After procrastinating on getting this set and then having a hard time finding it, I finally managed to pick this set up at Target on Saturday (was a bit surprised there were any left after the Friday rush). Anyways, I took a bunch of pictures and thought I'd share my thoughts about this set with you:Minifigs:
This set comes with 5 minifigs: 2 Snowtroopers, 2 Hoth Rebel Troopers, and 1 Han Solo in snow-wear garb. You can see all of the minifig parts here
(with the exception of a pair of dark-grey binoculars which I forgot). As you can see, there are 3 unique torsos, 2 unique "pants," 4 minifig weapons (one Snowtrooper gets a brick-built blaster), and 3 unique sets of headgear. Of the headgear, the two Hoth Troopers feature new goggles on their heads. Additionally, the Hoth Troopers come with "standard smiley" flesh faces, the Snowtroopers have their usual all black heads, and Han features his signature-smirk face (flesh).
Other than the aforementioned goggles, we've seen most of these figs before. The Snowtroopers and Hoth Troopers are the same as those seen in the 7666 Hoth Rebel base. Han is almost identical to the one found in the 6212 X-Wing, except that his legs are tan instead of brown and he has his hood. However, it's good to see a hooded Han as we haven't seen him since the 4504 Millenium Falcon which was released in 2003.
Given the price of $25, this set averages at $5 per minifig, which is only rivaled by the battle packs (but this contain more variety). In fact, if it weren't for the inclusion of the TaunTaun (which required a new mold), this set could have easily been scaled down to a battlepack sized (and priced) set. While it's price doesn't make it easy to amass a large army, it certainly lends itself to assembling a small troop of them (and you can get Taun Tauns for Luke and Chewie as well).
In the end, this set boasts one of the best price/minifig we've seen in a long time (outside of battlepacks), and not only that, but their is good variety and lots of accessories for them as well.Score: 5/5Molded Parts:
Let's face it, the biggest draw of this set is the new Taun Taun. LEGO created a new mold(s) to create this wonderful new creature that LEGO Star Wars fans have been begging for. At long last, LEGO has answered your prayers, but does it live up to the hype?
First and foremost, it definately captures the look
of the creature seen in the movies. Additionally, it offers great features like a saddle which holds two weapons/accessories, a harness, and moveable "arms." Although I haven't tested it, I assume you could replace the saddle with other colored saddles from castle and other sets.
My biggest dissappointment with the Taun Taun, however, is the immovable legs. I know that it's "tradition" to have creatures with immovable legs (neither horses nor cows have movable legs) and that it probably would have made the set more expensive (more new molded parts = more money). Still, I had hoped, for playablity's sake (this is a "playset" afterall), that it would. Additionally, it would have been fun to have a "cut-able" belly (just make a small door which can be opened) in which to stuff Luke, but that probably wasn't feasible given the size of this.
Still, overall, this is a great little creature that I'm sure Star Wars fans will cherish for years to come. My complaints are really quite minor in comparison to the awesomeness that is this Taun Taun. This guy is what this set is about, and he really does deliver.Score: 5/5Parts:
Weighing in at only 155 pieces for $25 (giving it a price/piece ratio of $.16), it's definately not a set to buy for it's parts. However, they do include a good variety of pieces and even a few rare and new pieces. For example, I had not seen these parts before:
And as you can see, you get two of each, which is nice. Additionally, you get 5 2x2x2 white slopes, which are still fairly new and hard to come by. Other than that, there is a good selection of parts (mostly white), which, while not anything earth-shatteringly awesome, are better than your average battlepack smattering.
Also worth mentioning is the number of extra parts
that you get with this set. For such a small set, you get quite a few, which helps alleviate some of the price/part shock this set delivers.
So, while the number of parts is definately fewer than is really preferable, a few new/rare parts and a decent selection do keep it from being a complete loss.Score: 3/5The Build:
The build is very simple, quick, and straightforward. I took my time and took pictures along the way, and still finished in under 45 minutes, but I'd imagine the average builder could complete this in under 10 minutes without breaking a sweat.
You start off building the blaster gun for the Snowtrooper:
Although quite simple to build, I really like the parts usage and overall look of this gun. I definatele prefer it over the one offered in the 7666 Hoth Rebel base set. It seems more accurate to the movie and doesn't have those loose lightsaber bars that tend to fall out and get lost.
Next, you build the small "base" area for the rebel troops. This is very simple, brick on brick building, yet it looks quite decent given the parts in it. Finally, you build the turret, which is actually kind of fun.
There's a small amount of SNOT, sub-assembly, and moving parts which help break it up a little. Overall, I find the movie accuracy of this turret to be much better than that of the one found in 7666. My only real problem with it is the 4x4 dish on top, which looks a bit silly. I think an 8x8 dish would be much better. It would cover it better and give it a better shape. I think the reason they didn't include it was it would have hindered the flick-fire system.
In the end, it's a quick, simple build that, despite not doing anything radical (or even that interesting), captures the look of their movie counterparts quite well. It's not perfect, but for a set of this size, it's surprisingly well constructed.Score: 4/5Playability:
Between 5 minifigs with weapons, a Taun Taun, a base with "trooper flinging action," and a rotating turret with a secret hiding place
, flick-fire missiles, and top hatch, if you can't find a way to have fun with this set, you clearly aren't trying hard enough. This set was clearly designed with playability in mind, and I'd say they nailed it. Sure, the flick-fire missiles are annoying and you can't actually close the top hatch with a minifig inside, but those are minor quibbles.
Another thing I found enjoyable was the ability to easily switch the turret to either side of the base, or just detach it altogether. Having elements wich can be layed out dynamically is a great way to design sets.
All the elements required for a great playset (barring, perhaps, some sort of vehicle/ship) are in this set.Score: 5/5Overall:
Barring a few minor quibbles here and there and a crappy price/parts ratio, this really is a great set. Who should buy this set?
Collectors: Assuming you haven't bought it already, you're definately going to love that new Taun Taun.
Minifig Addicts: This set is a great way to beef up your Hoth snow armies, and the unique hooded flesh Han Solo may interest you as well.
Parts Junkies: Errr, yeah, you can probably skip this one. That is, unless you consider the Taun Taun a "part;" in which case, you'd better stock up.
Parents of young children: This set will make a great present for Christmas/holiday of choice. Lots of playability, minifigs, and a Taun Taun will have them playing with this set for months.
Given the widespread appeal of this set, combined with all the awesomeness previously mentioned, I give this set:Final Score: 5/5
Final Note: As many of you may have noticed, I tend to have a bit of an OT bias, and when combined with the small amount of OT sets this year (particually under-$50 OT sets), you may think this score is a bit inflated. However, I tried my best to remain neutral throughout this review and explain the reasons behind the score. I welcome all criticisms and comments you have about the review.