I was going to write this review after I had finished building and written my review of 7259 ARC-170 Starfighter so I can make a comparison between the two, but decided to forego my plan due to time constraints and review the MINI first.
The ARC-170 Starfighter is probably the most interesting and cool-looking ship from Episode III (next to the emergency firespeeders, but don't get me started on THAT). The MINI version lives up to the high standards of quality set by the MINI's before it: it's small, accurate, and captures the essence of what the ARC-170 is all about.
Here are your gratuitous front and rear views of the MINI. One of the most prominent features of the Starfighter is the "hook" nose which is faithfully and very simply recreated with a single element. The signature wing flaps are represented by the tapered-style flag element, which lay pretty flat, unlike the MINI Jedi Starfighter's flaps, and open up to however wide you want them to. They seem a little short, but given the scale there probably wasn't a lot of options. The clips on the flag element are suprisingly strong. I found myself pulling away the 1x2 handle bar plate on the underside a few times while setting up the shots. Even though there's no guide to set the exact angle, it's not hard to eye it and adjust. Besides, the model is so small, it's not as big of an obsession with me like the minifig-sized Jedi Starfighter.
The rest of the ship is made up of a mish mash of plate elements. I was impressed with the engineering of the whole thing, especially the fact that the ship was able to balance on the lower wing flaps like the MINI Jedi Starfighter; but unfortunately, it had a greater tendency to tip forward.
My only complaint would have to be the way the wings are constructed. There is a single stud connection that joins two plates to give the wings their length. It seemed a little weak and with enough play will become weaker over time.
Price/Parts ratio: 4/10
Parts Selection: 6/10
Swoosh Factor: 10/10
Reviewer's Tilt: 8/10
Final Score: 7.5
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