In another review of the classic Star Wars sets, we have what was one of my favorites of the original line. Of course, it was updated a few years back, and will have another iteration in 2010. It's almost unfair to compare a set from 1999, but, let's do it anyway.
Theme: Star Wars
Minifigs: 3; Luke Skywalker (Pilot), Dack Ralter, Hoth Rebel
Thanks to Academy teacher Rufus for the sharp box shots The box front isn't quite as nice as the booklet... What's that grey thing to the right? The back is identical to the booklet.
The sides show some play features and set details, as well as a good look at the minifigs.
The cover is a notch above typical Star Wars cover art. If you look carefully, you can see the leg of an AT-AT to the right, while there is a beautiful Hoth landscape to the left. Really well done.
As usual, some alternate builds, though neither are particularly interesting to me.
A mass of grey, which was standard in the early waves. There are two printed computer consoles, with AT-ATs on them, as well as two Rebel insignia plates.
We get Dack Ralter, apparently, and a nice pilot Luke. He has a very slight variation on the old Lego face. The Hoth rebel is a curiosity. Is that some weird tattoo on his face, or a shock of hair? He has a nice print, and a visor. Very different than the contemporary ones.
He also has a backpack.
The rebel uniform is virtually unchanged in 10 years, just the pants and visors have changed.
The Finished Product
The rebel comes with an Atgar Cannon. It's not highly detailed, and somewhat of a throwaway item, but I knew what it was the moment I saw it (I had one of these in a Hoth playset in 1980). The gun swivels on the platform.
Here, Luke admires his ship. I like the orange detailing, and the printed grey slope at the nose.
The side profile is nice, and I think it captures the snowspeeder well.
The overhead as well, captures the general shape of the ship well, but not perfectly, as we'll see...
The front cockpit opens and Luke slides on in.
He perpetually has an AT-AT in his sights.
The back end opens up for Dack, and has what would be a symbolic harpoon on a swivel, but doesn't actually shoot anything.
The center of the ship has a box that comes out, and a slot to hold the light saber handle. No place for the beam, but I don't mind. I don't care for these ships that have saber beam holders. It's too weird.
Here is the speeder next to the one from set 7666. The most obvious difference is the color scheme. The white is a lot sharper. The laser cannons protrude just a bit more on the new one. And interestingly, the cockpit is unchanged.
The silhouette is a bit different too, with the new one tapering in at the nose. Also, the old one opens the cockpit in two parts, whereas the new one opens both with a double hinge. In the movie, Luke and Dack were back to back, so the new one scores higher on that front.
Here is the actual Rebel schematic for the ship. As we can see, from the key points in the nose and the wing greebling, the new one captures the ship much better.
The Final Verdict
Design: 9/10 Honestly, I like it in white more than I like it in grey, but I'm still happy with it when it isn't held side by side to the new one. This probably was the set from the early series that had the least alteration between versions (except maybe the Tie Fighter). Look at the X-Wing, Y-Wing, B-Wing, AT-ST, ... all were radically altered, but much of the design of this one held up years later. A majority of changes were greeble based. A winner!
Build: 7/10 The side engines are dense, and fairly technical for the time, but it's just an average build overall.
Playability: 9/10 I think it's a good Hoth starter set. The Rebel trooper adds a lot to the playability, you have Luke Skywalker with a chrome light saber. It's really good for its price range.
Minifigures: 10/10 This was the only Hoth trooper for years, and you get two rebel pilots. I'm satisfied.
Price: 9/10 $20, which would be about $25 in 2010 dollars. A nice ship and three figures seems a good deal, certainly on par with the Freeco speeder (adjusting your expectations for new molds and parts)
Overall: 9/10 This was a good design, good value, useful minifigs, and not overly chunky.
This is a good set by any standard, no apologies needed for it being from the 90s. While I'd recommend the newer ones over this one, if the price is right, it's surely worth getting.
Edited by WhiteFang, 14 April 2010 - 04:23 PM.