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Review: 7879 Hoth Echo Base


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#1 StoutFiles

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:59 AM

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I'll start off by saying I didn't think much of this set going in to the build. Maybe the set will change my mind?

Set name: Hoth Echo Base
Set number: 7879
Year of release: 2011
Price: 89.99 EUR? / 89.99 USD
Parts: 773
Minifigures: 9 (Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Snowtrooper(2), R3P0, 2-1B, Tauntaun)


Front:

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Back: (will take a better one later)

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Side:

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Random Bag:

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Bag 1:

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Let's start with the best feature of the set: the minifigs. A couple new figs and some big improvements on repeated figures.

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Han: Improved hood.
Leia: More accurate hair style, more detail on jacket. Yes, they gave her a popsicle as well.
Luke: Bacta Luke! Definitely the best fig of the set. Injured eye and cut on face. It's too bad the mask is on the face as well or this could work in the Wampa cave scene.
R3P0: An odd choice for a fig, but an exclusive fig is better than a standard soldier here.

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Snowtroopers: No changes.
Chewbacca: Bowcaster is now a dark grey.
2-1B: Medical droid to put in the med bay with Bacta Luke.

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Both Leia and Luke have reversible heads. These are likely their "we just kissed" faces. Let's not dwell on that longer than we have to.

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You can really see how much of an improvement Han and Leia are when you compare to their counterparts, especially Leia. For Han, the new hood makes a world of difference, and is able to rotate since it's not attached to the torso.

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Protocol party! Now we just need a silver one... (edit: yes, there's a black one...forgot to add it)

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Tauntaun is pretty standard. Comes with saddle or a few blocks to close the gap for a saddle-less Tauntaun.

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Note: this Tauntaun is NOT the same as the one that comes with 7749. The tail is a different piece that is slightly-off colored and made of a tough rubber. You can all speculate why they made this change.

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Basic E-web blaster. Nothing too fancy, slightly different build from 7749.

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As you can see, some color changes and a couple different pieces.

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The speeder, while using many of the same pieces as past speeders, is a very unique build.

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The speeder in the background is from the Snowtrooper battlepack. Stop doing this TLG! Stop it now! The speeders are so different I can't even display them next to each other.

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So this is the bridge that I assume goes with an X-wing. No, it doesn't normally sit on top of the base, I believe it CAN go there when you pick up the set to move it. A bit low though, right? Let's raise it.

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Yes, this is as high as it goes. An X-wing nose can fit through this, although the crane device gets in the way. It slides back and forth on the bridge and is used to pick up boxes. It's a pretty awful play feature.


Alright, let's get to the base building...which always starts with a magical DSS.

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Some great stickers in there, but a shame they're going to fall off and/or look like crap in a few years. TLG, give us some printed pieces!

Bag 2:

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Bag 2 result:

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Bag 3:

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Bag 3 result:

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Bag 4:

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Bag 4 result:

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Bag 5:

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And...done!

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Let's look at some of the "features".

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Yes, the wall actually folds so rebels can grab weapons while outside. This makes about zero sense but a kid might enjoy it.

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The Tauntaun's have their own, weather prone gate to come and go through. Huh? This makes no sense either...but it's fun I guess? Kids must not care about accuracy. Comes with some foliage to eat, which is attached to the door. Sigh.

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The med bay isn't awful, just cramped. Why couldn't they have just made this room instead as shown below? Still, it's sadly the best part of the base.

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The control room is so cramped there's no room to sit down at the other panel. Unlike 7666, the glass screens do not fold open. The sticker placement is on the INSIDE of the transparent piece making accurate placement very difficult. I originally thought the glass screens would slide to the right for more room, but no. All of this is just so horribly cramped.

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Tauntaun saddle holder. It's an interesting feature, I kind of like it. Next to it looks like a Snowspeeder fuel tank.

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This is just awful. What were you thinking TLG? The icicles fall when you pull out the pin, but no one will be under them because they hang so low that they block the doors! They're also a pain to put back unless you have 6 year-old fingers.

Which leads me to my final conclusion. This set was designed for little kids. It has no regard for accuracy, just small bits from Hoth scrambled together to an undecipherable mess. It looks okay, but it's not remotely accurate. It's designed for this guy.

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You'll be right at home here, Ice Planet guy.

Do I suggest this set? If you can get it on sale, you'll get some nice figures and some pretty good pieces for a MOC. Otherwise, unless you're 6-8 years old, I'd stay clear. It's just not Echo Base.

Edited by KielDaMan, 23 July 2011 - 11:07 AM.
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#2 prateek

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:11 AM

Thanks for the review, but the set is just terrible. As you said, this set is for kids, but it still doesn't justify the crapiness. There are plenty of other sets that are aimed at kids, but are still great overall models. This is a thumbs down for me. :thumbdown:

BTW, I see you are missing a black protocol droid. Are you in the market for one? :grin:

#3 StoutFiles

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:18 AM

View Postprateek, on 22 July 2011 - 03:11 AM, said:

Thanks for the review, but the set is just terrible. As you said, this set is for kids, but it still doesn't justify the crapiness. There are plenty of other sets that are aimed at kids, but are still great overall models. This is a thumbs down for me. :thumbdown:

BTW, I see you are missing a black protocol droid. Are you in the market for one? :grin:

Damn, I forgot to add that one!  Always forget about him, he's on the other side of my Death Star that isn't easily visible.

#4 Destroydacre

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:24 AM

This set actually looks better to me after review. However keep in mind that I had such low expectations of it, that although it looks better than I imagined, I'm still not impressed with it. I'll take advantage of the TRU BOGO 50% off sale this weekend and get it for half price. There's some nice pieces in there and the figs are good (as usual). Getting this set will help in making a better Echo Base MOC.

Thanks very much for the review, StoutFiles!

#5 Fallenangel

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:33 AM

Very nice review, StoutFiles. Now, seeing this, I really do understand why you dislike this set so much - the whole thing really sticks out like a sore thumb when you consider the quality of the Star Wars sets we've been getting lately. All of your points seem justified - good minifigures, poor accuracy, childish play features...

However, I feel that you have overlooked one aspect of this set which comes in as a big buying factor: the pieces included in the set. In this respect, this set reminds me of 7663, with a final result that's less than pleasing but with plenty of interesting pieces which (at least for me) are definitely a highlight of this set. Megaphones and telescopes, tubes, 2x2 jumper tiles, and the odd Technic piece or BURP, to name a few... all in all, this is a pretty decent parts pack, and there will definitely be some kids (or even AFOLs) who will pick this up just for all the great pieces it contains.

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What, that's it? :thumbdown:  :grin:

#6 The Legonater

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:43 AM

Looking at this review, I see a few obvious ways to MOD it and make it much better. I might have to get this set to make those modifications, and have a fairly decent base.

And oddly, I want that new Leia the most Posted Image

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#7 The_Chosen_1

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:03 AM

I may be in the vast minority, but I'm actually excited about this set.  A "definitive" Echo Base would be difficult to make anyway, seeing as there is very little reference (if any) that shows where different areas of the base are in relation to one another.  The features are pretty lame, but for trying to give us as much of Echo Base as possible in a $100-range set it's not bad.  Just my opinion. :classic:

I do agree with one thing though, these stickers need to STOP!!!  I for one would be willing to pay the extra money per set in order to get rid of the darn things!
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#8 Brickdoctor

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:05 AM

As a set, it looks just as awful as the first pic. But the price is okay, there are a couple good minifigs, some useful pieces, and I don't keep sets together anyways. I'll probably get one.

#9 Legocrazy81

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:02 AM

View PostThe_Chosen_1, on 22 July 2011 - 04:03 AM, said:

I may be in the vast minority, but I'm actually excited about this set.  A "definitive" Echo Base would be difficult to make anyway, seeing as there is very little reference (if any) that shows where different areas of the base are in relation to one another.  The features are pretty lame, but for trying to give us as much of Echo Base as possible in a $100-range set it's not bad.  Just my opinion. :classic:

I do agree with one thing though, these stickers need to STOP!!!  I for one would be willing to pay the extra money per set in order to get rid of the darn things!

I'm with you, I don't think it's too bad. I just look at it like they're trying to give us as much of a Hoth base as they can give us. It would be way too hard/expensive to give us an accurate base. Although a cool idea would be to make it in sections. January releases, give us, say a bacta tank section, then July release, say a control room section. Better yet, do 2 sections with each release.

I know people compare this to Battle of Endor set, but you have to remember, that was just a bunker, so of course it'll be easy to reconstruct in Lego. Hoth base spans a lot more earth than that. I think they were just trying the ol' "best bang for your buck" with this.
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#10 The_Chosen_1

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:45 AM

I agree, a staggered release of different scenes in the base would have been great.  There's still the chance they could do that with a different location (ie. Jabba's Palace).
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#11 wokajablocka

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:06 AM

Yeah, finally a good look at the new Hoth base. Its Lego and SW themed so I will get it, but over all a bit of a disappointment. :hmpf_bad:

New Luke fig is awsome, and more detailed and slightly diffrent Han and Leia is also good. I like when they change the figs as it is more appeling to collect sets with diffrent figs. How many crepy Anikins de we all own, and not until this year we got any variation with the Sith nightspeeder.
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#12 P4trickvH

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:26 AM

Great review, i really love the new minifigures.
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#13 White Cat

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:28 AM

I've been talking with my wife about this set lately. Seriously, I don't know what'll I become when I'm 30 or 40 but right now despite all the lame or childish features, I found this set quite attractive. Although, the flick-fire missiles is still the lamest features but I still think that the cramp space, the cran of the bridge, the weapons wall or the gate for tauntaun are all lovely. I don't know if this's because I been playing with Gunpla model kits for years but you can't really get what you want for just a hundred bucks or so. Beside, if we're really interested about accuracy then I think figure or action figures would be a better choice instead of something buildable like Lego.

Great review, though.  :thumbup:

#14 Mr Man

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:33 AM

Thanks for the review StoutFiles. I still don't like it it's very disappointing for what it should be. It might look OK next to 7749 and 7666, but by it's self it looks crap.
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#15 L-space

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:11 PM

Thanks for the review. :thumbup:

So imo why not to buy: iit looks like something thrown together without any cohesion and not even living up to its designated target audience 8-14 years but more like 6+

Why to buy imo: It makes a great challenge to actually create something beautifull, every part of the Hoth base is there. All you have to do is use your own imagination and that's what is all about. Next we have the bactatank Luke. This will rise to at least 30 bucks on bricklink, so buying the set just for Luke is worth it because LEGO throws in a nice parts pack. :laugh:

I'm going for option 2; buy
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#16 Masked Builder

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:47 PM

Not an aweful set.  I think I'll pass on this one and just get the Luke fig off Bricklink.  Thanks for the review!
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#17 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:13 PM

I don't get some of the complaints about the features (particularly the tauntaun gate and the foliage); I think the added play value (and yes, remember this thing is a kid's toy, after all) does increase the appeal of the set. That said, I do agree the overall "look" just isn't cohesive - it's a broken-up bunch of greys and whites, and truth be told it's kind of ugly.

This speaks to a personal view I have regarding aesthetics of LEGO Star Wars models that differs a bit from a lot of people here, actually - even though it may be more technically accurate, I think models that are mostly just a bunch of grey are pretty boring-looking, at least in LEGO (even when the actual item doesn't look boring in the same color scheme). I'm therefore very much in favor of being a little more adventurous with colors in my SW models, in ways I know others here aren't (frankly, it's one reason I'm leery of posting images of MOCs in this one forum, even though SW is a primary LEGO obsession for me). Anyway, normally I find the color schemes in official TLG SW designs more appealing than those in most AFOL SW MOCs - but here they've managed to make it even less appealing, I think.

That said, this is still worth the price just as a pack of parts and minifigures, and I'll happily get it as such. It should provide excellent material for incorporating into my own Echo base.

Edited by Blondie-Wan, 22 July 2011 - 02:13 PM.


#18 lightningtiger

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:39 PM

Thanks for the review 'StoutFiles', it's okay.....just....I'll buy one only because it should go with my 2007 TRU exclusive Hoth Base set with the big doors and the snowspeeder.
Icicles falling from the ceiling eh ? Designers drinking session at the local pub idea is my guess ! :laugh:
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#19 gogocar

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:22 PM

Good review, StoutFiles. However, I am very disappointed. The set sucks!

It's made for little kids, it's terrible. The only thing good are the figs, but I don't like the new Leia. You get a tauntaun, but we've seen it before.

There are some interesting pieces, but it doesn't make up for the awfulness of the set. At least we have The Battle of Endor...

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#20 Final Exit

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:35 PM

Thanks for the review, I wasn't bothered when I saw it first but after that I want it :)

#21 autobrick

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for the review, StoutFiles. Unfortunately (but fortunately for my wallet), your review has confirmed what I had suspected; the much anticipated 2011 Hoth set is a bit of a dud.

Compared to Anakin and Sebulba's Podracers, which is part of the same summer wave (and the same price), this set is quite poor. The Podracers set has more pieces, better set design and great playability (for the kids :grin:). In my opinion, even the minifigs in the Podracers set are better; I don't think there are many who would prefer any of these minifigs over Watto, (or Sebulba or Wald)?

Even If I were to find this set for half price (Canadian MSRP is $119.99, so that would be $60), this set would still only be 'okay'. There are a lot of better sets (and the upcoming Super Heroes theme) which are more worthy of our hard-earned cash.

However, on the positive side, the minifigs are nice (not great) and the parts would make a nice start for a proper Echo base. Still, this set is easily the worst 2011 Star Wars set (but that's just my opinion).

#22 Stardusty

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:10 PM

Thank you for great review of worst SW set that came out this year. :thumbup:
Play features are horrible, and everything is so cramped.
Falling icycles is good idea, but they did it in horrible way. If they were 5-6 bricks higher
it would be great.

By the way, legs of Medical Droid are placed wrong on this picture:
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:wink:
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#23 MightyMegs

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:10 PM

I think this set looks great... and I can't wait to get mine (backordered) from ToysRUs. I'm gettimg my Lego Wampa and R2 ready...

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Edited by MightyMegs, 22 July 2011 - 05:18 PM.


#24 Brickdoctor

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:23 PM

View PostWhite Cat, on 22 July 2011 - 07:28 AM, said:

Beside, if we're really interested about accuracy then I think figure or action figures would be a better choice instead of something buildable like Lego.
Action figures are just as bad. Hasbro throws play features into their models, too, in addition to all the non-canon vehicles they make.

#25 SWMAN

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:25 PM

This is by far Lego's worst attempt at a Star Wars "playset". It is entirely inaccurate and in general just looks really bad. The Han, Luke, and Leia figures are cool, but other than that the rest of the figures are kind of standard. Lego should have included a Rebel commander and rebel soldier. I'm curios to see the inevitable mod's that are going to come from this. I'm also curious to see how people incorporate this with the last Echo Base. Maybe with some modifications the two can be combined into a decent base.
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