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REVIEW: 7962 Anakin's & Sebulba's Podracers


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Poll: REVIEW: 7962 Anakin's & Sebulba's Podracers (66 member(s) have cast votes)

How would you rate this set?

  1. Like getting crushed by Sebulba (22 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. Below Average (1 votes [1.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.52%

  3. Average (1 votes [1.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.52%

  4. Above Average (20 votes [30.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.30%

  5. Like winning the Podrace! (22 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

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#1 Clone OPatra

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 09:50 PM

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Over the course of the Star Wars line, there have appeared every so often a set too good to pass up. 8038 Battle of Endor. 8092 Luke's Landspeeder. The infamous 7666. At the time of the 2011 New York Toy Fair, it didn't seem like any fit that description for this year. But then one grew on me, big time. That's right, I'm talking about…

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Set Title: Anakin's & Sebulba's Podracers
Set #: 7962
Theme: Star Wars
Subtheme: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Pieces: 810
Minifigures: 5
Year of Release: 2011
Price at Release: USD 90
, GBP 82, EUR 100, CAD 120
Buy it? Inventory? Bricklink Peeron LEGO
Just browse the pictures? Flickr


INTRODUCTION

There's one thing, one minor thing, that's wrong with this set right off the bat: its name. Yes, the name precisely describes what's in the set, but it's also weighty, awkward, and all around unexciting. Clearly, LEGO doesn't mind using titles that are just a bit off to make things more exciting; look at the recent Battle of Naboo (Droid Carrier plus two Gungans), Battle for Geonosis (speeder and cannon), and 2009's Echo Base (trench, turret, Taun-Taun, and Snowtroopers). Wouldn't Mos Espa Podrace or Boonta Eve Classic be so much more exciting titles for this set? Yes, yes they would've been. But I'll get over it. (Note: on LEGO.com the name is listed as "Anakin Skywalker and Sebulba's Podracers, but I have used the name found on the box.)

Some of you OT fanatics or CW-only lovers might be scratching your head as to why this set was as irresistible as those others I mentioned above. I'll tell you what caught my eye: for once, it wasn't the figures, but the two beautiful, and beautifully detailed, models. Not to mention large. It doesn't get much better than 810 pieces for $90 when it comes to Star Wars, and when a Star Wars set is beautiful, you know there's something special going on. At least that's how it seemed to me. Let's see how it stacks up once it's out of the box…


BOX

But before we can look at it out of the box, we've gotta look at the box. Thems the reviewing rules! All the Star Wars boxes have been getting a bit smaller, but this one is still plenty big (it's the same size as Battle of Alamut's box, in fact). The Cloudy Rex artwork is lovely as always, and the Podracers themselves look exciting. I do fear for the lives of Obi-Wan, Wald, and Watto, since they seem to be chilling smack in the middle of the race course. Obi-Wan is probably regretting leaving the Royal Starship for this. It's also humorous how LEGO has Watto hovering above the ground with some CG wingflapping, which the figure cannot do in reality.
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The back shows the Podracers in 'parked' position, though Sebulba doesn't feel like getting out of his. Everybody else seems to be going for a team huddle (Anakin to Obi-Wan: "Who the heck are you, and why are you brandishing a lightsaber in the middle of the Podrace?") There are also the boxes showing the very slim amount of play features, though this set is actually amazing for play. There are ads for the other biggest sets of the wave, because if you're going to buy one big one already, you might as well go big or go home. Overall, it's a pretty bland back, and the podracers seem crammed between the other pictures.
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Note that both here, on the top of the box, and in the minifigure lineup on the front Obi-Wan has his 'old Obi-Wan' torso instead of the new one. In the main artwork on the back and front he has the correct, new torso, so I really don't understand why this happened. I'm always surprised when errors like this make it all the way through to production. The photographer has also magically gotten Sebulba to stand up while being bent forward, something impossible in real life. It makes him appear shorter, which is probably what they wanted.
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INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions are fairly large, and there is only one book. They easily could've split it into two, but there's no reason to and I'm happy they didn't. The booklet splitting thing confuses me. Something small to note is that here (and on both sides of the box) Obi-Wan's lightsaber hilt is upside down, though in both minifigure lineups it isn't. Clearly, the photos for each were taken at different times.
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Since I'm not giving you build pictures, I thought I'd show you this page, which breaks it down. The build is spread over five bags; basically a bag per engines and a bag per pod, though Sebulba's gets an extra one containing the large builds that form the 'x' shape. Inside that bag, bag 4, are two bags that are identical, I think. They seemed pretty identical.
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On the minifigures page is this diagram telling you not to put Sebulba's legs on wrong, which I guess they felt was an easy mistake. It's probably to keep you from later trying to put Sebulba in his pod, find he doesn't go in, and throw a hissy fit. This way, no hissy fits necesary.
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Some of the instructions pages feel pretty empty, but others like this one are satisfyingly full of steps. Only a handful of pages still have the Darth Vader mask on them. They should really retire that artwork by now and replace it with a Clone or something. The color differentiation in this book is quite bad. There is never a case of a part being in both dark grey and black, so it isn't really a problem, but those two colors appear extremely similar most of the time. I wonder why this issue seems to always be more prevalent in Star Wars than anything else.
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The parts list is quite long and fills this spread in the back. As you can see, the majority of the parts are grey or black, though there is a pleasing amount of orange to be had. You can't go wrong with 20 orange 2x3 plates!
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The back also contains the minifigure lineup from the front of the box and the inserts from the back, as well as ads for all the non-Special Edition summer sets. They even included this one, in case you wanted to go out and buy it again.
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There are also pages for joining the LEGO club, the third Star Wars videogame, and that thing on the back that we don't talk about.


DSS

Sometimes, the word dreaded in relation to a sticker sheet is quite justified. This is one of those times. Many of these stickers are nice and add good detail to the set, but there are just so many and only five are not annoying to apply. Another bad point is that all of these are the 'colored sticker' type, not the clear backing type. Some have good reason for that, but others would've looked much better had they had a clear back.
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MINIFIGURES

LEGO has finally fully realized that people love new minifigures, and it's no secret that the company is piling them into sets with full force. This set comes with five brand new figures, though the box doesn't list Anakin as new (maybe because he also comes in the Naboo Fighter?).

All of these minifigures are pretty awesome. Of course Obi-Wan doesn't make sense at the Podrace, but I'm happy to get him here. Five also seems like a fine number to me, probably because they are all new. One slight issue is scale; Sebulba is obviously way too huge, and Watto is a bit too big. Still, both figures are nicely designed to look like their characters, so I can't complain too much. It's also worth a chuckle that LEGO cares so much about giving us new figures that they've created Wald, who it's probably safe to say nobody cares about. But that doesn't make him unwelcome.
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Everybody has some back printing as well (expect Sebulba). I absolutely adore the new Jedi robes. They match the film so well, and look so crisp. Watto's new mould is also stunning in its level of detail and printing. It's just perfect.
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Sebulba and Watto deserve to be shown from the side as well. Watto looks so cutely grumpy, while Sebulba looks ugly and evil just like he's supposed to. The purple on him is some great detail. Both of these figures look so incredibly better than their original versions, besides for Watto getting the 'grey hands' treatment so many aliens are getting these days.
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Other things worth noting are Anakin's worn-looking helmet, which is much more fitting than just the aviator helmet…
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…and Anakin's crazy goggle face. Some say ridiculous, I say ridiculously awesome. Yes, it's a completely cartoon version of Anakin, but that's a good thing. Anakin in Episode I is only marginally less annoying than Anakin in Episode II, so the sort of print that makes me forget about his horrid characterization is a good one.
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Anakin and Obi-Wan also have alternate expressions: Obi-Wan can be angry while Anakin looks like he's attempting to be angry. This face for Obi-Wan is more reminiscent of the character than the happy reverse side, since Obi-Wan is mostly not a happy guy in Episode I. However, removing the hood reveals a problem: the color of the skin tone on the torso. Going by movie sources, that patch should be Obi-Wan's skin, but here it's completely the color of the darker minifigure skin tone introduced in Indiana Jones. The instructions show this part as being light flesh colored, so I assume it's just an error, but it's a pretty big one. Obi-Wan isn't too happy about wearing an orange shirt under his robes.
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Anakin

I figured I might as well compare the two young Anakins that I have: the original and this one. (Though in the Podrace sets he had a light grey helmet with dark grey goggles) Both have the same basic details on the tunic, though those details are much better defined on the new one. Oddly enough, the old one's face reminds me more of the character, while the new one makes me chuckle again. But which do I like better? The new one. He's got the expression of a manga character. He could use some hair, though; it would've been nice if LEGO threw some in.
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Obi-Wan

Despite overstated happiness, this Obi-Wan is much better than the original (and the last one, too). Why? He's finally got his own face; he doesn't have to share it with Luke any more! Although he still has to wear a hood. It may just be me, but I didn't notice him wearing a hood all that much in the movie. Why does LEGO think young Obi-Wan always has to wear a hood? Only once have they ever released him with some hair. This time it's also slightly a problem because his hood does not match the color of the cape, a problem that I don't think has ever occurred before.
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Obi-Wan does have one other thing to be angry about, which would be his eyebrow color. LEGO has gone and given him orange hair again (I added the orange hairpiece, since it matches the brows). Did he ever have orange hair in the films? Nope, it was brown. LEGO just doesn't get it. I do like how he looks next to his older counterpart. Quite a bit younger, I'd say.
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ACCESSORIES

Without any gun-toting characters in this set, there are very few accessories. In fact, there's only one intended to be an accessory, but that doesn't mean we can't play around with the other ones.
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PODRACERS

Having two very different models makes for an interesting build that seldom gets boring. The build is peppered by '2x's, which can get annoying, but overall it stays interesting. Now let's look at the completed pods!


Anakin's Podracer

First, a comparison with the film. Overall, the look and shape of both the engines and pod are captured very well. Obviously, the film engines are more unfinished looking, but it's very hard to pull off a similar effect in LEGO. The designer has put some effort into it, though, using grill tiles and a bit of brown. Not all aspects of the shape are perfect, but it is a very successful rendition of the film vehicle.
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This podracer is pleasingly long. The clear technic pieces really do well to make it look like the pod is flying because of the engines. Yes, it's not like they are invisible, but they create a slim profile and look much slicker than the clunky tan bases of old.
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The engines and pod even look good from the back (although excessive stickering is apparent here). These are the rare models that have no 'bad angles,' no underside to be left unfinished. Every view reveals some sort of detail.
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Even the front of Ani's pod looks good, trying to appear smooth with some SNOT attachment. They also gave us those small technic bits in yellow, though they also come in this set in grey. I don't care if it's true to the film or not; that's a nice touch. The only problem is the windshield being a bit too low, although only a little.
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From the top, you can get a better sense of the length of the model. It's also apparent that the engines are pretty massive, like they should be. The size and placing of the engines works quite well in relation to the pod.
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The real faults of Anakin's Podracer lie in the stickers. You might have noticed the blue detailing on the tips of the 'wings' or whatever you want to call the long yellow parts on the engines. You can see it here if you missed it. This detail does match the film, but the stickers are all so small, you have to sticker six of these, and since the stickers don't have a clear back the yellows do not quite match. It's plain annoying to sticker so many of the same thing, and crooked stickers look the worst. These really bugged me.
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Another set of stickers that many people might dislike are the large blue ones with engine intake details. Personally, I do not mind these. Sure, they don't blend in with the piece at all, but better to have them not try to blend in than to try and be slightly off. The detail of the intake looks cool, and it's nice to have so more color on the engines.
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The pod is really where the stickering goes wild. The one on the front, at least, works well and is easy enough to get right. That one is fine with me.
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It's the little ones that are killer. Why a sticker with dark grey backing on a light grey tile? And that 1x3 wedge piece is the worst; three stickers! I've never seen this many stickers on a single piece before. Once you've gotten them on fairly straight, then it's fine, but to do so is no easy task. This many tiny stickers is way too many in my opinion, and they add a level of frustration to the build.
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Sebulba's Podracer

First I'll look at it along with a film frame, just like I did with Anakin's. The most noticeable problem is that the engines are too close together, but besides for this and the fact that the angle of the 'x' shape is a little off, the model does nab a lot of the details of the Plug-F Mammoth (a truly terrible name, if you ask me).
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Thanks to perspective, the engines appear to be fairly large. It's not just perspective, though; these things are pretty big. The PoP quarter dome piece works very nicely to make the wings flow together, although the color and size of it is not entirely accurate. The white stripe is also inaccurate since it is supposed to be diagonal, but that would've been hard to accomplish and a vertical stripe is better than none at all, like the old version. The stickers that continue the white stripe onto the black sloped parts would of course be better as printing, but they aren't too intrusive and look pretty nice.
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The main flaw of this podracer is that it uses the same size frame as Anakin's, which makes it seem very compressed. Though the engines and the pod are nicely designed (as I'll get into with some more close-ups), since the engines are so large they come very close the pod, which doesn't feel right at all. LEGO needed to use some more clear technic parts and longer flew tubing to extend the frame and push the pod back.
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This problem may be more apparent from the top, where it is very clear that the pod is not very far back from the engines. The split 'x' itself also strikes me as a tad small in comparison to the pod and even the large orange wheels used on the backs. There's a reason this podracer is called the 'Mammoth;' in the film it truly seemed gigantic.
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From the back you also get a sense that the engines are dangerously close, though they look very nice.
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You can take in all of the nice detailing work on the engine in this horribly discolored picture. They've really piled on a pleasing amount of greebling for such a confined space. I love the gold bars, telephone, and three cylinder pieces that remind me of exhaust vents. All of the stickers here are not too bad. To me, a good sticker is one that covers the entire surface of the piece, and both the stickers on the 2x2 round tiles and one large orange slope pieces do that. Both aren't too difficult to apply and add detail.
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Putting 4L bars in robot arms sixteen times is not my idea of fun, but the result is worth it. The rears of these engines look awesome.
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The pod is also nicely detailed and even has a little greebling of its own, in the form of the binoculars pieces. There is only one sticker here, and it's just a white stripe with a little design. Even though it's on an orange piece, it looks alright and also is easy enough to apply. This pod ends up looking more blocky than Anakin's, but it gets the shape right so I can't complain too much. The only real issues are that the windscreen is so low and that Sebulba's controls are very weird, but because of the make of the figure it couldn't be helped.
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Size Comparison

After surveying a lot of internet images of the pods, I've come to the conclusion that the split 'x' on Sebulba's isn't necessarily too small, and if the his pod is too close to the engines, it's not by much. However, once it is placed next to Anakin's podracer it does feel a tad too small. I don't actually know if it is compared to the movie, since it's hard to tell, but I don't think Anakin's podracer should be longer. Other than that, Anakin's vehicle does look sufficiently weak compared to Sebulba's large, sturdy-looking machine.
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STANDS

The stands are fairly basic, and are identical besides for a difference in color of the 1x1 round pieces (gold is Sebulba's and red is Anakin's, not that it matters).
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As you can sort of see in this picture, the pod's stand has a technic liftarm that easily slots into the stand. Each pod balances perfectly on a flat surface.
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PLAY FEATURES

There is only one (or one, four times) play feature that is built in: the saws on Sebulba's pod. I don't think the placing of these is accurate, and I don't remember there being four of them, but I understand that LEGO had to show Sebulba's evil cheating ways somehow. It's still not a very exciting feature.
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The real play feature is not little detail; it's the pods themselves. The way they slot into their bases has been designed as a handle, so that picking them up is easy and swooshing them is a ton of fun. I can't recall any set as perfect as this for swooshing. Because of the bottom handles, you still get the entire view of each ship when you pick them up, and you can swoosh both at once, one in each hand. It truly does not get any better than this.
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But of course you might want to play with the other figures too. Time for some good old minifigure fun!
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CONCLUSION

This set is not your typical big Star Wars set, not at all. While most sets are rife with flick-fire missiles, plagued by unfinished undersides, and often cumbersome to pick up, this one is designed with the very best play feature in mind: swooshing. And on top of that: one-handed swooshing.

Besides for swooshing, this set makes a terrific display model. It's suitable to behold from any angle, and highly detailed to boot. Sebulba's podracer has its issues as I've illustrated, but on a shelf it still looks striking with its big engines and lovely color scheme. Anakin's pod, though more bare, also looks wonderful.

The minifigures are also pretty good. They are not without faults, but overall they are a pleasing assortment that doesn't feel gratuitous. Since the focus of this set is clearly not the minifigures, they are a bonus that can't be faulted too much. It's not like they were thrown in just to drive up the price.


RATINGS

Minifigures: 8/10 - The little things do bug me, like Obi-Wan's eyebrow color and his very orange patch of skin. Watto's hands are also a minus. Apart from that, I like them.
Pieces: 10/10 - Lots of orange? Clear technic? Trans-pink bars? There's so much good stuff here, and plenty of it.
Design: 9/10 - One point is docked because of the issues with Sebulba's pod. Otherwise, gorgeous and sturdy.
Playability: 10/10 - Maximum. It doesn't get better than duel-fisted swooshing.
Price: 9/10 - It's not realistic to dock many points because of the price. $80 for this set would be awesome, but it's Star Wars, and the price per piece ratio is actually pretty good. There are tons of small parts, but you get impressive, highly playable models. $90 is right for that.

Overall: 9.2/10 - This set is one worth picking up, even at full price. It has just a few design flaws, and the minifigures have just a few issues, but it won't feel like you're being skimped for your money. Unless you could really care less about podracers, this is a set worth getting.
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#2 Masked Builder

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:39 AM

Cool stuff Cloney O'!  I think that the minifigures are a great improvement over their older counterparts.  The pods look pretty good too!  You included some goo humor as well! :laugh:   Keep up the good work! :thumbup:
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#3 JimBee

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:41 AM

:drool:

Thanks for the review, Cloney. I've vowed not to buy any more Lego sets for at least a while, but I'm having a really hard time resisting this one. The models are fantastic, as well as the minifigs. Obi's face and torso prints especially.

Such a great set, SW is definitely improving.

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#4 Brickdoctor

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:44 AM

Lovely review of a lovely set, Cloney O'. The set itself is beautifully designed. In my opinion, the models (not the minifigs) rival those of 8038. The inclusion of Obi-Wan is forgivable for me, since Qui-Gon's in the Scimitar. The piece selection (and at this price, too) is a high point as well. Definitely the best System Star Wars set of 2011. I'd pick this one up, but between Echo Base and my new Train addiction...

#5 Big Cam

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:48 AM

I've got to say, I love everything about this set except the price.  I think $70, or even %80 would be more reasonable, but that's LEGO. :hmpf_bad:

otherwise this set has so much WIN, new faces for Anakin and Obi Wan, although Obi Wan's smirk looks too cartoony for me.
Sebulba and Watto just look good, I really want them, but I can''t justify buying this set.

As for the Pd Racers, I love how big LEGO made them, usually they skimp down sets like this, but these actually look about right, minus the engine sizes, but they are still generous.

Great Review Clonie!!

#6 K-Nut

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:53 AM

Nice review! This is the only set of this wave I won't be getting since I own the original. But those minifigs are great! My only complaint is Watto's hands. First Aayla, now this!  :hmpf:  :hmpf_bad:
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#7 The_Chosen_1

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:24 AM

Awesome review!  A remake of the Podracers was #1 on my most-wanted list for a long time, and boy does this deliver. Apart from the horrendous amount of stickers, it's an amazing set.

You're wrong about Wald being an "unwanted minifigure" though. He's definitely a welcome addition in my collection. :wink:
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#8 22kane

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:09 AM

Very nice detailed review. The set is done very well and I'm quite surprised by it. I wouldn't think they could capture that amount of detail and they did it very well. I personally didn't like much about episode 1 so I won't be buying this. Again, great review.
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#9 Ceroknight

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:25 AM

Thank you for the review!
I will make sure to get this on the next free shipping event at S@H :sweet:
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#10 WhiteFang

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 08:30 AM

Thank you Clonie for doing up this review. I had always wanted to find out more about this set and I don't find it special when I first saw it except that I keep hearing how rare Watto and Sebulba is, plus the fact that this set was last released for more than a decade ago, so this set is definitely worth for a re-release.

I am having mixed feelings whether to acquire this set or not since I am not a huge fan in the Prequel (Ep 1), then those podracers and the special minifigures are growing slowly on me. I haven't decided yet but I am sure this review will help me in my buying decision later on.

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#11 The Penguin

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 08:39 AM

Great review of an uncertain set!  :classic:

I fully share WhiteFang's sentiments here, since on one hand I'd really love to get some of those minifigs, but I'm not really impressed by the vehicles. I like ep.1 actually (looks much more SWish to me than the rest of PT), but the race scenes never impressed me much. oh well, i guess it's BL for the figs, in this case. )  :classic:

good day, ladies and gentlemen! )  :classic:

#12 TheDarkness

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 08:50 AM

Another awesome review of this awesome set!
I am impatiently waiting for my order from Barnes and Noble via slow delivery, but it is the set I wanted most out of this wave

#13 Oddibossity

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:01 AM

Great review, I think you've sold me the set...

With that orange hairpiece on Obi-Wan, the orange skin on his torso suddenly makes sense- showing off his manly orange chest hair.  *oh2*

#14 KielDaMan

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:18 PM

Excellent review CloneyO! :thumbup: Thanks for doing a proper RA review on this, which is probably one of the best sets of recent times. TLG really did a great job updating both of these podracers, and this is one of those sets where the minifigs aren't the main selling point but rather the vehicles themselves. And this is also a perfect opportunity for those who've missed the previous release to finally get one.

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#15 has a differing opinion

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:04 PM

Cool review. No offense, but I don't think the eyebrows matter. The 2010 luke has brown eyebrows, even though he's a blond.

Edited by has a differing opinion, 23 August 2011 - 03:06 PM.


#16 Aanchir

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:20 PM

Great review. This is an amazing set and really makes me feel nostalgic for Episode I (I suppose not everyone here is young enough for that to elicit nostalgia, but after watching my twin brother play Star Wars Episode I: Racer for hours and hours it'd be hard not to get a special feeling from a podracer set.

The minifigures are amazing IMO. Obi-Wan really resembles the actor pretty closely, aside from the orange eyebrows. The reason he has a hood in so many sets is probably to sidestep the problem of his Padawan braid. I believe the one set that did have him with hair had the braid printed specially onto the torso, which probably wasn't done here so that he and Qui-Gon could share a torso print.

Anakin also is a great likeness of the actor, or at least the character. While his facial expression is cartoony compared to the rather stoic expression the actor wore in Episode I, his main face captures this about as well as can be done while still giving it a childlike cuteness, and I can practically hear the reverse expression with the goggles yelling "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, WORK!" (a line drilled into my head, again, by too many hours of Star Wars Episode I: Racer).

The darker minifigure skin tone printing on the torsos bothers me, and it's not just in this theme that it occurs. Technically, this darker skin tone (18 Nougat) existed long before Indiana Jones-- it was for many years the default skin tone of Duplo figures, and was also the lightest skin tone for NBA figures (283 Light Nougat, Bricklink's Light Flesh, didn't appear in sets until 2004). I'm not sure why printed skin tones on torsos tend to use this color rather than Light Nougat, but it's something I'd like TLG to work on improving.

I kind of agree about the stickers on Anakin's podracer. There are a few things I'd like to note, though. For starters, I hate clear-backed stickers. It's hard to apply them without getting a fingerprint on the sticky part, and if you do, then it will show up on the piece forever. In my opinion, there are only a few ways in which a clear-backed sticker would be necessary, and none show up in this set (for the record, those are when a sticker has to be applied to a transparent or metallic part and you want the background to match the part it's applied to).

The reason for the dark grey stickers on light grey parts is that sticker sheets, like printed parts, often try to work with as few colors as possible. This could be observed in Space Police Central-- because some of the stickers had to match the orange "bad guy" speeder in the set, this meant that orange details appeared all over the sticker sheet, including on striped stickers that really would have been better in yellow to match the sliding black-and-yellow garage door.

Now with that said, I don't think the stickers detract from the appearance of that set much more than they detract from the appearance of this set. But I feel that Anakin's pod in general could have been done better, including the stickers. The old version felt very streamlined, even if it didn't match the official vehicle too closely, whereas this one's broken contours, not helped by the many tiny stickers, keep it from feeling as artistically-designed as the classic version.

Overall, I'm surprised I haven't seen more MOCs of podracers since this set came out. It really shows how much set design has progressed in the past decade.

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#17 Rufus

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 09:28 PM

Lovely review, Cloney, and peppererd with your usual wit!  :wub:

I'm no fan of podracers - the whole scene was so shoehorned in, and rather ridiculous - but this is a great set, and the designer has done well to render the pods reasonably realistically.  The big engines of Sebulba's pod are beautiful.  What really stand out to me are the stands ( :blush: ) - it's great that they've made transparent yet sturdy handles that double as stands, and I agree they make the pods look wonderfully swooshable.

This set is another must for me, even though I've vowed to stop buying SW (but clearly never will :sadnew: )

#18 Blackicep8ntball

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:44 PM

A very solid review Cloney - you hit up tons of details I wouldn't have even thought of.

I agree with you that this is one of the best looking sets this year, and really one of the best looking of the SW line. But gosh - you're not kidding when you talk about the sticker job on Ani's podracer. It's little things like putting stickers on textured bricks like the 1x3 slope that really bring out the cheap look of stickers. This set would be just barely short of perfect if some of those parts were printed rather than stickered, but the stickers on Ani's pod really downgrade the appearance, IMO. I really wonder if stickers save TLG that much money...

#19 Aanchir

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 03:09 PM

View PostBlackicep8ntball, on 26 August 2011 - 01:44 PM, said:

A very solid review Cloney - you hit up tons of details I wouldn't have even thought of.

I agree with you that this is one of the best looking sets this year, and really one of the best looking of the SW line. But gosh - you're not kidding when you talk about the sticker job on Ani's podracer. It's little things like putting stickers on textured bricks like the 1x3 slope that really bring out the cheap look of stickers. This set would be just barely short of perfect if some of those parts were printed rather than stickered, but the stickers on Ani's pod really downgrade the appearance, IMO. I really wonder if stickers save TLG that much money...
Now, when you bring up the 1x3 slope, I have to point out something regarding stickers that people often overlook. Stickers can be applied to a wider range of surfaces than printed parts. In particular, the stickers on the sides of the 1x3 slope on the tail of Ani's pod are necessary to give the tail those side details. To my knowledge, the sides of slope bricks have never been printed, something extremely noticeable in Technic sets.

Now it could be argued that in this day and age, TLG could easily get machinery that could print the side surfaces of slope bricks, especially considering the advanced printing we've seen on much more complicated surfaces. However, would this be worth the cost? Probably not. Printing on these surfaces is often extremely specialized, and stickers have been used for this purpose for decades without problems.

Now, the specialization issue is one reason that I think using printing instead of stickers for many of this set's parts would be atrocious. I respect how strategic TLG is these days about printing parts that they anticipate using again, or alternatively parts where stickers are impractical for various reasons. For this set, I think the only alternatives to the stickers included are "fewer stickers" or "no stickers". But considering all the absolutely useless printed parts I have from early Star Wars sets, I would hate it if this set repeated that mistake.

It's the four side stickers on Anakin's pod that bother me in particular. The other stickers, like those on the tail and nose, are all rather tasteful. But the sides of the pod are built pretty terribly anyway-- if they were the least bit streamlined, then the stickers probably wouldn't bother me at all. As it is, the stickers contribute to an already broken-looking design. Looking at this picture, I can't see any justification for the use of 1x2 cheese slopes and 1x2 tiles when a 1x4 tile would have worked just as well. And if it were stickered? So be it-- in this case, it would have been far better than printing, which would have required two symmetrical designs, neither having much use outside of this set.

In my opinion, Anakin's pod is the weakest-looking part of this set (everything else is phenomenal IMO). I'd have preferred Medium Stone Grey on most areas rather than the Dark Stone Grey which was chosen, and which has an unsettling lack of contrast with the blue stickers and parts. The overall pod ends up looking boxy rather than sleek like it should be. On that note, I've just been inspired to try and put together a better design on LDD, so I suppose I'll go give that a shot so that I can judge for myself whether a better pod design was within the power of the designers.

Also, stickers probably save TLG not only money but production capacity. To print directly on a piece requires a specialized machine to print on the correct surface. In contrast, printing on a flat sticker sheet and then just cutting the stickers along the edges is much simpler and requires less specialized machines. Additionally, I'm sure the machines can be easily reconfigured to create sticker sheets for a different set, whereas a printing machine would still be limited to a particular piece.

The way TLG does printing these days, it's reserved mostly for parts that need it: small curved parts like 1x1 round bricks which stickers would adhere poorly to, parts with 3-D curves that lack flat surfaces for stickers to adhere to, and a few parts like minifigure torsos and so forth that TLG wants to be ready for play right from the box. And I personally think that's the intelligent way of doing things.

Edited by Aanchir, 26 August 2011 - 03:42 PM.

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#20 The_Chosen_1

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 02:47 AM

That is all extremely well put, Aanchir.  I too believe that sticker's aren't always as terrible as we make them out to be, particularly if TLG is gracious enough to include the better looking clear-backed stickers in a set.  The unfortunate fact remains though that stickers aren't as durable as printed parts. :sceptic:
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#21 Stardusty

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 09:45 AM

Wonderfull review of a wonderfull set. Thank you CoP.

I'm still thinking should I get it. I prefer buying parts, and this set is expensive, but it is so awesome.
Well, this set looks very good in my eyes. I hope I'll find it on sale.
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#22 Sinner

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for the cool review. I'm a bit unsure on this set; my biggest interest is the transparent technic...  :laugh: It's interesting the photo discrepancies that you noted. :wacko: I do like how this years Star Wars sets seem to have minimal photo editing on the back.

View PostClone O, on 18 August 2011 - 09:50 PM, said:

I can't recall any set as perfect as this for swooshing.
A few of the Exoforce sets were good; for example Aero Booster. They had triggers as well!  :laugh:





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#23 lockdownTF

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 12:22 PM

I've got this set and sebulbas pod is definitely reason to buy it. anakins pod is nice but sebulbas is in a different league way bigger and much more detailed like a space hotrod/muscle car. I'm a bit confused as to why they didn't give you a manual for each pod so that two people can build each pod or so that you just start building your favourite pod straight away without having to search the manual. but not a major problem

#24 TheDarkness

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 03:12 PM

I finished putting these together tonight, and just love the set. The minifigs were awesome (though a new Qui-Gon would have made more sense!) and it is just so colourful. I didn't find the build tedious at all, I was probably too busy admiring the colour of the sets.

Thanks for an awesome review!

#25 Artoo

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 09:44 AM

I don't want to sound mean in any way, but you really shouldn't criticize the old LEGO Mini-figures. Because it sounds like you don't like any LEGO from far back as 2008. In every review you say how you think every new LEGO Mini-figure is better than the ''Horrible'', or ''Ridiculous'' or ''Disgusting'' old Mini-figure. I'm sorry but you really are exaggerating a bit to much. Give credit to the LEGO designers for making such incredible and detailed Molds for back then. I mean technology has advanced astronomically so off course the new Mini-figures will look incredible, but the old LEGO Mnini-figures back then were mind - blowing and still are today. Like the old Watto, it is still today one of the rarest Mini-figures in the history of LEGO, and in my opinion I prefer the old Watto because of it's quality. Were as the new Watto is made in china. Please be considerate others may not like what your saying, as I have seen in a lot of your other reviews. And again not trying to sound mean :)



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