023 The Tumbler, there was a collective gasp heard from the internet. But to be honest, there was something about it that just seemed off to me and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. After having built my review copy and staring at it for a while now I finally figured out what it is that I don’t like about it.
But before I get into, here is a breakdown of how this review is going to be done: I’ll be splitting up this review over 5 parts. Part 1 will be an analysis of the packaging of the shipping box with an in-depth interview of the DHL package carrier. Part 2 will be a review of the numbered bags along with weights and measurements of each bag. Part 3 will be a photo gallery of every step of the building process. Parts 4 will be the actual review. And, finally, Part 5 will be where we reveal the final score. We’ll be spreading out the review over the next 5 weeks with a post going up every Sunday evening. So buckle up and get ready for our most extensive review ever!
This thing is a piece of crap. 1 out of 5 stars. There. I’ve said it. And I’m tempted to end the review of 75048 The Phantom right here and now so we can all go about our day because this set is barely deserving any more attention than that. But that wouldn’t be right and I’m sure you’ll want to know why I hate it so much. So I’ll do my best to tell you exactly why.
There was about a week’s worth of time that passed between me building the set and me sitting here writing the review and during that time I was able to distill my feelings down to two coherent thoughts. The two main reasons why I hate this set are: 1) It’s ugly and 2) It’s not worth the money.
Many saw this film as a crazy Avengers in space Star Wars ripoff, that was too obscure to appeal to a wide audience and was likely going to be Marvel’s next misstep if not their biggest flop. Less than a week and over $170 million later, there’s only one thing to say to those folks… I. Am. Groot!
I was supposed to review the 76020 Knowhere Escape set way back when the Guardians of the Galaxy sets first hit the shelves. I had it built up and photographed and everything. My opinion of the set at the time wasn’t all that positive: a mediocre set released out of context. It’s not so much of a problem for something like a vehicle-based set, especially one where the final model is so aesthetically pleasing and satisfying to play with that context hardly matters, like 76021 The Milano Spaceship Rescue. However, that is not the case for Knowhere Escape. It is such a mish mash of different things that you needed the context to understand why the set was put together the way it is. And unfortunately, knowing the context didn’t help the final review score; it just made it worse.
I received my review copy of the latest LEGO Ideas set 21109 Exo Suit some time before Comic Con happened but because of the craziness leading up to it I didn’t have time to do the review until now. While I was away I thought about the set and wondered if I would be just as impressed with it after some time and space was between us as I was the first time I built it. And let me tell you, the test of time had not tarnished Peter Reid’s excellent Ideas set, 21109 Exo Suit, in the least. It was just as magnificent to post, play with, and photograph as it was the first day.
After fifteen years of collecting Lego Star Wars, and writing about them for the last eight, it’s pretty rare for me to come across a re-release that I don’t already have. Sure, there are a few, typically big sets, like the Sandcrawler or a lot of the UCS line (or any AT-AT that doesn’t have a motor)… but I’ve bought a lot of sets over the years, a lot of which I’ve liked, a lot I didn’t, and a whole lot that I’d be hard pressed to put back together. The Droid Tri-Fighter is even more unique, in that it’s a set I’ve passed on twice… this is the third release, after 2005’s 7052 ($15) and 2010’s 8086 ($25), which all had the same name. There’s also an honorable mention for 7283 Ultimate Space Battle, which is one of my “wish I would have bought that” regrets, which included the 7052 version as part of the bundle.
The 2005 version was notable in that it existed… pretty much all of the sets not called “Clone Turbo Tank” or “Clone Scout Walker” from that year are best forgotten. It was the first set to include a buzz droid, so I guess there is that, and, in something that is shocking in this day and age, no minifigures. The 2010 version included the orange rocket droids, which I got from that Hyena Droid bomber, and never felt a real need to get more. I kind of wish I had that second version, because it looks almost identical to this one… complete with all that lovely dark blue.
A Target Exclusive, this version adds an extra $5 on the price, drops 4 pieces (down to 262), loses the rocket droids in favor of the regular types, and for some reason gives us Chancellor Palpetine. It’s a set I obviously didn’t have a high opinion of to start with (to be fair, I basically have no opinion of it), so the real question comes down to “is it worth it, or did I just use this to get over $75 when I bought the Droid Gunship so I’d get Revan?”
I had this prediction, more like an idea, back in the day, back when the Super Heroes licensed themes were announced. Somewhere, I think in a forum thread, I had theorized that even though LEGO didn’t have any toy rights to any of the film franchises like X-Men or Spider-Man, there wouldn’t be anything stopping them from creating a set or two that coincidentally had some of the same characters and be on the toy shelf on or around the same time a related film was shown in theaters. And that coincidence actually happened. Example: Spider-Man. Spider-Man sets are the most prevalent in the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes theme right now, with most, if not all, of the sets drawing inspiration from the cartoon series Ultimate Spider-Man airing on Disney XD. It’s serendipitous that a movie, Amazing Spider-Man 2, came out during the time the sets were sitting on the shelves. Spider-Man movie in the theaters. Spider-Man LEGO sets on store shelves. Coincidence!
Spider-man isn’t the only character with which this type of coincidence happened. The same thing is happening with X-Men. With X-Men: Days of Future Past currently in theaters (as of this writing), 76022 X-Men vs. The Sentinel seems to be following the same fate as the Spider-man LEGO sets. The set (along with the Guardians of the Galaxy sets) were street dated just nine days after the release date of the film. The set is similar in a lot of ways to the movie and even features a lot of the same characters but doesn’t use any likenesses from any of the X-Men movies, instead drawing inspiration from the comics. Successful X-Men movie in the theaters. X-Men LEGO set on store shelves. Coincidence!
Alright, enough coincidence talk, let’s jump right into the review of 76022 X-Men vs. The Sentinel.