Death Star 10188 Review
Set Name: Death Star
Set Number: 10188
Price: $399 US, $629 Aus, $275 UK.
Build time: 20 + hours but loads of fun!
Stickers: 1 large sheet, though I only used some of them.
Well, where do you start with such a massive set?
The box is just massive, and once you crack it open you are greeted with four white boxes featuring the a different playstation symbol on each, and a massive instruction manual ringbound for ease of use.
As you can see from my first couple of pics, its hard to get moving, fortunately my advent calendar had arrived at the same time, and a lot of takeaway containers were used to try (in vain) to sort all the pieces out. I ended up using a large empty box to store all the light grey bricks and another box to store all the large pieces (plates mainly).
Rather than focus on the build, which was stretched out over 2 weeks every night after work for a couple of hours. I have chosen to focus on the features and functions of each level. I will present a couple of progress shots for you to look at now though.
I must say nothing made me feel like I was finally going to finish better than placing the 4 large middle floor sections on to the lower section. As a bonus try to count how many times my hand is seen in the photos, there will be a Bonus at the end of the review.
Hey its down there somewhere. Meant mainly as structural support/shaping, this level really doesn’t have anything of note besides another level for the elevator to stop at. The elevator runs the entire height of the death star (4 floors) through the centre of the superstructure.
Now we are getting to the good bits. On this level you will find a laser cannon that rotates and pivets up and down. It also has a flick-fire missile, so watch your eyes!
Next up is the cargo bay. In this room you will find a nifty crane arm for moving crates and droids around and of course a cargo elevator which moves up to the next floor to the tie fighter hangar, just like in Star Wars when the Millenium Falcon lands inside. For the purpose of this display we have an Imperial Guard.
Lift goes up/ lift goes down, note the winder on the side of the wall to raise the platform up and down.
Follow this around, we discover another iconic scene. The leap of faith. Luke was kind enough to volunteer to show us just how far down the chasm extends.
As we keep moving through the superstructure, you will note the Tractor Beam generator, as disconnected by Obi Wan with assistance from the Almighty hand of power!
Finally to round out the second floor, is the Trash Compactor. Perhaps one of the most iconic scenes, in addition to the leap of faith.
The wall design is really nice, and by pressing the technic pin above the walls in, you can simulate the walls crushing inwards! Also you will find Dianoga here living amongst the trash just waiting to grab an unsuspecting Luke and drag him under.
To the right of picture you can see the sliding trash compactor door. This is slid across to open the door to the elevator shaft.
On with the show. Since I finished with the trash compactor room, its only fitting I start the third floor with the detention block.
All hell breaking loose!
There is plenty to look at in this room. You have the hanging lights/cameras that Han and Chewbacca blast to avoid detection. These swivel around and pan up and down as well. A really nice circular console layout, much like the movie. This includes three printed screens and two stickers.
In this pic you can see the open hatch which leads down to the compactor. This allows our plucky band of heroes to make their escape. At the end of the hallway there is a sticker to create an illusion of the long hallway. This is also achieved by some more advanced building to create a parallax effect. This is achieved by the use of a lot of these and one of each of these for the floor
Princess Leia’s cell
The wall pulls away really nice and fits snugly back in allowing access to the cell easily (much like the walls on Indiana Tomb set). There is also nice steps and the interrogation droid. The door to Leia’s cell is open by turning the technic joint up and down (this is the same for raising the hatch to the compactor)
Fully operational Death Star
Next around the globe of death is the Laser firing room with the massive laser capable of destroying entire planets in a single blast. I have removed the laser dish to allow easier viewing of all the details in this room.
The laser is mounted to some formidable machinery. The base of which rotates only a little way to stop the dish crashing into the side walls. As well as rotating side to side the dish also tilts up and down, which is no easy feat as it ways a lot. This is controlled from the floor above (see later) Also worth looking at are the nice little details like the barrels and the cable to power the laser. Nice little touches.
The observation deck has a view of the Hangar (next stop) through the glass windowing. Besides all the computer screens there is another technique nut to turn to open and close the …..
Again, well done TLC this is another part of the movie I really liked. The blast doors always looked so cool closing in Star Wars. The mechanism allows the door to slide easily both ways.
This is where the freight elevator raises up to. There is a door to the central elevator as well. Some nice boxes and a harness to suspend the Tie fighter, this rotates left and right to move the fighter where you need it in order to maintain the action.
Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter
Once the tie is placed in the harness, there isn’t a lot of room left in this room, hence the lower detailing. I have shown a picture of the cockpit to demonstrate that it is quite easy to place Darth inside. The window on the left side wall is the back of the Emperors throne room, and that’s where we are off to next….
There is plenty of action and playability to be seen in this room. TLC has done well cramming so much detail into this room. The grand staircase, the walkway with its massive chasm-drop on either side, the collapsing walkway, rotating throne chair and groovy blue things (no idea what they were doing in the movie either, though Luke jumped into one at one stage if memory serves) On the roof above is the Technic pin to control the exterior lasers turrets from the trench run in Star Wars (more detail later)
The second shot shows the chasm as well as the collapsing walkway.
Last stop is the 4th and top floor.
Lets start with the exterior turrets from the trench run.
I really like these, and they look all the more realitic because there are two of them and they move left to right in synch, by way of the technic connections under the floor (see almighty hand). Also on the left side of each cannon is a technic pin to rotate each laser turret up and down. The last little feature is a charming little mouse droid hole connecting this room to the Medical wing. I have placed the mouse droid near the hole for reference.
This room has a lot of features packed in as well. On the back wall is the pulley system to raise and lower the central elevator. Under the surgeon’s table is the rotation for the Tie Fighter in the hangar below. When the table is folded down it sits perfectly horizontal too, bravo on another nice little touch TLC. Also on offer is a work desk with chair and loads of tools. There is even a rack to place the two spare stormtrooper helmets worn by Luke and Han.
Not quite sure what this room is but it’s where you will find C3PO and R2D2 hiding out.
Features of this room are the two computer banks, the right one controls the Death Star main laser cannon, left-right and up-down. The other display is meant to represent in the first picture the approach to Yavin 4 and in the second Alderaan just before it is blown up by the Death Star.
Last but not least is the Conference Room.
Sporting seven chairs, so there is always room for visitors, Grand Moff Tarkin can feel right at home hosting. With a final assist from the almighty hand, we can see that the conference table lifts off to make a handy storage area for your weapons not currently in use. A couple of light banks and some barrels round out this room as well as elevator access.
This is a monumental set in a number of ways. First the build is very lengthy but rewarding and secondly the size of the finished product is huge. A whooping 42cm x 42cm x 43cm high. On to the all important ratings
Build: 9.5/10, The guide was really easy to follow, except for similar colours, like trans orange and trans fluorescent orange, not to mention I had two black bricks left over that I probably used dark bley for somewhere along the way.
Playability: 10/10, If this set doesn’t have it, its not worth having, with levers, pulleys and switches all over the place.
Swooshability: 0/10, Just try for yourself, though I would give the Tie 10/10 for swooshability, nothing is going to fall off this baby.
Minifigs: 10/10, What can be said about a set that contains the largest number of minifigures ever. Amazing! Sure some people will complain about no new molds etc, but for me I now pretty much have all the relevant characters from the Original Trilogy from just one set.
Design: 10/10, a well designed symmetrical design with so many great rooms. You could argue that there isn’t enough detail on the bottom floor, but with all the action above its quickly forgotten.
Price: 9/10, I was lucky enough to pick this set up for the cheaper price in Australia ($399), and would find it hard to justify paying $629 Aus for this. So my opinion is a little biased.
Overall Score 8/10, with swooshability really hurting the rating, but it is a playset not a vehicle, so enjoy this set if you are fortunate enough to purchase it.
Now I promised a bonus for making it through the whole review. With your final tally of pictures with my hand in it, find that number picture, counting down through the review and click on the link for what life on the Death Star is really like.
Thank you for your time.
Edited by I Scream Clone, 28 February 2010 - 09:03 PM.