Since the new Echo base is being released shortly (though it appears I won't get to do the first review ) I wanted to review this earlier Hoth set, since the new set is going to borrow some pieces and design from this one.... maybe. Like a bunch of the sets I own, I saw it on the internet and just mulled them over and over until I really just had to get it. Empire was my first movie, and the original snowspeeder one of my first SW Lego sets. How does it do?
Name: Hoth Rebel Base
Theme: Star Wars
Minifigs: Dack Ralter (with Dark Bluish Gray Hips and Light Flesh Head), Luke Skywalker (Pilot, Light Flesh), 2 x Snowtrooper, Light Bluish Gray Hips, White Hands, K-3PO, 2 x Hoth Rebel 3
Price: I paid 10,000 yen
MSP: $50 U.S., £70
There's one nice big size book with this.
Here the pieces are split. The ice/door is on the left, the speeder on the right, the other parts in the middle. The pieces are unique enough, the white and grey, but there's not enough to do much than make little snow scenes (or maybe I just have a lousy imagination )
Some stellar (at the time) unique figures. Rebel soldiers are nice, snowtroopers are amazing, and K3P0 is fun to have. I quite like the good guy robots. Two rebel pilots since the snowspeeder is a two-person vehicle.
A rebel soldier with the goggles up.
The base is set, the wings will go on these hinges.
At about 16 steps, a double cockpit cover is on, plus a wind up winch on the back.
In the cockpit, the control panel has a nice view of an AT-AT in the distance. I'm pretty sure the old set had the same thing, but not as a sticker
The wings are on, minus the engines, which are meant to come off easily (as we'll see later)
And engines on, with the flaps up. I like the color, very minimal, with spare orange and beige to catch your eye.
The winch on the back has a wind up mechanism to reel it in.
The seats are a little off. There isn't a proper slope to lean them on, but unless the guys are bent at a 45 degree angle, the top won't close. A little nit-picky, but can be easily modded.
At about 8 steps the big ice chunks are placed. These pieces are unwieldy, but the coloring process is really interesting... blue is injected in the mold, so it has a liquidy look, and so, like snowflakes, no two blocks are the same
16 steps in, the top is placed on, and so is the mechanism for opening the gates.
The doors are put in, and the black wheels will open and close them, those orange lights keep the doors locked in place.
Next we ad the computer screen, which really makes me think of the scenes in the movie.
On the other side is a base for the speeder that turns 360 degrees.
The rectangular piece on the bottom of the speeder fits right in.
And presto! That's a smart looking stand
The turret is unreasonably complicated on the inside. Pressing those grey pieces sticking out will push out the beams. This is not perfect. It doesn't simulate the actual turret, and those pieces fall out if tipped at all. It's a clever design, but not all that efficient. I'm interested to see the redesign.
But, standing still, it looks just fine, and swivels around.
This vehicle is meant to pick up the engine on the snowspeeder. It's good as a diorama part. Not a play toy though.
The snowtrooper's heavy laser. Interesting design on this, though I can do without the falling out lightsaber pieces. A little chunky.
And the probe droid. Fantastic little guy. The only way to make it better is to add a self-destruct button. I like the invisible stand.
The Finished Product
Echo base is looking busy today. Here, that yellow device is holding the engine here (sorry, I forgot a close up )
The Imperials are approaching! Close the perimeter!
The Final Verdict
Design: 8/10 It's solid, but since it's lots of little parts, and even those aren't fully coherent (from the movie) ie. probe droids are from the start of the Hoth scene, while the snowtroopers 30 minutes in, and neither interacted with snowspeeders, nor those turrets (that I remember). It sounds nitpicky, but compared to the 2009 Endor set, which seems totally coherent, that's kind of disappointing. Points for the gate being the perfect size for the speeder to fit through, and the connected speeder stand. Those are lovely. As is the probe droid.
Build: 7/10 It all goes by so fast. The ice set is pretty boring. The best techniques are on the turret, the probe droid, and the snowtrooper gun.
Playability: 8/10 As I wrote, it's not so coherent, but a kid wouldn't care. As a diorama, it's not great, it's good.
Minifigures: 10/10 Great selection, good number, and some unique figures.
Price: 9/10 With the American price, it's great; the Japanese price, reasonable. A fairly unique set with lots of pieces I'd never had before.
Overall: 8/10 Some stuff I love, some stuff I like. I think it depends on how you feel about Hoth. It is an interesting set as it's a playset, not a single ship, which is relatively rare for SW Lego. So, it's a balance of cool and so-so features. I think if I was 10 years old, it would get a 10/10 though.
Too slow, rebel scum!