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4480 - Jabba's Palace Review

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4480 - Jabba's Palace Review

Postby AFOSL » Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:33 pm

Jabba's Palace is what I would describe as more of a playset rather than a model. Of course, Lego is a toy with a core demographic of people below the age of 14. However, Lego does have an army of adult fans such as myself, who just can't resist the little bricks, and I did cartwheels when Lego bought licensing from Lucasfilm LTD and started to make Star Wars sets.

Jabba's Palace makes a nice static model, even though it has a fair amount of playability.
Construction is straightforward and poses very few, if any problems. The kit is mostly based on Jabba's main audience chamber, despite the name, and features Jabba's sliding throne, complete with frogs in sauce and a hubub, a dance floor and the trap door which falls away quite nicely when you slide back Jabba's throne. To complete the picture a little more, the set contains a little 'workshop' for EV-9D9 to work, prepping Gonk droids and R2 units for toil wherever needed most. The workshop is nothing more than a control panel tile in the basement section of the model, but without it EV-9 would be surplus to the set, not having anywhere to reside. But I'd rather have her, than not, so that control panel is a welcome detail.

For a playset the construction is a little flimsy, being a two level affair held up by struts and plinths forming a box structure. As a static model it's rigid enough. It's quite hollow, allowing little fingers to pull Luke out from the basement (Rancor pit) after falling through the trap door.
For finishing touches, the set has some nice flame elements all round, two flights of stairs, to give an authentic feel, and the front section of the model opens up revealing the basment level and allowing better access to it.
Overall, the model is actually quite small and lacks a lot of the details that you might expect to find. There are no walls, leaving the whole model feeling far too open. There is no stage for Sy Snootles to perform on and there are no provisions made for the rest of her band, not that any of these figures are included in this set, nor even produced by Lego. The model, despite it's name, focuses on a particular moment from the movie and forgets that there is a lot more to the palace with regards to construction, design and inhabitants.

A fairly good selection of mini figures are included here, including the aforementioned EV-9, Luke Skywalker and Gonk Droid, but considering the wealth of characters associated with Jabba the Hutt, it would have been nice of lego to throw in a couple of generic figures that might be found in the palace. Nothing special; Just a couple of random humanoids or droids to help make the audience chamber look like more of the party area it appears to be in the film.

It is worth noting that the Luke figure is supplied without gloved hands as per the movie, and also has a cape. A hood would have been nice too, just to complete the look.
B'omarr Monk spider droid is included here, complete with brain in jar, and is quite a nice construction - technically not a mini figure.
The two best pieces are saved till last. First up is Leia in slave outfit. A somewhat daring piece for Lego, with all that yellow flesh on show. I guess the figure might look a little odd when compared to the same figure later released as a fleshy, but the yellow does work. She even has a chain around her neck to stop her running too far from Jabba's side. Which leads me on to Jabba himself.
The Jabba figure is an excellent, faithful mold, requiring the construction of his tail and nothing more. Although the mold is very good, it could use a coat of paint, or even just a few highlighted areas like the eyes, to give it bit more life and definition.

A Jabba scene in Lego was a long time coming and is now available. At the time of production, this set had a fairly reasonable price tag. Expect a new in box set to fetch atleast double it's original price today.
AFOSL
 
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