It is no secret that I am a huuuge OT fan and when this set was announce I had a good feeling that this would be a must buy not only because of the new mini figures featured but also because I had missed out on the original palace set during my dark ages. Once I got hold of this set I just had to build it ASAP and decided that I will also do a review. With that aside, on to the review, note review is split up into 2 parts
Set Number: 9516
Name: Jabba’s Palace
Theme: Star Wars
Year of Release: 2012
Minifigs: 9 (10 if you want to include Hans carbonite chamber)
Price: US$119.99, AU$199.99 CA$149.99, €144.99, ?GBP
First thing that hit me was the size of the box, it seems big for a set of this size. Maybe LEGO wanted to make a statement given the significance of a re-released OT set.
Box Edge - featuring the star cast
Next to UCS R2D2, as you can see 9516 is a big box, same width and length but about half an inch shorter in depth
You will find inside 7 bags numbered, 1 small bag exclusively for Jabba and 2 instruction booklets
This set is choc full of mini-figures and the main reason why most people will buy this set
Lets start with the less exciting figures, Han Solo, Han in Carbonite and Chewie
Back View with the Han figure in the Carbonite and showing alternate face expression with eyes closed
B'omarr Monk - not much to say about this guy really
Salacious B. Crumb - rather pleasantly suprised how Crumb has turned out, he is made out of the softer rubber type plastic but is well detailed both in it's form and face print. He has a 1 stud hole on the bottom which allows him to be fixed in place.
Front, Side and Back View
Bib Fortuna - Similar to 4475 Bib, this new version sports a new more vicous looking face, a more skin tone colour and a slightly different print to the body
Front View - Left New Bib, Right Old Bib
Back View - Left New Bib, Right Old Bib
Oola - Same mould as Aayla Secura but in a shocking fluro green which makes her really stand out, very nice printing front and back
Front View - Left Oola, Right Aayla Secura
Back View - Left Oola, Right Aayla Secura
Front View - Oola with alternate face
Gamorrean Guard - One of my favorite OT henchman and minifigures, this set has seen a huge overhaul for the Gamorrean, the detail is just fantastic and is light years ahead of the original figure
Front View - Left New Gamorrean, Right 6210 Gamorrean
Back View - Left New Gamorrean, Right 6210 Gamorrean
Jabba - Like the Gamorrean, Jabba too has had a major face lift, a completely new mould and face print which is very faithful to the movie character. Things to note, the new Jabba is around 1cm shorter than the old and has traded his moveable tail for a stiff tail but gaining a rotatable head.
Front View - Right New Jabba, Left 6210 Jabba
Back View - Right 6210 Jabba, Left New Jabba
Bottom View - The old Jabba had raised stud pad which makes him more placeable on most plates but the new Jabba is flat on the same surface as the tail which will make him not so placeable without additional plates
Leia Organa in Boushh Disguise - I left the best to last, this figure is (for me anyways) the star attraction in this set. TLG have done a great job with this figure, the helmet is one of the most detail I have seen with a figure, the mould, the printing is top notch and is consolidated with printed legs and accessories like the thermal detonator and jet pack which makes this one awesome package.
Front and Back View
Front View with helmet off and Back View showing alternate face and backpack off
We get 2 instruction booklets, one landscape form and one portrait
Couple of shots of the instructions, pretty standard, I had no issues following these for the build
The second to last page of Book 2 shows a nice pictorial summary of the play features
and the last page a short 3D modeled comic strip
JABBA’S PALACE BUILD
Bag 1 you will find Boushh, Chewie and the pieces to build the tower base
Halfway through building tower base
Finished tower base, front and back shots
Bag 2 you will find Gamorrean and the pieces to build the gate and tower
Tower entry gate, a printed 1x1 round flat is used for the gate watcher, definitely prefer the old 4475 print on sphere
Shot of the entry gate where it is inserted into the tower base, the gate can be opened and closed via sliding mechanism
Halfway through building the upper tower.
Upper tower almost done with a shot from the inside, you will see blasters stored away, this tower is battle ready
Finished upper tower attached to the base front and side shots. From the side shot you can see the hinge that is used to hold open the gate as an added function. You will also see the 2x1 technic blocks used to attached to the main palace shown later on
Bag 3 and 4 - you will find Bib, Oola and Han, Han in Carbonite and the pieces to build the palace base
Base with sliding trap door
Finished base with the floor on
Bag 5 - you will find the rest of the pieces to finish the main palace
Forming the arches and columns for the palace
Main palace done, I like the addition of all the little things like cups, fruit bowl, coins, and the frog tank which injects more life to the palace
Bag 6 - you will find the pieces for the back wall of the palace and Jabba's platform
Base for the back wall
Back wall done, attached to the main palace with the hinge allowing the back wall to be opened and closed. A sliding tab with a grill for cooking is used to push Jabba's platform over the trap door
Another shot of the palace with the back wall closed
Jabba and Crumb chilling on the platform. The platform is placed loosely in the slot and can be slid across the trap door via the sliding tab on the back wall
Bag 7- the last bag you will find the pieces to build the roof for the palace
Base of the roof
Putting together the flick missile sandwiched in the roof
Roof on the palace, sits loosely in place
We are pretty much done, shot of the tower attached to the palace as one would see from the outside
Left over pieces, no idea what that orange tab is for
There we have it, the completed palace with all the mini figures!
RATINGS & CONCLUSION
DESIGN 8/10 - This palace is no doubt an improvement over the old 4480 set which looks very 'airy'. The dark tan pieces mixed in with the tan gives it that classic Tattooine feel. The palace is one solid looking building from all angles especially when the tower is attached. I did find the throne room a little compact, definitely no room for Max Rebo band so maybe this could have been bigger.
BUILD 8/10 - Rather straight forward build, nothing tedious, each part of the palace can be built in quick succession, took me roughly 2 hours including taking pictures
MINIFIGURES 9/10 - At the end of the day this set will be purchased exclusively for the minifigures and there are plenty of them. Bib and Gamorrean will be welcomed by those that missed them from older sets. Oola and Boushh look fantastic and are a must for anyone's OT collection. The printing on Jabba is very accurate and being able to rotate his head are nice improvements over the old version.
PLAYABILITY 8/10 - Play features include being able to pull the tower off, lift off the roof and swing open the back wall. Sliding the gate, the trap door and Jabba's platform are good features and well implemented, though the sliding trap door really goes nowhere when opened, hopefully this flaw is by design for a possible future expansion dungeon including Rancor, fingers crossed.
PARTS 8/10 - The majority of bricks are tan and dark tan, great for Mos Eisley MOCs. There are also a crap load of 1x1 snot bricks, 22 in fact and we can never have enough of those. Extra little accessories like fruit bowl, cups, 1x1 round flat gold pieces and blasters round off the goodies in this set
PRICE 7/10 - 717 pieces for US$119.99 gives a price-per-piece ratio close to 17c, it's not flash especially when you compare that to something like 8038 The Battle of Endor with 890 pieces priced at US$99.99. Undoubtedly a lot of that $ goes to the figures but it is this aspect about the set that will scare off most people.
OVERALL 8/10 - I'm bias to OT sets so it's my duty to give this an above average score . It's a 'good' set with 'great' figures. In my opinion, a great addition to any OT collection especially if you don't have the original, a must buy if you can find it on sale
Thanks for reading, time to introduce the new fella to the crew...
Edited by Brickmamba, 06 June 2012 - 06:10 PM.