Name: 8007 C-3PO
Theme: Technic/Star Wars
Year Released: 2001
Price: n/a (Bricklink average price guide as at July 2010 €55)
This is the third technic set I've reviewed in the past three days as the dismantling of Technic star wars sets continues and I endeavour to fill some of the gaps in the review list. See my review of 8001 for a pic of all the gang. The last two sets were droids so it was interesting to see how one of the main characters C-3PO was put together.
This set stands 33cm tall (per the instruction booklet) and is on a par scale to some of the other technic sets such as the battle droid and storm trooper. First impressions are of a nice shiny set that begs the question as to how this was achieved. The answer as we shall see was by use of a combination of gold parts and stickers.
Drum roll for C-3PO
C-3PO stands reasonably stable in part because the legs don't bend but then again that's probably in character. This set doesn't have rubber bands or technic joints to enable flexibilty. So this model is basically a display model with one key playability feature that I'll get to anon. The head moves to the left or right.
Bricklink inventory for C-3PO 8007
The parts come in 5 bags which seems a bit of overkill. Bag 1 (per the instructions) builds the right leg and bag 2 the left (this latter bag seemingly containing the silver parts - as the set is being dismantled I can't verify if this is correct). Interestingly enough this is the reverse of the picture on the front and on page 58 of the instructions. The third bag contains the parts for the torso while bag 4 has the head pieces. Bag 5 has the pieces for the arms. As noted below there is also a sticker sheet.
This is one of the few technic star wars sets to have a dreaded sticker sheet (DSS). There are 25 stickers in all some of which must be applied over multiple technic parts! The stickers are applied to the head, feet, upper and lower legs and arms and 'mouth'. After 4 years of sitting on a shelf I was somewhat surprised to find that the stickers were mostly in good shape with only one or two beginning to show signs of curling at the edges, not bad for stickers of this era. These stickers aren't the easiest to apply and there is no room for error. I particularly dislike applying stickers to curved surfaces which is the case here especially multiple curved surfaces like the forehead.
Here's a pic of the parts with stickers.
Most of the stickers are used to generate a nice metallic colour but perhaps the best parts in this set are the metallic gold technic panels which are clearly visible in this set. These parts seem to be unique to this set. There is also metallic silver panelling, metallic gold ribbed tubing and chrome gold dishes (for the eyes).
There are two rubber bands in this set which facilitate the major 'play feature', an exploding C-3PO head and arms. If the middle dish is pressed, and the instructions suggest firing a technic missile at it (the stormtrooper model has this - see page 59 of the instructions), the head is supposed to pop up and out and the arms fall off. It may have worked when first constructed, I can't recall. But now the rubber bands located near the arm pit region have probably become too brittle to provide sufficient propellant and in my set the hands just hang limply at the sides as the head leans to one side or other.
One major gripe with the set and it applies to some other sets is that very little thought seems to have gone into how the set could be dismantled. My fingers are beginning to get very sore with all the dismantling of tightly packed technic pieces. However, in this instance there are four instances of ribbed tubing with a 6 length technic axle that I simply cannot remove without risk of damage. This set is targeted at nine year olds that are likely to have some difficulty dismantling and thus re-using pieces in other models, which after all is what most people like about Lego. Of course the DSS over multiple pieces exacerbates the problem of being unable to dismantle and then rebuild the set. Things may have improved in recent years.
The instructions like all these technic star wars models are very clear. This set again uses the human hand to demonstrate the exploding C-3PO feature which I think is really useful.
There is an alternate model with this set, a speeder or star-fighter of some description - I can't make it out but no doubt others might. See above and below pics. At 28 pages its no afterthought.
As I won't be doing an R2 D2 review, 8009 has already been reviewed, I cheated a little and photographed C3PO with the Mindstorms Droid developer kit version of R2D2. That's how a technic model should be built!
[Even Sesame Street's Ernie is impressed!]
All in all I'm a little disappointed with this set. However, I appreciate that to get the colours it was necessary to use lots of stickers. If only they didn't extend over multiple parts. I'll still give it an average is its not a bad set and the metallic gold technic panels might be of some use. I'm a sucker for nice shiny gold and silver parts.
Build 7/10 (Easy build for the number of pieces. Impossible to fully dismantle this set even ignoring stickers which are needed to show this set off to its best)
Functionality 6/10 (It is designed to sit on a shelf - its not unstable but does very little and there's only so many times C-3PO's head will explode)
Design 6/10 (Not the worst representation for the parts but seems a bit flimsy in reality - chrome eyes are nice)
Parts 6/10 (Nothing too fantastic here. Metallic gold pieces are the highlight and there's gold ribbed tubing - if only I could remove it from the technic axles!)
Price 6/10 (The current Bricklink average price seems a bit steep to me - it may have been much better value upon release but no doubt this reflects the iconic nature of the character)
Edited by KimT, 27 July 2010 - 11:23 PM.
Indexed and poll added