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Review: 20016 Mini Imperial Shuttle


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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (34 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. Poor (3 votes [8.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.82%

  2. Below Average (4 votes [11.76%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.76%

  3. Average (18 votes [52.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 52.94%

  4. Above Average (4 votes [11.76%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.76%

  5. Outstanding (5 votes [14.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.71%

Which version is better?

  1. 4494 (Original) (23 votes [67.65%])

    Percentage of vote: 67.65%

  2. 20016 (New) (11 votes [32.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.35%

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#1 Inconspicuous

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 07:02 AM

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Ever since I first brought news of this set to the Star Wars Picture and Rumor thread, there was discussion about whether it would be better than its predecessor. I have a habit of reviewing these promos, and so I thought I'd review this one too. But my subscription expired. So I was caught in the trap I had tried to help others with. Is it worth subscribing right now, or should I hold off for a few months to get a better set? Well, I bit the bullet and bought the subscription anyways. Was my purchase worth it? Does the set live up to a high expectation already set? Find out as I review this model, 20016 Mini Imperial Shuttle.

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BASIC INFORMATION:
Set Name: Mini Imperial Shuttle
Set Number: 20016
Number of Pieces: 70
Minifigs: 0
Price: N/A (Brickmaster Exclusive, est. value $6)
Theme: Star Wars / Mini
Year Released: 2010

RESOURCES:

Brickset
Peeron
Bricklink
Flickr

(You can click all pictures for a larger version)

THE REVIEW:

BAG:

Front:
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First up is the large Brickmaster polybag, which features a simple picture of the model and the set information. A large Brickmaster logo is present on the front, as well as the three-clone image at the top. You can also see the second Death Star in the background. I do like the way the borders and background look, but I think the view of the set should be a little less head-on.

Back:
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The back features the typical warnings and information. Also here is a clear strip so you can see the pieces inside.

BAG:: Thoughts: I actually do like that bag quite a bit. The design and colors are nice.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Front:
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The instructions are of the usual size and are folded. They fit into the bag fine, so I'm not sure why they needed to be folded. It makes them a pain to keep open, but Brickmaster manuals have been this way for a while.

Random Page:
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Random instruction page. You can see that piece call-outs are not present and submodels are large enough to get a few pages. The light gray background isn't as interesting as other sets, but it doesn't get in the way either.

Inventory:
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The parts inventory for those curious. (You can click it for a larger version)

Back:
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The screaming kid is featured on the back, but by now I think all of us are used to him and his crazy expression.

Instructions:: Thoughts: Standard Brickmaster instructions. Nothing to complain about, but nothing to cheer about.

Content:
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The pieces are divided into two groups- the loose pieces and the bagged pieces. The bag contains the smaller ones, as is tradition.

PIECES:

Pieces:
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Here are the pieces, spread for your viewing pleasure. Most of the pieces are white, which makes editing pictures a pain, but there is a fair amount of light bley and touches of other colors. There's actually a fair amount of them for a Brickmaster promo.

Pieces of Interest:
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Here are some of the more interesting pieces, surprisingly most of which are not white. There's nothing too special, but they're still nice to have. Binoculars are always useful, as are levers and trans-clear bricks.

Pieces:: Thoughts: Nothing mind-blowing, but I can see these being useful.

THE BUILD:

Build:
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And after 15 regular steps and 15 steps of submodel, the set is completed. The process isn't too interesting, but it's always refreshing to work with brand new bricks. The final set is a fairly flimsy, and the submodel-intensive build foreshadows that quite a bit.

Extras:
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Just two extras, but the white lever is nice to have.

Build:: Thoughts: I generally like submodel builds, but it wasn't that good for this set. Part of the problem is that it's just plain small.

COMPLETED PRODUCT:

The Whole Set:
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And we have our completed model! I really like the clean look, but the cockpit is a little odd. More on that later.

Flight Mode:
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Opened up, the model looks very nice. Due to plates on the underside of wing, the wings can only open to this angle, which in my opinion is good because it's accurate. Also note that the binocular-guns turn with the wings. A very cool little touch! However, the designers didn't catch the slight downward extension of the wings that can be seen in this picture.

Back:
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The back is a huge let-down. The thruster I guess you could call them, is huge and ugly! I don't like the rounded bricks either. Although I will give the designers credit for the cannon on top, which looks nice.

Folded:
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The ship has a nice look folded up, and the cockpits rests on the ground without being bumped. Here, you can see the round plates under the wings that keep them at the right angle when open.

Front:
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Let's take a close look at the front. The wing guns and binoculars are nice and I like them a lot. However, the cockpit just looks ugly. The 1x2 overlap isn't pleasing, and neither is the lack of a printed tile.

Comparison with Set #4494 Imperial Shuttle:

Overall:
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Now let's do a little comparison to the old version (Set #4494), since many people seem to say the old one is by far better. You can see that they have a similar look, although are quite obviously different. Let's break up the components and see how different they truly are. From now on, the old version will be on the left and the new one on the right.

Wing:
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First up is the wings. It's hard to tell, but the old version (left) has the one stud in the corner missing. Not only that, but I strongly dislike the old cannon. So here, the new one wins.

Fin:
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Now for the fins with are.... identical? Yes, that's right. Lego kept the exact same design for both. It's not bad, perhaps not entirely accurate, but Lego is quite confident in the design.

Cockpit:
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The cockpits are another story. Although I strongly like the printed tile on the old one (left), I can't help but feel the shape is off. The new one is awkward with the extension and black tile, but I think the shape is a little better. A fusion between the two would be the best.

Body Front:
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Now for the main body. I like the shape on the old one (left), but I also like the sleekness and cleanness of the new one. However, the old one's color is more accurate, and thus better.

Body Back:
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The back view has a clear winner. The old one is SO much better here. Although I do like the cannon on the new one, the old one is a clear winner.

_______________________________________________

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Totals:

Design: 4/10 The thrusters and the cockpit are both big failures. New isn't always better. However, I do like what the designers did with the wings and body shape. I just wish the body was more white.

Parts: 6/10 An okay selection with at least a few nice varieties of pieces. It's nothing amazing though.

Build: 5/10 The build was okay, bordering on poor. It didn't feel that satisfying, even for its size.

Swooshability/Playability: 8/10 It's very swooshable and the wings unfolding works well and stays in place. Crashing it is fun, because it explodes, but isn't too hard to put back together. There's not much else to do with it though.

Price: 6/10 $40 for 6 sets a year comes out to about $7. At 70 pieces, that's a perfect ratio. However, it's not just the model, but also several others, which are generally less valued than the Star Wars ones.

Total: 29/50 So yeah, a pretty poor score. People were pretty much correct in saying this one's worse than the original. But despite a lot of bashing, there are a number of positives. If you want to make a really accurate Mini, I would recommend buying both and combining the good sections of each. It's not entirely worthless to me. But what do you think? Feel free to discuss which version you like better and why.

Thanks for reading!

-Inconspicuous

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#2 KielDaMan

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 07:17 AM

Excellent review as usual, thanks for sharing this with us Sir! It's nice to see the comparison of this new mini-IS with the older version. Both look almost exactly the same at first glance, except for the cockpit. I prefer the old one even though its printed since the cockpit clips of the new IS is too exposed IMO.

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#3 lightningtiger

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 07:49 AM

Thanks for the review 'Inconspicuous' - interesting design with lots of parts for a mini set.
Here's an idea combine the old and new designs to take the best out of both to create the best.
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#4 Anio

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 08:13 AM

View PostInconspicuous, on 26 July 2010 - 07:02 AM, said:

Design: 4/10 The thrusters and the cockpit are both big failures. New isn't always better. However, I do like what the designers did with the wings and body shape. I just wish the body was more white.

Build: 5/10 The build was okay, bordering on poor. It didn't feel that satisfying, even for its size.

I really never understand how people rate models on EB. O_o

For the size, the design is awesome. It has several nice details.

The build is also quite interesting for the size. The cockpit use no printed parts, the wings can move.

IMO, the designer couldn't have worked better on this model.

The only default (which is not a true default, because the set himself is still well designed) is that the set is similar to the previous shuttle.

#5 KimT

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 08:51 AM

Thanks for reviewing this one.
I like the older version, it had a printed slope, better body design and the rear end design was spot on.
Still, this is a fine little mini and one can only wonder why TLG still push hard to keep the minis of the shelves in stores.
I can easily imagine parents buying these as impulse birthday gifts and stuff that Grandpa always brings for the kiddies.
But that might just be me mixing my own childhood memories with wishful thinking :laugh:
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#6 OneSnowTrooper

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 10:22 AM

Thanks for the review. Overall I like the old 1 better.
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#7 drdavewatford

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 01:59 PM

View PostKimT, on 26 July 2010 - 08:51 AM, said:

Still, this is a fine little mini and one can only wonder why TLG still push hard to keep the minis of the shelves in stores.
I can easily imagine parents buying these as impulse birthday gifts and stuff that Grandpa always brings for the kiddies.

I'm with you, Kim - a few subscribers in the U.S. will get one of these, and the rest of the world will either be totally oblivious or else pay hugely over the odds to keep their collections complete.

Why can't LEGO quit teasing the OUS fans and make these available by default via S@H, or in the bricks and mortar stores at least ?

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#8 brickfoot

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 02:36 PM

Great review. I think if you put all the pros of both ships in one ship it would look awesome.
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#9 ThatGuyWithTheBricks

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 03:10 PM

OK, no offense to Inky, but don't you think his reviews have gotten enough frontpages? I mean, his reviews are great, but do we really have to give him a frontpage every time he reviews something new?

Good review though.

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#10 Walter Kovacs

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:45 PM

Another great review Inky.  

i have to parrot what everyone else has already said.  The wings are a subtle improvment over the first version, the connection between the tail fin and the main hull is definite improvement (especially the rear facing lazer cannon), and the rest is a bit blah.  

I wonder if your rankings would have been better if there were no original version to compare it to.  Except for the engines (which are close to hideous), the rest of the model looks pretty good, at least to my eyes.

I feel sorry for those who can't get this set from Brickmaster.  You could always buy the parts off of Bricklink.  Should be close to $6 US, not including shipping, as there aren't many exotic parts in it.  You wouldn't get the satisfaction of opening it new, but you'd still be able to display it.
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#11 prateek

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:57 PM

I had no idea this set existed, but I don't really care for it now anyways.

#12 Inconspicuous

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:58 PM

View PostAnio, on 26 July 2010 - 08:13 AM, said:

For the size, the design is awesome. It has several nice details.

The build is also quite interesting for the size. The cockpit use no printed parts, the wings can move.

IMO, the designer couldn't have worked better on this model.

The only default (which is not a true default, because the set himself is still well designed) is that the set is similar to the previous shuttle.

View PostWalter Kovacs, on 26 July 2010 - 04:45 PM, said:

I wonder if your rankings would have been better if there were no original version to compare it to.  Except for the engines (which are close to hideous), the rest of the model looks pretty good, at least to my eyes.

Walter is right here. If they're releasing a set similar to an older version, I would honestly hope it would be better. It's just that some of the details are a painfully obvious de-improvement that brings down the ratings for me. But if you're honestly looking to buy the set, base your opinions off of the pictures and comments, not the final ratings.

View PostKimT, on 26 July 2010 - 08:51 AM, said:

I can easily imagine parents buying these as impulse birthday gifts and stuff that Grandpa always brings for the kiddies.
But that might just be me mixing my own childhood memories with wishful thinking :laugh:

I actually got the majority of my mini collection from my Grandmother. :laugh:

View PostThatGuyWithTheBricks, on 26 July 2010 - 03:10 PM, said:

OK, no offense to Inky, but don't you think his reviews have gotten enough frontpages? I mean, his reviews are great, but do we really have to give him a frontpage every time he reviews something new?

It's honestly a bit of luck and coincidence. One massive review, two new set reviews in a matter of days. I was a bit surprised this one got it, but I'm equally happy.  :grin:

Thanks for the comments!

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#13 Brickdoctor

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 05:21 PM

Thanks for this review! I got the older version, and hvae no regrets as far as passing on the new one.

#14 dr_spock

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 12:11 AM

Thanks for doing the review.  Looking at the two, I like the old version a bit more.

#15 Svelte

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 12:14 AM

View PostThatGuyWithTheBricks, on 26 July 2010 - 03:10 PM, said:

OK, no offense to Inky, but don't you think his reviews have gotten enough frontpages? I mean, his reviews are great, but do we really have to give him a frontpage every time he reviews something new?

Oi!

It's nothing to do with Inconspicuous personally but all to do with the news value of the reviews and their extraordinarily high quality.

You should be grateful that he puts in the time and effort in producing such beautiful reviews - it takes many hours to photograph, edit and write-up a review.

#16 ThatGuyWithTheBricks

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 12:38 AM

View PostSvelte, on 27 July 2010 - 12:14 AM, said:

Oi!

It's nothing to do with Inconspicuous personally but all to do with the news value of the reviews and their extraordinarily high quality.

You should be grateful that he puts in the time and effort in producing such beautiful reviews - it takes many hours to photograph, edit and write-up a review.

Of course, I'm not criticizing Inky.

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#17 Smack

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:05 AM

Thanks for the review and the comparison photos as I was unaware of the old mini.  I also have to agree with the masses in that the old model is better for the most part (I am a fan of the printed piece as well).  The rear of the old model is miles ahead of the new as the new trans blue piece looks humongous in comparison to the old and out of place.

#18 kyphur

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:23 AM

I don't know how this review can be considered complete without reviewing the Alt model included in the magazine.

I've liked the assault gunboat ever since I first flew it in the old TIE Fighter video game.

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#19 skiizim

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:23 AM

Thanks for the great review!!! I just wish they would have incorporated a little bit more of the old into the new.

#20 Inconspicuous

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 04:13 AM

View Postkyphur, on 27 July 2010 - 03:23 AM, said:

I don't know how this review can be considered complete without reviewing the Alt model included in the magazine.

I've liked the assault gunboat ever since I first flew it in the old TIE Fighter video game.

The "XG-3 Star Wing"?  :wacko:  Yeah, there's an alternate model in the magazine, but I had no idea that it was an actual Star Wars ship. I thought it was some garbage they made up.

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#21 LegoDad42

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 06:28 AM

Great review...especially comparing both models. Lot's of fun to look at.
I love this new mini-Imperial Shuttle(I got this like 2 weeks ago). It's very shwooshable! My subscription has given me some excellent models (except for that Crocodile) with the Republic Attack Gunship as my favorite, this shuttle comes in a close second for me.
The original though has a slight edge on the better design, but it's so slight. Either one is great to have. You can't go wrong.

#22 Brickus

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:22 AM

Good review, alas I cannot get this set.

#23 kyphur

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:02 PM

View PostInconspicuous, on 27 July 2010 - 04:13 AM, said:

The "XG-3 Star Wing"?  :wacko:  Yeah, there's an alternate model in the magazine, but I had no idea that it was an actual Star Wars ship. I thought it was some garbage they made up.


No unlike the T-22 Armored Speeder the XG-3 has been around since the late 80s/early 90s.

Honestly as much as I like the shuttle I think the XG-3 is a better model!

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#24 Virar

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 10:31 AM

View Postkyphur, on 27 July 2010 - 08:02 PM, said:

No unlike the T-22 Armored Speeder the XG-3 has been around since the late 80s/early 90s.

Honestly as much as I like the shuttle I think the XG-3 is a better model!

Do you have a pic of the XG-3 model?

#25 kyphur

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 04:02 PM

View PostVirar, on 28 July 2010 - 10:31 AM, said:

Do you have a pic of the XG-3 model?

This is a screenshot from LDView. I'll take some actual photos when I get home tonight.

20016-2 MINI XG-3 Star Wing (Assault Gunboat)-Step1.jpg

Edited by kyphur, 28 July 2010 - 07:59 PM.

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