Now that it's out of the way, I promise that I will not use that absurdly over-used line from Ackbar. This set has a special place in Star Wars lore, because we helped to contribute to the ideas. That's right, FBTB, me, you (well, not you over there eating paste), the community, we all helped give ideas towards this set. Okay, I'll admit, this was my second choice (I wanted the Senate arrest and the glorious jedi that would come with it), but it's still a nifty set.
Okay, first, let's hit the obvious critiques. The piece count is a bit low for the money... 789 for $109.99. It's called Home One but could be called "A playset that might be the inside of a spaceship or a maybe a futuristic Denny's." It's an exclusive so it isn't exactly easy to locate (unless you have a LEGO store close by... or a TRU that doesn't suck, though that'd be like finding a unicorn).
Now into the positive elements. It's got #$*&@ Admiral Ackbar. That's right. We now have Mon Calamaris. It's about gorram time.
Oh, and there's also General Nadine, Mon Mothma, an extra Guppy, Mr. Colt 45 Himself, and the pilot that had less than a minute of screentime and killed a few hundred thousand Imperials. Of course, that's because he wasn't that great of a pilot and apparently the most powerful starship in the Galaxy has one failure point that says "don't push or we'll all go flying into the closest huge space station." See, now I would have thought that the Empire would have learned after the first Death Star... at least number II was set with two things that had to go wrong before it all went all cock-eyed.
Okay, so a lot of this isn't directly pertaining to the ship, I suppose. But by the brick, we're talking about Star Wars, and this thing is iconic, as are the figures. So there were particular anticipation for this thing, even if it wasn't what we all hoped and dreamed for.
(please note, updated box pics will be coming soon)
Now that is a box that just screams by me. It doesn't have that stupid Clone Wars garbage all over it (much like Vader's TIE and the other not-Clone Wars sets), it calls out that this thing is special, and it highlights the minifigs straight-away. It doesn't even play around like some other sets and dress the thing up in fancy scenery that fits the build but it has nothing like that in the set (we're looking at you Hoth Base). We get to see the 5 great minifigs (and the A-Wing pilot... he's cool, but not unique at all). We also get to see the playset elements that are called out so nicely on the back.
Once we get into the build, we find it divided nicely into three numbered bags. While the community is split on these, I love them. Especially in bigger sets. A friend of mine has sent me a picture with the caption "that one gorram piece" and a bin full of parts. I'd laugh, except I have bins exactly like that, and when you're looking for that one certain 1x2 modified brick in the middle of a big bin of 1x2 modified bricks that are not the one that you're looking for... you appreciate numbered bags.
So the first thing I did when I got these parts? I opened all the bags and dumped them out on the carpet!
[caption id="attachment_1997" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="They say not to do it. I don't take instructions well"][/caption]
Okay, I know what you're thinking... that can't be all the parts. You're right, but you have to admit, you've felt the uncontrollable urge to just upend an entire set on the carpet and mix them together. Blue touching red, grey against white... madness!
Glorious dark green! Guilty confession, the A-Wing is one of my favorite ships. I loved the 2006 revision to the A-Wing. I own 3-4 of the things, and actually keep them together. I'm thinking about build a chromatic squadron of the things. I love them! But imagine my surprise when i realized that I was so tilted by what I'd seen in video games and LEGO ships that I didn't realize how inaccurate the last revision was. Don't get me wrong, I still like it, but there are some glaring differences I now see, like the guns and the rear section between the engines.
Let me deflate this build a little... this is probably the most interesting part of the entire build. The playset isn't bad, I'll get to it in a bit, but it's somewhat bland and boring compared to this. Maybe part of it is that I've built the A-Wings so many times that I was looking for something different and enjoying seeing the different takes on the build. Probably the coolest parts, outside of this funky little rear piece between the engines, is that we finally have a retractible gear for the front leg, no more of that little pillar. I may go and retrofit my old A-Wings with this feature.
The back of the cockpit section is also very interesting, instead of using the old space-style slope that had been used in the previous iterations, it's using some rounded bricks on hinges that slant inwards. It works. There's a little bit of a gap between the windshield and the bricks, but that never bugs me all that much. The color scheme works really, really well. The green, movie accurate and wonderful looking, is among the nicest parts. I need more of those dark green engines and rounded bricks, and will get them. Even if I have to buy another Home One (and not just for some more sushi minifigs).
The worst part is probably the the pilot, while still a good pilot, is the exact same thing we had before. I would have loved to see a new face (maybe even a screaming face before he goes careening into the Executor), or even a dark green suit instead of full green. Yes, I know there are 5 other custom minifigs in here, but it'd be nice to go all out. We also get to see the only printed element (the control slope used in the cockpit) and use of stickers (the rebel insigina on the sides). These stickers don't really bug me. I seem to accept simple insignias a bit more, like in the battle pack, as they can really extend the use of the sheet.
The second part of the build focuses on the A-Wing hanger. One of the oddities of this build is that, while the piece count is a bit low, it always seems so much lower when you spread out the bags. How that initial pile was going to become the hanger section was somewhat beyond me. Maybe my failure to see that explains why I suck at making custom builds.
Anyway, the hanger is a bit ho-hum until the end. You're basically laying out a floor plan, and LEGO continues their sometimes aggravating policy of putting pieces "next" to others and not connecting them. That works great if you're always building on a nice smooth, flat surface, but I can probably count on one fist how many times that happens.
The only real fun comes at the end, when you're adding the Technic struts across the top to make the arch (or what would have been a catwalk or crane). There's one of my least favorite parts, the dreaded string you have to tie around an axle, but I can't think of a better option, so what can you do.
The command center and bridge is a bit more fun to build than the hanger was, but still has some of the same repetition. You build several pillars, several pieces for the bridge, but it's basically symmetrical. They have a neat little gizmo for Ackbar's chair so you can yell the line I promised I wouldn't say right before you go and blast apart your non-existent Rebel capital ship builds.
We also see where the rest of the stickers are going to be applied, and it's a shame they didn't throw out a few printed bricks. I understand that printing one-off bricks isn't optimal, but when I have to apply 5 stickers to tiles that are used in exactly the same way, it seems to be the kind of situation that would merit printing. Beyond that, it's generic enough that the printed tile could have found a place in many future sets, and several lines.
On to the minifigs! Let's not pretend, this is why we all bought this set. There's no bones about it... the attraction of Ackbar and Not Ackbar are just too much to pass up.
Look at that thing of beauty. First things first, that is not those cheap rubber heads like we've seen lately. That's pure Tungst-- I mean ABS plastic. The uniform is nice, a decent representation, and this has just catapulted near the top of my favorite minifigs list. It would have been nice if there was some differentiation between Ackbar and Not Ackbar, but hey, how many of you could honestly tell the difference between the Mon Cals in the movie.
If you answered that question by yelling at your computer and cursing me, please, close this window and go hit Wikipedia to look up "girls" and "laid."
The rest of the bunch is not is not nearly as remarkable, but still a decent round-out. The extra Mon Cal is a wonderful touch, especially given that there are likely few chances for us to get them in the future. Bonus that he comes with a completely different torso that may need to find it's way into my customs section... I really may need to buy another one.
General Nadine has some real pop in the Rebel uniform torso and lovely light blue arms. The head is interesting; I don't think it's in any other sets, but can't say for certain. Yes, it's basically just a beard on a standard minifig head, but what can you do. If that was in read, it'd replace my various sig figs. A-Wing pilot is the same as in the A-Wing set. I would have liked to see some difference, but we take what we can get.
Okay, I get using Leia's face. It's not like Mon Mothma was anything of note in the movies, save the only line that let us know Bothan's exist. What's more striking is that using the Clone Wars Anakin hair works well for her... and solidifies Anakin's place as a whining little girl (no offense to the practically 5-6 girls that may be reading this).
But on to my favorite...
That's right! Mr. Colt 45 himself, the great Billy Dee Williams! At long last, we have another Lando fig that's a true testiment to Lando. Yes, he was in Cloud City, but since only 8 of those were ever sold, that's not exactly easy to get. Yes, he was in the Sail Barge, so if you were feeling brave (or rich), you could have made a custom figure. But this...
Let's ignore the fact that Don probably cried a little when he saw those nice light blue legs. We've got Lando, with that famous stache, a new custom grey cape (that I project would be as hotly chased as Ackbar will be), and a custom torso that is perfect RotJ lando. If they gave us a Sullustan, I would have paid an extra $15 for this set just to outfit a Death Star Core run scene. And I couldn't resist giving Lando a chrome cup... I just couldn't.
Build Quality: 6/10
Accuracy: 7/10 (or maybe 2/10)
Swoosh Factor: 5/10
Play Features: 9/10
Reviewer�s Tilt: 9/10
Final Score (Average): 7.9
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