T-shirt shop Teefury has some LEGO themed shirts for today, Sunday March 23. They are Benny Stardust on the left and Brick In The Wall on the right. If you’re not familiar with Teefury’s Twofury sale, both shirts are for sale at the same time and compete throughout the day for most tees sold in 24 hours where the winner gets nothing except bragging rights and imaginary internet points.
Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND California is fast approaching. I can’t believe it’s next week. Yes, fortunately or unfortunately, it is slated for March 29th and 30th to coincide with spring break and it snuck up on us rather abruptly. There wasn’t a lot of time to plan, but we came up with some ideas that should prove easy to contribute to. Should you be interested in displaying or participating, hit up Bricklandia Events for more information. I’ll be updating that site in the next day or two with some updated guidelines on how to contribute so keep checking back. It’s not too late, and there are a TON of perks to entice you such as discounts to the Big Shop, free passes, TC-4, exclusive t-shirt, and more! Head over to Bricklanda Events for more information and to sign up. Got questions? There’s a contact form there send me a message.
TT Games and Warner Bros. is trying something different with their game trailers, giving their latest LEGO The Hobbit video a totally different look and feel. This may or may not be an attempt to jazz up their otherwise tried, true, and tired gameplay. And I find it hilarious that one of the titles in the video says “Every adventure is better with your buddies” but I’m willing to bet that there STILL is no online co-op play. When TT Games? WHEN?!?!?
Well, at least you can look forward to getting a really great Bilbo Baggins figure. Pre-order the game from Gamestop for your platform of choice and receive Good Morning Bilbo Baggins pictured below:
The game will be released on April 8, 2014
Do you know why the Trade Federation lost the Clone Wars? Well, because they were just pawns in an overly complicated plan by Palpetine to eliminate the Jedi, consolidate power, and overthrow the rightfully elected government of the Republic. Ignoring that, though… it was because they were bad at designing their primary weapons to fight the war: Droids. In one of the early Clone Wars cartoons (as I’ve only watched the first season, I only know the early ones), there’s a comment where Ventress points out to some planet playing the Norway game in the war that their droids outnumber clones 1000 to 1. Which is a good place to be, assuming that droids were actually a decent weapon.
They were not, for the most part. The few that were designed well as machines (droidekas come to mind) were too few in numbers compared to the battle droids that were effectively walking platforms to deliver weapons to your opponent in case he was disarmed. At least with the only starfighter in the droid army, the Vulture Droid, we finally had a ship that was designed as a robot instead of ship that you were supposed to plug a robot in to to fly. It was like the Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica… there weren’t Cylons flying the ships, the ships were Cylons, in the same way that a drone is a robot, not a robot that you stick a guy inside to make sure it stays all robot-y.
Well, at least the Vulture droids were like that. All of the previous iterations of the Lego Vulture / Droid fighter were just the fighter by itself. No spot for a pilot, no guns that could be conveniently removed by the very thing it was trying to kill (like happens all the time in the Clone Wars cartoons), just a robot that was built to fly around and shoot things. There have been four different versions of the droid fighter before this one: the original back in 1999 for Episode I, the one bundled with Anakin’s Starfighter for Episode III (which was very similar, just in blue instead of brown), another Episode I version that came with the Naboo Starfighter in 2007, and a blue one with Ahsoka’s Starfighter in 2009.
The original one was the only one that came as a stand-alone set, and it was just a 62 part $6 set. Remember when Star Wars had $6 sets, and those weren’t even the smallest sets in the lineup? Let it sink in for a second, and realize that those memories are just a sign that you’re an AFOL that starts all of your stories with “back in my day…” The next step is complaining about how expensive a hamburger or a soda is. I’m willing to bet that if you counted up the parts for all of the previous vulture droids, you’d barely be over the 205 part, $25 set that is 75041 Vulture Droid. This thing is now monstrously large compared to its earlier versions, and costs a lot more too. It could also be one of the biggest steps back that a ship re-release has made in history (and this is a history that includes the Sith Infiltrator).
When CUUSOO made the announcement a couple of weeks ago that they would now be accepting projects themed around Doctor Who, it felt like there was a massive disturbance in the force. As though a million nerds cried out in joy and we’ll never here the end of it. I say the first, because the floodgates have opened and there are no less then 30 other projects on CUUSOO at the moment all focusing on one aspect of the Who-niverse or another.
The honour of the first to the finish line goes to Brickset resident and CUUSOO enthusiast, GlenBricker. The real shine on this project is the minifigures, provided by our very own Kaminoan. Voting for which figures will actually appear in the set is STILL open here, if you want to help pick what figures would be in the set. It’s not only one of the fastest projects to achieve 10,000 votes (it was started just two weeks ago and was at 9880 votes when I went to bed at 1 last night), but I think it’s the first to achieve that launched without having, what I would consider, a fully realized project.
I wish Kam and GlenBricker luck in the next phase of their projects journey. As always, they will certainly need it from this point on. It’s in the hands of the CUUSOO gods now.
Anyone who’s read my reviews knows that I like to do comparisons when a set is an update to an existing release. I’ve been collecting for a long time, and have a pretty decent collection of stuff to pull from to do it. I’d like to tell you this is going to be some great comparison review, showing the differences between the old Wheel Bike set, made in 2005, and this one.
Yeah, I parted out the old bikes years ago. It was an awful set based on an awful and absurd design. The Wheel Bike was basically the Star Wars version of the G.I. Joe Ballistic Battle Ball, something so ridiculous you have to assume it was some kind of covert plant by the opposing side to see how many troops they could kill just by getting them to use it. I mean, seriously, what is the purpose of a giant spinning wheel with legs and an energy bar thing when you’re in a universe where flying stuff is everywhere. Is there some sort of strange situation where a STAP and some shields aren’t going to work, so you need a clumsy, slower, and much more shootable wheel? The thing is effectively a big rolling target.
I un-parted out the AT-AP I’d taken apart because that set was broken down because of storage space. I have more space now, because I’ve got more places to stash sets, and could put it back together. The wheel bike was parted out because it just sucked as a set and a vehicle, and I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to put in a display (it was even bad at sitting on a shelf), and I had no intentions of finding the stuff.
The original also was one of those sets that was really a harbinger of things to come, as it ran $20 and only included 111 parts. Some of that space was made up for, in hindsight, by the creature that Obi-Wan was riding (it was called General Grievous Chase, after all), leaving only a smattering of parts to make up for that money. This new set increases the price to $25, but let’s be honest… that’s basically the same price point as $20 was back then. It also increases the part count way up to 261 parts… yet sadly, is missing the one thing that I bought the original for.
I just received the following email from LEGO Shop@Home:
Due to overwhelming demand, the LEGO Shop Martian Manhunter promotion has been ended early for both the US and Canada.
Not even halfway through the month. Hope you didn’t do what I did and procrastinated yourself into a depression. I missed the boat on this one. A big giant green boat. From Mars.
It’s always strange that the Star Wars universe has a fixation on ships named after letters for an alphabet that doesn’t exist (or didn’t after someone introduced Lucas to post-production to remove all of those english words for Aurebesh). But I suppose Xesh-Wing doesn’t really market as well as X-Wing does, and A Galaxy Far, Far Away is all about merchandising.
The V-Wing was an unremarkable fighter in a sea of unremarkable spaceships that littered the Prequel Trilogies. Sure, some of the larger stuff like the Venator had an interesting look that tied to the big stuff in the Original Trilogy, but for the most part, the ships were either not on screen long enough (ARC-170), too plain (Jedi Interceptors), or just kinda ugly (ARC-170 again). The V-Wing was an even worse case than either of the other ships, since it was basically just the wing-man to the bigger ship, and mostly it was there to get shot down at the start of Revenge of the Sith.
As a set, the V-Wing has been out once before in PT form, in 2006 as a $10 set that was notable for being a reasonable source of Clone Pilots and dark red Astromech heads. It was a different time back then, as there were… I don’t know, maybe three astromechs in total, so a new head was a very big deal. Eight years later and we have a couple more than three (I’m not feeling ambitious enough to check) and a new astromech isn’t all that spectacular anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still love them, but the days of me buying some awful Republic Cruiser set just to get an astromech in green are over (well, mostly… stupid Sandcrawler). There was an “Imperial” version in 2010 that was kind of like a fusion between the original and this one, just with more black, Imperials only build in black. Or sometimes very dark gray. I know I bought that set, but have no idea where it is, and know that it was never very popular, so I’m going to stick to reviewing the PT versions of this set.
2014′s V-Wing is an entry into the “yet another $25 set” lineup that dominates Star Wars stuff this year. We’ve already reviewed the Jedi Interceptor and have upcoming reviews for the Wheelbike and Vulture Fighter, all at the same price point. This set comes in at 201 parts, which seems a bit on the light side, at least compared to the Interceptor, but is a bit more visually striking than the yellow monster. I liked the old set, simple as it was, because, at the time, it was an easy way to get pilots, wing wedges, and a few other parts that I didn’t have a whole lot of. These days, though, most of what came in the old one are absolute weeds in sets that I’ve got more than enough of, which leaves me somewhat curious if this new set, at more than double the price, can really wow me enough to buy as many new V-Wings as I did the old ones…
Update: We received the following message regarding the change in the packaging design:
The decision has been made to change the packaging for future “LEGO® exclusive” Star Wars™ sets to include the UCS seal and de-link from the core Star Wars packaging. In addition to the packaging change an update has been made to the building instructions. The building instructions will have additional pages detailing the model’s connection to the movie and its development process. Much as the Creator Expert badge differentiates the larger models from the core assortment the goal of this change is to better communicate to builders that these sets represent our biggest building challenge in the LEGO® Star Wars™ theme.
Well, the poorly kept secret we all knew (it’s listed on “exclusive sets” at Lego Stores that aren’t eligible for discounts) but knew nothing about is now official and out there. Announced at Bricks Cascade in Portland, OR, and featuring the designer video above, there’s certainly a lot to like in the set. Brickset has the press release for the set, along with the picture below, and… well, look at it!
75059 Sandcrawler is the next in that line of that “not really UCS but priced like UCS, so we call it UCS” that has given us winners like the Death Star and Ewok Village. Coming out in May and weighing in at $299, this isn’t a cheap set, but certainly one that will see plenty of demand.
The original Sandcrawler was a strange beast. It’s one of those sets that I never got around to getting, despite seeing it in stores several times, discounted on Amazon and Lego a lot, and available for sale for years. I had nothing against the sets, I just didn’t feel that a few Jawas made it worthwhile for all of that brown. This one is an improved design that goes from a big chunk of brown to an actual, factual playset.
Plus, there’s now another set to get the new R2-D2 in (assuming you aren’t going to drop the $25 on the Jedi Interceptor), as well as a couple of other astromechs, some brick-built droids, a new Gonk, Jawas, and Uncle Owen (no word if there’s a charred carcass to put somewhere). Take a look at the full press release for some of the details. Hopefully, we’ll get some better pictures as Lego gets more information out there.
75059 Sandcrawler, Ages 14+ 3,296 Pieces
US $299.99 – CA $349.99 – DE 299.99€ – UK £249.99 – DK 2,799.00 DKK
Collect a true icon of the classic Star Wars universe – the mighty Sandcrawler!
Recreate unforgettable scenes from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope with this amazing LEGO incarnation of the Jawas’ desert-going vehicle, the Sandcrawler. Turn the knob at the rear and steer the Sandcrawler into position, lower the front ramp and offload the droids using the 2 working cranes.
Luke Skywalker and his Uncle, Owen Lars, are sure to be impressed with the selection on offer: there’s R2-D2, an R1-series Droid, an R2 unit, R5-D4, a Treadwell Droid, Gonk Droid and even C-3PO.
When the sale is complete, lift the side panels and top to reveal more great features inside, like the engine, storage bay, cockpit and more. There’s even a speeder bike for when the Jawas need to venture outside.
Includes 7 minifigures: Luke Skywalker, Uncle Owen, C-3PO and 4 Jawas, plus R2-D2, R2 unit, an R1-series Droid, Gonk Droid, R5-D4 and a Treadwell Droid.
Travel the dunes with the LEGO Star Wars™ Sandcrawler with working cranes, detailed interior, 7 minifigures, 5 droids and lots more!
- Includes 7 minifigures: Luke Skywalker, Uncle Owen, C-3PO and 4 Jawas, plus R2-D2, R2 unit, an R1-series Droid, Gonk Droid, R5-D4 and a Treadwell Droid
- Features 8 tracks with steering function, lowering front ramp, opening side flaps, removable top, working cranes, speeder bike, opening hatch for easy access to the boxes, attachable handles for lifting boxes, and a detailed interior including engine bay, storage bay and cockpit
- Also includes stock for old droids and droid parts
- Weapons include a lightsaber for Luke Skywalker
- Sell droids to Luke and his Uncle
- Keep your droids well maintained
- Pretend to suck R2-D2 up into the Sandcrawler – just like in the movie!
- Own your own iconic vehicle from the classic Star Wars universe
- Relive classic moments from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Measures over 9” (24cm) high, 18” (48cm) long and 6” (16cm) wide
Available for sale directly through LEGO beginning May 2014 via shop.LEGO.com, LEGO Stores or via phone.
We got a note from a member of the Community Outreach Team for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago and their fantastic new Lego Star Wars Miniland Display for Episode IV, and specifically, the LEGOLAND Star Wars Days running March 15-16th. If I lived closer, I’d have to check it out just to give my daughter a chance to play with a life-sized R2-D2. She looooooooves my UCS R2. If you’re in the area, it’s certainly worth checking out for the AFOL and Star Wars fan in you!
You can see a gallery of some exclusive shots of the new layout below, and check out the full press release after the fold!