This ship is more famous as a LEGO ship than as a Star Wars one. It appeared in the first five minute of the Phantom Menace, then got blown up, but also, it is the precursor to the Rebel Blockade runner. In the Star Wars universe, red is the diplomatic color, and this ship is a bonanza of red. Half the LEGO I own I wanted to buy, and half I just had to buy. This falls into the second category. Was it what I wanted?
Name: Republic Cruiser
Theme: Star Wars
Minifigs: R2-R7, Republic Captain, Republic Pilot, Qui-Gon Jinn (Light Flesh), Obi-Wan Kenobi (young with hood and cape, light flesh, tan legs)
Price: I paid 10,000 yen
MSP: $90 U.S., £70
The limited edition Republic Cruiser is ready to shuttle Jedi Knights, ambassadors and diplomats to trouble spots all across the galaxy! The famous red starship from Star Wars Episode I features an opening cockpit, extending hidden blaster cannons, rotating sensor dish, landing gear, detachable escape pod, and more.
* Roof removes to reveal detailed interior with cargo containers and space speeder mini-vehicle!
* Includes Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, and all-new Republic Pilot, Republic Captain, and R2-R7 astromech droid minifigures.
Two big booklets, over 130 pages of building instructions
An ad to take you waaaaay back to 2007
Four pages to display features
Unfortunately, that ship on the right doesn't actually fly
This set has loads of gorgeous bright red pieces, with plates and pieces, discs and slopes. Enough technic blocks to support the heavy ship weight.
Obi Wan, Qui Gon, a pilot and a captain, plus an R-unit. This set famously had the double Obi Wan head, so mine had the Qui Gon head in a separate sealed package, and I have two Obi Wan heads.
The Jedi have nice capes that have held their shape up until now.
This ship is fairly heavy, so a fair amount of Technic is needed to support the weight. Lot's of pins in the early build. This is about 12 steps in, and the landing gear has been finished.
About 20 steps in, the base is made. Everything will attach to this part.
Then we move onto the nose. Notice that the black piece is slightly longer than the grey pieces. This is the escape pod deployment mechanism.
The cockpit is built...
And attached with an elastic band.
When the hidden beige part is pushed, they spread out, and, in the underside, that black piece is ready to lock in the pod.
That is then attached to the first build.
Now on to the tail. This is a fairly flat area, but then the greebling comes...
This has a pile of radar dishes on it, which apparently "are manned by two communications officers who specialize in deciphering strange languages and decoding complex alien signal pulses."
By twisting the yellow knob the large dish above spins. The best you can do on an unarmed diplomatic craft
The tail locks into the back with Technic pins, and the ship is no longer top heavy
Next we add the hull.
The captain monitors transmissions, while the R-unit hangs out with him. On the other side, we have storage for a mini ship and lock box we'll see later.
Lastly, we have the pod where the Jedi get stashed. This is a slightly wobbly bit.
The lid stays on simply through gravity.
The Finished Product
It doesn't look so great head on, it loses some detail.
On the other hand, it looks great from behind. Possibly, a bigger orange disc would have gotten a better engine feel.
The overhead view is very imposing. This looks solid, and has a great shape.
The pilot is very comfortable in his cockpit, ample room for him.
You can barely see it, but there's a brown piece, that if you flick it, reveals little guns, but not flick fire missiles. And they pop out that grey piece.
The pilot has this little ship to fly around on (too bad he didn't use it before the ship blew up)
And his lock box with a pistol and binoculars.
Another view of the highly greebled tail side.
This Technic piece holds up the whole ship. If you pick it up anywhere else, it'll break something.
The top is covered by a build that slides snugly into place, and comes off by tugging that little white piece. Surprisingly strong.
Here is the beige release pin for the pod.
One push, and gravity does it's business.
The Final Verdict
Design: 10/10 This is a beautiful ship with lots of detail. The red, white, and burgundy work great together, the ship is quite stable (if you hold it right), and has a few play features.
Build: 9/10 This is a delightful ship to build (this was my third time ) It's surprisingly not repetitive, as most of the mirrored parts are built at once. Just a few hull parts are duplicated. There are difficult points with the round engines and the escape pod, as they can be wobbly and collapse when pushing pieces together. If you build it on a wood floor like I eventually did, it's not a problem.
Playability: 8/10 It's not so great for kids. First of all, it's heavy, so you won't be flying it around unless you want a workout. There are no guns, so the kids would have to want to have a diplomacy battle I just put them up on my mantle, and I quite like the pull-away cover on the hull, plus the escape pod mechanism is brilliant.
Minifigures: 9/10 For the price, they could have thrown in some battle droids or something, but I'm happy to have the Jedis here, and I used the R-unit with my X-Wing when Wedge is piloting it, and give R2 a break
Price: 10/10 A great price, no complaint. Near that 10 cent/piece sweet point, plus a fairly rare color (bright red) and some rare minifigures.
Overall: 9/10 Actually, 10/10 for me. I don't recommend this for a kid to play with. It strikes me as a mix between the regular Star Wars Lego series and the UCS. I wish I had an UCS Blockade Runner to compare it to. But, as an adult collector, this is the most mature ship in my collection, and the least toy looking. For me, that's an incredible job on TLG's part. This is not a famous ship, so I get the feeling that it was a labor of love on the part of their designers. Great.
This is a 2007 set, no longer in stock from LEGO, but still available here and there (Toys R Us Japan is selling them for 10,000 yen right now). I strongly recommend picking this up while it's available if you haven't already.
"I have a bad feeling about this."
Edited by KimT, 30 March 2009 - 07:52 PM.