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Photo Review of 7659 Imperial Landing Craft


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#1 dunamis

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:23 AM

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Yes, it is that time again.  I've dusted off my keyboard and started diving into the 2007 line of Star Wars sets.  No doubt we may see multiple reviews of the same set as people throw their opinions into the mix.  Here is my entry, so let's hear your feedback.


7659 Imperial Landing Craft Reviewed by Dunamis

Set 7659
471 Pieces
$49.95 from the LEGO Store (Glendale, California)
Build time:  2.0 hours
Stickers:  None


The Box:

Pretty standard box here with the exception of the 30th anniversary logo.  We have Vader�s mask up in the upper right hand corner.  This seems to be the standard with all the early 2007 sets.  Immediately, you can see the set comes with some stormtroopers.  Also, you can see the ship is dropping some bombs and is launching a missile.

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The back of the box shows the ship with all of the features as well as the pilot.  In addition, we are shown the other models in the early 2007 line.

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Inside the box, the parts are in the two types of standard LEGO packaging; perforated bags and standard sealed bags. There were no pieces outside the bags and there were eight total bags.  The instruction manual was also inside the box.  

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The Manual:

Another stellar effort by the LEGO manual staff.  The manual is well done, nicely laid out and flows along briskly.  We have our standard set of manual features:

- Piece call outs for each step
- Parts inventory at the end of the manual
- Good color separation
- Page numbers
- Review of set features (exactly like the back of the box
- Four pages dedicated to the other 2007 Star Wars sets

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The manual was fine and up to the latest LEGO standard.  It moves along well and clearly illustrates building the model as shown in the example below:

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Since this model has a rocket launcher (actually it has two), LEGO was also kind enough to include one of those illustrated warnings that silently says, �Don�t shoot the annoying neighbor kid in the eye with this thing because it will hurt like crazy!�

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The Pieces:

Well, there are white parts and then some more white parts and finally some white parts.  Did I mention there were some white parts here?  Oh, buy the way, you get a couple of light and dark bley pieces plus some various 1x1 trans plates and cones thrown in for good measure.  

I guess I should mention you do get two of the new style spring loaded missile seen here:

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We do have the usual assortment of Technic pieces that seem to accompany almost every new LEGO set these days.  The good news for those fans of the studded beams; you get six in total.  Also, due to the nature of how the fold down wings work, we get a fair assortment of gears as well.  In addition, we get a bunch of curved bricks and panels.  Finally, we get the canopy and some of those really tall sloped bricks.

I guess it is appropriate to mention the new guys at this point.  I must say I really like them.  I think it was time LEGO gave us some new weapons.  Two of each were included:

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For comparison, here is a photo with the new LEGO guns (top left and top right) compared to the two closest Little Armory guns (middle and bottom left and right).  The Little Armory guns are still more detailed, but the LEGO guns are really nice.

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The Build:

The build was fun and went quickly.  The bulk of the time is spent building the main hull of the ship and the wing mechanisms.  The wings and cockpit were really quick.

Finally, there is not much left over when you are done:

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The Design:

I had to remind myself that LEGO designs these ships for 8-12 year olds and maximum playability.  In that regard, I think LEGO did a great job.  Not fitting into that age group, I can only assume that 8-12 year olds will be happy with this ship.  

For me, when I was done building the model and spent some time with it, I felt the design was lacking.  Of course, the beauty of LEGO is that you can change these models to suit your needs.  Looking at this model from that perspective, we have a significant opportunity to modify this ship.

For me, the little bomb dropping thingy is an annoyance.  The four little bombs will undoubtedly fall out and either wind up in the vacuum cleaner, my two year olds mouth or in the backyard two days after my dog eats it.  However, the design of the bomb dropper is quite ingenious.  They use the rubber connectors to tilt a lift arm which allows the bomb to slide down a slope under an arch.  Even though I despise it, the design was pretty slick.

The folding wing is quite good as well.  I�m always a fan of turning axles and seeing things move.  I wonder if the new wireless motor coming out later this year would fit on the back of the ship?  That could be really cool!

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The main hull of the ship is too small in my opinion.  It is physically too short by 6-8 studs and the missile launchers take up way too much room.  Check out this guy.  How did he get stuck sitting between two bombs and a missile?

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Interior:
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The main hull is connected to the rest of the ship by two 1x1 modified plates with clips (one at each end).  These work fine although (for me) they are hard reach because I have big hands and fingers.  No doubt they work exceptionally well for an 8-12 year old.

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Accessing the interior is nicely done and reminds me a bit of the 4504 Falcon.  Note that you can not access the two middle troopers unless the hull is detached (they sit under the �spine� of the ship)

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The cockpit is uninspired and you have to remove the canopy to access it.  There is only room for one pilot.  The rear of the ship has the engines and the twist gear to raise and lower the wings.  The engine design is nothing special but serviceable.

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The missile launchers actually work well and it can be fun to chase the dog around the house with them.  At first glace, the ship appears a bit fragile.  Fortunately, this is not the case and you can hold it from many different places.  It has been quite sturdy for me.

Overall Thoughts:

This set has a lot going for it; new guns, two stormtroopers, two sandtroopers,  a tie pilot and (finally) a new ship from the original trilogy!  While the redesigns are producing some really nice ships, it was refreshing to get a ship we never had before.  Plus, we have no stickers!

For me, this ship is definitely not perfect and I�m going to modify it quite a bit.  However, this ship was not designed for me and I think it does a great job for the target audience.  Too bad for you that I don�t have an 8-12 year old or I�d tell you want they think of it.  So instead, you get to hear what I think of it.

I guess in the end I feel like it either needs a couple of more troopers for the price (but where would they sit?) or it should be priced lower.  At $50 it is too expensive to be an army builder.  

Overall it is a nice new ship with some popular minifigs with new weapons.  For the AFOL, some of the design elements are frustrating.  The 8-12 year old Star Wars LEGO fan should be in heaven.

Of course, I�m always happy to hear your thoughts, comments, complains, questions, etc. about my review and this set.  I�d be happy to answer any specific questions or post any additional photos that you need.  Just let me know.

Final Rating: 86%

Build 10/10 (Very brisk build.  No gotchas.)
Minifigs 9/10 (New guns, stormtroopers & sandtroopers.)
Design 9/10 (It is designed for playability of 8-12 year olds and it does that well.  Everyone else, break out your white parts pack and get busy)
Parts 8/10 (Aside from the new guns, nothing special.)
Price 7/10 (The price ratio is questionable and I felt like it needed another two troopers.  This thing would kick butt at $40 though.)
So much LEGO, so little time...

#2 DoubleT

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 01:15 PM

Great Review dunamis  thanks  *sweet*

Is the set solid, or does it vopple alot? And would you say its easy to moc?
DoubleT, Co-Creator of EuroBricks.com & BrickHorizon.com

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#3 dunamis

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 04:57 PM

View PostDoubleT, on Jan 8 2007, 01:15 PM, said:

Is the set solid, or does it vopple alot? And would you say its easy to moc?

The ship is deceptive in that it looks more fragile than it really is.  You can pick it up from many differ places including the top wing (if you hold it from the base of the wing.)  Holding from underneath works well too.  Probably the preferred method is to hold it from underneath and the ship facing away from you.  Your hands will be around the hull and your fingers can go on the triggers (1x1 trans yellow cones are the triggers) for the missile launchers.  Of course, keep in mind that other than firing a few rounds at my dog, my model didnt get much play so its hard for me to say how much play the ship can sustain.  The cockpit kind of tilts up and down but seems sturdy otherwise.  The only part that seems to wobble is the wings.

In terms of modifying it, here are my plans:
- Remove the bombs and missiles
- Extend the length of the crew compartment by 6-8 studs
- Add some additional seats and weapon holders
- Possibly add an entrance ramp
- Possibly change the canopy (allow it to raise up)
- If there is room, add a command center for an office to monitor the battle.
- The ship is too small overall to add a couple of speeder bikes.

I dont see this as being too difficult at all.  The only problem is obtaining the pieces in the correct color white.  For example, to extend the length of the crew compartment, I will need four more of these:

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Interestingly, since this comes in white, I thought about making the sides of the ship out of this piece instead:

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I'll also need to track down some longer white studded Technic beams (maybe have to raid my 8480 Technic space shuttle to get some more of these for a longer spine:

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So, lots of possibilities.
So much LEGO, so little time...

#4 Kahgarak

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 05:05 PM

Awesome,one of the little guns is a Sniper Rifle!

#5 DoubleT

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 05:10 PM

Thanks dunamis  *y*

Will you post when you have a chace moc it?  :-)
DoubleT, Co-Creator of EuroBricks.com & BrickHorizon.com

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#6 Axle

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 05:12 PM

I'm a 12 year old.I am DEFINATLEY in heaven.Where do the bombs drop out of?

Thanks.

#7 dunamis

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:29 PM

View PostAxle, on Jan 8 2007, 05:12 PM, said:

I'm a 12 year old.I am DEFINATLEY in heaven.

Thanks.

There's the endorsement I was looking for!

View PostAxle, on Jan 8 2007, 05:12 PM, said:

Where do the bombs drop out of?

Out of the back.  The best way I can describe it is from the photo on the box and in the manual:

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Pull the red lever down (see the arrow) and the bomb container will tilt down and the bombs will drop through the slot and out.  Note that you don't want to have the bombs stuck together (like what is in my photos) or they won't fit through the slot.
So much LEGO, so little time...

#8 Asuka

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:33 PM

What a fine review.  *y*
I like this set a lot. Nice design! Maybe it could hold 2 more Troopies by just turning the blue chairs
around and to the sides. I would like to MOD the pod so you can drop it with the roof attached, but
unfortunately this seems a little complicated without changing the whole structure.... But its easy
enough if I decide to raise the middle section of the spine with the top wing a little, although that
would disturb the sleekness....  |-/

#9 Axle

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 04:45 PM

How big are the guns?

#10 Zaktan of the Shadows

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:36 AM

Nice review. I really want this now! Its strange, this was in a minor scene of the Speacial Edition, and it gets such a good set. Thanks!

-ZotS


#11 dunamis

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:50 AM

View PostAxle, on Jan 10 2007, 04:45 PM, said:

How big are the guns?


Hopefully, this photo will give you a sense of scale:

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So much LEGO, so little time...

#12 Axle

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:43 PM

Ok.Thanks!Details on them are good!

#13 Zaktan of the Shadows

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 01:02 AM

Thsese new ones make the old ones look like crap.  *y*

-ZotS


#14 The Executive

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 01:20 AM

I like the new blaster rifle, it looks really good with the minifigs *wub*

#15 dunamis

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 09:29 AM

View PostDoubleT, on Jan 8 2007, 05:10 PM, said:

Thanks dunamis  *y*

Will you post when you have a chace moc it?  :-)

Well, this should squelch any further requests of people asking me to photograph my MOC work in the future.  

You asked for it, so here are my changes to the Imperial Landing Craft set.  You have been warned:

Imperial Landing Craft Modifications
So much LEGO, so little time...

#16 Bonaparte

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:13 PM

This is really a great new set.
I decided not to buy any more Star Wars sets some time ago and focus on pirates (and castle) instead.
But a set like this would be on top of my list if I was still collecting Star Wars.
I like the craft and the details (bombs, missiles) and it has a great number of highly wanted minifigs.

Btw, nice review  ;-)

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#17 Axle

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:25 PM

Can you take a pic of the sand and storm troopers from back and front?

#18 dunamis

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:01 PM

View PostAxle, on Jan 31 2007, 05:25 PM, said:

Can you take a pic of the sand and storm troopers from back and front?

Sure.  I'm at work now so look for it in about 12-14 hours.
So much LEGO, so little time...

#19 xwingyoda

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:48 PM

View PostAxle, on Jan 31 2007, 06:25 PM, said:

Can you take a pic of the sand and storm troopers from back and front?
The stormie is just a regular stormie like the one from the ISD (only sets with the new grey markings  ;-) )
The sandie is just a stormie with a paldron (same as the previous sandie)  ;-)
Great figs IMO but nothing we haven't seen  ;-)

*yoda*

#20 dunamis

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 02:01 AM

OK, here is your photo:

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So much LEGO, so little time...

#21 Zaktan of the Shadows

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 02:11 AM

Ah yes. The stormies.

-ZotS


#22 Axle

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 04:30 PM

Good News,all.I'm finnaly getting the Imperial Landing Craft for my Confirmation!!

Thanks to dunamis for making me love it so much. *sweet*

#23 dunamis

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 05:47 PM

No problem.  

Enjoy the ship!
So much LEGO, so little time...

#24 captaintau

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:35 PM

Got mine today. Most expensive of the January sets so waited 'till last. Worth the wait though. Very enjoyable build. Surprisingly swooshable.

#25 Nikola Bathory

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:50 PM

This set looks cool, I think I will but it new week, wish me luck!  *vader*



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