Click here for my full main page review... and read below for a shorter version.
First off, it’s a $50 set with 592 pieces. Frankly, this is a shocking price to parts ratio for a Star Wars set. It’s a great kind of shock. I’m just not used to value like that from this line. 7752 Count Dooku’s Solar Sailer™[/url] is $55 for just under 400 parts, but the Republic Fighter Tank set has 200 more parts for $5 less. This kind of disparity absolutely floors me. I think this is the best value I’ve ever gotten in a Lego Star Wars set.
But what about the build quality? How does this set stack up against some of my other all-time favorite builds, like 6209 Slave 1 or 7662 MTT?
This is a seriously solid set, starting from the base of the main body, through the side “wings,” and in the overall mass of the tank. It's solid. I drove it off the table a couple of times, and only antenna parts popped off. Speaking of rolling, putting the tank on wheels really helps to enhance the illusion of the tank hovering. Kudos, Lego.
The high quality of this set further manifests itself in every play feature like opening weapons storage, flick-fire missiles, swiveling cannons, and of course the defining play feature of the set, the “Open-the-Rear-Hatch-to-Make-the-Clone-Gunner-Pop-Up” mechanism. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll call it the Clone-in-the-Box Seat from now on.
The Clone-in-the-Box seat is hinted at fairly early in the construction process, and it’s when the last of the bricks fall into place around the top of the tank that the full impact of this fun feature is realized. Pictures don’t do it justice, see the video below.
I popped the hatch open again and again, just to watch the little clone minifig pop into the gunner station like a little Jack in the Box doll. Before buying the set, I didn't know about this element of the set, and I think it may be its best kept secret.
The set's accuracy to the original concept is remarkably spot on, from the color blocking to the weaponry. I was impressed with the color striping, particularly at the "nose" of the tank, with its arrangement of white-dark red-white as seen in the original art.
The swoosh factor of the tank is.. well... it's pretty low. It's chunky, it's ungainly, it's just big. But the need-for-speed factor more than makes up for it, right? Watch out for pedestrians!
To wrap this up, I LOVE THIS SET. I know it was a Target exclusive, I know it's really hard to find now, but do what you can to snag one. I highly recommend it. Minifig collectors don't get anything new here, but the clones are perfectly appropriate for the set. The swoosh factor is low, but the speedbump factor is high.
Build Quality: 10/10
Swoosh Factor: 6/10
Play Features: 10/10
Reviewer’s Tilt: 10/10
Final Score (Average): 8.7