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dunamis

Review: 10188 Death Star

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EDIT: INDEXED, but Dunamis has reached the max pic amount in one single post, so I can't enter the "indexed" pic :thumbup:

10188 Death Star Reviewed by Dunamis

Set 10188

3803 Pieces

$399.99 from the LEGO Store, Glendale, California

Build time: 21 hours

Stickers: Ouch! 31 total stickers!

LEGO continues its streak of giving fans what they ask for (although not necessarily in the price range that fans want…) The Death Star play set is the latest in that trend suggesting that LEGO will put everything (including the kitchen sink) in a set and charging big bucks knowing that people will buy it up. I can’t wait to see what next year’s huge set is going to be.

The Box:

The gigantic box (which is only slightly smaller than the Falcon box) has last year’s theme to it. Here are a few comparison photos of the two boxes.

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Here is the front and back of the Death Star box:

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When I opened the box, I was a little dumbfounded when I found four more boxes and the manual:

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Each of the four white boxes has a symbol on it not unlike the controls on a playstation. Perfect I thought! They are going to break up the build into four sections. I found out later that this was not the plan…

The manual is spiral bound and absolutely humongous. Here are a couple of shots of it with a minifig shown for scale:

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Each box contained several bags as shown below.

Square box had 14 bags:

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Triangle box had 14 bags:

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Circle box had 10 bags and the DSS (Dreaded Sticker Sheet):

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Plus box was larger than the others and had 15 bags:

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Here is the DSS:

10188-12.jpg

The Manual:

As mentioned above, the manual is enormous. It comes in at 264 pages! It literally takes up 1/3 of the workspace on my desk. Since I build at my desk and I have a computer with a large monitor, I used the electronic version of the manual. Kudos to LEGO for providing electronic version of all the manuals lately – a great move by them.

Here is a link to the electronic version of the manual (warning it is 81 MB in size):

http://cache.lego.com/bigdownloads/buildin...ons/4542760.pdf

While the manual had all the nice features we expect, I had a terrible problem with color separation. I had trouble differentiating various black pieces as well as identifying the trans orange, trans red, dark bley, black, etc. It really caused problems for me and probably delayed my build time by 5%. For me, it seems the manual was printed too dark. Your mileage may vary…

Other than that gigantic pain the rear, the manual is laid out nicely out and flows along quickly. We also have our standard set of features:

- Piece call outs for each step

- Parts inventory at the end of the manual

- Page numbers

Since the manual is available online and there is nothing more for me to complain about, I’m going to spend less time talking about it and more time building.

The Pieces:

Wow, there are a ton of pieces! Since the Death Star is more of a playset and less of a model there are more ‘big’ pieces and not as much Technic pins and little parts. Don’t get me wrong, there is a decent amount of little pieces but there is a TON of big stuff and it just gives the impression that there is a lot to this set (and there is!)

I would invite you to view the parts list in the online manual to get an idea of what I mean. When you sort it all out, light bley is the bulk of the parts in both plates and bricks. There is also a good amount of black and dark bley. There is a good assortment of tiles, plates and bricks here. At any rate, there is a great assortment of parts.

The Build:

I’ve built a lot of LEGO sets and I have to say this was probably the most fun I’ve had building a set. Sure, I enjoyed building the UCS Falcon and the Green Grocer/Café Corner/ Market Steet were all fun builds. There have been some fun Technic builds in my day as well as my favorite 7163/7676 Gunship sets. However, I just really enjoyed building this set.

I think a lot of the fun is seeing all the little hidden gems the designers put in this set. Also, the build is kind of broken up into sections of the Death Star so it is almost like you are building lots of little $30-$40 play sets but they all combine into one big set. Due to my crazy work schedule and lots of personal life family activities, I had to drag this out over a few weeks. The nice thing is that I could spend an hour here and there and make good progress because in that amount of time I could finish little sections of the overall model. It really made the build seem fun and that you were always making progress. When I compare it to the Falcon build, I spent hours on a bunch of Technic infrastructure that never got seen from the outside which left me feeling like I wasn’t making progress. With the Death Star build, EVERYTHING gets seen.

There are a ton of photos (more than 90) in my brickshelf folder for those of you who want to see more of the build.

My Brickshelf folder (when public) http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=342197

For this review, I’ll just include a few random build photos here for your amusement:

First Floor:

10188-15.jpg

Second Floor:

10188-18.jpg

Here are some examples of how you would build in ‘sections’. Each floor would have a quarter section to build:

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How about the ingenious laser cannon:

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Overall, I had a great time with it and there were several interesting build techniques involved including some subtle half-stud offsets and SNOT builds thrown in for good measure.

Here is the ever-popular ‘what’s left over photo’:

10188-82.jpg

The Design:

I can’t begin to cover all the incredible design work that went into this model. Suffices to say that the designers really knew Star Wars and did a great job to put the look and feel of Star Wars into the design of this set. I was very impressed with how everything turned out. I’m sure I’m going to miss something, but I want to cover as much as possible:

Trash compactor – The trash compactor walls can be moved by a lever connected to Technic axels. A couple of nice details include a sliding exit door as well as the garbage chute from the detention level directly above:

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Heavy Cannon – this little jewel didn’t get much screen time, but it sure looks good:

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Crane – Even little details like this cargo crane are well done:

10188-39.jpg

Hanger Elevator – Elevator platform goes from cargo area below to main hanger bay:

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Detention Block – I really liked the design of this area. The use of the sticker and along with the placement of the bricks does a good job of creating the illusion of depth. The detention door opens up (just like in the movie). There is also the ceiling mounted video camera and the control panel that Han shoots. Of course, another door lifts up to go into the trash compactor:

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Tractor Beam – Obi Wan’s quest to disable the tractor beam can be replayed here as well:

10188-30.jpg

10188-46.jpg

Hanger and Vader’s TIE – Vader’s ship is excellent as well as the hanger deck complete with elevator and control room:

10188-70.jpg

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Blast Doors – you can’t have a shootout in a Death Star without some blast doors. These retract into the wall:

10188-63.jpg

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AA Canon – When you need to shoot down those pesky Rebel X-Wings, use the AA canons. These nifty little cannons are connected by Technic axels and rotate left and right as well as lift up and down.

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Control Room – The control room looks great and has a cool display that you can change between Alderan and Yavin by flipping the brick over. In addition, you can rotate the laser dish (planet buster) by turning the control panel. You can raise and lower the laser dish by turning the knob. Everything is connected via a Technic axel to the dish below it. (It is hard to describe in words, you’ll understand when you build it.)

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Elevator – There is an elevator that runs through the center of the model. It is controlled by a winch and it actually works really well:

Elevator

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View from the top of the shaft

10188-81.jpg

Conference room – Must have a conference room:

10188-92.jpg

Throne Room – Wow, this is really cool and I like they use of the blue trans wedges. The throne chair looks good and there is even the collapsible catwalk:

10188-51.jpg

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There are many more surprises as well. Some can be seen in my Brickshelf folder (like the hidden knobs to turn the hanger crane). There are just too many to mention here.

Did I mention the minifigs? I think LEGO went above and beyond in giving the fans lots of minifigs in this set. Take a look:

10188-83.jpg

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Yes, there were stickers and lots of them. They were kind of a pain and I believe some pieces should have been printed like the 2x2 and 2x1 slopes that were computer panels. I seemed to have more luck with these stickers than before so they we’re too bad.

Overall Thoughts:

I really can’t say enough good things about this set. It is the Death Star play set we have all been asking for with tons of minifigs thrown in. Obviously, the $400 USD price tag will immediately turn a lot of people off. Seems like LEGO has created a little segment of sets (ISD, DS II, Falcon, DS I) that are expensive and cater to a smaller audience.

Personally, I would have tried to get the price point more in the $300 range and sacrificed some minifigs. We already have a Stormtrooper battlepack and you could have made a Death Star Trooper battlepack at $10 and sold the crap out of it. But, I I’m not in charge of LEGO’s product development and marketing.

I will say this set when completed is huge! It is also quite sturdy and heavy. If you put it on a smooth surface, it does rotate easily so you can spin it around to show it off. It looks great and is a must have (especially if it ever goes on sale.)

Let me know your thoughts and as always if you have any questions, comments, complaints, etc.

Final Rating: 98%

Build 10/10 (Incredible. It was a very enjoyable build and lots of fun.)

Minifigs 10/10 (I think they pretty much got everybody in here. Can’t really gripe about 20+ minifigs.)

Design 10/10 (Perfect. Covers all the scenes from the movies and has the right look and feel.)

Parts 10/10 (Tons of parts. Lots of big parts and plates. A great variety as well.)

Price 9/10 (Dang, it’s a lot but you definitely get what you pay for.)

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Hi Dunamis!

Another nice intensive great review! :thumbup: Thanks for showing how "big" this box really is, comparing with UCS MF. The 4 boxes looked very huge. I never knew LEGO Instruction manuals ever come with spiral binding. I believe this is the first time I had ever seen it. That manual certainly looks very big and heavy.

Looking at the close up various photos of Death Star, it looks very very impressive. I wish I am able to afford this set soon. I believe this is one of the best Star War sets ever released to this moment. I will await for your review to be complete. In addition, is there a limit on how many photos we can upload in one post? I don't remember encountering that restriction before. Wonderful job! :thumbup:

WhiteFang

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Hi Dunamis!

I will await for your review to be complete. In addition, is there a limit on how many photos we can upload in one post? I don't remember encountering that restriction before. Wonderful job! :thumbup:

WhiteFang

Yes, apparently I went over the limit. Also, I couldn't double post with more photos so I just trimmed some photos out and made it one post. Sorry for the confusion.

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Yes, apparently I went over the limit. Also, I couldn't double post with more photos so I just trimmed some photos out and made it one post. Sorry for the confusion.

No problem! :sweet: Appartently, your completed review is wonderful. It's nice to go through again and again, looking at these nifty features which provides high playability. If I remembered correctly, I believe this set is your highest rating ever, for the reviews which you have done.

You mentioned about spinning? You meant the Death Star can be spin or rotated with a mechanism?

You have done an impressive piece of work, to deliver it to EB. Thanks Dunamis! :wub:

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Hey Dunamis

Are here! Love the review! Darn sticker sheets.....Also love the mechanisms. I'm also guessing the tiny TIE is suppose to fit Minifigs eh?

Joke of Vader's TIE: Luke: Hey Han? Do you know why they call them TIE Fighters? Han: I don't know! *Taiwanese guy shows up*

Taiwanese translation: Die you Rebel scums!

Man great review! And there's a droid who holds megaphone guns? I thought LEGO quit with that lame idea?

Are out! :classic:

Edited by Are92 RoWar

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If I remembered correctly, I believe this set is your highest rating ever, for the reviews which you have done.

I wondered that myself. I actually gave the 10185 Green Grocer a 100% so this is probably the second highest score.

You mentioned about spinning? You meant the Death Star can be spin or rotated with a mechanism?

It's not a mechanism, it is just that the base is on those inverted tiles and it turns easily on a flat surface.

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Awesome review Dunamis. This set looks like the gem of the Star Wars collection. Do you have some images of the completed set?

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Awesome review Dunamis. This set looks like the gem of the Star Wars collection. Do you have some images of the completed set?

Yes, sorry. My review got cut short because of the photo limit. Here are some additional photos:

Compare between 7676 and 10188 for scale:

10188-93.jpg

10188-94.jpg

Some more random photos:

10188-95.jpg

10188-96.jpg

10188-97.jpg

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Excellent review, Dunamis! I finished the DS last Sunday, building it in three long (but fun) sessions. It's an amazing set, and I now have to try and find a good spot to put it on display.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the problems with the instructions: much too dark to properly see the difference between several colors. I had to practically break down the entire throne room because I mistook black for dark bley.

Even in your pictures I see you probably made some small mistakes exchanging trans-red and trans-orange transparent pieces (on the control panel of the DS laser dish) and solid-red and trans-orange (on the elevator in the central shaft)... Funnily enough these were exacy the same mistakes I made when building it, only finding the problem when I found I was left with too few trans orange pieces for the elevator. You might also want to check out that it's actually two solid red 1x1 pieces on the trash compactor door lever (under the tractor beam control).

You did seem to have better luck (or maybe worse, depending on how you look at it) with the leftover pieces: I am still wondering where a 1x10 dark bley plate and a 1x4 light bley plate have to go... And I also seem to have gotten a red cape extra.

By the way, do you have any idea what the small arched hole between the AA-gun area and the droid revision room (on the top floor) is for? I get the feeling it's there especially for the mouse droid...

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Great review Dunamis, I was hanging out to see how your review would turn out even though mine hasn't arrived yet and I didn't want to spoil it too much!

Just couldn't resist having a look, though I did skim over most build pics :thumbup::classic:

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Fantastic review Dunamis! :thumbup:

I didn't realize exactly how many great little features were in this set. That elevator is great and the throne room looks excellent as well.

As for the minifigs.... Well there is not much to say but wow. While it is true that TLG could have included a few less and lowered the price a bit, people that are going to spend $400 anyway probably would rather pay that much and go all out on the set than having it maybe $50 cheaper with less to it.

Thanks Dunamis! :classic:

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Excellent review, Dunamis! I finished the DS last Sunday, building it in three long (but fun) sessions. It's an amazing set, and I now have to try and find a good spot to put it on display.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the problems with the instructions: much too dark to properly see the difference between several colors. I had to practically break down the entire throne room because I mistook black for dark bley.

Even in your pictures I see you probably made some small mistakes exchanging trans-red and trans-orange transparent pieces (on the control panel of the DS laser dish) and solid-red and trans-orange (on the elevator in the central shaft)... Funnily enough these were exacy the same mistakes I made when building it, only finding the problem when I found I was left with too few trans orange pieces for the elevator. You might also want to check out that it's actually two solid red 1x1 pieces on the trash compactor door lever (under the tractor beam control).

You did seem to have better luck (or maybe worse, depending on how you look at it) with the leftover pieces: I am still wondering where a 1x10 dark bley plate and a 1x4 light bley plate have to go... And I also seem to have gotten a red cape extra.

By the way, do you have any idea what the small arched hole between the AA-gun area and the droid revision room (on the top floor) is for? I get the feeling it's there especially for the mouse droid...

Thanks for the heads up on the wrong pieces. I finally just gave up and just guessed (as you can tell) on some of the pieces. I wondered about the solid-red vs trans-orange on the elevator but as you saw I didn't have enough trans-orange left since I used them on the trash compactor.

As far as the little arch going to the AA-guns, I assumed it was for the mouse droid as well. Makes sense to me...

Glad you enjoyed the build. I'm struggling to find a spot for it too. It was bigger than I thought it would be. I'm very happy with it though.

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THANKS a lot for this giant Deathstar-Review!

Now, I can see how it look's in special places inside the Deathstar, i think it is the best LEGO Star Wars Set ever. Just imagine how many Minifigures are inside and than the great functions of the original movie. So again a big: thank you and a very well done for hole of your reviews :thumbup:

greeting Star-Sam

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Thanks for the great review. I had no idea there was an elevator through the centre. :thumbup:

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wow really detailed and nice review, if I had enough money, I'll buy this set, not because it's a "star wars" set, I'm not a "fan " I just like it, but because it seems to be a really nice set!

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Thanks for this great review Dunamis.

I've added it to the index.

I really love this one. I think TLG has just given us what we wanted all along :thumbup:

It's funny though that C3P0 has the wrong hands on the box-art. :tongue:

I am looking at mine right now (MISB) and wish I had the time and didn't have to go to work in 8 hours :hmpf_bad:

I guess I'll have to sleep on it.

So much to build and so many minifigs to drool over

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Thanks for another amazing review Dunamis :thumbup: . I really :wub: this set (Even if I don´t own it) and I hope I can get it as a birthday gift :sweet: (Please November 1, please :grin: )

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Awesome review! I love the elevator, the conference room, the throne room... amazing. I just wish I had a extra 400 bucks now. Strange to think about a TOY like this being 400 dollars...

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Thanks for the review, Dunamis! :thumbup::cry_happy:

Wow, this set is looking better every time I see it. So many nifty features!

I wish lego would make more mini-minifig scaled fighters like those, they are so cute!

God is this thing HUGE! I thought the gunship was big. :laugh:

After I have obtained the eiffel tower, this will be sure to take the next spot on my list.

VBBN

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Thanks for the superb review, Dunamis!! :sweet: The elevator seems awesome, as does the throne room. The amount of figs is amazing, and it's all of the little details that make this set one of the best in SW. It's good when the build goes fast and smoothly, and in sections. Overall, I would definitely get this set if I had the money. :sweet:

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Amazing work on the review! This is a very impressive set and this review is just as impressive. All of the photos really help. Just great review overall. I have to come back and read some of it later. :tongue: Thanks for taking the time to write this.

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Nice review. How long did it take for you to build death star and the falcon?

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I think this is the best Death Star review yet! :sweet: Thanks especially for the elevator shaft shot. Hopefully mine arrives next week...

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Nice review. How long did it take for you to build death star and the falcon?

He mentioned at the top of his review, which required 31 hours of his time to build the Death Star.

I think this is the best Death Star review yet! :sweet: Thanks especially for the elevator shaft shot. Hopefully mine arrives next week...

Doing this Death Star review, certainly needs lot of time and preparations to complete. From building to taking photos to writing a review, it's not an easy task. I enjoyed reading this review very much, and it's pretty informative for most of us here whom wants to know more about Death Star's playing features.

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