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Hop in for my 25th RA review -- LEGO 75256 Kylo Ren's Shuttle. Take note that I have not watched Episode 9 yet so this review is purely based on what I have seen on the trailers and marketing materials, including other toy references. Before I start, I know that only a Sith deals with absolute. So, when I say that this version of Kylo Ren's shuttle looks better in black, what I really mean is that I am very glad I am reviewing Kylo Ren's Shuttle in its more appropriate colour. I don't even own the older version so I cannot draw any comparison. For what it's worth, this could be the only version you need if you missed the older one. Also, please avoid going into that SJW thing. Not my cup of tea. Just enjoy the LEGO set and the movie folks. Thanks. Overview Name: 75256 - Kylo Ren's Shuttle Theme: Star Wars / The Rise of Skywalker Year: 2019 (2H) Pieces: 1005 Minifigures: 6 Price: GBP 99.99 / USD 129.99 / EUR 119.99 / SGD 219.99 / MYR 649.90 Introduction I remember several years ago, I wanted to get the first version of Kylo Ren's Shuttle but I was reluctant to own it because it is not accurate to its on-screen counterpart. At the same time, I already have 75156 Krennic's Imperial Shuttle which is visually as stunning as Kylo Ren's Shuttle due to its wide wing span. I kept on delaying the purchase until it got retired and became harder to find. Long story short, I did not own the first release and I have no plans of owning it anymore now that a newer version is out, in black! For that reason, this review will not draw any comparison to the first version apart from the colour which I already mentioned in the paragraphs above. So, to begin with the review let's get rid of the boring part first. Front box panel This is a simple box art that speaks for itself. No fancy and confusing illustration in the background or distracting images that might confuse potential buyer, which I hope TLG will do more often. I also like that the minifigure version of Kylo Ren is the banner for this wave because it's been a long time since we last saw such artwork. Back box panel Likewise, the back box panel is really well presented with key play features which I will discuss in more details below. Now, let's proceed with the unboxing. Box content There are plastic bags numbered 1 to 7 with 1 instruction booklet that is also sealed in plastic. I am pleased, and surprised at the same time, to discover that there are no sticker sheets even if it is a relatively large set. Well done TLG! Instruction Booklet Here is a good look of the instruction book. Nothing extraordinary. It's just a simple perfect bound booklet. For this review, I am reshuffling the order a bit as I know a lot of people are interested about the Knights of Ren and the Sith Trooper included in the set more than the actual model. Minifigures There are 6 minifigures included in the set namely, in order of appearance below (L to R): Kylo Ren, Knight of Ren "axe", Knight of Ren "club", First Order Sith Trooper, First Order Stormtrooper and General Pryde. For the sake of brevity, I will use the short form KoR to refer to Knights of Ren. Note that the names of the Knights of Ren are not even provided by TLG but other toy makers such as Funko Pop shared some monikers for the Knights of Ren based on their weapon of choice. So instead of calling them generic names, I will use those monikers. Front view First thing you will notice about the minifigure line up is that we only have a 2 Knights of Ren included in the set. How awesome it could be if TLG put all the Knights of Ren in this set -- but no, we can't get that luxury at all. The remaining Knights of Ren will appear in other sets next year but it is unclear if we will eventually get all of them as it appears TLG is allocating at least 1 new mould for each new KoR minifigure. KoR "axe" has a new hood in black. Later on, the same hood is used on Obi Wan in set 75246 Death Star Cannon but in reddish brown. As for KoR "club", the helmet is exclusively made for this minifigure and it looks awesome. Speaking of helmet moulds, Kylo Ren has exactly the same helmet but with red welding or some kind of space lacquer. For the uninitiated, Kylo Ren destroyed his helmet in The Last Jedi but then in the TRoS trailers, it is shown being welded or glued together with a red binding material. As already confirmed in several articles, this is akin to the Japanese art of kintsugi which is all about mending broken pottery, treating the breakage as part of the history of an object, highlighting the repair that has been done instead of hiding it. The idea is that just like a broken pottery put back together, Kylo Ren has undergone transformative repair. I have yet to see the movie but I was very stoked when I learned more about this art being adopted in the Star Wars universe because it speaks so much about how people go through physical and emotional traumas and how these scars make us who are today. So perhaps, it's not about forgetting the past entirely after all. It is about respecting the past no matter how damaged and imperfect it is. Now about that red FO Stormtrooper, also known as the Sith Trooper. Remember that version from Star Wars The Old Republic with flat short-muzzled face which looks like a pug nose? I think I prefer the First Order design more because of the sharper edges of the over all armour. Unfortunately, this new design does not translate well in the minifigures because instead of using a new mould, only graphics is used to mimic sharper edges and lines of the helmet. It seems to work from a distance because you cannot really discern the details from half a meter away. And for that, I think it's okay. As for the standard white FO Stormtrooper -- it is the same design from previous Star Wars wave. I am glad that there is no micro-adjustment made for the prints so it will be a good addition to your existing FO Stormtrooper army, that is, if you are even army-building. TLG please take down notes. Here's a theory -- if people are serious about army building, they would have amassed a lot of this FO Stormtroopers already by means of buying battle pack, cheaper sets, or Bricklink... Perhaps now that you own Bricklink, too, you will figure this out eventually. So, frankly speaking, no one cares about generic Stormtroopers in bigger sets. I would trade this regular FO Stormtrooper for another FO Sith Trooper any time of the day, please. Now, at the time of this review, I don't know much about this General Pryde. What I am sure of is that this guy and Kitty Pryde are not related because they belong in different universe. But from what I can tell, the face print and torso is new. I am just not looking for more information in the web to avoid spoilers. 3/4 Side Profile with weapons The front torso and leg prints are excellent in all minifigures but I find the lack of any arms and legs side-printing disturbing. I think at this price range I definitely want to see more side printing for Star Wars minifigures just to add more incentive on buying a set at this price range. I don't know about you but I think a lot of AFOLs will agree with me when I say, a boring minifigure line-up can make or break the set. Kylo Ren is equipped with the same trans-red lightsaber with cross-guards and the 2 Knights of Ren has an axe and a club made from standard LEGO elements. When I was looking at the parts, I could not believe that this is only the 2nd time we are getting a red 3L bar element. The first time this element appeared in red is with the release of CMF series 19 Monkey King a month earlier than the release of this set. You would think that because it's one of the most basic bar mould available that it would have been released in most colours already, and yet, it's considered a rare colour for this part at the moment. On a lighter note, the blaster used by Sith Trooper is the same one used by CMF Series 13 Alien Trooper, except that it comes in black colour for the first time. I am also surprised this mould has not been produced in more colours too, until now. Back view The back view of Kylo Ren's helmet further shows the imperfection of the helmet. Meanwhile, the back prints on Knights of Ren and Sith Trooper are also excellent. Front view without headgears/hairpieces With the helmets and hair pieces removed, we can see more prints on the minifigure heads. KoR "axe" head print is really nice, and technically, its face print is the mask under the hood. Sadly, the KoR "club" is just a plain black head piece. Take note that at this point, we don't even know any much about the Knights of Ren so keeping them plain black is probably a good idea. Alternative face prints The face print in this variant of Kylo Ren is the same print used in 2018. Therefore, everything is the same for Kylo Ren except his helmet. The rest of the minifigures has no 2nd face print except General Pryde. So, does that mean this character is important because he got 2 face prints? Frankly, I have no clue. Another thing that I want to highlight is the colour of KoR "axe" head piece. I thought it's black but it's actually pearl dark gray after taking a closer look. Other versions of Kylo Ren Left to right: Kylo Ren from this set, Kylo Ren from sets 75196 and 75216, Kylo Ren from set 75139 Build Now let's go through the building process. Bag 1 This bag includes the minifigures Kylo Ren and General Pryde. Bag 1 build progress The frame is using boxy technic frames. It's a standard approach to make sturdy builds. There are 3 seats available and from this alone, you can tell that it won't be a roomy spaceship. Bag 2 Look! A Technic 6.5L shock absorber. Only a few non-Technic sets has this and it is integrated very well in this set for the wing mechanism. This is the view of the sub-assembly before putting inside the back side of the shuttle frame. The shock absorber provides the tension needed to push liftarms outward or pull it inward while holding it in place when the axle is turned. Bag 2 build progress The mechanism for the wings is already well hidden at this point but there is so much more to build. It it starting to look like Kylo Ren's shuttle. Bag 3 This bag includes the 2 Knights of Ren. Bag 3 build progress A lot of smooth tiles were used at the sides. Bag 4 This bag contains the parts used on the right wing. Bag 4 build progress Now it is starting to look like an Upsilon-class shuttle. Unlike my initial perception, the building process of this wing is not cumbersome at all. Bag 5 This bag contains the FO Sith Trooper and FO Stormtrooper. This left wing sub-assembly is a mirror image of the right wing. It is not surprising that a lot of technic parts are used in the construction of the wings. Bag 5 build progress The beauty of the process is that you can immediately appreciate the purpose of the shock absorber once you put the left wing sub-assembly. Twisting the right knob (shuttle jet exhaust) is such a satisfying experience because you can see how the mechanism works perfectly to move the wings in flight-mode and landing-mode. Bag 6 This bag contains the parts for the hatch cover Bag 6 build progress Almost there... Bag 7 The final bag contains the upper portion of the wings. Completed Build Finally done with the build. It's a very enjoyable build for me because I really like the simple mechanism used to make the wings move. What makes it even more enjoyable is that when you lift the command shuttle, the wings automatically spreads out due to the weight of the wings. It is so brilliantly designed. Because of this, the swooshable factor of this set is very high. I also feel that for its price, I get a reasonably sized volume and weight. Below, are my additional comments after playing with the shuttle. There isn't much space to open the bottom ramp so you need to lift it up to make room for minifigures. I had to use some transparent supports to make the picture above possible. There is a clip inside the cockpit and that is meant to store the extra spring shooter dart. Very convenience but I don't think I will ever use that to store the extra dart just because the space is already limited. This isn't the most spacious shuttle since it can only fit 3 minifigures using 3 seats available. So, can we even fit 6 minifigures here? You can't see the 3 minifigures clearly in the picture above because they are all in black, but they can comfortably fit inside the cockpit. You can still fit 6 minifigures -- but you need to be creative. Looking at the back profile of the command shuttle, maybe it's just me but when I look at the back of the shuttle,I can see a droid face with this neutral expression... ? It's quite tall The wings are 49 studs tall (+1 rounded bottom 'boat stud') so it looks impressive. Most impressive on display. Although it is very accurate compared to the actual on-screen model, several things that slightly ruins the look for me is the gap in the middle of the wings to make way for the swivelling upper portion of the wings. On top of that, there are no landing gears which I find odd because every X-Wing and Y-Wings as of late have those. This and the gaps can be qualified as nitpicking because they are very minor and can be easily added by a simple mod. These 2 are not really an issue for me but I just need to mention these shortcomings. Going back to how impressive this command shuttle is, it is also impressive that I can balance this shuttle upside down. As I have mentioned, the build is very sturdy and the strength of the wings can support the weight of the entire airship. At the bottom, you can see how the spring shooters are well hidden beneath. If you don't want the transparent bright green spring shooter dart, you can remove it so that all you have is a dark ominous look of the shuttle. The wing retracts downward guided by several Technic liftarms and at this position, the wings look chunkier than usual due to how the wings are constructed. This is fine with me because I rather have strong and chunky wings than sleek but fragile. In order to lock the position of the wings, there is a locking mechanism that uses a towball (part # 6628) which then connects to a 1x2 modified plate with horizontal clips (part # 60470). It looks discreet and does not look out of place when the wings are fully extended but when the wings are folded down, it is not fully rotated downward so it looks slightly awkward when viewed at the back. The image above is an exaggerated view of the locking mechanism that sticks out awkwardly at the back when the wings are folded down. Parts There are a lot of black parts in this set. If you don't even like the set, the set can easily lend many useful black parts for other creations. Here are several notable parts in my opinion: Part no. 32828 - Plate Round 1 x 1 with Hole and Horizontal Bar (Plate 1X1 Round with Horizontal 3.2 Shaft), black x2 + 1 extra Part no. 36840 - Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 1 Inverted (Plate 1X1, with 1.5 Plate 1X1, Upwards), dark bluish gray x2 Part no. 18754: Sports Ice Skate - Black (Minifigure, Skate), black x2 + 1 extra If you ever wonder if there is any difference between part no. 93555 and part no. 18754 -- they look very similar ice skates mould at first glance but Part no. 18754 has a sharper edge at the back of the ice skate blade. Part no. 15445 Weapon Gun Automatic Pistol with Top Clip (Rifle no. 3 with 3.2 Shaft), black x1 Capes from Bag 1 The 2 capes used in the minifigures in this set are the old starched fabric and they are packaged together in a small single paper box. I am getting more used to the soft spongy capes used in other sets and I don't understand the going back and forth starched fabric and the new spongy capes. Anyhow, this is fine I guess. Parts listing from the manual Conclusion At the beginning I already mentioned that there won't be any comparison with the previous version and I firmly believe that it is easy for me to ignore the predecessor because 1) I am not a completionist, 2) I don't find value in owning both, and 3) I own this set now. In summary here are the things I like about this set: The minifigure selection is almost perfect. Very swooshable. Not worried that it will break apart in heavy and rough play. Very accurate to its on-screen appearance, after the 2nd try. Great detailing without any stickers. What I don't like about this set (in a very nitpicky way): Gaps on the wing could have been easily covered by adding other moving parts. Omission of landing gears which also lends to the lack of space for the ramp below the shuttle. Star Wars tax. If you happen to own the other Kylo Ren's Shuttle in gray, I think the accuracy of this set alone is worthy of your attention. Personally, I bought this set because this came with a great offer and I thought that I could not skip this since I already skipped the first one. The addition of Knights of Ren also enticed me to buy the set, and to me, it is one of the most appealing factor as well. Review summary Playability: 10/10 - I am going to make this my first perfect score for playability because I really enjoyed swooshing this set. The kids love it too! Design / Building Experience: 9/10 - Apart from my nitpicking about the gaps and landing gears, the build is excellent. The mechanism to make the wings slant outward is very well designed and executed. Minifigures: 9/10 - Almost perfect. If the FO Stormtrooper was replaced with an FO Sith Trooper, or maybe another minifigure is added (e.g. other Knights of Ren), it will be perfect. Price / Value for money: 9/10 - For what you get and able to enjoy from this set, I think it is more than just fine. It is very good. Overall: 9.25/10 - I feel no remorse skipping the predecessor of this set. I have spoken.