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Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

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Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby Staff » Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:52 pm


75059 Sandcrawler-50


The second UCS set to get a remake, 75059 Sandcrawler, arrived at my doorstep last week. The review was to be embargoed until May 3th, the official on sale date of the set, but it miraculously got lifted a few days ago. This was both good and bad. The good? Good because I've always believed that if reviews, good or bad, can be published ahead of the street date, they should. It helps those people who were on the fence to decide on way or another if they're going to pull the trigger by providing a preview of what to expect. And as a side benefit it helps the site(s) out by driving traffic. The bad? Bad because I was counting on the lead time to the 4th to get my review done. I won't bore you with the details of my life, but that one week before May rolls around was the only free time I had. I managed to rearrange my schedule a bit to get this review done sooner rather than later and here we are.

One of the things I had planned was to rebuild the original set so I can do a side by side. But not having the luxury of time from an accelerated review schedule prevented me from doing so. I may still go back and rebuild it anyway for giggles. I tried to remember some of the details from the first Sandcrawler but couldn't remember much. But no matter because 75059 Sandcrawler is really nice.




75059 Sandcrawler Box


Let's start from the outside in. The box. The box has a brand new design. Gone is the Lucasfilm Licensing branding that is prevalent across all licensed toys, LEGO or not. No Yoda... or is it Darth this year... I forget but you don't get that character banner across the top. You simply get the LEGO Star Wars logo, the set name and number, and a badge that says "Ultimate Collector's Series LEGO Star Wars". One can only hope that this badging is a sign of things to come like more UCS sets across different themes. Like say if DC Super Heroes created a UCS Batmobile set or something, the badging might say "Ultimate Collector's Series LEGO DC Super Heroes".

Inside the box was the expected array of numbered bags. 16 different steps with some steps having multiple bags. There was also an unmarked white box that stored some of the numbered bags inside. I couldn't see any reason why these bags were separated this way, but I deduced later that the numbered bags inside the inner white box were the bags that had the minifigure elements. If this were true, I would assume that this is just an additional step in preventing people from breaking into boxes just to five finger discount the minifigures. The white box isn't fool proof, just another preventative measure that the would-be thieves would have to monkey with to get to the goods, but the harder it is to steal the minifigs, the better we are all off in the long run.


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The manual. Let's breifly talk about the manual. Taking cues from their Architecture and CUUSOO line, they've changed the presentation of the manual for the better. Not spiral bound like some of the other manuals, it is a glued binding. The first couple of pages are two-page spreads that gives a little more information and background of the subject matter. The last spread has an interview with the designer, Olav Krøigaard, which I enjoyed reading as it gives a small glimpse into the design process.


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The Sandcrawler is a big brown box. It doesn't sound very exciting but once you're knee-deep into the process, it's fascinating to see the box take shape. There's a good amount of Technic elements mixed in for the framing and structural strength with massive amounts of plates in all shapes and sizes for the paneling.


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The panel work is quite beautiful with all its angles and the engineering behind it all to reach the desired look can teach a thing or two to even the most seasoned builders. It even managed to replicate that gentle upward slope from the back to the front along the top. It's not without its gaps though but completely forgiveable given the number of moving/removable panels and what not. You'd have to be really be looking and be in a cantankerous mood to even make it into an issue.


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Going from front to back, the nose has the most interesting shape to it. Mini ball joints are used to achieve some of the angles along with the aforementioned Technic elements. The roof of the nose flips up to reveal a cockpit big enough to fit all four jawas. Plenty of computer screens about, all stickers, and one giant viewscreen where they're watching Star Wars Episode IV and they're at the part where C-3PO is standing in front of the Krayt Dragon remains. Kinda meta. Kinda neat too.


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There's a dial that kind of sticks out from the top at an angle which is used to raise and lower the front loading ramp. There are two chain elements with studs on each end that does all the heavy lifting. This is probably the weakest part of the entire set. If the ends of the chain disconnect from the bar it coils around, you're going to have a fun time reconnecting it.


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With the ramp lowered, you have access to one of the two hooks the Sandcrawler has. The hook extends outward on a boom and you can use one of three attachments to haul your droids or cargo containers in and out of the cargo bay. There's a small vehicle parked inside. A speeder? Tow vehicle? Jawa scooter? Who knows. The other interior objects are three crates you can use to haul away your droid parts, dragon bones, or other things you may come across on the Dune Sea. The crates are a little hard to access from the front; they are more easily reachable from the middle.


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The middle section is made up of two distinct sections. The panels in the first section lift up to give you access to the spacious interior. The roof also lifts away for easier access to the inside as well as the second of two hooks. The hook folds into itself making it nice and compact for storage while not in use and extends to a usable length far enough to reach outside the Sandcrawler. The hook slides along a rail allowing you to use it on either side.


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Again, you can use one of three attachments with the hook here, the one everyone will use at least once is the one that looks like the end of the vacuum tube that sucked up R2 from that one scene in the movie where he gets captured. Of course, it doesn't really function that way. The best you can do is just attach the bottom of the cone element to the stud on top of R2's dome, making it look like he's doing a Pharrell Williams impression.


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Using what I call the Crate Grabber attachment, you can hook one of the crates and guide it to the chute that's on either side of the vehicle. The chutes are covered by these panels akin to doggy doors that you can push right through. Then the crate rolls down and drops right into an unloading zone.


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Just below the crate doggy door are small storage compartments that are covered with flag elements. Jabba's Sail Barge used these in great numbers, and here they not only serve as a decorative element, but a functional one as well. Behind those flag elements are storage areas and inside each compartment is a barrel or crate. There are six in total, three on each side, and the neat thing about these compartments is that there are 1x2 cheese grater slopes on the floor allowing the crates that are stored to slide right out. Not having those sloped elements there would have made getting the crates in and out an annoying task so it's nice that the designer included them if for nothing more than convenience.


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The three hook attachments store neatly in the last section. This section also has panels that lift up and a removable roof. The steering mechanism is also located here with a dial on the back that controls the rear set of treads.
So it's easy to push the Sandcrawler and steer at the same time with one hand, something that was impossible to do with the first version (since the steering dial was located on the top near the front) if I am remembering things correctly. This section of the Sandcrawler has the most greebling on the roof panel and the very back of the vehicle, breaking up the monotony of plates that cover almost the entire vehicle.


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The build took about 6 hours, give or take. No lie. My camera batteries ran out in the middle of shooting the time lapse, so I had to take a break while one of the batteries charged up and it was a welcome relief. Ignoring the fact that I was building 11pm til about 5am, the build was pretty grueling. I realize 99% of the LEGO Star Wars sets out there are symmetrical in design but the sheer level of repetition is on another level mainly due to the size of the set. And the treads. Don't get me started on the treads. There are 38 of those tank tread pieces in each tread, and there are eight treads to make, split up over bags numbered 7 and 8. This was the halfway point and thankfully there was nothing in the last half that was nearly as bad. It was by far the worst part of the build. Everything after that seemed to go much much faster than all the previous bags.


No Beru For You


The minifigs. I'll just say this first to get it out of the way. Where is Beru Lars? Granted, she wasn't exactly pivotal to the scene. She didn't actually stand in front of the Sandcrawler during the purchase of the droids, but she did ask Luke to remind Owen to get one that spoke Bocce. And if that didn't happen, C-3PO would never have been bought, R5-D4 would never have blown his motivator, R2 would never have been subbed in, and then the Sandtroopers would have found the Sandcrawler, and the plans would have been back in the hands of the Empire! After practically saving the rebel movement single-handedly, the least she deserves is her own minifig. I mean come on! Her exclusion is frustrating. With LEGO's propensity for vehicle-based sets, it's highly unlikely we'll ever get a Lars Family Homestead set, especially when the homestead is built underground. They could be saving her for just such a set but I doubt it. There aren't many set ideas where including her would make any sense, but if they can stick Amidala in with the Gungan sub, or Ceremonial Leia with the Y-wing, maybe we'll get lucky and they'll put Beru in a UCS Speeder Bike set or something equally illogical in the future.


75059 Sandcrawler - Jawas


With that rant out of the way let's get to the minifigs and droids. You get four Jawas and it wasn't until I lined them up in this shot that I noticed that there are two different patterns for them. These must be Commando Jawas or Special Forces Jawas or Jawas drawn by Rob Liefeld because the number of pouches adorning their twin bandoliers is ridiculous.


75059 Sandcrawler - Luke Skywalker 1 75059 Sandcrawler - Luke Skywalker 2


Luke Skywalker inexplicably has his lightsaber. Cover your ears, kids, cause Uncle Ace is about to yell: HE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE IT IN THIS SCENE! The purchase of the droids happens a full day and a half before Luke even meets Obi-Wan. IT'S LIKE THEY DIDN'T EVEN WATCH THE MOVIE! I mean come on. The movie may not have shown the Sandcrawler's crates or the Jawa scooter that's included in this set, and I'm willing to make an exception for their inclusion for playability's sake, but there is no reason why Luke should have his saber. The other thing that bothers me about Luke is that they are trying to capture too much detail on his face. There are so many lines on Luke's face you'd think the designer was looking using his post-accident, TESB face for reference material.


75059 Sandcrawler - Uncle Owen 1 75059 Sandcrawler - Uncle Owen 2


Uncle Owen is meh, mostly because his face printing looks like a freaking mess. The stubble on his chin? I mean geezus, if you were to scale it up, each stubble print would be the size of a Cindy Crawford mole and his face is just pepppered with them. I'm not sure if they're trying to replicate his light beard or give him chicken pox.


75059 Sandcrawler - Gonk Droid


The Gonk droid is brick built with the only non-stickered, non-minifig, printed element in the entire set used for the face. I kind wish they stuck with the mailbox Gonk droid design. The brick built one doesn't really offer anything new except the printed tile. The old one worked just fine so redesigning it seems a bit superfluous.


75059 Sandcrawler - Treadwell Droid


The treadwell droid has arms that spin around the central neck/axis. And that's really the only notable thing to mention really.


75059 Sandcrawler - R2-D2


R2-D2 is awesome and is the same as the one you get in other cheaper sets. He lacks a restraining bolt even though his partner in crime is sporting one.


75059 Sandcrawler - R5-D4


R5-D4 is just as nice. Some of the first R5 heads I've gotten, mostly from the Y-wing set, had printing issues, namely the ring that goes around the entire head wasn't printed straight but no such issues here.


75059 Sandcrawler - R2 Unit


The green R2 unit lacks a name which is lazy and disappointing and unfortunately he's not the only anonymous droid...


75059 Sandcrawler - R1-series Droid


... because say hello to R1-series droid. Not R1-G4 as his name has been known for all these years, but R1-series droid. That is his official name because it's printed right there on the box.


75059 Sandcrawler - C-3PO 1 75059 Sandcrawler - C-3PO 2


C-3PO looks okay. He is new and exclusive to this set. His one silver leg part has been reduced to a silver printed stripe across his knee. Back in the day, I swapped out my chrome Threepio's leg with one from the chrome Stormtrooper and it looked fine even though it was the whole leg and not just the lower part but it's not my fault they don't have knees. Here, it just looks like a printing error. He too suffers from too much detail like Luke and Owen. His legs look like they're drowning in spaghetti but he does have a restraining bolt printed on him which is a nice little detail so let's call it a wash.


75059 Sandcrawler - Unknown Droid


There is a seventh, unnamed droid that you assemble. He's not named on the box, but he's in the instruction manual. The manual even suggests taking it apart and spreading its six elements across each of the storage containers found under the crate doggy doors. He looks like the treadwell droid's offspring. I thought it was a nice touch to include it but the gesture could have been so much better. Other than this droid, there aren't many other droid parts thrown in to fill the crates. The Jawas are the scavengers of the Dune Sea, and I always imagined the interior of the Sandcrawler being filled to the brim with junk. A few extra battle droid parts, R2 legs, some tools, greeble parts, etc. thrown in to fill up the crates would have been a nice touch. Instead we get a Jawa scooter. The thing to do though would be the throw in all the extra elements left over from each of the bags into the crates to simulate droid junk. You get a pretty good handful of parts when it's all said and done so repurposing them as Jawa junk is satisfying.


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Q: There are so many LEGO Star Wars models, what do you think sets the LEGO Sandcrawler apart from the others?
A: It has no compromises. We've done our absolute best to make a real evergreen out of this set.


That was the last question and answer from the interview with Olav that's inside the manual. I've never heard the term "evergreen" used in this context but I can guess that the answer was to give the impression that the set raised the bar and set a new standard that all future UCS sets will be measured against. Or something like that. It could be a European term that I'm unfamiliar with, like sabrage. I don't know. But I actually read the interview AFTER having built the set and I'd have to agree with the sentiment. 75059 Sandcrawler is pretty awesome. The playability factor is through the roof with the all the moving parts and extra accessories. And despite my grumblings, the minifigure selection is pretty nice albeit the exclusion of Beru. It may not be the same size and scope as the UCS Millennium Falcon, but did the Falcon have a playable interior hmmm? No, it did not. It just sits there collecting dust wishing it would be taken outside for a swooshing every now and then but you can't because it's so freaking big, awkward to hold, and probably mounted to your wall or somewhere equally inaccessible, like your bin of unsorted bricks. Yes, it's a bit of an unfair comparison, like comparing a minivan to a Porsche and saying the minivan is better because it's loaded with cup holders that the Porsche lacks. But you can't really play with the Falcon. The Sandcrawler, though? Loads of fun. Pretty to look at to boot.

I glance over at the set sitting on my kitchen table and every time I'm impressed by its look. I think the designers hit it out of the park on the overall design. Minifig issues aside, I really like this set but let's be honest. It's still a big brown box and I'm not sure where the appeal is beyond that if one isn't a fan of the original vehicle to begin with. It was hard rating this set. I flipflopped between a 3 and 4 and this is where my personal bias comes into play. If I had to choose between this and the UCS X-wing, I'd pick this in a heartbeat. If I had to choose between this and the Ewok Village, that's a tougher choice but I'd probably choose this since I liked Episode IV more than VI and that would be the only reason really. Both sets are at the top of their game. Final verdict? 4 out of 5 stars.

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75059 Sandcrawler Box


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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby dWhisper » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:26 pm

I was fairly indifferent to the set, but looking at it here actually makes me kinda want it. Don't think i'll be getting it for May the 4th, but certainly sometime this year...
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby Brainslugged » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:30 pm

Isn't it the third UCS set to get a remake? Tantive IV, X-wing, Sandcrawler. Not that I really consider the Tantive IV remake a UCS model, but I think it was officially. Actually, I don't really consider either of the the Sandcrawlers to be UCS either - just really cool Lego sets. However, I don't really care whether they're UCS or not - even though I know a lot of people get their panties all twisted up about the presence/absence of a name plaque.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby dWhisper » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:38 pm

Tantive IV was a straight-up playset on the remake, while the original was certainly a UCS set. The intro video basically covered this in the most lazy way possible, in that they define UCS as things that are expensive and will be on the shelves for years.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby banthafodder » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:33 pm

With such a positive review coming from Ace this will have to be a must buy.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby mattlee1965 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:17 pm

Maybe Luke bought the lightsaber from the Jawas in their pile of junk :P
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby banthafodder » Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:03 pm

With all the great and intricate printing that Lego has done why is it that the new C 3POs seem to have a perpetual eye role? Is he really that frustrated with R2 or is it that Disney has done away with the EU in which he becomes the new sith lord?
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby etcknight » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:06 am

If I had to choose between this and the Ewok Village, that's a tougher choice but I'd probably choose this since I liked Episode IV more than VI and that would be the only reason really. Both sets are at the top of their game.


Still on the fence about this one. Personal bias, I would pick the Ewok village. You can set up an Endor battle scene with all the troops. Sandcrawler? Just a big box in the desert by itself without the Lars homestead. At $300 - this is a pass for me. At $200 - could be a buy. Too bad there are so many other more appealing sets coming out in Aug-Sept. (Spaceship Spaceship Spaceship, anyone? ;) )
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby onions » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:05 am

etcknight wrote:
If I had to choose between this and the Ewok Village, that's a tougher choice but I'd probably choose this since I liked Episode IV more than VI and that would be the only reason really. Both sets are at the top of their game.


Still on the fence about this one. Personal bias, I would pick the Ewok village. You can set up an Endor battle scene with all the troops. Sandcrawler? Just a big box in the desert by itself without the Lars homestead. At $300 - this is a pass for me. At $200 - could be a buy. Too bad there are so many other more appealing sets coming out in Aug-Sept. (Spaceship Spaceship Spaceship, anyone? ;) )


yeah but you can't vroom a tree.

well, i suppose you could. you would just look insane doing it.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby Andi » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:10 am

very nice review. Thanks.

I think in Germany it will be available at April 28. But not sure yet, if I buy it immediately.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby The_Chosen_1 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:23 am

I have to agree about the exclusion of Aunt Beru. Why?!?! Very disappointing. Here's hoping she's released down the road at some point.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby Gastiflex » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:53 am

The steer dial was already in the back in the 10144 version :
http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/10144_Sandcrawler
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby onions » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:40 am

Gastiflex wrote:The steer dial was already in the back in the 10144 version :
http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/10144_Sandcrawler



huh.... i'm wondering what set i'm thinking about then that had the steering column go up the middle....
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby Trooper10 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:24 pm

Thanks for the review - this has helped this move from a pass to a hmmm do I have the cash for that?

Also- I'm just wondering if the set is "at the top of their game", what would have made it a definite (as opposed to flippy-floppy) 4/5 (Beru?) and what would they need to do to make it a 5/5? I'm not disagreeing with the verdict at all, just interested in the reviewer's and anyone else opinions on a 'perfect' set.

Oh and maybe, mabye, maybe a we could see Beru in a Lars homestead set with a revised T-16, womp rat, oil bath, and some blue milk???? (Highly unlikely, I know...)
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby R8-C2 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:49 am

Trooper10 wrote:Thanks for the review - this has helped this move from a pass to a hmmm do I have the cash for that?

Also- I'm just wondering if the set is "at the top of their game", what would have made it a definite (as opposed to flippy-floppy) 4/5 (Beru?) and what would they need to do to make it a 5/5? I'm not disagreeing with the verdict at all, just interested in the reviewer's and anyone else opinions on a 'perfect' set.

Oh and maybe, mabye, maybe a we could see Beru in a Lars homestead set with a revised T-16, womp rat, oil bath, and some blue milk???? (Highly unlikely, I know...)

Great set idea, hopefully Lego has that idea up their sleeve. After all, the T-16 still hasn't been remade like most sets.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby Andi » Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:23 am

Trooper10 wrote:
Oh and maybe, mabye, maybe a we could see Beru in a Lars homestead set with a revised T-16, womp rat, oil bath, and some blue milk???? (Highly unlikely, I know...)


Actually a Lars homestead would fit wonderfully to the Cantina which is released in August. So maybe, there is hope
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby YavinBase » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:08 pm

Thanks for a great review of a great set. If I didn't own 10144, then I would be purchasing this set this coming weekend no doubt. It looks like the Ewok Village will be coming home with me instead, as I am behind in purchasing some of the newer Lego SW (and Lego City) sets.

Nevertheless, I will be challenged to leave this set on the shelves. If it sticks around long enough like 10188 has, one may find itself a new home someday!
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby monkyby87 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:57 pm

I've never understood complaints with giving EXTRA weapons and accessories for minifigures. Sure, Luke didn't have a lightsaber at the time of the droids purchase, but is the set really ruined by including it? Maybe kids want to play with Luke and give him a lightsaber. It's far better to include an accessory that isn't needed than not include one at all. Luke would be just as boring as Uncle Owen if he didn't have the weapon. I say any Luke minfigure should come with a lightsaber, no matter the set.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby onions » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:26 am

Trooper10 wrote:Thanks for the review - this has helped this move from a pass to a hmmm do I have the cash for that?

Also- I'm just wondering if the set is "at the top of their game", what would have made it a definite (as opposed to flippy-floppy) 4/5 (Beru?) and what would they need to do to make it a 5/5? I'm not disagreeing with the verdict at all, just interested in the reviewer's and anyone else opinions on a 'perfect' set.

Oh and maybe, mabye, maybe a we could see Beru in a Lars homestead set with a revised T-16, womp rat, oil bath, and some blue milk???? (Highly unlikely, I know...)


I thought about this over the weekend, what would make this set get to the 5/5 score, and i honestly don't know. when it comes to star wars ships and vehicles the sandcrawler may be well known but i don't get the feeling that it's really all that popular and it's probably because of their association with jawas. The jawas don't really stay on screen for too long, none of them are given any names, lines, action sequences. they're the seedy merchants of the desert. not much there to like and grow an emotional attachment to. it's probably a small population of star wars nerds that would genuinely get excited about this set. i just happen to be one of them.

compare it to the falcon which is easily a 5/5 (allow me to digress for a moment and clarify that a 5/5 rating is a "drop everything to get this set" kind of score, where you HAVE to have it in your collection, built, on your shelf collecting dust because it is in every sense of the phrase a "must have"), the sandcrawler just doesn't have that same level of musthaviness. if they really wanted to push it that level, add beru lars, some sort of dome structure to at least represent the homestead, and black skeletons to represent their charred remains after the sandtrooper attack. maybe have some part of the dome structure slide out to show the skeletons. there was a micro machines toy way back in the day, the double takes death star, that opened up into a tatooine playset. and the lars homestead had this panel that flipped over to reveal the charred remains of owen and beru. it was the one single feature that made me buy that toy and to this day i still have it.

monkyby87 wrote:I've never understood complaints with giving EXTRA weapons and accessories for minifigures. Sure, Luke didn't have a lightsaber at the time of the droids purchase, but is the set really ruined by including it? Maybe kids want to play with Luke and give him a lightsaber. It's far better to include an accessory that isn't needed than not include one at all. Luke would be just as boring as Uncle Owen if he didn't have the weapon. I say any Luke minfigure should come with a lightsaber, no matter the set.


There's a certain budget/price point that the set needs to hit and every piece added eats up some of that budget. honestly, i'd rather have beru than extra accessories and/or weapons. those six crates/barrels that are stored underneath the chutes? if that wasn't included, and no one was the wiser, it wouldn't have affected the presentation of the set in any way. and if they could have scrapped that feature and included beru instead, then i would be all for it. We missed the chance to get it on the first sandcrawler, and again with this one. it just feels like a gross oversight.
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Re: Review: 75059 Sandcrawler

Postby wyldjedi » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:46 am

Trooper10 wrote:
Oh and maybe, mabye, maybe a we could see Beru in a Lars homestead set with a revised T-16, womp rat, oil bath, and some blue milk???? (Highly unlikely, I know...)


For some reason I thought that said Aunt Beru in an oil bath, the first time I read that
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