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[Review] 4483 AT-AT

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#1 searrius


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:08 AM

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Set Number: 4483
Name: AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport)
Theme: Star Wars, Episodes IV-VI
Released: 2003
Pieces: 1068
Minifigs: 4
MSRP: $100 USD
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This set was released around the time I started college, which regretably was also when I went into my dark ages as a Lego fan. It is one of the sets released around that time which ultimately represented the last hurrah of the old gray colors before they were phased out. Since being discontinued many people have added it to their wanted lists on various sites - a year ago it was the most wanted Star Wars set on BrickLink (as reported by The Brothers Brick at that time), and it's still on the list of most wanted sets at Brickset. I was fortunate enough recently to acquire one through BrickLink which was in like-new condition and included both the instructions and the original box at a fairly reasonable price (taking into account the supply and demand, at least...)

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When buying a used set like this the box is generally considered unnecessary and tends to increase shipping charges, but in my opinion it can hold some sentimental value, especially if the box is in as nice condition as this one is. Interestingly, by this time Lego apparently had already stopped including pictures of alternate models for sets in the Star Wars line. At least there are some nice comparison shots with stills from Empire Strikes Back.

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First pages, including the obligatory explanation of how to assemble a minifig
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Random page, showing construction of the very fragile cockpit/head (more on this later)
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And, on the last page, an exciting action scene which makes it seem as though this set should have come with more than two Snowtroopers (the AT-AT includes seating for four of them, after all)
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Suffice it to say, for anyone like me who still stubbornly insists on using the old gray colors (my excuse is that, until I came out of my dark age earlier this year, I literally didn't have any parts in the newer colors), this set is a gold mine - a veritable cornucopia of useful parts ranging from fairly commonplace to quite rare. Of course there are also the usual assortment of parts in seemingly out-of-place colors, but to be honest if those weren't present I'd almost have to wonder if this was really an official Lego set :wink:

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From left to right: AT-AT pilot, 2 Snowtroopers and Luke Skywalker
The pilot and troopers are the original versions with old gray detailing and were both unique to this set.

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The AT-AT pilot has printing on the back of the torso, much like the standard Stormtroopers, and the Snowtroopers have neat-looking backpacks which are molded onto their helmets and are open on the bottom :wacko:

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I don't know about the rest of you peeps, but all these Luke minifigs have gotten kinda boring for me, particularly the ones with him in his pilot getup. Oh well - I know the idea was to let you could recreate the scene where Luke single-handedly destroys one of the walkers in the movie after his snowspeeder crashes.

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The legs, while stiff and arguably a touch shorter than in the movie, are fully poseable; I positioned them to look like it's in mid-stride. Overall I feel it's a pretty well done recreation, complete with all the fun angles found on the actual thing.

Front and rear views
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The top two joints on each leg are comprised of these pieces, and the bottom one uses a standard Technic friction pin with an arch piece and an inner strut to help keep it stable. You can see how they cheated slightly by not including the inner "toe" for each foot, perhaps because they were worried about the feet on each side getting stuck together.

Side view, betraying the AT-AT's elephantine inspiration
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Close-up of the head, bristling with armament
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Close-up of the neck joint, comprised of a single precarious Technic connector
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Bonus fact: The entire head and neck assembly is designed to pop out, presumably to recreate the scene where the head explodes after Luke tosses a detonator into the body. I find this kind of ironic though, since due to how it's constructed it's more likely that the head will just come off on its own if the above joint isn't tightened as much as possible.

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While it might have been a pretty tight fit, it would have been nice to have two pilots as featured in the movie (since this is supposed to be the walker sabotaged by Luke, it makes sense that General Veers is absent).

Unfortunately the sides of the cockpit don't stay in place very well, since they're only attached by a single non-locking hinge on either side, so I decided to use the "string with end studs" included in the set (intended for suspending Luke under the main body just like in the movie) as an additional brace to help the sides stay properly angled. Normally there'd be a tan 2x4 plate behind that small grill at the front, but I replaced it with two dark gray 2x2 corner plates to provide room for the end studs of the string (which you can barely make out in this picture). Without this modification the sides kinda flop out and don't look right.

Main cabin (mirrored on the other side)
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The two Snowtroopers are comfortably seated amidst posh sand-blue upholstery with a touch of yellow trim, but they're left wondering how on earth they're supposed to safely deploy to the ground (zip line not included). The platform they sit on slides out, probably just for easier finger-access to the troopers inside (all two of them :wink:).

Rear compartment / speeder bike stowage
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Speaking of which...

The Bonus Snow Speeder Bike
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I don't think the first round of speeder bikes had a very authentic appearance to them, this one being no exception. It does have some potentially useful parts, though. It's weird that by design there's one of those megaphone pieces for the little gray clip on the opposite side, but not for both sides. And yes, this was back in that nostalgic megaphone-as-laser-gun era.

Closing Thoughts
In spite of a couple structural flaws, I am quite happy with this set overall. I believe it's safe to say that this one looks a lot more authentic than the newer, motorized AT-AT. I wish I'd gotten it when it was still being produced, but I nevertheless don't regret paying a bit of a premium for what is clearly a very collectible discontinued set that would look good on any shelf tall enough to fit it.

Build: 8/10 - Not boring or too repetitive, but it was a bit tricky sometimes attaching newly-built sections to it without causing things to fall apart.
Design: 9/10 - Shows a very strong resemblance to the original models used in the films.
Construction: 6.5/10 - While all the crazy angles and the moveable legs doubtless made it pretty tricky from the set designer's perspective, there are a couple places which seem unacceptably poorly built for an official Lego set. I can move it without it coming apart, though :classic:
Parts: 9/10 - Despite some parts in funky colors, an excellent selection which will be a nice boon to my existing collection.
Price: 10/10 - Going by the original U.S. MSRP, I don't think there was really anything to complain about here.

Total: 8.5/10 - Whether it's still worth getting at current BrickLink asking prices is an exercise I leave to the reader.

It's hard for me to judge playability at this point in my life, but I imagine a kid could potentially have had a lot of fun with this set... as long as the head didn't fall off without the kid intending it to :wink:

Edit: Image hosting changed to Brickshelf.

Edited by searrius, 04 May 2010 - 12:57 AM.

#2 yellost


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 12:45 PM

Nice review. I'm indeed really glad I got it when it came out, considering the price it can fetch by now.

That's my all time favourite set. No other has ever been close to challenge its place... (OK, the UCS ISD did, but they're not quite playing in the same category, so...)

Also, it still looks way better than the new motorised one, with its legs being under the main body, and not on the outsie, making it look clumsy like the new one...
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#3 Alldarker


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 01:19 PM

Also my all time favorite Lego SW set... I remember drooling over the first pictures we saw of this beauty, from a Lego event in ... Germany perhaps? Anyhow, I literally counted down the days until it became available and bought one even though I didn't really have the cash to spare AT ALL.
A year after that, I just couldn't resist buying another one, this one in the blue box with the 3 dark blay square frames. I have doubles of several big SW sets, but this one is the only one I paid full price for both times.

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#4 Future74


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 03:27 PM

Great review with nice clear pictures :thumbup:

I think this set looks and feels better than the "improved" motorized version 10178.
The legs are longer and the body sleeker, probably because the feet are closer together and miss a toe per foot.
I'm still looking for this set, but to get it good quality at a reasonable price is hard. No luck yet.

On the other hand because this set is soo tall, it will be hard to store as a whole...  :grin:
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#5 Fluyt


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 04:01 PM

This seems like an amazing set and I deeply regret not getting this set, this is way better than the newer at-at, I think this may even be in the top-3 star wars sets of all time.
I was in my dark-age at the time and I remembered looking at this set and thinking WOW, I must have this, but the high price-tag kept me from buying it and getting out of my dark-age at the time. Well, the price-tag wasn't that high at the time, and it was actually a very good deal, but 80 euro's (if I remember correctly) was high to me at the time, especially considering I was in my dark-age and therefore didn't even know if i'd like it enough to justify the price.

#6 ILikePi


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 04:28 PM

Great first review! Your pictures are very clear!  :classic:

The AT-AT is one of my favorite Star Wars vehicles, and I think that this first version by LEGO captures its look perfectly.
While I still think that the newer version is better (just because it's newer :grin:), this version still looks great and will remain as an all time favorite to most people.

Also, welcome to Eurobricks! :classic:

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#7 Commander_Rob


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 04:32 PM

Great review and I just love the set, even though I don`t have it.
I always wanted one and the exact moment I ordered it — it became unavailable. :cry_sad:

I got the motorized version but that`s just not like it.
Well, maybe one day...... :look:
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#8 Skipper 24

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 09:40 PM

Nice review :thumbup:. I only have the newer AT-AT and it was nice to compare the shots from your review with the corresponding parts on the newer AT-AT.

You have an impressive Luke collection there :tongue:. I have to agree with you on the plating. From what I can see on the pics it does look fairly flimsy.

Edited by Skipper 24, 31 August 2009 - 09:41 PM.

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#9 RileyC


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 10:37 PM

this is a nice looking set. Ive always wanted a AT AT but ive never been able to afford one but they are one of my favourite transports in star wars. the snow speeder looks really good in the crisp white and I would like to see a remake of it.

I really like your collection of luke minifigs, I only have one :cry_sad:

Great review!

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#10 darkrebellion


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:55 PM

Thanks for the great review searrius  :thumbup: . Like to many of you this is my favorite SET of all time not just SW but of all the sets the TLC had produced  :cry_happy:  :thumbup: . This is one of the most accurate sets I have ever seen and I am really glad I got it when it came out, it is now sitting in the highest part of my collection so everyone can admire its glory  :tongue: . The only flaw I saw was the flimsy neck but that doesnt bother me at all looking at how great everything else is. To anyone that hasnt bought it yet I HIGHLY suggest to get it, I know the actual prices are a rip-off but this set is well worth it.

Edited by darkrebellion, 31 August 2009 - 11:57 PM.

#11 Destroydacre


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Posted 01 September 2009 - 12:58 AM

Great review searrius!

This was always one of my favorites, I'm glad I got one when they came out so I never had to pay the outrageous prices it goes for now. My only complaint is that it came with seating for 4 snow troopers, it should have come with 4 snow troopers. I don't think 6 figures in a $100 dollar set is too much to ask for. I love the AT-AT driver fig.

Edited by Destroydacre, 01 September 2009 - 12:59 AM.

#12 Sinner


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Posted 01 September 2009 - 11:43 AM

I love this set.  I bought the recent AT-AT with the intention to make a hybrid that more resembles this one. I haven't got around to it though... :blush:

This version does so many of the details better, especially the "hump". Thanks for the great review!

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#13 Torax


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Posted 01 September 2009 - 12:53 PM

This set is beautiful! It would be awesome if someone built a minifig-scale AT-AT, as this, as all other LEGO sets, is not.

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#14 Sinner


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Posted 01 September 2009 - 01:40 PM

View PostTorax, on Sep 1 2009, 09:53 PM, said:

This set is beautiful! It would be awesome if someone built a minifig-scale AT-AT, as this, as all other LEGO sets, is not.
Ahhh; but the question is "what is minifig scale"? Minifigs are in no way scaled realistically, nor is there much consistency in regard to set-to-set relation. Personally I think this set is the perfect size.

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#15 mutley777


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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:03 PM

Ah.....my favourite set! :cry_happy:  The design was so much better than the updated version.

Great review by the way!

I was lucky enough to have 9 of this set at one point. :grin:

#16 prateek


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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:20 PM

I was supposed to get this set, but when we got to the store, it was sold out :cry_sad: Great review of a great set :thumbup:

#17 KimT


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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:38 PM

Thanks for reviewing this set for us.
Best Star Wars set ever in my opinion.
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#18 Big Cam

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:58 PM

Great review of a classic, pics are a bit dark and you need a background besides a door.

otherwise, good review!

#19 Drock


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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:49 PM

View PostTorax, on Sep 1 2009, 08:53 AM, said:

This set is beautiful! It would be awesome if someone built a minifig-scale AT-AT, as this, as all other LEGO sets, is not.
Here is a nice one by sigpro AT-AT  I think it's minifig scale.  If not, it's much bigger than the official LEGO one.

#20 Corvus


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Posted 02 September 2009 - 06:33 PM

Ah, I love this set. :wub:  So glad I got it on sale at TRU.


Bonus fact: The entire head and neck assembly is designed to pop out, presumably to recreate the scene where the head explodes after Luke tosses a detonator into the body. I find this kind of ironic though, since due to how it's constructed it's more likely that the head will just come off on its own if the above joint isn't tightened as much as possible.
Ugh. I can't count the times it's fallen off for me, having to pick the shattered wreck off the floor and hunt down the instructions.... I eventually fixed it in place, leaving the head stuck where it was, but it was solid.
True happiness: looking inside the box to see a perfectly flat instruction manual.

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#21 legobobsse


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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:58 PM

this is one of my favourate lego sets
so buatifull
lucky that i found it at legoworld 2010 for 170 euros
wel its worth every cents


#22 calculon


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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:26 PM


I just read your great review. The 4483 is already on the way to me! Can you explain a little more how you fixed the head sides with the string? Maybe you have a few pics for me? Thanx & best wishes,



#23 CisFran


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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:06 AM

This set is awesome, got a chance to buy it in a local auction site.
Since the head is the most fragile part, I fixed this using the following parts and attached it to the underside of the body going to the neck
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After attachment.  The head wont swivel as it did before but it fixed the wobbly head and it wont fall down on a small movement
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#24 kermit


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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:13 PM

You did a great review and your pictures were very clear too. I like this model and think its better than the newer version.

#25 BrickG


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Posted 29 September 2013 - 08:36 PM

I have the motorized one.  It walks like an idiot but was fun for about 30 seconds.  This one looks better for display.

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