Twin-Pod Cloud Car Review
Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:36 AM
Hi. This was my third review for the Reviwer's Academy and it features: the 7119 Twin-Pod Cloud Car!
Theme: Star Wars (ESB/ROTJ)
No of pieces: 117 (excluding fig)
Release Date: 2002
RRP when released: $10.00
This set is based on the Storm IV Twin-Pod Cloud Car, an atmospheric vehicle manufactured by Bespin Motors for use on Cloud City. It can be seen in The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. It was based on the real-world twin fuselage design of aircraft such as the American F-82 Twin Mustang.
Lobot is the minifigure included. He was Lando Calrissian's chief administrative aide in the Empire Strikes Back. He wore a with a Biotech Aj^6 cyborg headband as part of his community service for stealing. He voluntarily chose to continue his service after his sentence had expired.
This is the front cover of the 19 page instruction booklet. It shows the product 'flying' against a Cloud City backdrop.
The back cover shows the Final Duel and Jedi Defense sets that were also available at the time, as well as lego.com and starwars.com adverts.
The back two pages also have pictures of available sets and some figs inlcuded in them.
This is just a random page from the booklet showing the construction of the model. As you may be able to tell, there is a Cloud City washout used for the background. A nice touch.
These are the 117 pieces included in the set. There are some nice, rare pieces included, such as the cockpit windows and the brown hinges. The majority of the pieces are red, but there are several dark and light grey, black and brown pieces too.
At stage four in the build, the model will look like this. The two pods are built simultaneously. This is good because it's not as repetitive as building one and then the other. Also, it has to be done like this because they are joined together near the beginning, as shown.
By stage ten, the cloud car's starting to take shape. You can see the pilots' seats in each pod, and the engine linking the two. The light grey bricks have been used as seats. This is a good use as they look more 'comfy' than normal 2x1 bricks.
Nearing the end, you can see the cockpits are almost enclosed, the engine is covered and the pods are becoming the right shape.
The finished product looks like this. The cockpits has a front window and two 'side windows'. They aren't completely airtight, as there are little gaps at the back and sides.
From the front, you can see that the pilot has a clear view ahead. Both pods are symmetrical from the middle.
Looking at the back, we can see TLG has added some curved bricks to make the shape sleeker and more model-accurate. The hinges beneath the cockpit windows can be seen well here, as can the two trans-blue studs in the engine.
The side view shows off the vehicles perfect shape. TLG has really got the design right on this model. The colour, however is a bit off. You can see the hinges that open the side doors that allow access to the cockpit as well.
Opening the door reveals a small, cramped cockpit. The walls are indented to leave room for the pilot's arms, and he also has a small control panel to use.
The control panel isn't uncommon in the Star Wars theme. It's a nice, detailed, printed piece covered in buttons and a small display. Both cockpits have one of these.
And Lobot sits in like so. He doesn't look happy with the amount of room he's got.
The set only contains one fig, so space for a second pilot is not necessary. That's a good job, because this other cockpit is the only space in which he can store his walkie-talkie. You can see the controls and backrest in this cockpit too.
For some reason, the engine between the pods can be opened. At first, I thought you could store the walkie in here, but it doesn't fit. When placed on top of the beam, the lid won't close. I assume, therefore, all you can do is get the pilot to 'service' it.
Lobot is the only minifigure included in the set. In my opinion, he's a very well-designed fig. His jacket is unique, as is his head. Lobot is Lando Calrissian's chief administrative aide on Cloud City, for anyone who didn't know.
If I turn him round, you can see that his Borg Construct Aj^6 is printed onto the back of his head. Although it doesn't reach as far round his head as it should, it's a great detail to have.
Zooming in, we can see that it's nicely-decorated with buttons and lights. Lobot is remembered by SW fans across the globe for his cyborg constuct, so it would have been bad for TLG if they didn't print it on.
Lobot has a walkie talkie to use to contact the Bespin Wing Guard when out of his cloud car. It fits nicely in his hand so he can talk and listen well.
You may wonder why a second minifigure wasn't included in the set, given that there is a second cockpit. Of course, I don't have the answer, but I can guess that TLG would have sold this set just as well with a second minifigure, and so they didn't need to go to the trouble of designing a completely new minifigure to include. Obviously, Lobot cannot serve as a generic pilot, so TLG figured that he would suffice on his own.
Ratings and thoughts
Build: 7/10 - Simple and quick, as you'd expect from a small set like this. It wasn't boring or repetitive so it gets a good score.
Minifigures: 7/10 - As nice as Lobot is, a cloud car pilot would have been the icing on the cake if he was included too.
Playability: 8/10 - Lobot can fix his engine and talk on his walkie, but the strength and size of the vehicle makes it perfect for swooshing!
Design: 8/10 - Though TLG has got the shape right, the colours are all wrong. Rather than red, brown and grey, all orange would have been much more accurate. If they remade it, I'm sure it would be much sleeker and less bumpy as well.
Price: 9/10 - $10 for 117 bricks is a good $0.10 per brick average. However, I bought mine in InStore along with 7200 for £2 each!
Overall: 39/50 - A great little set for its time and one of my favourite ESB-themed vehicles.
Brickshelf 2 (adho16) - contest entries, Clone Conflict, LDD
Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:57 AM
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Most recent MOC: BARC Speeder: http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=77126
Be sure to check out my most recent MOCs,Naboo Starfighter, UCS Swamp Speeder, and the UCS BARC speeder.
I have obsessive compulsive BARC disorder...
Posted 11 March 2011 - 05:06 AM
Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:27 AM
I personally think this is a pretty good set. It's 117 pieces for $10, with an exclusive minifig, and the shape is fairly good compared to other sets of that era.
Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:47 AM
I like the openning parts to seat a minifig in.....very nice and effective !
Brick On !
Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:38 PM
Posted 12 March 2011 - 11:08 AM
Hopefully we'll get another in a few years with the release of ESB in 3D, if not before.
Brickshelf 2 (adho16) - contest entries, Clone Conflict, LDD
Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:52 PM
Nice review, this set had a lot of swoosh-ability when I was younger.
Edited by Andeh, 12 March 2011 - 12:53 PM.
Posted 12 March 2011 - 10:24 PM
Thanks for the review. I have this set sitting here and I really like it! Two things I liked very much. We finally got those nice brown hinge tops, and second, the torso of Lowbot is a great neutral uniform style that was also useful for non-comissioned Imperial personal.
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