REVIEW: 8092 Luke's Landspeeder
Posted 21 June 2010 - 01:22 AM
(For my review of 7110 first, click here)
Sometimes LEGO puts out bestsellers. These are the models that become backordered a week or less after release, and stay that way for a long time, before either becoming "Available Now" or "Sold Out." Why does that happen? Maybe it can be explained with the case of…
Set Title: Luke's Landspeeder
Set #: 8092
Theme: Star Wars Classic
Minifigures: 5 plus brick-built droid
Year of Release: 2010
Price at Release: $25 USD, £25 GBP, 29.99€ EUR
Buy It? Inventory? LEGO.com Bricklink Peeron
Star Wars is the ongoing Licensed theme. That means that plenty of people want to see new, never-before-in-LEGO Star Wars stuff, and many others want better designs of their favorite classic ships, or to catch a model of a ship that they missed out on the first time around. When LEGO puts out that X-Wing every few years, some people go "Aww, why are they wasting energy on another X-Wing," while others say "Yes, I missed out on it the last time."
The Landspeeder is not quite the same. The first one came out at the inception of LSW, the second one came in an overpriced set with a lame-beyond-imagination Mos Eisley Cantina, and neither of those models was so perfect anyway. In my book, with all those slightly different Snowspeeders, Speederbikes, and X-Wings flying around, it was certainly high time for a Landspeeder redux.
As I feel is a problem with many Star Wars boxes at the $25 price point, the lightness is quite a disappointment. But let's get beyond that; it's a given these days.
This box has more problems than that. While the background art is fine and Tatooine-y, the front is overburdened with stuff. There's the picture of the fig lineup, a choking hazard, and special edition art, which pushes the model itself up on the box, makes the words on the left go over the model a bit, and squeezes the Landspeeder, R2, and the Sandtrooper very close together. If I was LEGO, I would've moved the figure lineup and Warning to somewhere else, and kept just the "Special Edition." This is one box that is too cluttered to be appealing to the eye.
The back is pretty mellow by comparison. It seems R2 and the probe droid are having a nice chat, while C-3PO is fretting as usual about nothing. Instead of using Jedi mind tricks, Obi-Wan has decided to take Luke into his first head to head confrontation with the Empire. Scrap or reduce those ads on the left, and there'd be plenty of room for the fig lineup wouldn't there?
This box is surprisingly quite skinny, which is why LEGO didn't put the figures on the top. Here it is compared with the box from 7749 Echo Base; skinnier than usual, as you can see. It's also made partially in the UK; haven't seen that one in a while.
Spilled out, you get three measly bags, two loose long tubes, and the instructions. Feels and looks quite light.
Minus that freaking annoying Choking Hazard, this picture is much more refreshing than the irritating box front. There's also plenty of room for the exclusive Garindan minifigure next to the Sandtrooper. Wait, there's no Garindan! Damn Megablox crap how could @%^&$!
The color differentiation is clear, there are piece callouts, and a nondescript background.
Oddly enough, the Darth Vader in the corner doesn't show up until page 13. Was he putting his suit back on in that time, perhaps?
Here they are spilled out. Really nothing too special here, but there is plenty of dark red, including a bunch of dark red cheese, chairs (gotta love em), and the new kind of headlight brick.
One place where this set shines (in theory) is with its minifigure selection. All of these figures had not been in very cheap sets before, and this set marks the first appearance of dotted-eye faces on main characters! Five (or six) figures is very good for a $25 set, but let's see how good the figs really are…
First, the duller. I don't count the "sentry droid" (I would've called it a probe droid) as a minifgure, but it doesn't fit anywhere else. I like 3PO's new darker color, and even if you don't it's still nice to get more differently colored protocal Droids anyway. I really like R2's new head; it's much cuter than the old one, and works better. Still LEGO hasn't gotten the printing down to a tee, but my Endor Battle one is better than this. Clear parts are always nice, so the sentry droid is a fine addition.
The Sandtrooper is a bit of a problem. I love the pauldron (exclusively in black!), and the breather pack is a nice idea, but it makes the Sandtrooper look like a comical stork. It actually looks better in these pictures than in real life. When I put it together, I was horrified at how high the helmet was. It really doesn't look right, so I'll do without the pack.
Luke might be a little short for a Stormtrooper, but in LEGO form they should be the same size.
Speaking of Luke, how are those fresh Luke and Ben? First, gotta say I love the torsos (and Luke's legs). They're cool, more detailed but still somewhat plain… love 'em. Obi's new face is ok. He doesn't look too happy, which is good, but I think he actually looks too stern for the Ben I remember. In ANH Ben is a wistful but cheery guy, while the little lines in this fig make him look a bit too hardened. Still, not too bad. I'm not so happy with Luke. Why are his eyebrows still completely different from his hair? Why is he so happy? Honestly, Luke was never that happy in ANH. I didn't like the young Obi-Wan Luke head, and I don't like this one much either. It's better than the last one, but still isn't giving me a Luke vibe.
MINIFIGURES - Comparison with 7110
That's right, the last time the Landspeeder was released by itself, it came with some of the same characters: Ben and Luke. But no two representations of the same characters could be so different. Fleshies vs. yellows. Bley vs. Grey. Brown vs. Reown. Dotted eyes vs. Little Orphan Annie eyes. An array of colors on the face vs. one or two color simpleness. Really, I think the new level of detail on torsos is a positive advancement, but the original Ben had a simplicity to his face that was really beneficial, and never available anymore.
These days, both Ben and Luke have lightsabers. But the original Ben has an advantage: his has a chrome hilt!
The build is pretty straight-forward, with just a bit of SNOT used. As is usual these days, the parts callouts and snail-paced steps make building almost too easy. I for one used to enjoy pouring over the instructions to make sure I saw all the pieces added in a step. Here's a quick process in steps of eight:
One building oddity is that the side engines are attached with corner bricks, instead of 2x2s. It doesn't matter, of course, but it's interesting to note.
The spares: triple cheese, a lever that you can use in the cockpit, a little round and a technic bit.
MODEL - Without Minifigures
Overall, the model looks great. Dark red (like all the dark shades) is a beautiful color, and it meshes well with a small splash of normal red, and tan. Now, I know why the right engine has to be the way it is, but it looks ugly to me. The way LEGO made it is very smart for what it is, but it's almost too unpleasing to me to be kept. Luckily, the MOD to balance the Landspeeder is a very easy one. The Speed Racer Windshield also goes very well.
Besides for just having engines, the back also has some exhaust. That's a lovely detail that keep the back of the ship from being blocky or boring. here you can also see how the top engine is attached. Not very difficult, but a nice touch.
There are nice red indents on both sides that keep the ship bright. It's not exactly the sleekest thing, but it works well and it gives the speeder a cool style. The double tubes around the front also give off a very sci-fi feeling.
The birds eye view makes the broken engine even more awkward, and you can also see that LEGO has gone non-symmetrical with a grill plate behind the driver's seat. That's rugged detail that I can handle, though, since it's much less of a sore thumb than the stripped engine. You can also see that the engines are a nice size compared to the rest of the craft.
The bottom, meanwhile, has some appreciated boat bumps for hovering and smooth sailing.
The cockpit has got plenty of room, and a British steering wheel, something that was missed in the original model which was Force-powered only. You can easily add some more controls if you want (the set even comes with a spare lever from the droid), and there's enough room for a third figure to sit between the seats. As it is, the slopes and tiles add a comfortable amount of detailing to the cockpit.
Lastly, behind the cockpit, you can remove the top engine to access a nice trunk where you can keep the deactivated lightsabers and their blades, or anything else to your fancy.
MODEL - With Minifugres
In an open-air model like this, you have to check it with minifigures to confirm the look. If with the minfigures added it looks too odd, even a model that was nice on its own is ruined.
From this angled view, that doesn't seem to be the case. Sure, Luke and Ben are high above the windshield, but they're below the top engine and they sit comfortable in the midst of the craft.
In a front check, the minifigures still seem good. The windshield goes up pretty well on their torsos, and the steering wheel isn't too high (a problem is some older police sets). And my, that speeder is long!
No problems from the back. The back is substantial enough that the figures do not seem to be at the rear of the craft.
From the side, the minifigures' positions are still good. Their legs aren't visible, the steering wheel is in a good place, they've got arms rests… nice!
And look, there's even room for R2 and 3PO to hop on board!
MODEL - Comparison with 7110
(More comparison shots can be found in my Flickr)
Back in 1999, things were done differently. Now, you may say "How is it fair to compare a new set with one from ten years ago?" You might also say it is unfair not to also compare this model with the 4501. The truth is, I'm not trying to show which is better, I just want to show how much LEGO has changed.
Clearly, both 8092 and 7110 are representations of the same ship. For the same ship these days, though, LEGO uses more SNOT, more coloring, and more small details.
This comparison clearly shows the difference between LEGO now and then, not only in the Star Wars theme, but across all themes. Models are bigger and more detailed these days (just compare modern trucks with 4-wides), and they often look sleeker because of it. Really, I think models like the 8092 are something that a little kid could not make on his or her own, while a kid could've thought up the 7110. So, is that a good thing, giving kids models beyond their own building capabilities? Does that enhance their own ability, or hinder it because they feel they can never make something as cool as the sets themselves?
I have no answers to these questions, but I'm certain kids will continue to make their own creations and turn into the next generation of stellar MOCers.
The Definitive Version?
If you remember, I mentioned in the beginning that this was one of those sets that went to Backorder very soon after its release, although it is finally Available Now now. Clearly, the nice figure selection helped out to make this a fast-selling set. But, perhaps the model itself can explain its appeal. Is 8092 truly the best Landspeeder, closest to the ship we know and love from A New Hope?
Unfortunately, I do not own 4501. The official pictures of it are alright, but it's often in the background behind the cantina it came with. So, the picture that I will use comes from a Brickshelf folder belonging to Hudson03, since his shot shows the speeder quite well. (Note, though, the light gray engine is actually supposed to be on the left side, not the top.)
First, the screenshots (courtesy of Rapseflaps). The two that I have chosen show off two key things: the proportions of the speeder with figures in it, and some up-close detailing.
Now then, the models. 7110 and 8092 from the side in my own shot, and Hudson03's 4501.
The first, somewhat sad, thing that I notice is that 7110 is actually the closest to the correct size. The Landspeeder is really not a big craft, so both 4501 and 8092 are too large. Second, the color scheme really does seem to be sand and dark red, not tan. However, 8092 tries to get the dark red patterning in the right places, and just puts in tan for sand red, while 7110 and 4501 fail at the patterning.
I do not understand why all of the versions got the color of the engines wrong. Clearly, the engines are sand red with dark red pattern and gray tips. Also, I said that the broken engine in 8092 looks ugly, and it is actually much uglier than it has to be! I'm sorry to say that the only way for LEGO to come closest to the actual broken engine would be to use a sticker.
In terms of the cockpit, the Speed Racer one is the closest existing part, but the actual cockpit is a much bigger bubble.
So, all in all, is this model the definitive version? I'd say "no." If you don't closely compare every aspect of it to the "real thing," 8092 is certainly the best out of the other two. As a LEGO set, 8092 is sleekest and has the most pleasing color scheme, and it perhaps is more accurate overall than the other two. 7110 got down the correct size, 4501 got down sand red and not much else, and 8092 got down patterning and a sleek look. In a few years time (I don't believe for a second that they won't renew in 2011), maybe LEGO will come to its senses and apply the cool styling of 8092 to a smaller model. Could fit well with a new cantina.
In case you forgot what all came with 8092, here it is again before I go into ratings.
The Landspeeder was due for a redo. 8092 provides a good-looking model that is very reminiscent of the movie Landspeeder you have in your mind, though it doesn't match perfectly if you compare it directly. Besides the broken engine, which is overly ugly, this model is sleek, swooshable, and pretty. The new minifigures are ok, but not great. Getting so many is nice, but both Luke and Ben's heads are not all they should be, especially Luke. I'm happy to get the newer Goldenrod and R2, though, and the men's clothing is wonderful.
The only problem with 8092 is that the speeder is small. It's not too small; as I've said, it's actually too big for the figures. However, I find myself looking at it in my hands, and saying "I paid $25 for this?" I know that LEGO prices all its $20 LSW sets at $25 these days, and this one being $25 makes sense due to all the figures. Somehow, even the "You call that a base" Echo Base seems a better fit for $25 with its exclusive Taun-Taun, turret, and army-building figures. What I really wish is that LEGO had scrapped the Sandtrooper and his droid and brought this set down to $20. This isn't a set that I really want to display with all its figures; I just want to swoosh it around. And I don't need a Sandtrooper for that. Heck, if they'd scrapped all the droids and brought the price down to $15 I would've been even happier!
As it is, it's certainly not a bad buy. Since the last version came out six years ago, the model itself looks cool, and many hard-to-find minfigures are included, I can easily see why this one tore off the shelves. But, once you all have ran out to buy it, you shouldn't expect to fall in love.
Pieces: 10/10 - It's not lacking anywhere, and the figures clearly justify the high price per piece amount.
Minifigures: 6.5/10 - Honestly, I'm a big figs guy, and I must say I'm disappointed with the new Luke and Ben faces, and good ol' Storktrooper. A Garindan also would have brought this up.
Build: 8/10 - I don't expect a more complex build from a speeder, but I wouldn't have minded the instructions to be a little less obvious.
Design: 9.5/10 - I'm docking .5 since the broken engine is butt-ugly, and of course the curve on the hood isn't curvy, but really it's very good, if not movie accurate.
Price: 10/10 - After that rant, full score?! As I said, it's the right price for all you get, but I wish I could've paid less and not gotten what I didn't need.
Overall: 8.8/10 - That a good solid score, maybe even a little generous. I can't stress enough that the model's great, but since it's inherently small, I wish LEGO would've scrapped what they didn't need and sold it for less.
Hey, buddy, wanna race?
Posted 21 June 2010 - 01:41 AM
I personally like this set, one of the really must-haves for any SW fans. 6 minifigures in one little set? That's already a winner, and the speeder is also a much much improved version of the first one. And the sales figures tell it all, really one of the best sellers. So for me, this is really an outstanding set, as outstanding as your review.
Edited by KielDaMan, 21 June 2010 - 01:43 AM.
Posted 21 June 2010 - 02:37 AM
In any case, a very thorough and informative review Clone O'Patra! The picture quality is excellent.
Posted 21 June 2010 - 02:57 AM
Well, I can't agree with you on those few examples that you have pointed out, since I think those three pieces are quite versatile and don't need to be swapped out. I also am a fan of the odd CW hairpieces, but that's just me.
That's not to say that I don't agree that this set could've used a new mold or two. To really make the Landspeeder better, LEGO needs a more accurate cockpit piece and new engine pieces as well. The old engine pieces are kind of on the right track, while the ones on this model look cool but aren't close to accurate.
Posted 21 June 2010 - 02:57 AM
In any case, a very thorough and informative review Clone O'Patra! The picture quality is excellent.
This set is just okay IMO. I agree that they only should've put the 4 protagonists in, and not the Imperial forces. I actually like the bigger size of it, but they could at least get the colour right. For this reason, I like 4501 the best, and they could at least make one more that gets everything right.
Posted 21 June 2010 - 03:15 AM
I prefer the Mos Eisley Cantina 4501 "pink" one, the one I own (with the cantina and big green critter). It has a bit more playablity, the price was right ($30 in '04) and had good figures too. Even if the "cantina" wasn't really anything, it had some unique pieces.
$25 for the new one just irks me. It still looks good even if it's not color accurate. Why do I say I'm torn though? Personal reasons - I have pretty much all the OT main figures... except C3PO. Buying him on Bricklink is almost as expensive as this set!
I'll pick him up sooner or later, I reckon...
ANYWAY, nice review Clone. Good look at the set.
Edited by TheWarden, 21 June 2010 - 03:16 AM.
Posted 21 June 2010 - 04:28 AM
While the set may seem a bit small, I think it's well worth the $25. You get four main characters in ANH, and the only minifig I already have out of the five in the set is R2! So it's definitely a justifiable price in my book.
I do agree that Ben and Luke's faces don't look accurate (Luke even smiles when he's about to be eaten by a wampa and when he's on a Lambda with his father right next to him, transporting him to his doom! ), but I can deal with it since it doesn't bother me a ton.
The landspeeder is a nice and sleek ship! Dark red is always welcome, and looks great on the speeder. It's obviously a huge improvement from the vintage versions of it, but after seeing Rapseflaps' screencaps, it does seem a bit too elongated. It's also odd how tan was used, but maybe the designers tried out different shades of red (sand red is discontinued, right?) and settled with tan instead because there wasn't a suitable shade.
Another excellent review, Clone O' Patra!
Posted 21 June 2010 - 06:42 AM
Yeah, I think that backpack on the sandtrooper looks odd and gee is Luke shorter than the sandtrooper.
Anyway, can't wait to buy a set or two !
Keep on bricking !
Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:19 AM
Great review by the way.
Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:25 AM
Nice to see comparrison pictures of all three at the same place.
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Posted 21 June 2010 - 05:58 PM
I have yet to build this, but now I really want to.
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Posted 21 June 2010 - 06:03 PM
I love the comparison!
I only own the newer of the two and it's a pretty good set (Good way to get some of those lightsabers in the new colour!)
So thanks for the exellent review!
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