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Review: 75048 The Phantom

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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby dWhisper » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:07 am

Lego may not control the characters in a license, but they most certainly control how they're presented and made available. Batman has Harley Quinn (first available in a $30 set that was a very limited run and exceptionally hard to find, then re-released in a $50 set that was a TRU exclusive), Batgirl ($50 set only), Poison Ivy ($80 set originally, $70 and $160 set on re-release)... and Catwoman, which I'll give them as being cool since it was released in a $13 set, albeit a terrible one.

I'd argue what you call important on the Avengers... there were three prominent female characters in the Avengers movie: Black Widow (Only in the QuinJet) - who was the one who discovered Loki's plan, Pepper Potts (wasn't released until the Iron Man 3 and their most expensive set),and Maria Hill, who hasn't gotten any release. As a side note, there was only one person of color as well, who played a very important role in the film and a supporting one in the previous MCU movies, and he didn't get a release in these sets at all.

The Avengers cartoon still has Black Widow (and appearances by others), and she didn't get another release. The previous cartoons had Wasp, Ms. Marvel, and still more... nothing. We just keep getting more Spider Man figures.

Ultron32 wrote:Unlicensed lines have an easier chance of being more evenly weighed and more often are.


"More" maybe, but likely not at all "better." Quick, name how many sets, outside of the Modular Building / Big Exclusive (like the fairground), Friends, or Research Institute that include more than a single female character in the set?

Spoiler: show
I can come up with two on the top of my head: Arkham Asylum in 2013, which included a pre-crazy Harley and Poison Ivy, and the Kingdom Joust set which included a Queen and a Princess.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby dWhisper » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:20 am

So, I was curious, and ran some numbers for the 2014 sets, to see how it all lined up.

City released 36 sets (not including bundles)... there were 99 figures, and 13 of them were female. The only set that had more than 1 figure it in, and that was the Advent Calendar. Of those, only the Police Station, Airport Fire Truck, and the Arctic sets had the woman in a job role. The rest she was a civilian (and in one, she was a criminal). I like the Airport Fire Truck of those, given that it shows a female character doing the same job as a guy, and it's in a 1:1 parity. City also had female characters in sets as low as $15, but most were in the higher end stuff.

Marvel Super-Heroes released 12 sets (including a polybag and SDCC exclusives), to a sum of 34 figures. There were four female characters, never more than one in a set. All of the female figures were in sets that were $39.99 (Nowhere Escape) or higher.

Star Wars is easily the worst offender. 36 sets, just like City (including a few polybags)... 124 characters and a whopping two of them were female: Ashoka in the $50 TRU-eclusive Coruscaunt Gunship and Hera in the $90 Ghost. Worse, it's not as if there wasn't a chance to include some female figures in the stuff this year. Sure, the idea of diversity in the OT consisted of "Leia and Lando" for the most part, but the PT added quite a few female characters, and the EU has plenty of them. We've already talked about how Sabine is missing (because, after all, we needed some random, new, Stormtrooper instead), but where are all the Jedi from the PT? For all the ugh of Clone Wars stuff, they did a good job of giving more variety to the Jedi out there. And of course, there's the fact that the Sandcrawler is missing Beru.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby Inzane » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:37 am

LN.01354 wrote:Really, this summer wave is seeming pretty bad, except for the AT-AT, and Star Destroyer. But, of course, I still need to buy the Cantina...


And, you haven't even touched on the topic of the endless rehash/re-releases of sets.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby rushiosan » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:02 am

For Star Wars, I agree with every complaint pointed here, the last 2 or 3 waves weren't so thrilling, but nothing beats what 2014 got for us. Absolutely terrible. To be honest I spent over $30 to get all three battlepacks (yeah, only 3, that Saleucami junk doesn't deserve to be called a battlepack) and that's all. Everything else is overpriced and have a load of spring-loaded missiles that spell NOPE right at my face.

Anyway, back in 2013, the 75021 (Republic Gunship) was a piece of art. Still a rehash but a nicely done rehash. After I finished building it I got excited like a 7yo kid. I thought things would be superb in 2014 for LEGO Star Wars, but...
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby dWhisper » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:05 am

I'm thinking we need to start doing "retrospective" reviews for a lineup of sets once we have them all, or most of them, reviewed. I've built almost all of the 2014 sets at this point (missing a few early ones and about half of the summer stuff)... and while I don't want to say that this is as bad as, say, 2005... I can't come up with anything to counter what you're saying rushiosan.

There have been some absolutely awesome sets made in 2014, but none of the Star Wars stuff gets that title.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby rushiosan » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:38 am

The Mustafar battle (too lazy to google) definitely cannot be forgotten. Oh, and all the lit-up minifigures...

But hey, the first ARC-170 was a great ship before the upgraded 2011 version showed up. And so the V-Wing. I guess that's all, I don't remember much about that particular year without cheating on brickipedia.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby dWhisper » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:34 am

There was also the wheel bike, the terrible wookie sets, the big turd sandcrawler, Vader "Transformation"... mostly a bunch of awful Episode III sets. The only OT stuff was the TIE Fighter (not all that different and too expensive) and the Imperial Inspection (good set but nearly impossible to find), as well as the Sandcrawler and the Death Star II UCS.

As for the ARC-170, it was decent looking, but sagged terribly and was incredibly fragile. 2005 is the year that all badness should be measured against. Strangely, 2006, where the V-Wing shipped (and the non-LULS version of the CTT), is the year that I measure all good years against.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby Brainslugged » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:26 am

dWhisper wrote:Star Wars is easily the worst offender.

You're right - I think every Star Wars set over $20 should come with Princess Leia, Mon Mothma, Aunt Beru and the Edit: trying to substitute letters to get around the word filter is still a CoC violation from Jabba's Palace :D

I think too many people get their panties in a twist about all this stuff. Or should I be outraged that my Friends collection is an almost sausage-free zone and that 50% of my male Friends population (of two) are black (or possibly Indian/Pakistani). That doesn't reflect the ethnic diversity of my neighborhood. Do we really want to reach an end-game where LEGO is simply trying to fulfill sexual/ethnic/disability quotas with their minifigures to appease the PC crowd? I hope not. Plus why do you assume all those city sets are populated by women? Or are you reinforcing the objectification and sexualization of women by suggesting that they all have to have lipstick, long eyelashes and large boobs to be classified as such? How about we just let LEGO do what they do and make great sets? If it becomes clear that they'll sell more sets by including more females, I'd have thought that process will occur organically as I'm sure LEGO just wants to make as much money as possible.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby gomek » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:31 pm

dWhisper wrote:You mean like how they finally made a set like The Research Institute which featured female characters, and it sold out almost immediately, so Lego decides that it's a single run and they won't make more?


While totally off topic, I just had to chime in with my agreement and annoyance about the limited run of Research Institute and also the over-all lack of women figures. It's really a shame.

Well, at the very least it seems like a more important topic that this Rebels set.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby Flynn » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:41 pm

I think too many people get their panties in a twist about all this stuff. Or should I be outraged that my Friends collection is an almost sausage-free zone and that 50% of my male Friends population (of two) are black (or possibly Indian/Pakistani).


I should hope you realize this is a false equivalency, given that white males have no shortage of representation in the media (or in toys), whereas the percentage of female or minority representation is appallingly low.

Do we really want to reach an end-game where LEGO is simply trying to fulfill sexual/ethnic/disability quotas with their minifigures to appease the PC crowd?


Yes. Yes, we do.

Plus why do you assume all those city sets are populated by women? Or are you reinforcing the objectification and sexualization of women by suggesting that they all have to have lipstick, long eyelashes and large boobs to be classified as such?


See, thing is that LEGO has for pretty much decades used signifiers to identify a figure as 'male' or 'female'- depending on the figure this can range from having a developed bust, a slimmer waist, distinctive eyeshadow, but more often the not the signifier is simply "lipstick". Lots and lots of lipstick (seriously, I tallied- of the 178 heads that Bricklink classifies as "female", 173 (97%) of them have lipstick. Even the frakking lion has some).

Now, is this potentially troublesome in itself, and limiting to the definitions of "male" and "female" (not to mention exclusionary to other genders, which is a whole other can of worms)? Absolutely. But at the moment, our primary concern is- okay, these are the figures that are coded as 'female'. And they occur in shockingly low numbers to the figures coded as 'male'. And this is a real problem.

How about we just let LEGO do what they do and make great sets?


What, if a set includes more female minifigures, it instantly becomes a bad set?

If it becomes clear that they'll sell more sets by including more females, I'd have thought that process will occur organically as I'm sure LEGO just wants to make as much money as possible.


Yeah, see, diversity shouldn't be a capitalistic venture. This is something that should be done because giving representation to ignored and underrepresented parts of our society is a fundamentally good thing to do. Not because it'll make them more money (I really don't understand the thought process of this argument; it's not as if printing lipstick on figures or making the head Reddish Brown instead of Light Flesh is gonna up the costs or something).
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby dWhisper » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:47 pm

I <3 you Flynn

As for the lipstick/hips/makeup... it's more a consequence of a limited medium than anything else. I understand that it's a bad generalization (especially the lipstick), but it's a visual queue. But it's better than the "just use your imagination" suggestion that so many like to throw out there.

We have thousands of male minifigs that use similar indicators (not quite as inherently bad, often just ugly, like those cheekbones), and you simply can't unring the bell. There's just something awful about giving a bunch of one gender and telling the other "just pretend." No one is crying for thousands of female minifigs to make up the difference, but it'd be nice to see some sort of change to equal out stuff in future lines. Sad thing is that if the Star Wars stuff is any indication, it's not getting better. It's getting worse.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby phoenixhawk » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:46 pm

The worst part about the Research Institute set and the limited quantity is that is it not going into the hands of females or kids, but into the mitts of greedy speculators, set collectors, and AFOLs, who probably aren't sharing the figures and set with girls. :( I'd like to be wrong...but I know I'm not .

gomek wrote:
dWhisper wrote:You mean like how they finally made a set like The Research Institute which featured female characters, and it sold out almost immediately, so Lego decides that it's a single run and they won't make more?


While totally off topic, I just had to chime in with my agreement and annoyance about the limited run of Research Institute and also the over-all lack of women figures. It's really a shame.

Well, at the very least it seems like a more important topic that this Rebels set.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby banthafodder » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:08 pm

^^ I have the same thoughts. Most people on the Lego blogs have been touting the research institute and its rapid sales as proof that Lego lacks female centric sets. I use my twelve year old daughter as a barometer for this. When I showed her the set on the internet she had no interest what-so-ever in it. I would really like to see the sales demographics on this set. Unless the majority of sales was to young girls this set would have failed in what it was intended to do. Having a bunch of AFOLS and speculators buy up the sets and say that this is proof of the need for more female centric system sets is a hollow argument.
Back on topic, yes this set sucks. I did buy it for comopleteness sake and you can experience the same enjoyment with a rock and a stick, which are free.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby Ultron32 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:29 pm

dWhisper wrote:I'd argue what you call important on the Avengers... there were three prominent female characters in the Avengers movie: Black Widow (Only in the QuinJet) - who was the one who discovered Loki's plan, Pepper Potts (wasn't released until the Iron Man 3 and their most expensive set),and Maria Hill, who hasn't gotten any release. As a side note, there was only one person of color as well, who played a very important role in the film and a supporting one in the previous MCU movies, and he didn't get a release in these sets at all.

Potts was an pretty minor character in the film, she was only really in one scene plus a tiny shot in a plane, the only set to put her in would have been Stark tower (if we got one) but even then, a Stark Tower set would more likely have been based on the battle scene instead of the opening scene.
Hill was the other female to whom I was referring, she (along with Coulson and Fury) would have been a great figure to include with a bigger better Helicarrier set.

dWhisper wrote:
Ultron32 wrote:Unlicensed lines have an easier chance of being more evenly weighed and more often are.

"More" maybe, but likely not at all "better." Quick, name how many sets, outside of the Modular Building / Big Exclusive (like the fairground), Friends, or Research Institute that include more than a single female character in the set?

Spoiler: show
I can come up with two on the top of my head: Arkham Asylum in 2013, which included a pre-crazy Harley and Poison Ivy, and the Kingdom Joust set which included a Queen and a Princess.

Not many sets at all have multiple female minifigures, but unlicensed sets seem to have a better chance of getting even one than licensed sets.

dWhisper wrote:There have been some absolutely awesome sets made in 2014, but none of the Star Wars stuff gets that title.

I think rehashes get a lot of undeserved hate, especially on this site. Unless the model takes an extremely large step down (e.g. every AT-AT since the motorized one) I think it's good to have a new version every several years or so. Many collectors, such as myself, are new to the trade and were not around to buy the older versions. The set I have in mind is the Cantina; everything seems to have only improved in the past 15 years, and even if the price is 4 times larger than the last one when it was released, it's barely half of the price of buying the old one now.
Admittedly there are occasions, mainly with some OT starships, in which they get rehashed too often, but I think it generally is fine, especially if they keep on improving this way.

dWhisper wrote:We have thousands of male minifigs that use similar indicators (not quite as inherently bad, often just ugly, like those cheekbones)

I personally have no problem with the cheekbones on male minifigures, but it is when they put cheekbones on female minifigures that something seems to go horribly wrong; as on Black Widow, Lois Lane, etc.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby dWhisper » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:42 pm

banthafodder wrote:Having a bunch of AFOLS and speculators buy up the sets and say that this is proof of the need for more female centric system sets is a hollow argument.


How would we know? Unless the kids were happened to go to the store that day, they wouldn't have a chance to get it. Regardless, this isn't a barometer on the more "female-centric" sets. There shouldn't need to be one, and to be clear, I'm not asking for any centric. I'm just asking that things stop being so male-heavy (based on what I've counted up, it's around an 8:1 male:female in all 2014 sets).
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby Faefrost » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:46 pm

I think I can at least explain the "saucer seperation" feature, or why the cockpit jetisons. It is for alternate display when docked to the Ghost. When you pop off the cockpit you can spin it around and dock it to the Ghost with Engines facing rearward like it appears in some of the Ghosts concept art. (There are also pics of it docked nose out so it may vary in the show?)

Image

Still overpriced for such an ugly little ship. It should have been part of the Ghost set to begin with.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby banthafodder » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:58 pm

Is that 8:1 ratio in all sets including licensed sets or original theme system sets? I feel it would be unfair to include a licensed set in this as the minifigs are determined by what's in the source material. Original theme system sets would have to look at the target audience to get a better consideration of ratios.

Faefrost, thanks for the image it really explains a lot on this set
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby Chosen One » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:10 pm

Hmmm... fair enough, so let me rephrase my initial comment - It's near impossible to get "fleshy" female characters in medium to low priced sets.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby dWhisper » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:29 pm

banthafodder wrote:Is that 8:1 ratio in all sets including licensed sets or original theme system sets? I feel it would be unfair to include a licensed set in this as the minifigs are determined by what's in the source material. Original theme system sets would have to look at the target audience to get a better consideration of ratios.

Faefrost, thanks for the image it really explains a lot on this set


It'd explain it more if it actually docked that way, and not backwards.

As for the numbers, it's combined. I'm working on an article that will dive into it a lot more later this week, but it's not as much as you'd think. Licensed would affect things (Tolkein's writings weren't exactly known for their inclusiveness), but it actually flips around a lot more than you'd think. For 2014 (I haven't pulled the other years), Agents is 15 to 4, City is 86 to 13, Ninjago is 30 to 1, The Movie is 67 to 26, Castle is 8 to 0, and Creator/etc. is 20 to 9. The best set is the $150 Fairground Mixer at five out of twelve (though there is an arctic and a city set that are 1 to 1).

Licensed stuff is a whole lot worse this year, overall, with Star Wars being so terribly low. And given that it includes Rebels, Clone Wars, and the PT, it loses a lot of the argument with source material. Those all added a bunch of variety to the lineup past Mon Mothma, Jabba's entourage, and Leia... yet they're all absent except Ashoka and Hera. But hey, we got a bunch of battle droids and like a kajillion clones, so there's that, I guess.

TMNT only has two, both in the same set (which is unique for licensed), DC only has 1, Marvel has 4, Simpsons 3, The Hobbit... well, that remains to be seen. Ideas had 4, bolstered by the Exo Suit giving us one of each and the institute.

I'll also be going over the same problem with Friends, etc, or how it's not nearly as bad in the Duplo stuff.
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Re: Review: 75048 The Phantom

Postby LN.01354 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:31 pm

And, you haven't even touched on the topic of the endless rehash/re-releases of sets.


Actually, I did. I said at the beginning that I was a fairly new collector, and even I am getting tired of their gimmicks. But I'll go into it in more detail here: I understand that the Star Destroyer and AT-AT are very common rehashes, along with a few others in past years. But I understand Lego's perspective, because new collectors, like myself, can't have a battle of Hoth without an AT-AT. So I don't necessarily hate the rehash/rerelease concept. I do hate the fact that Lego is putting extra junk in junky sets to get us to drop big bucks on it. I love Star Wars, I love Lego Star Wars, but I feel like screaming every time I look over at Echo Base, 2011 Millennium Falcon, or 2013 Jabba's Sail Barge, because those sets hooked me in with the figures, and then destroyed me with deceiving photos, reviews, and piece counts. However, this year, I have learned my lesson....I only bought the battlepacks, Wheelbike (terrible), Saleucami, Sandcrawler, and AT-AP, and I only plan on getting Star Destroyer, AT-AT, and Cantina.

Jedi Interceptor, V-Wing, Droid Gunship, Droid Starfighter, Ghost, Phantom, Snowspeeder, Jedi Scout Fighter, (admittedly) Cantina, MTT.....IT'S A TRAP!!

P.S: Minifigure wish list= Beru, Bespin Luke, Bespin Lando, Wuher, Ponda Baba, Endor Han, Zam Wessell, Taun We, everyone on the Separatist Council, Shaak TI, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Cody, Episode III Padme....It's a long list....
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