Set Number: 8095
Name: General Grievous' Starfighter
Theme: Star Wars
Subtheme: The Clone Wars
Year of Release: 2010
Price: $49.99 USD
Returning to his secret lair to recover and plot his next attack on the Republic, General Grievous™ is attacked by a new Jedi Knight, Nahdar Vebb™. Assisted by his trusted droid assistant, A4-D™, and with his speedy starfighter nearby to escape, General Grievous will be difficult to stop!
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The box has the blue Captain Rex design of the 2010 wave with the minifigures listed in the lower right corner of the front and the top. In the background is a planet that appears to be Vassek, the system in which Grievous' Lair is located.
The back features some ads for the three largest sets of the wave, a demonstration of the functionality of the starfighter's fin, a picture of the included "command chair", and a scene of Grievous battling Nahdar next to his starfighter. It's a little strange that the setting of this scene seems to be Utapau since this set is based on the Clone Wars which hasn't even featured that planet yet, but it's by far not as strange as other box art backgrounds, such as the jungle for the AT-AP and CTT or the desert for the Rebel/Stormie Battle Packs.
Inside, you will find an instruction booklet, four numbered bags, and a small sticker sheet.
The instructions are very gray-scale, so they're a little tough to read. Here is a random instruction page.
The last two pages of the booklet are comprised of a teaser for the upcoming Lego Clone Wars videogame (which, for some reason, features clones with the horrible old blasters) and an ad for the other Clone Wars sets of the current wave (which shows Grievous fighting Anakin, which is contradictory with canon since the two can't meet until Episode III, but I suppose that's something TLC cares little about).
Inside the first bag, along with some parts, there is a bag with smaller parts and Grievous' separately bagged body parts.
Which brings us to...
Let's start with A4-D, Grievous' doctor. TLG didn't do a very good job on him. He isn't very accurate, especially since he's taller than the Grievous fig, and the use of a stickered brick for the head is just cheap. The gadgets on his back are kinda nice though since they are very poseable.
Here's a reference pic:
Here is Grievous out of his bag. As you can see, his arms are only printed on one side, which makes sense since he only has plating on one side of his arms. A4-D: "What a mess! It's going to take me forever to get you back into decent shape!"
After assembly, he looks pretty good. Very detailed and accurate! His eyes are a bit cartoony and not as grim-looking as they should be, but otherwise he's great! Nahdar Vebb is neat too, although nothing special since we already have Mon Calamari.
Grievous has a nice hunched-over stature.
Nahdar has back printing, which is nice to see.
This is what Nahdar looks like in the show.
Grievous comes with his second set of arms which can be attached to his upper arms. It looks kinda strange how one set of arms seems longer than the other, but at least it makes them very poseable.
He also comes with his blaster, so you can recreate the scene from "Lair of Grievous" where he kills Nahdar. Fried Calamari anyone?
The Surgery Chair
The rest of the parts from Bag 1 are used to build the chair on which A4-D repairs Grievous. It's a very quick build, but the end result is very nice looking. It comes with a weapons rack that can hold all four of Grievous' lightsabers as well as his blaster.
The chair is built on a turntable, so it can swivel, and you can straighten it out to become a surgery table, just like in the episode. Lots of playability already right here! This could have been a nice "Darth Vader Transformation"-style impulse set. Oh well.
The left over parts from the first bag are a bunch droid arms, a stud, and a T-piece. If you want, you can use these as spare parts for Grievous.
The Soulless One
With the parts from the second bag, you build the main body of the ship. The notable pieces here are the printed windscreen (yes, printed!) and the random white 2x4 brick which will be hidden inside the nose of the ship.
Here are some in-build shots. First you build a nice tan and brown striped base. It's kind of a pity that most of this will be covered up later.
Then you extend it to the back to create the base for the cockpit and add a bunch of wedge-plates.
We go on to add more smooth elements. The cockpit is starting to take shape.
Lastly, you cover it all up and, voila, about half of the ship is done.
Bag 3 contains all the parts for the engines. Some pieces of interest here are the dark bley (and tan) curved slopes and vulture droid wing pieces which are very rare in that color, as well as some trans-orange bits in the smaller bag. Also, there are two more random white bricks, but don't worry, just like the first one, they will not be visible in the end result.
Here is the right engine, about halfway through the build.
One engine completed. Now you repeat the same build to make the other engine, just mirrored.
After the engines are done, they are attached to the body of the ship via Technic pins. Looks pretty good already.
The fourth bag contains pieces for giving it the finishing touches, such as the fin, laser cannons, main thrusters, and missiles.
At last, the starfighter is complete! Count Dooku will be pleased.
Impressive. Most impressive. It looks as good from the back as it does from the front.
Here is a reference pic of the starfighter from the show:
Pretty accurate if you ask me. Here are some straight-on shots.
There's some nice detailing on the side of the engines.
As you can see, there are lots of thrusters on this ship, allowing for a quick
It has a nice and sleek shape when looking from above.
On the bottom, it has a weird torpedo thingy that was never shown in the show, or otherwise. It's just something TLG added for playability. I would have preferred a smooth belly for the starfighter, but oh well.
A close-up of the cockpit. I like how they did the control-handlebars. The best thing about them is that they are mounted on one of those rubbery Technic pieces so that they hold the windscreen shut when closed. The stickers add little holo-tables to the cockpit so that Grievous can talk to (and hang up on) Dooku.
Here's the Droid General at the controls, ready to take off and leave another super-expensive Separatist station to get blown up by the Jedi (Perhaps you can already tell, I'm not a huge fan of The Clone Wars' depiction of Grievous ).
For flight, the back fin swings up, and the windscreen slides back into the closed position. I like how they used the flag pieces to make it look like the fin is receding into the back of the cockpit, just like it should. This is a huge improvement over the old Soulless One which had the entire nose sliding, and could only have the fin fold down, which looked pretty stupid.
The laser cannons at the front can be aimed up. This is also an improvement as the cannons on the old one had an entire part of the wing tilting back. However, the trans-orange cones make them look a bit cheap, unlike the lightsaber hilts from the old one.
On each engine, there's also a hidden flick-fire missile launcher. I don't mind these since they are hidden pretty well, and they add some more playability to the set.
They can't be flipped down all the way when the ship is standing on the ground, which is why I had to prop it up (poor Nahdar ).
These are all the parts that are left over. Quite a few, but nothing overly exciting.
Comparison with 7656
Now, the question you're probably asking is: Is it really better than the old General Grievous' Starfighter? Well, here they are, side by side. The new one is only slightly larger than the old one, which is surprising considering the box is about twice the size of that of 7656. The old one definitely looks much sleeker than the new one, but the new one is more detailed and accurate, especially regarding the engines.
The old one doesn't have any indication of thrusters on the engines, and the back of the cockpit is rather blocky whereas that of the new one has a nice flow to it thanks to the flag pieces and lower thrusters.
As I mentioned earlier, the fin retraction is much better on the new one as you can see in this picture:
The old Grievous pales in comparison to the new one - literally. He's all-white, is standing up completely straight, and has a super-thick neck and those awkward bars on his hips. The only thing that's better about him is the way his second arms are attached and the fact that he can wear a cape, but on the other hand, he's much less poseable than the new one.
When holding all four lightsabers, the new Grievous can point them in virtually any direction, while the old one can only point them up. How lame. Not to mention that the old one had the boring bley hilts.
Now compare them with this reference image and tell me which one is best.
Design: 5/5 - It's very nice and accurate, a nearly perfect rendition of the Droid General's Starfighter! It's a little edgier than the old one, but that's due to the Clone Wars style that it is based on.
Build: 4/5 - It's an enjoyable build, although the construction was a little unstable at some points, and there is some repetition.
Minifigs: 4/5 - Grievous and Nahdar are excellent, and even though the Doctor is easily one of the worst Star Wars minifigs ever, I'm still glad they included him. It would have been nice if Kit Fisto and/or some clones would have been included, but not necessary, I suppose.
Playability: 5/5 - It's very swooshable, even if a bit heavy! The sliding cockpit, the retracting fin, the laser cannons, everything works very well and just like it should, and they even managed to incorporate some missiles in there without distracting from the design. Together with the surgery chair and weapons rack, there are several play hours guaranteed!
Parts: 4.5/5 - Aside from the printed new cockpit piece and some slopes in dark bley, nothing really special.
Price: 4/5 - 454 pieces for $50 is pretty good by today's standards, even if it comes with only three figs.
Overall: 5/5 - A very accurate model of the Soulless One from the Clone Wars TV show, along with a small part of Grievous' Lair and two great minifigs, all for a reasonable price. I'd say this is one of the best Star Wars sets of the year and I can recommend it, especially to those who don't have a Grievous fig yet.
All images can be found in this brickshelf folder.
For those of you who were thinking about not applying the stickers, you might want to think twice.
Edited by KimT, 27 November 2010 - 02:34 PM.