Beedo’s Star Wars Lego Reviews – The Droids I’m Looking For!

by Beedo Sookcool
on 2013-03-07, 15:10:57

I know I said in my Jabba’s Palace Review that I had no more Star Wars Lego reviews planned until June, and that was correct. I hadn’t planned on this one . . . it just sort of happened. It occurred to me that this might be one of the few chances outside of another huge set to get a Lego C-3PO. Plus, it contains some adorable little Sandtroopers. So, what else caught my eye about the mid-sized Droid Escape set . . . ?

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Well, it was mainly the “NEW!” bursts next to three-quarters of the figures. At first, the C-3PO didn’t seem much different, but some online digging for images turned up something I hadn’t noticed before. The original Lego 3PO had no face or midriff details, but a strange smudgy/shadowy deco on his chest, presumably meant to give the impression of shininess or shading. This new version of 3PO gives him “illuminated” yellow eyes (though one of the eyes on mine is a little wonky), does away with the smudgy effect, and gives him his individual midriff wires. It may also be down to individual photography variations, but his plastic looks a tiny bit more gold than before, too. I’ll let Bill be the judge on that, since I told him about this new version of 3PO, and he seemed interested in adding it to his collection. I just hope this version doesn’t suffer from Gold Plastic Syndrome a few years down the line . . . .

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  • Box contents: 2 bags containing most parts (with a couple of smaller parts bags and a cardboard pauldron-holder contained therein), two loose pod hull sections, sticker sheet, instruction book.
  • Features: Escape pod with adjustable thrusters and removable hull section (seats 2 mini-figures), variable-geometry mini-swoop.
  • Figures: Sandtrooper Commander with small rifle, Sandtrooper Soldier with large rifle and droid fragment, C-3PO, R2-D2

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Here, you can see the tiny, painstaking details on the figures. Apparently, R2-D2 is the same as before, but apart from somehow adding a third leg and rotating head, there’s not much else you can do with the li’l guy.

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I was surprised by the lack of decoration on Artoo’s back, considering even the Sandtroopers have details hidden underneath their backpacks. Nifty use of printed fabric for the pauldrons.

The next few shots are going to be comparisons between the new Droid Escape Sandtrooper (on the left) and one of the Stormtroopers from 2008’s Imperial Dropship set (on the right), which I only really got for the Imperial Emblem stickers, and which I actually have yet to find a use for. The cute li’l troops were a bonus. Note the improved armour details (besides the sand weathering). And . . . cripes, I think my 2008 Stormtroopers are starting to yellow!

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While the 2008 Stormtroopers still made use of the all-black head pieces from the very first Trooper figures despite their improved helmets, these new Sandtroopers have painted faces with three-day stubble and a malicious-looking grin.

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Yup, Trooper Davin Felth comes with a silvery Lego stud so you can replicate his big moment. You could also perhaps use The One Ring from the Riddles for the Ring set from The Hobbit Lego, to make it look even more accurate.

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I mentioned earlier that this is a “variable geometry” mini-swoop, and this is an overblown way * of saying that owing to the hinges on the handlebars and in the middle of the vehicle, you can adjust the shape of the vehicle a bit until you get it the way you like it. It’s a cool little bonus vehicle that looks quite good, considering how few pieces go into it. And it would very likely look good in other colours, like SOTE red or ANH:SE green. Hint, hint, Lego.

* Taken directly from the description of the Trade Federation Droid Starfighters, I might add.

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A close-up of the control panel piece. Besides a nice detail for the escape pod, it’s always good to have bits like this on hand for any possible custom projects.

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You get six stickers in this set: four grilles for the light grey O-ring section, and one for each of the hull halves. Easy enough to apply if you have patience, a steady hand, and a good set of tweezers.

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The above series of shots show how well the shape of the escape pod is largely achieved with ingenious use of extant parts. The eight-sectioned rings at either end work well for attaching the thrusters that stick out at odd angles. In the bottom photo of the series, you can just about see the white half-hinge piece that works as a kind of stabiliser for when the pod is “landed.” (And also indicates which is the “bottom” of the vehicle.)

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Pod interior with figures seated. There’s just enough headroom that the other half of the pod hull can still fit in place with the figures in there. You can probably fit a lot more in if you lie them down or take out the seat. The blue pegs just forward of the control panel don’t hold the hull together very securely, but well enough for light play or display purposes. So long as you don’t turn it upside-down and/or shake it.

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Pros:While not innately action-oriented, this is nevertheless a neat set that recreates pivotal scenes from A New Hope. The mini-figures are fun and greatly improved over their previous versions, with impressive detailing, and may serve to fill any important character gaps if you came to the Star Wars Lego brand late. Like I did. Very late. And the control panel plate is a nifty piece to have handy, as are many of the other pieces.

Cons: Well, apart from the usual wishing this set were bigger (a couple of dewbacks and a whole Sandtrooper squad bigger, for example), the only realistic complaint I have is that because of the way they’re attached, the Sandtrooper backpacks wiggle about and come off fairly easily. That’s it. Like all Lego sets, it seems a bit on the pricey side for what you end up with, but that should be expected by now, and besides, the components can be re-used in countless other projects for years and years, limited only by one’s imagination.

And, you know, come to think of it, I believe I have one more Star Wars Lego mini-review I can squeeze out. Please stay tuned . . . .

Also, special thanks to Roubaix Interactive for their Binary Conversion Page.





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