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Big Cam

Review: 7659 Imperial Landing Craft

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19 posts in this topic

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The Imperial Landing Craft is a Star Wars set that I really wanted when I saw it on the shelves at my local toy store. The main reason was due to the number of minifigs included which was before the time of the storm trooper battle-packs of course. The ship itself looked fun as well, with moving parts and some swoosh-ability. Read on for my full review.

For transport of storm trooper detachments, the Empire employed a landing vessel based on the tri-foil design of the Lambda-class shuttle. Like its more elegant cousin, the Imperial lander had three wings -- a central wing along its dorsal spine, and two side-mounted wings that folded up when landing.

BASIC INFORMATION:

Set Name: Imperial Landing Craft

Set Number: 7659

Number of Pieces: 471 LEGO box, 471 Peeron, 449 Bricklink, 471 Brickset

Minifigs: 5

Price: $50 USD

Theme: Star Wars

Year Released: 2007

RESOURCES:

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3966535017_39b869c30d_o.jpg (high res pics available here, also by clicking the images in the review)

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THE REVIEW:

The Box

Front:

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The front of the box does a great job of showing most of the features of this wonderful set. It shows the front facing spring loaded missiles as well as the bombs you can drop from the rear. They do fail to show the wing movement, although you can't really expect them to show this while the ship is in flight.

Side:

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On the side of the box you have all five of the minifigs included. Two sand troopers, two storm troopers, and one imperial pilot. LEGO did a nice job of mixing up the guns so each type of trooper had each type of gun.

Back:

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The back of the box is loaded with features, from the spring-loaded missiles to the Ship dropping off the main body portion. All movable features or detachable parts are highlighted. LEGO still had room for some advertising of other sets in the current line, including some previous reviews of mine.

Instructions

Front:

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With 471 pieces the instruction booklet is quite large. For comparison this is the largest size of instruction booklet that LEGO produces on it's standard sets, similar in size to the 7672 Rogue Shadow, 6221 Imperial Star Destroyer or 7666 Hoth Rebel Base.

Back:

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The back of this large manual has a nice battle scene where the Landing Craft just dropped off some Stormies who are ready for action. There is randomly one more trooper on the ground, which I guess you are to assume it came from the second Imperial Landing Craft far off in the background. This is a great feature and reminds me of the portrait of General Grievous on the back of the instruction manual for 7656 General Grievous Starfighter

Parts List:

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Two gigantic pages for all 471 pieces.

Random Page:

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This page shows the flick fire missile and a warning to be careful not to poke the eye out of the nearest yellow circle face.

All Pieces:

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471 pieces with a bit of variety. A large technic gear catches my eye and in turn there is alot of technic gearing to be done in this set.

Printed Piece:

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The only printed piece in this set is a control panel for the pilot. I've noticed there is almost always a printed piece for the controls of the cockpit, which is then covered up by the cockpit glass. Come on LEGO give us more printed pieces!

Interesting Pieces:

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I choose a few random pieces that I thought were significant. The cockpit glass is a nice piece and you get two spring-loaded missiles, as well as two small tube pieces. The tube pieces are for use with the technic pieces, I had just never seen them before.

Blasters:

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All of the foot troopers get blasters in this set, I hope the pilot doesn't park that ship in a bad neighborhood. You get two standard blasters and two longer blasters.

Cape Box:

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Cape box 4500633 contains two orange have cape paladin type pieces for the sand troopers seen below.

Extra Pieces:

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Jumping forward in time we see the pieces you didn't need. I wonder if you could build anything with all the extra pieces from all of your sets, and only the extra pieces.

Minifigs

Front:

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A great selection of minifigs if you are into storm troopers. In reality they are 4 standard storm troopers, its just that two of them wear the half length orange shoulder capes, which look pretty good. You also get an Imperial pilot because that ship isn't going to fly its self.

Back:

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Our storm trooper receive back printing while the imperial pilot gets nothing :sad:

Helmets Off:

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Main Body Build Process

Main Step 7:

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Step 7 shows the beginning of the main body area complete with two seats, wait, two seats? Hmm, we'll have to see how this plays out for our troopers.

Main Step 12:

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Here we see the two spring loaded technic competition cannons. They seem to take up alot of valuable sitting space.

Main Step 14:

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The triggers for the cannons are cleverly disguised as front facing lights or blasters. We also see the placement of the blasters in the main body area, which is convenient for travel since the troopers don't really have the room to hold their weapons in here.

Main Step 26:

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The completed main body area with all of our troopers in place, hoorah. It turns out that the two regular troopers are to man the guns while the sand troopers relax in the luxurious blue standard imperial seats. You will notice the bombs behind each of the standing storm troopers, more on these later in the review. :wink:

Main Body top view:

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This view shows the overall layout of the body and shows the small amount of space the regular storm troopers have while the sand troopers are much more comfortable.

Main Ship Build Process

Sub-Step 6:

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The first section of the main ship is the rear thrusters, five should be sufficient.

Sub-Step 11:

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Here we show the extensive amount of technic gearing involved in this set. I wonder what it will do?

Sub-Step 20:

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This is kind of like the structural skeleton of the ship. The grey piece that looks out of place is in fact the correct piece. I believe LEGO did this to help you with your orientation when building, because this particular section can be a little tricky and you move the piece around alot to build on it.

Sub-Step 25:

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The main connection points that hold the base to the main ship are shown here in red. Although they are bright red and this ship is mostly white, they don't really stick out too much since they are hidden most of the time.

Main Step 28:

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Here the backbone of the ship is noticeable as it is placed on the main body. At this point you can start to see the ship come together.

Main Step 31:

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This image shows the addition of hinge pieces to the skeletal backbone of the ship. The hinges hold on the doors that protect the crew from any incoming fire.

Main Steps 32 & 33:

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Here we see the two moveable wings in their entirety. Identical for both sides, with multiple colors of pieces making it look like it was pieces together from scraps.

Main Step 34:

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This step in the booklet actually has no pieces being added, it is just asking you to move the winga up and down.

Cockpit

Sub-Step 6:

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The cockpit for the pilot starts to take shape with blasters/lights on either side.

Sub-Step 8:

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This step includes the only printed piece for the imperial pilot's eyes only. Also some fun trans-red cheese slope pieces.

Sub-Step 10:

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The pilot finds his rightful place in the cockpit. He was a little hard to fit in just right, but once you get him in place and adjust the controls, it looks really nice.

Sub-Step 11:

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This picture adds the cockpit glass for the pilot. I wish there would have been a hinge for this, but I suppose on the plus side it looks smoother without one.

Main Step 35:

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Here the cockpit is added to the ship and we are almost complete.

Main Step 36:

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The top dorsal wing is partially assembled in this last construction picture. Only a few more pieces and this set will be complete.

Complete Imperial Landing Craft

Front Right:

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The completed Imperial Landing Craft in all it's glory. The final pieces have been added and this is ready for battle.

Front Right Wings Partially Up:

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The wings are able to move all the way up to the dorsal wing for landing purposes. Here is an image of the wings halfway up, more on this feature later.

Front Right Wings Up:

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This image shows the wings completely up in landing mode.

Front Head On:

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A front head on shot of the ship for a close-up view of the cockpit and the view directly behind it. You can see the blasters and in the shadowy depths are two spring loaded cannons waiting to destroy the Rebellion.

Front:

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This image is the front overall view of the Imperial Landing Craft. It is actually a very visibly appealing ship, at least to me. Of course this ship always reminds me of the scene in ROTJ when the one lands o the moon of Endor.

Right:

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The right side of the ship shows the width of the dorsal fin along with the width of the main body compartment and the twin mechanisms that help raise and lower the wings.

Rear:

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The rear shot shows the complex gearing in better detail along with the completed thruster assembly as well as the gear directly below the thrusters, which is used to lower or raise the wings, more on this later in the review.

Left:

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The left side is identical to the right. At this point I'll point out the red lever behind the main body compartment. This will be one of the features touched on in the section below.

Features

Main Body Drop:

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In order to get your troopers out, you need to disconnect the main body piece from the ship. They sit directly under the main backbone of the ship. This is great for playability though!

Left Doors Open:

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With the left doors up we have access to the storm trooper who is stationed at the left cannon.

Right Doors Open:

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This looks strikingly familiar to a picture I just saw. This would be the identical right side.

Bomb Drop 1:

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The bombs behing the standing trooper are easily loaded by the on hand staff and can be deployed simply by pressing the red lever that we saw earlier.

Bomb Drop 2:

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By pushing down on the red lever where my hand is, you lower the chute and the bombs fall out behind the main body as you can see one in the background. A fun feature and really adds to the playability.

Spring Loaded Cannons 1:

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If you press on one of the trans yellow lights/blasters on the main body, you will fire that sides cannon.

Spring Loaded Cannons 2:

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The arrow as LEGO likes to call it ejects with quite a bit of force and a rubber end as to not hurt anyone too bad. Although you should obviously not shoot it at your friends.

Wing Gear 1:

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With the wings completely up, you can rotate the small gear directly below the thrusters at the back of the ship. You can't miss is as it looks like a propeller on a boat, but it serves a good purpose so that design flaw will be overlooked.

Wing Gear 2:

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The wings are now completely down and can be brought right back up at any time. A very clever function that LEGO did a great job of incorporating into this set. The gearing is a bit complex but it works perfectly, I am very impressed with the way LEGO did this.

The Final Shot:

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A great set that looks pretty darn close to the original and has the functions to allow you to use it like the original.

Totals:

Design: 9/10 I gave this set a high score because it really looks like the movie version and the moving bits really make it easy to pose like the one in the movie. The only thing I would have liked to see is landing gear. It's alot to ask but I've seen it on other sets and I guess now I am spoiled by it.

Parts: 8/10 I judge my parts section on the rarity of the pieces and the usefulness of them. This set has good pieces but not enough to get a higher score than an eight. The windscreen is nice and the dual cannons are definitely a plus. Other than those there is nothing that I am incredibly impressed by.

Build: 8/10 This took me 3 hours to build, now that includes taking pictures for the review, so in reality lets say about 2 hours. I thought the technic bits were a little complicated. I look at this as an eight to twelve year old as the box states. It does come together nicely in the end and everything that was complicated is mostly hidden inside the ship.

Minifigs: 10/10 I love storm troopers and I must say that this set looked very appealing because the storm trooper battle-packs had not been released yet. So 5 minifigs for $50 plus a large ship, is a great deal to me. Storm troopers alone are great but you also get the orange half capes which are only in 5 sets. This set is the last set that these have appeared in.

Playability: 10/10 I gave this a ten because it is very swooshable and the moving bits make it really fun to pose and play with. The ship is very sturdy and can be picked up by the top dorsal wing if you grab it from the bottom of the wing.

Price: 10/10 For what you get it's a great deal. For a $50 set you can't get many more minifigs than this, and storm troopers rank high in my book, especially before the battle-packs came out with a more accesable way to obtain them. The piece count is comparable to other $50 sets and the ship it builds is about the right size for the price.

Total: 55/60 This is a great set that I am truly happy I own. It was at one point the best way to get storm troopers, and builds a ship that you could easily buy duplicates of and make a fleet of Imperial Landing Crafts. The parts per dollar are fair in my opinion and the minifig count is spot on, as well as good minifigs no less. It's easy to play with, easy to display and has options for the way it looks. This is a set all Star Wars fans should have, if you don't have one of the previous versions (7264 or 7166) I suggest trying to find this one, it's worth the money.

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Nice job, Cam - another excellent review !

I have this set, but it's still sealed and waiting to be built. I think your enthusiasm has just moved it nearer to the front of the build queue !

Please keep the reviews coming.

Cheers,

Dr. D.

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Nice job, Cam - another excellent review !

I have this set, but it's still sealed and waiting to be built. I think your enthusiasm has just moved it nearer to the front of the build queue !

Please keep the reviews coming.

Cheers,

Dr. D.

My next review will be Jabba's Sail Barge, tell your friends :wink:

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Great Review.

I'm not a big fan of this set. I can't quite put my finger on it, I guess I just don't like this particular SW vechicle. One thing I dont like for sure is the landing gear, its not retractable like most other SW sets.

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a very detailed review. Nicely done.

I have to say I quite like that craft. Of cours, it needs a little modding (but which set doesn't?) but the base to work on is pretty accurate as it is.

And the rotating wings work really well. Way better than what they did on the Lambda Shuttle.

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Nice job, Cam - another excellent review !

I have this set, but it's still sealed and waiting to be built. I think your enthusiasm has just moved it nearer to the front of the build queue !

Please keep the reviews coming.

Cheers,

Dr. D.

I agree 100 % and am in the same situation, with a box waiting.

I must say I had no idea that the interior and the wing mechanism woukd be anything as nice as you've just shown.

Front

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There is something this set just doesn't do for me, I just don't like the wings so far back, and it is too bulky around the middle, and I don't remember seeing it in any of the movies.

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Great job again Big Cam :thumbup:

Another Fantastic Review :thumbup:

As usual pics are nice and clear and lots of them showing the build stage.

Great job and keep up the wonderful Reviews! :thumbup:

CommanderFox

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Great review with great photos! Really well done bigcam! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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Thanks for the compliments on the review guys.

As for all the hating on the set, you have to give it to LEGO for getting the design right. The wings move in almost perfect unison, and you do get a good selection of figs.

I know we all have different opinions I just thought I'd add some more of mine.

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Thanks for the thorough review, Big Cam. It's a decent set with a nice minifig lineup, though I agree it's not the most elegant ship in the Star Wars universe.

There is something this set just doesn't do for me, I just don't like the wings so far back, and it is too bulky around the middle, and I don't remember seeing it in any of the movies.

It was edited into Star Wars: Special Edition:

desert2004.jpg

Edited by Pellaeon

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Thanks for the thorough review, Big Cam. It's a decent set with a nice minifig lineup, though I agree it's not the most elegant ship in the Star Wars universe.

It was edited into Star Wars: Special Edition:

Very true, it reminds me of the Lambda Class ship in ROTJ but honestly the LEGO version looks better than the real thing.

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Fantastic, in-depth review, BigCam! :thumbup:

I bought this set a while back. It certainly has lots of features, though the big missiles (I think) detract from the potential by taking up too much interior space, and like many others I detested the rudimentary 'landing gear'. I ended up demolishing it to build my lambda shuttle, but then regretted it and bought another which is still sitting sealed in the box; when eventually I build this, I plan to mod it to overcome these problems.

My original set came with a correction page in the instructions (some problem with the missile firing mechanism) - I take it this has been corrected?

Rufus

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Fantastic, in-depth review, BigCam! :thumbup:

I bought this set a while back. It certainly has lots of features, though the big missiles (I think) detract from the potential by taking up too much interior space, and like many others I detested the rudimentary 'landing gear'. I ended up demolishing it to build my lambda shuttle, but then regretted it and bought another which is still sitting sealed in the box; when eventually I build this, I plan to mod it to overcome these problems.

My original set came with a correction page in the instructions (some problem with the missile firing mechanism) - I take it this has been corrected?

Rufus

I love your Lamba shuttle!!!

I agree that removing the large missles would free up alot of interior space.

My instructions looked normal to me, no inserts or any corrections. I did purchase this off the shelf back when it was available though.

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I have two of this set. One in flight and one that has landed. It is one of my favorites. At first I didn't know in which movie it was, but then I immediately recognized it in A New Hope: Special Edition. I have them set-up with the Sandcrawler on beige baseplates.

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I have this set, I believe I got it in late 2007 for $40 I have it set up with my recently bought sand crawler with a custom Owen Lars's house. It is an amazing ship with a good model and a perfect mini fig selection. I gave it an above average review. Outstanding review Big Cam :vader:

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Just read your great review Big Cam, highly detailed. I own one of these and is one of the best Star Wars set, that's at least by Stormtrooper standards. :thumbup:

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This was a great set especially the sand troopers. But i agree with others that they could really have free more space with the missles. But still, it carries more troops than the republic attack shuttle which there is only 1 seat in the back. (kind of lame when its a "shuttle") The gear system are just fantastic. Great review big cam.

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