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Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

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Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

Postby Staff » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:37 am

75044 - Full Set

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 bet you can guess the answer to that question. It basically came down to this set or the walking cannon (or the Coruscant gunship over the droid one... but Harry was the make/break there). Surprisingly, this ended up being the better set when they were built, which I'll cover more. Lots of dark blue, repetitious sets that could give the wheel bike a run, and a new minifigure. I actually didn't even realize this was a Target Exclusive until Tohst pointed it out in chat. My power to ignore this set is fairly strong.

75044 - Minifigs

The inclusion of Palpatine in this particular set is... odd. Otherwise, we get a couple of battle droids, which is more than the 2005 version got. The 2010 came with some rocket droids, and that's why most people actually bought the set.

 75044 - Palpatine 75044 - Palpatine Back


Yeah... did you think that Luke's face in the Lego Sandcrawler had a few too many lines? He's got nothing on our Sith Lord up there in his pre-"disfigured because why not"-face. I actually kind of like seeing him in non-Sithy form, as we've only had Clone Wars versions of him in the past (that look worse than said disfigured) or gray-faced. The outfit in particular is fairly cool, with a nice shiny pattern. It'd be interesting to see those turned into trooper uniforms in another setting.

75044 - Palpatine Alt-Face

He's got an alt-face here that could be useful in various "old guy" settings. Maybe an Archie Bunker minifig?

75044 - Battle Droids

We also get Battle Droids, including a return of our old buddy, the Security Battle Droid. Again, we have a new mix in the variations, with printing and a colored torso, which makes... what, about four different versions of this guy? Forum member jnd2k3 pointed out that this guy was actually in 7877 Naboo Starfighter, another Target exclusive that based on current aftermarket prices... was not especially popular. I never picked up that set (because I own several of the previous remake... purchased on some nice clearance sales), so I can say it was "new to me."

75044 - Security Droid Back

It is more notable for including a printed head, with that little red accent. Odd that he's the only colored battle droid with that accent.

75044 - Buzz Droid

Buzz Droids are returning in force, and this guy is the same as what we got in the Vulture Droid. The number of sets that include Buzz Droids has doubled this year, even if this is a newer version of it. I don't have anything to add from the earlier review.

75044 - Tri-Fighter

I don't have the earlier ones to compare it to, but I've been told that it's "similar but a bit bigger." I don't mind it, it's swooshable and a fairly fun build. It can get a bit repetitive, since you're basically building the same thing three times, but it's cool how it fits together and can only fold/position a particular way and all fit together. There's also a lot to be said for the dark blue, tiles, and hinges that you get with the set. You sticker a lot of parts, but they're all small accents on tiles, and they're the kind of thing you could easily move into something else.

75044 - Top Down

The Tri-Fighter is an odd-duck of a ship. On one hand, it does fix the whole "droid in the cockpit" thing that I've ragged on some other builds for. On the other, you have two big cockpit glass parts that don't quite close and do nothing but make up the big eye. There's nothing inside there, it's just a big bubble. It's a nice printing, though, and I could see that show up in some MOCs (I'm thinking they'd make good covers for turrets or observation pods on larger ships).

75044 - Rear View

The ship does include one of the new flick-fires, because of course it does. It also has that tri-base, which I always welcome more of (and saves me from having to part out those awful Droidekas I have sitting around).

This is a simple ship that strikes me as a bit more fun as the others in the price category. It's been released more recently than the yellow Interceptor, but like the Vulture Droid, it's the kind of ship that you need in a horde for a good space battle MOC. Unlike the Vulture Droid, it's not just awful and oversized. A solid little 3 out of 5 set, with a good part makeup and value that gets a lot better when on sale. The biggest knock I have on the set is that it feels a bit overpriced at $30 compared to the $25 lineup, given that they're all similarly sized. Given that it's only 262 parts and only has one "real" minifig, this should have been at the same price point.

What I Liked

  • Solid build that is fun to swoosh around

  • Good parts election, including some dark blue, cockpit bubbles, and stickers that have reuse potential

  • We finally get a non-Clone Wars, non-grey skinned, Palpatine. The face has a few too many lines, but the torso and legs are quite nice


What I didn't Like

  • Not a $30 set... this fits squarely in the same category as the rest of the $25 lineup: Anakin's Jedi Starfighter, the Vulture Droid, General Grevious' Wheel Bike, and the V-Wing Starfighter are all comparable here (and far easier to find)

  • After guild builds with the wings, the cockpit doesn't quite sit right and feels lazy. Well, it's not a cockpit, it's just a... bubble

  • While I like the head printing on the droid, being the only one like that is just odd


You can pick up 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter right now on Lego Shop@Home

75044 Droid Tri-Fighter box

 

 

 

 
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Re: Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

Postby phoenixhawk » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:45 pm

I've got 2 of the second version, one I built and one I found on steep clearance at Target or somewhere for parts...like you said, repetitive, but kinda fun to swoosh around. I wasn't planning on getting this one, but maybe if I can find it on clearance, it might be worth a buy.
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Re: Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

Postby jnd2k3 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:07 am

The security BD is the exact same one we got two of in 7877 Naboo Starfighter, printed head and all.

*EDIT* The cockpit bubble is a convenient place from which to deploy the buzz droid; he fits in there quite nicely!
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Re: Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

Postby dWhisper » Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:42 am

Huh, odd, the lookup on Brickset showed that this was unique, but looks like it's updated now to show both. That being said... I never bothered with the Naboo Starfighter (and given that even a year or two after it's out of print, you can still find them for just about MSRP... a lot of other people didn't either). Good to know it's not that super rare, but still, a variation.
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Re: Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

Postby Flynn » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:28 pm

It's also not especially different from the original Security Battle Droid from 2002, the only real difference being the lack of a straight arm. Also worth noting that the Commander Battle Droid from the same set also had head printing, something I don't believe later iterations of the character would carry over.
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Re: Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

Postby jnd2k3 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:29 am

Flynn wrote:It's also not especially different from the original Security Battle Droid from 2002, the only real difference being the lack of a straight arm. Also worth noting that the Commander Battle Droid from the same set also had head printing, something I don't believe later iterations of the character would carry over.


Nice find on that one.

The Commander BD does actually have another printed-head counterpart, but in a different color in 75019 AT-TE.
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Re: Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

Postby dWhisper » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:11 am

Now I have to go look at my originals. I owned multiples of that set, but don't remember that head. I guess one too many drinks in order to watch Episode I and II was going to have an effect eventually.
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Re: Review: 75044 Droid Tri-Fighter

Postby Flynn » Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:22 am

When I was a kid I was obsessed with Battle Droids and any sets that had them ('cause c'mon, when you're a kid giant droid armies are awesome), so I still have a repository of useless knowledge of Battle Droid sets from about 1999-2005 or so. Comes in handy every once a decade or so.
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