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REVIEW 9497 - Republic Striker-class Starfighter

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43 posts in this topic

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Personally, my involvement with Lego has been shifting away from the licensed sets. There’s lots to love there, but the increased costs have been getting to me in a way no amount of chanting “new molds!” or “exclusive minis!” seems to calm. Buying and assembling an expensive licensed set has been akin to eating a can of cake frosting to myself: I greatly enjoy it while it’s happening, but afterward, I reflect on what I’ve done and feel a mixture of embarrassment, shame, and remorse. Anyway, after skipping a majority of the 2010 and 2011 Star Wars lines, I’ve been impressed with some of the 2012 offerings, and have bought two mid-size sets, the first being the Anakin's Jedi Interceptor (9494). Will this assuage me or antagonize my growing issues with the licensed lines?

Set#: 9497

Name: Republic Striker-class Starfighter

Theme: Star Wars

Year: 2012

Pieces: 376

Minifigs: 3; Satele Shan, T7-01, Republic Trooper

Price: ¥4,770

MSP: £39.99 / US$44.99

Peeron

Brickset

Bricklink

The box

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To start with, we have the box image, which looks fine. The ship, on the surface, makes me think of an X-Wing. I haven’t played The Old Republic, though I did play the original Knights of the Old Republic game, and from what I understand it’s a thousand years before the trilogies, or something like that. The look is classic Star Wars, lots of panels and greebles. It looked nice on the shelf, but it was the back of the box that got me to buy it.

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The display of the main action feature, the folding wings, just made it look cool to me. I was weighing out the price, compared to the size of the box, and how big the ship might be. The boxes have gotten a little smaller, but the ship seemed to have certain amount of heft to it.

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Three figures.

The Pieces

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Three bags, no stickers, a number of printed parts. I’ll point them out as they come up.

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Now, these figures are, overall, lackluster. The human characters are printed front and back, and the female has a two sided head, but they aren’t characters most people will know, and aren’t particularly distinctive. I imagine if you are MOC’ing some sci-fi or post-apocalyptic something or other, they would be very welcome. But nothing very special. The robot on the other hand is BRICK-BUILT! That is a printed panel on the front, and the two lids on its head are printed discs. Artoo never got respect like this. I was very pleased to see this.

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The robot also has a little stabilizer wheel in back to keep him upright. Nice!

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The now standard angry face on back. I’d like to see two variations on smirks and smiles sometime.

The Build

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Bag one builds the base of the ship. Lots of plate layering, plus the lovely printed slopes of the nose.

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The cockpit will turn out to be one of the nicer ones I’ve seen, and begins here, with a black printed panel, and pivot joint put in.

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Bag two adds the wings. Again, lots of plate layering. There are very few bricks in this. In fact, there aren’t any true bricks, only slopes.

The Finished Product

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This is the finished ship at rest, wings forward. I think this looks great on its own, and could be a winning starfighter design. As it is, it reminds me of a cross between an A-wing and a Clone Wars era starfighter.

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I think you can really see that with the overhead silhouette.

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The plated under-belly. Besides being a gaudy color of red, it has the secrets of the ship’s transforming action.

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Here we see two points. The first is the white gun-looking thing. It’s on a stiff pivot piece. The wing is lightly clipped to the body here, just to the right of the gun’s pivot piece, a black clip holding a red bar.

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At the back, a similar clip that can grasp the wing is located on the tail.

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There is white clip that can hold the red bar.

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And so it does. But the guns are rather hard to aim like this.

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So, they are brought to face forward, in line with the flick-fire missiles.

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At the back is the classic lightsaber holder, a midoclorian-embedded clip capable of holding pure energy, hidden away with an orange flap.

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The cockpit is a little deep. The steering column is dropped in vertically, and the handle juts out toward the pilot. I thought this was really well done.

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The finished ship is really most comparable to the X-wing (mine being the 2006 version), or maybe the ARC fighter, though I haven’t held that one to compare it. So, it’s a little simpler, having just one wing, it’s got a very classic shape to it, it’s very satisfying.

So that’s the Striker Starfighter, a solid, smart-looking piece of Star Wars ephemera.

Unfortunately, it's hard to track down in game images of this ship, and this is the one I think it is:

RepublicStarfighter-Timeline6.jpg

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Talon-class_Republic_starfighter

There seems to be a little difference in design, but I really wasn't so concerned with accuracy with this set.

The Final Verdict

Design: 9/10 I like the original design of the ship, I guess. And the Lego version of it does it justice. At a certain point, I was worried that there was too much bright red, but it ends up being the base base of the ship and is covered with the burgundy plating, which I find really attractive. The moving wings aren't overly strong, but they're not so heavy that it makes a difference, and are stable. The design economizes its use of pieces, and is all the smarter for it ("It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away"). The droid is very smartly conceived as well. I don't know what it would take for me to give the set a perfect ten, but maybe it's difficult to award to a set of this size, which will never overwhelm.

Build: 7/10 It's nothing new. There is cleverness in the cockpit, in the wings, and in the layering overall, and it wasn't dull. But there was nowhere where I said "wow!"

Playability: 7/10 When your box needs to show a picture explaining "Figures not included," there is a weakness in the playability. This is meant to be paired with the Fury Class Interceptor, as a pair of ships and enemies. And the mini-figs in that set look substantially more interesting, so I can see why they were put on the box. Having a generic Republic Trooper instead of something more connected to a narrative was a weakness in my opinion. The ship is swooshy and easily transformable, so that is the bulk of the points here.

Minifigures: 6/10 The two humans are pretty generic, even with a double blue lightsaber. Honestly, I'm fine with that. As much as I love zany mini-figs, I'm happy to have a set where I'm paying for the ship, and not the figures. The droid is nice, and I can see that inspiring a new style of Star Wars droids.

Price: 9/10 This set seems like a great value. The other SW set I bought recently, the Jedi Interceptor was the same price, for a set that seemed a fair bit slighter. And I don't care that it came with Nute Gunray, since he is just a variation on a figure released in 2009 (therefore not a new mold) and 85% of that ship was the same design as the one from 2006. In comparison, with this set, we're getting more ship, a fresh design, some new (if unexceptional figures) at a solid price. If this was just a generic space series (is. Space Marines), it would cost 20% less, but in terms of the "premium brand price" Lego has been bending people over and having their way with, this is a satisfying cost. (I'm also looking forward to picking up Saesee Tiin's Starfighter, which is a similarly reasonable price. Let's hear it for D-list Star Wars sets sold at reasonable prices!)

Overall: 9/10 Keeping in mind, I'm not buying this to play Star Wars with, and I have massive Ziploc bags full of mini-figs stored in little sealed bags, and a room overflowing with Lego doodads... This ship has a lot of what I got into Lego Star Wars for in the first place (cool space ships) at a solid price. The second set out of my dark age was the Rogue Shadow, a similarly unknown expanded universe set, and still a favorite of mine. I'm able to enjoy it separate from any frustration I may have as an adult watching Clone Wars stuff meant "for kids." It's just a good ship.

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If you're into this really depends on which way you come at the Star Wars Lego sets. Though I'm first and foremost an Original Trilogy fan, I am somewhat of a sci-fi fan, and like seeing well designed worlds and technology. While this set is reminicent of some Star Wars sets, unless you're an avid gamer, this set will have no direct connection for you. (And myself, even though I played The Force Unleashed through to the end, I developed no affection for the Rogue Shadow during its 15 second cut scenes every hour of gameplay.) It's a solid sci-fi starfighter, and that's good enough for me :thumbup:

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Thanks for the excellent review def! Good to see this set gets its proper review treatment, though after seeing it up close I’m still not sold into this. It might just be my personal taste, but its red color scheme is too bright for my liking (even the CW-era Delta 7Bs have more ‘towned down’ color schemes). The design also doesn’t cut it for me, even with its nifty folding wings mechanism. The only reason I would probably buy this is because of the new figs, but even these aren’t too enticing to get, and especially not with the impressive new minifig line-up of this wave. This might be one of the relatively cheaper sets of the wave, but I’d rather save the money to buy on of the bigger sets like Jabba’s Palace, Gungan sub, or even its fellow TOR set The Fury.

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A mediocre set for a mediocre game... Since the first time I've seen this set it's looked like nothing but a jumble of plates to me, supremely amateurish. And unfortunately the review, though presented well, didn't change my mind at all.

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An amazing set for an amazing game!

Really good review Def, thanks for posting it. I picked this set up last week, and as an avid player of SWTOR, I was really looking forward to this and 9500.

This set does not disappoint. It's very accurate to the in game version of this starfighter, and the minifigs, who will be well known to players of SWTOR (Satele Shan, Jace Malcolm and T7-01) are very well detail and in the likeness of the characters they portray (to see them in action, watch this

).

It's currently sitting in my glass cabinet, and every time I see it, I have to resist the urge to pick it up and give it a good swoosh!

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Thank you for the review!

When I first saw pictures of this set in the rumours topic, I found this the most dull.

A more detailed look through your fantastic review, confirms my thoughts of this set.

I find it below par, with no special minifigures, and a below average design of a ship unfortunately :sceptic:

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Thanks for an excellent review Def! I think KielDaMan pretty much described how i feel about this set. The minifigs are nicely made but no reason for me to get this set. And the model itself just fails to impress me. Though it is vaguely reminiscent of the X-Wing, it lacks a certain sleekness in design and i'm not overly fond of the bright color scheme.

Also, contrary to the 9500 Sith Fury, this isn't a ship players can fly in the game. So i'm wondering why Lego chose to release some random fighter while there are five other really nice player ships they could have made instead.

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Nice review, def! This is one amazing set! Aside from having three minifigs who I have no clue about, it's a really nice ship, and it's in dark red! :wub:

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Great review, 'def'! :sweet:

I think 2012 is the best year for LEGO Star Wars. I'm not even a Star Wars fan, and these sets look fantastic. This one doesn't disappoint, either. The figures are great, and the ship looks really cool. I hope LEGO does more sets for SW:TOR. :thumbup:

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Thanks for the review!

I'm really glad to see more detailed and close up pictures of this set, because his was the one set this wave that I didn't have a definite opinion of. At first, I thought I would just want Satele and Jace. But now after seeing its interesting wing design (that canon folding function is ridiculously simple, yet amazingly effective) and the overall sleek look of the ship, I must say thatim sold on this set! It could possibly become my favourite LEGO single-man fighter ever!

Now I hope my opinion of the Fury doesn't change, or else I'm gonna be spending way to much money this summer!

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I'm really glad to see more detailed and close up pictures of this set, because his was the one set this wave that I didn't have a definite opinion of.

Honestly, I had no opinion of this until I saw the box and looked at it, and it is pretty stylish. The fury ship is amazing looking too, but not $100+ amazing looking though...

To the comments about the color scheme, it really is quite tasteful. I'm not a big fan of the bright Lego red, but this only has that as trim. The ship comes across as a dark, deep red :sweet:

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Honestly, I had no opinion of this until I saw the box and looked at it, and it is pretty stylish. The fury ship is amazing looking too, but not $100+ amazing looking though...

To the comments about the color scheme, it really is quite tasteful. I'm not a big fan of the bright Lego red, but this only has that as trim. The ship comes across as a dark, deep red :sweet:

That's the one thing I'm unsure about with the Fury: is it worth the money.

But I to love the color scheme on this ship. I've always liked dark red ships, and have felt that LEGO never did enough (or there just weren't enough make).

Also, I was just taking a look of Satele from the game, and I feel that the hair and face she has isn't that fitting. Could you maybe post a picture of her with the Padme/Hermione face with the CMF series 1 nurse hair?

Edited by Fives

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Yeah this set does nothing for me. Maybe the figures but that is a real stretch. I have no desire to buy this set. But I found your review entertaining. The metaphor of eating cake frosting was really funny.

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Judging by the comments I can see that this will be an under-rated set. I suppose the game wasn't all that popular, and maybe since the characters are not that well known most people are indifferent to them. I like this set for the simple fact that it features zero stickers. For that reason and the fact that the vehicle and minifigure characters are something more obscure from the expanded universe I feel that this set is a must buy simply for collectible reasons.

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This is one of those sets that I'll get just because it's part of Star Wars LEGO, but it doesn't excite me all that much, just based on the design. To me, the ship is too busy looking -- maybe that's more the game designers problem than the LEGO designers, but still. I have not played the game, but as some one pointed out, there are other ships that could have been chosen over this one.

I like that LEGO even tackles the EU at all, because it's something different, yet still has a "Star Wars-y" feel. I liked the Rogue Shadow design and look forward to the Fury especially. I am not too concerned about the price since I am one of the patient, wait-for-the-sales LEGO buyer. I'm sure this one will hit 30% off at Amazon later in the year, and that works for me.

Edited by deco_droid

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Thanks for the review, uninspiring looking fighter mixed with some average looking figures, the Droid seems to be winner in this set

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Grabbed it today, and really like it. All printed pieces and no stickers, extra effort in creating the cockpit, even the flick fire missiles can be launched one at a time. With the wings extended, 9497 has a good size and weight. I like that Lego locked the wings in each position and didn't rely on gravity or stiff joints to position them (like the Quinjet, whose limp wing tips make me sad). I think my only real issues are that the wing detailing looks a bit too square, and the orange and bright red highlights are a bit odd - perhaps just the orange would have been better.

I also think it looks much nicer in person - maybe it's just me, but a number of recent sets have looked much better once built, than how they look on the box.

Having played SWTOR, I'm a bit disappointed that the trooper wasn't given more attention; there are loads of armor combinations in-game, and the trooper could have been much cooler than a gussied up clone trooper. It's also a bit of a shame that a second player class didn't feature as the second minifig (although I suppose Satelle Shan is a jedi, so technically could be one of the jedi player clases). Minifigs of the player classes in various types of in-game gear might have generated further appeal, though I really wouldn't know...

Overall, very nice :)

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Grabbed it today, and really like it.

~~

Overall, very nice :)

Glad to see another who likes the set. I really don't get what people dislike about the set itself. I don't think the figs are great at all, but the ship itself is sleek and excellent :sweet:

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Glad to see another who likes the set. I really don't get what people dislike about the set itself. I don't think the figs are great at all, but the ship itself is sleek and excellent :sweet:

I agreed with you and I simply love this review of yours. I got no idea of this ship's background story but I simply love the design of the set without taking the minifigs or others into consideration, and I could have to admit that the design is the one for me. :wub:

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I really like this ship, and, because I've played the game I want those figures. :wub:

Thanks for the review def!

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This set doesn't do much for me- the design just isn't all that exciting. The figs are nice, but that's about it.

Thanks for the review, you saved me some money!

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Great review. As for the difference with the look of Satele Shan then with game, it looks like the minifig shares the same issue as with Satele Shan in the Dark Horse comics, they're both based off the concept art opposed the in game look.

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Bought and built the other night. Was never going to get this set, the colours looked really awful, and the build looked really... plate-y, like vintage space sets, or something I would build :blush: . The minifigs weren't must-buy, but fairly decent. But in time I decided I would get it anyway for the minifigs, and I could use the parts for fiery lava or something.

Opinion has changed about this set. I still think the colours aren't the best, a better colour scheme would make it a real winner. No stickers is +10 cool points. I had no idea that the wings folded out before having a quick peek at this review last week, and promptly leaving so as not to give away any other surprises (until I'd bought it and built it). Shame that this set is better than it appears, I don't think it will sell as well as it could've. I think I like the Sith ship better though, and that one looks good in the pics as well as in the ABS.

I have to admit, I caught myself swooshing it and making nosedive noises whilst firing missiles at the Fury (followed by audible explosions) the other day... :blush:

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Ingame images of the ship.

l5BlL.jpg

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To me it's a pretty good representation.

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