I could still remember the day I passed on the opportunity to get the previous system-scale Millennium Falcon released back in 2004 (4504), which I have regretted since each of the seven past years. Then came 2010 when the news of a new system-scale MF set surfaced, I was ecstatic since I will finally have the chance to own this classic OT ship in LEGO form. I had initial reservations on acquiring this set due to the exorbitant prices of LEGO in this part of the world, but when I had the chance to finally acquire it on a relatively good deal, I swiftly grabbed it on a whim! It’s hard to believe, but this will be my first Star Wars set review that I will share with you guys.
“What a piece of junk!” – Luke Skywalker
“She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid.“ – Han Solo to Luke
So is this set as bad as a “piece of junk” or something that’s as impressive as the “ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs”? Let’s all find out…
Name: Millennium Falcon
Theme: Star Wars | Subtheme: Original Trilogy
Price: $139.99 | £132.99
Links: Brickset | Bricklink | Peeron
Measuring at 58.2 x 37.8 x 8.7 cm, the box is expectedly huge since the set is considered the ‘flagship’ system-scale SW set for the OT this year. The box sports the official 2011 SW merchandise artwork featuring TCW’s Captain Rex. Even if it doesn’t match the OT content of the set, I still consider this as one of the best, if not the best, LSW box arts we’ve had. Sadly, this will be the last wave of sets we’ll see this as the new Episode I-themed artwork will grace our LSW boxes next year.
The front shows the blown-up image of the Millennium Falcon escaping the Death Star in the backdrop, easily evading the usual misfiring enemy laser blaster shots on the sides and a couple of explosions. The minifig line-up is shown at the lower right corner, which we’ll take a closer look at later.
Depicted at the back of the box is a 'modified' recreation of the scene in Episode IV where our heroes try to escape the Death Star after rescuing Princess Leia. However, instead of making their way to the Falcon the box illustrates the gang trying to help old Ben Kenobi fight the lone Darth Vader. While this is all going on, Chewie is cluelessly wandering inside the ship armed with his bowcaster instead of prepping up the Falcon for escape. Or maybe he’s trying to find a way how to close those damned "flap covers", which are opened to showcase the interior details of the ship. The left side shows the three next largest sets of the 2011 LSW summer wave, and the various playability features of the set are shown in separate panels on the right side.
As boldly advertised in the front of the box, the set features new/updated minifigs of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. I like how the minifig line-up on the top side of the box is different (bottom panel) from the one in front (top), showing the alternate facial expressions and accessories of the characters.
Opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised to see that almost 80% of the interior volume is filled-up, with only a small space occupied by Billund air. I guess this is part of TLG’s drive of downsizing the box sizes considering this set has a relatively smaller box compared to 2008’s 7676 Republic Gunship which has fewer parts and less weight, as an example.
The Polybagged LEGO parts
Drawing out the contents you’ll get a generous amount of 1,200+ pieces packed in 16 numbered plastic bags (3xBag 1s, 3xBag 2s, 3xBag 3s, 3xBag 4s, 2xBag 5s, 2xBag 6s and an unnumbered plastic bag), two instruction booklets, and the DSS.
The Instruction Booklets
The instruction booklets came in good pristine condition without any nasty folds even without the separate cardboarded packaging that other big LEGO sets recently have. The cover features the same artwork as the box, minus the minifig line-up. It’s interesting to note that the Book 2 I got has a darker cover print compared to Book 1. Did anyone else got this slightly different-colored instruction booklets?
Unlike the instruction booklets, the DSS was not as fortunate as it was in a “semi-rolled up state”, though I don’t care much about it. Photographing it to show the stickers was a pain-in-the-behind, so instead I’ll just show you a better image courtesy of Bricklink (right). As you can see, most of the stickers comprise of the circular detailing of the ship’s exterior, like the front maintenance bay openings, rear exhaust vents, etc. I honestly think they could’ve just made some, or better all, of the 2x2 tiles printed instead of going this sticker route, but this has been the norm the past few years so I’ve come to accept this reality.
On with the build!
I initially intended to show the customary parts presentation per bag, but I found it very tedious and time-and effort-consuming after only the first set of bags, so for a lazy and impatient person like me, sorting out 1,200+ pieces is a daunting task, so I completely scrapped it. Sorry, but there’s always Bricklink’s inventory of parts for this set. Though one thing I can assure you is you’d get A LOT of light bley parts from this set.
As mentioned earlier, we get an updated Han Solo (face), Luke Skywalker (face, hair), and Princess Leia (face, hair). Han has that cocky smug expression, Luke seems to be quite grumpy about something, and Leia has that smile of relief after being rescued. Both Luke and Leia have alternate faces, with the former having the visor covered-eyes to match the training helmet while the latter has her ‘game face’ on. Both also have new hairpieces, which I guess is good for introducing more new hair elements for other possible use, but not necessary IMO since their previous hairpieces already worked for me. Vader, Chewie and Obi-wan have been previously released before.
This minifig line-up is quite boring IMO, as probably most of us already have at least one copy of each of these figs. But I understand why the reasoning behind this line-up, since the Millennium Falcon will never be complete without these cast of characters to go with it, and probably the set is meant to introduce this iconic ship to the younger generation. But still, wouldn't it have been a lot cooler if they squeezed in a Nien Numb minifig in this set?
I’ll show the progress of the build by bag contents as indicated in the photos. The contents of the three Bag # 1s predictably lay out the base foundation of the ship, composed of the sturdy Technic backbone on the underside (shown later) and the octagonal flooring of the interior. The second bag contents highlight the addition of the interior details which we’ll look more closely later.
So what are these mini train-like thingies you might ask? These comprise the content of Bag #3 and provide the “rounded” walls of the ship. Building these is a bit repetitive, but I was quite impressed on the geometrical design aspect of these, especially effectively transforming these blocky parts into an overall circular shape with clever use of hinges.
This is what we have so far after finishing Book #1, which is unofficially the midpoint of the build. Not much to look at still, but we’re getting there. After Bag #4, the docking ports on each side are prominently built. It is important to note that both of these are integral to the stability of the build, as this will become the main ‘holding points’ (using two hands) for the swooshability of the ship.
The fifth set of bags essentially gives the long trapezoidal folding cover flaps of the ship. Again, this part of the build is quite repetitive, but I was amused by the fact that each of the 12 covers has their own unique detailing, no matter how minor it is. Attaching these to the body, and together with the rectangular cover of the cargo loading bay area in front and the gunners area in the middle, the ship now looks a giant piece of ‘metal hamburger’.
Finally, we reached the culminating part of the build with the last parts of the ship. From the Bag #6s we’ll be able to build the cockpit, the two mandibles, and the mini gunner station. These are all conveniently attached through Technic connections to the body. And before you know it Voila! We now have the Millennium Falcon in all its pure ABS glory.
Different Views of the Ship
Let’s now look at the finished product from various sides and angles:
You can see in this head-on shot the front headlights, the cargo loading bay in the middle and huge cockpit on the left side.
At this view you’ll notice the unsightly Technic base underneath, add to that the enormous cockpit and the ship looks inaccurately ‘fat’.
A much better view compared to the other side, but still has its minor 'eyesore' with the visible flick-fire missiles. Though it’s nice to see the port docking ring and satellite dish details on this side.
The rear is probably my most favorite part of this ship, as the circular heat exhaust vents, fuel drive pressure stabilizers (fins), and the trans-blue hose for the engine thrusters exhaust prominently shown are quite accurate relative to the reference material.
Usually untouched in most reviews, I’d like to show to you how the underside of this build looks like. You’ll notice the aforementioned Technic backbone which gives the necessary stability of the build. The flick-fire missiles, lower quad-laser cannons, and four small landing ‘gears’ can also be seen on this view.
Taking a Closer Look
L: There might be questions on how unproportionally large the cockpit is relative to the overall size of the ship, but putting into perspective that this is a system-scale playset where minifigs have to fit inside, the large cockpit size is understandable. The set indicates that it could seat 2 minifigs inside, but I’m sure with a little bit of modification you could squeeze four of them there.
R: The port docking ring detail on the side. Not that much to look at, but it serves its purpose in the build. The hexagonal detail is quite accurate, though the 'curved square' shape of the ring is not, and should have been conical instead (though no such 8x8x2 cone exists). The 4504 version is slightly better IMO in this aspect.
L: The quad-laser cannon is a significant improvement from the previous 4505 version. It can turn 360 degrees and can swivel up and down. Notice the stickered 2x2 tile, which is supposed to be the viewing glass panel of the gunner. This is grossly unproportional with respect to the oversized cannons (or it is the other way around).
R: A similarly-built set of quad-laser cannons is located on the underside.
Additionally, here's a simple video showing how the central gunner station works.
L: The radar dish, which I still find to be a “goofy” part of the Falcon design. But I like how they the holder of the dish is cleverly built using three battle droid arms.
R: The freight loading room is found in front of the ship sandwiched by the mandible bases. Quite bare but another welcome detail that is true to the reference design.
L: Central computer center in the main holding area. The whole set-up with all those control elements, display panel, buttons really work for me.
R: “Let the Wookiee win.” The place where Chewie plays (and always loses) his favorite Dejarik board game. The round sticker print is accurate, though I think this is one of those pieces that could have just come printed.
L: Chewie: “Aarragghh-arraggh” (translation: "You’ll stain my bed sheet!”) The
R: There’s a hidden secret compartment just beside the right docking port, reminiscent of what our heroes used to evade being detected by the inspecting Stormies in the movie.
L: At the back of the interiors is a mechanical engine-like set-up which I presume is meant to be the hyperdrive.
R: An unknown part of the ship, which I can’t identify even in the the reference cross-section of the MF.
The flick-fire missiles were obviously added as a playability feature for the young ones, but here's a problem I see with this feature: Can a kid hold a 2kg-heavy toy on one hand and flick those missiles on the other hand at the same time while playing? I'm a grown up man and I have to hold the ship by my two hands just to swoosh the ship, so I doubt these flick-fire missile would be of any playable use to the kids. Good thing about it is you could easily remove it if you don't want it.
L: "Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them." One of the scenes you could recreate with the included jedi training helmet and ball.
R: There is a small boarding ramp on the left side, but the problem with this is that the landing gears are too short that I had to actually raise one side just to capture this shot. Just a minor nitpick.
Comparison with the Reference Millennium Falcon
For the accuracy buffs out there, here's a side-by-side top-view comparison of the 7965 MF and the reference schematic diagram of the Millennium Falcon:
The Good: Surprisingly, the overall shape and size are quite accurate with the reference material. I superimposed both images with each other and they are almost a 95% match. The hexadecagonal (16-sides baby!) shape makes for an effective overall circular shape of the ship. Even the small minor details like the heat exhaust vents, stabilizer fins, radar dish are pretty spot-on. This is also one of those sets where the studs actually give texture and "weathering roughness" to the surface of the ship.
The Bad: There are minor inaccuracies which I feel could have been made a lot better.: the mandibles are 1-2 studs longer than it should be, and the base of the mandibles should have extended towards the 'circular' body. The 2x2 tiles for the maintenance bays on the mandibles are too small. The quad-laser cannons could have been smaller too.
The Ugly: The highly visible gaps and that enormous cockpit. Even if these are understandable due to the parts/build limitation, these are gross deviations with respect to overall accuracy.
Comparison with the other system-scale Millennium Falcon
Left: 7190 (2000), Middle: 4504 (2004), Right: 7965 (2011) LXFs courtesy of ADHO15 (7190, 4504) and penguinz (7965); The missing parts of the images are due to the parts limitation in the LDD software)
The 7965 is slightly larger than the two previous versions, with a more pronounced overall circular shape compared to the other two. And having the luxury of the newer parts, the 2011 version has predictably better-looking detailing compared to its predecessors. Though I prefer the more conical shape of the port docking ring of the 4504, as well as the larger maintenance bay entries in the mandibles of the '04 version.
Comparison with the UCS-scale Millennium Falcon
Left: 7965 (System-scale), Right: 10179 (UCS-scale) LXFs courtesy of penguinz (7965) and yellost (101079)
As expected, the 10179 UCS clearly dwarfs the 7965, more than twice the size of this system scale version. Of course, the detailing of the 10179 is highly superior, but I think the 7965 holds up on its own with its decent amount of accurate detailing for a system-scale set.
Design 9/10 Taking into account that this is a system-scale set and not intended to be a intricately-detailed UCS model, I'm very content with the overall design with regards to the overall shape and detailing. Sure it's not perfect and there are some rooms for improvement, but I think the designers did their best in balancing the parts, cost, and playability aspects of this set.
Parts 7/10 There is nothing really exceptional to the parts provided by this set, as obviously they are mostly boring light bley which has relatively less potential use in other MOCs compared to the more colorful counterparts.
Minifgures 7/10 As stated earlier the minifig line-up is quite unappealing and uninspired as all of these characters have been released already for the nth time. Sure there are new face and hair elements introduced, but they are unnecessary and were probably just made to somehow justify the "NEW" minifig tag. I would've preferred throwing a new character in the set, and I'm pretty sure if this was released in 2012 (the year of overloading sets with minifigs), we would've gotten probably a Nien Numb fig.
Build 8/10 The build was straightforward, and won't pose any difficulty for anyone if the instructions are followed properly. There are some repetitive steps but seeing how these parts were cleverly integrated into the build removes any previously felt boredom during these stages of the build.
Playability 9/10 Putting myself in a kid's shoe, I'd be happy to play this with the various playability features, from the rotating cannons, highly-playable interior, etc. Heck even as an adult, I had fun recreating some of the classic scenes from the movie as almost all of them can be afforded on this set. The only drawback I think is the relatively heavy weight (2kg+) of the ship which definitely pose a swooshing difficulty for small kids.
Price 8/10 I'm not much of an price complainant, but I think its US$140 price tag for 1,200+ pieces is justifiable IMO. Remember that it's already 2011, and if you're expecting to have the same price as the past years, then you must be dreaming. To put things into perspective, the 4504 had an average price/parts ratio of $0.10/pc, while the 7965 has a $0.11/pc. Not that significant of a price increase in the past seven years right?
As one of the iconic ships of the our beloved Star Wars, any LSW collection would not be complete without a LEGO Millennium Falcon. Of course, it would be great to own the UCS version, but that is something that cannot be practically afforded by everyone. So the next best thing to have is this system-scale Falcon. For those who have acquired the previous '04 version, there is the understandable oprion to pass on this one and just modify their current MF with the updated details, but for those who have missed that set and still has no MF in their collection, this is a definite must-have.
Thanks for reading this review! I hope this has helped you in gauging the value of this set and if it is worth getting for your collection.