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  1. [You can click on the pictures to enlarge them] I had been planning to do this review for weeks, but the actual release of Rogue One : A Complicated Title A Star Wars Story forced me to stop procrastinating and actually write this review. General information : Set name : Imperial Death Trooper Set number : 75121 Number of parts : 106 Age range : 8-14 Price : 24.99€ / 24.99$ / 19,99£ Release date : September 30th 2016 Links : brickset / bricklink Packaging : The box of the Imperial Death Trooper has the same size as most of the "medium"-sized boxes (the other ones are thinner, and some, like Darth Vader and General Grievous' boxes are bigger). The front shows our Death Trooper on a beach, drinking a cocktail standing in front of flames and impact marks. It's probably (SPOILER ALERT) the planet Scarif. As usual, there are the Lego, Star Wars, Buildable Figures and Disney logos, as well as the recommended age range, and the set name and number (and that's all, since I have a European box). The back also shows the Lego, Star Wars, Buildable Figures and Disney logos and the set number, but more importantly gives us some information about the figure's size and its weapons : a missile-launcher blaster rifle, and, apparently, a SE-14 pistol. The side looks good too (at least one of the sides, since the other one shows mostly safety-related writings nobody reads), since it gives us a nice shot of the character (as well as, guess what, Star Wars and Lego logos). The boxes of the January 2016 wave already had these "character shots" on the side, and it looks like the 2017 sets will have them too. If you already own a Star Wars Buildable Figure, you won't be surprised to see the helmet of the Death Trooper shown at its actual size. And, again, the Lego, Star Wars and Disney logos. The content : Let's open the box, shall we ! Inside, we find Lego, Star Wars and Disney logos, Lego, Star Wars and Disney logos everywhere ! Okay, not really. There are three bags of parts (plus one separate bag for the helmet), a big CCBS body frame, the building instructions, and a transparent plastic sheet on which the pauldron is printed. I didn't know how Lego would do the pauldron, so I was surprised to see this plastic sheet. Fortunately, it was not damaged. The building instructions : The cover of the building instructions is basically the same artwork as the front of the box. There's then a warning page about the spring-loaded missile launcher, and a kid sorting his parts. Then come the actual building instructions, followed bar the parts list, and two pages showing the first three Rogue One Buildable Figures, including K-2SO who... dances ? The booklet ends with the traditional WIN page, this time sponsored by a Clockwork Robot minifig. The complete building instructions are available here. The parts : It's no surprise that you'll find a lot of black parts with the Death Trooper. There are, however, a few new ones : The helmet, the thigh shell (which he / she (hey, we don't know if our Death Trooper is a man or a woman, or if it's even a human) shares with the two other sets of the 2H2016 wave) and the pauldron are brand new parts. The torso shell, one of the two shoulderpads (the second is plain) and the 1x3 flat tiles have new printed decorations. Hooray for printing parts ! The round 1x1x1 bush appears in black for the first time. Here's a more detailed view of some of those parts : -Thigh shell Size-wise, it's close to some of the biggest CCBS shells, like the #8 shell, or the 2.0 torso armor. It's however much smoother and curved. We notice, though, that the position of the holes regarding the ball socket is different on these parts : there are three modules between the ball socket and the holes, VS only one module for the other parts. This part comes in black in each set of the 2016 Rogue One wave, but it will be available in more colors next year. - The torso shell : We have here the usual Star Wars torso armor, with a sand blue and silver pattern. However, although it's the third time we see this part in black, it's actually the first time it's used to represent an actual armor, and not a piece of cloth as in Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. The pattern is rather simple, which could make this part more useful for MOCcing. Unlike the currently available minifig version of the character (which you can see here), the armor doesn't have grenades attached near the stomach. It seems that there are two variants of the suits (perhaps depending on the rank of the soldier), one with the grenades and the pauldron, but without the "scope" on the side of the helmet, and another one without the grenades and the pauldron, but with the visor (the minifigs in the Imperial Trooper Battle Pack, for example, don't have the grenades nor the pauldron). This Death Trooper seems to be a blend of these two versions, unless a third one exists. Perhaps the designers of this set had to work with preliminary artwork, or perhaps did they take some freedom from the actual armor to make the set more interesting. - The shoulderpad : One of the two shoulderpad has a simple grey pattern printed on it. If you look closely, you'll see my reflection. - The helmet : To put it simply, the helmet of the Death Trooper is magnificent ; some details are printed, and some are molded. There is some kind of scope on the left side of the helmet. Again, this detail exists on some variants of the armor, but is absent from some other ones. It might sound surprising, but the helmet is actually made from (at least) three parts, two of which are dark green (one of them in particular is used for the visor). Because of that, the ball socket is dark green, and not black like the rest of the helmet. There are no sitckers in this Death Trooper ! Subsequently, the three 1x3 flat tiles (which represent here small pockets) are printed. The pattern seems to be faithful to the design seen in the movie. - The pauldron : In the movie, some Death Troopers ("Specialists", if I believe another toymaker) wear a wide pauldron that seems to be made from leather. We're more used to see fabric on Constraction Sets, but Lego chose to use here flexible plastic. At least you can't complain about the lack of opacity of the part. The pauldron is printed on a sheet of transparent plastic, then pre-cut. The build : If you have already built a Star Wars Constraction set (I think of sets such as Captain Phasma, but also Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker or Kylo Ren), of if you have seen the building pictures above, the building won't be much of a surprise. The only true originality can be seen in the way of attaching the pauldron (which could be difficult for the younger builders), which we first attach at the left shoulder, then at the neck with two holes. Some could find difficult to finish the building without leaving fingerprints everywhere. That's the problem with black Lego parts ! The complete set : The Death Trooper is tall, very tall. It's mostly due to his / her (too ?) long legs. As you can see here, removing the friction add-ons of the ankles partially solves the issue. In the future, some new kind of foot with a ballcup with rubber inserts could be useful. The new thigh shell help making the character smoother, but cause two problems : they limit the range of motion of the knee, and leave the inside of the thigh visible (I asked my brother, who's 11, and it's the first thing he noticed). The arms are also limited at the elbow. Even if it's not the first time it happens, it's a bit of a shame, because they can prevent making poses where the Death Trooper is holding the blaster rifle with two hands properly (added to the fact that the pockets add some thickness to the torso and limit the poses with the blaster even more). By the way, be careful if you want to make poses where the Trooper holds his blaster with two hands, you could unwillingly activate the mechanism and shoot yourself in the eye (or loose the missile, or scare your pet... yeah, one of those things happened to me). Getting back to the articulations, the pauldron follows the movement of the arm very well, and doesn't limit the movement of the shoulder at all. The pistol is designed to be able to be attached on the side of the leg, but the handle is slightly too long. Solve this would either require a new part, or completely remake the pistol (which I haven't been able to do, but I can't say I tried too hard). There's also a weapon on the left arm, since it's equipped with three small guns, cleverly made with claws for minifig. It's brilliant ! It's a simple, yet very effective solution. The back of the character is quite simple, with the usual cylinder near the bottom (I've never understood what they were used for), and a wide CCBS shell covering most of the back. Conclusion : The Death Trooper is an interesting set... if you stop at the waist. The legs are too long, poorly articulated (compared to the previous sets), and have been seen on many others sets before (new leg shell aside, of course). The helmet is splendid, and the character is very well armed, but in the end, the set seems bland. Its main flaw, I think, is that it belongs to the third wave of Star Wars constraction sets, and thus hardly brings novelty after the twelve sets based on the other movies released previously. Parts-wise, we don't get a lot of novelty either, although the quality of the new parts and prints makes up for their quantity. However, most of the parts are black, and with a similar inventory, we could prefer Kylo Ren, especially since he has a mechanism (like Jyn Erso and K-2SO, the two other sets of the first Rogue One wave). Now, here's a shot of my Imperial forces :
  2. Comparison between 75121 Imperial Death Trooper and 75523 Scarif Stormtrooper. Photos are from Brickset. Notice the high level of detail these both have. The Death Trooper is on the left; the Scarif Stormtrooper on the right. Note: As "Shoretrooper" and not "Scarif Stormtrooper" is the accurate name for these troops, I will henceforth refer to 75523 as a Shoretrooper. Boxes: Both are $24.99 (or $44.99 in my region), but the Death Trooper has 105 pieces; the Shoretrooper only has 64. Therefore, the Death Trooper easily wins in terms of value. First, we shall compare their helmets. Both are amazingly detailed and enormously accurate, but the Shoretrooper has a better helmet in my opinion, as all the little dots representing battle damage are superb. Chest pieces! Both look really good and detailed, but I just slightly prefer the Death Trooper's because you can add and remove the pauldron. Speaking of pauldrons, it's time for the comparison of the pauldron and the faulds! Both look really good, but the Death Trooper's pauldron has more printing and has the bonus of 3 printed tiles which can be attached, so I think the Death Trooper's pauldron wins. However, it must be said that the Shoretrooper's faulds are really great too. Time for the legs! Shoretrooper wins this one. More printing on the lower leg panels, plus the addition of the great plastic faulds. One thing I do not like about them both is that they use dark grey feet extensions. Surely they could be made in black and brown? Another noteworthy thing is that the Death Trooper has 3L beams in his legs to cover up the holes, the Shoretrooper does not. Time for the Weapons! The Death Trooper has two weapons: A blaster and a pistol. The Shoretrooper has a double-barreled E-22 blastser. Both look really impressive, and thus I think it is a tie. The Shoretrooper's gun is more detailed than the Death Trooper's gun, as it has two shooting functions (missile AND stud shooter) plus a blue rangefinder on the side! However, the Death Trooper has the advantage of two weapons, minus the fact that the pistol doesn't look too good in his hand. The pistol can be clipped to the side of the Trooper's leg, however. VOTE TALLY: Value = Death Trooper Helmet = Shoretrooper Chest pieces = Death Trooper Pauldron vs Faulds = Death Trooper Legs = Shoretrooper Weapons = TIE Overall, the Death Trooper wins in my book, but only narrowly. Which do you prefer?