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).