Friday, September 4th, 2015 at 7:52am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today is Force Friday, the day when Disney officially reveals a whole slew of new Star Wars merchandise and entices you to buy it all sight unseen. BZPower wants you to make informed decisions though, so we're going to be reviewing all six of the new LEGO Star Wars buildable figures. Kicking things off is 75108 Clone Commander Cody, a popular character from the prequel era. How well does this set capture the look of the clone? What are the new pieces like? Should you buy it? Check out our review and accompanying video to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The front of the box features all the requisite logos - LEGO, Star Wars, and Disney (that's still weird to say), as well as an indication that this is part of the 'Buildable Figures' series. Cody is front and center, with a fairly realistic background behind him, with more clones, a couple of AT-TE walkers, and Republic Gunships filling the sky. The commander is instantly recognizable, although you can also instantly tell that he's not quite as solid as a regular action figure. On the back, the same logos appear, as well as a graphic letting you know that the set is 23.5 cm tall, which is 9.25 inches for those of us not on the metric system. Cody appears in front of a more abstract background and a couple of callouts show off the details in the set. Along the bottom are the five other sets that are available. There's no action features to show off, so things are kept pretty simple.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
If you've built a constraction set since the CCBS system was introduced, this set will come together in no time. With 82 pieces, it might seem like a lot, but many of them are small Technic pieces for the gun and backpack, which aren't very complicated. This set will be done before you know it and with little difficulty.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The most obvious new piece in the set is the helmet. It only features one socket on the bottom, which is unfortunate. I would have liked a movable antenna or visor, but new pieces are expensive enough, and these Star Wars sets are rife with them. It definitely captures the look of the Phase II armor Cody wears in the later parts of the Clones Wars.
For more new and unique pieces, we'll start off with the pauldrons. They're bright orange and have two pegs to attach to CCBS shells. They'll attach either way on size 3 shells, but will only go one way on the larger ones. The new leg armor is super sleek and generic enough to work in a large number of cases, like clones, Stormtroopers, Vader, and more. Disappointingly, it only has a single socket connection, with no peg holes or bars or anything. We also get a new chest armor piece, which is fairly large. The printing here again matches Cody's Phase II armor, which limits the uses for it. The printing is quite nice though and looks battle-damaged. The piece only has a single socket connection surprisingly low on the torso. Finally, the size 6 white shell is not a new piece, but this one has some printing to match Cody's armor.
Aside from the new parts, there's a fairly standard collection of CCBS parts, including four sizes of white shells, four different bone pieces, a torso, feet, hands, and friction pieces. There's a bunch of Technic pieces too, including two small panels that I think are fairly new. There's also a black Bohrok eye, and it's great to see that piece still alive and kicking. The most unusual addition is the epee from the collectible minifigure line, which is used here as an antenna.
The blaster looks to be replicating a DC-15A blaster rifle, and does a decent job. It's basically a bunch of Technic pieces with a couple of axles to go into Cody's hands. The main detractors are the red axles and the holes in some of the pieces. The former stands out more than the latter, and I wish they had used black #2 axles instead.
The final product, from the front, does a pretty good job of capturing the Clone Trooper look. The printed parts lend him a war-worn styling, that let you know that Cody has seen some action. Once you get to the side and back, however, things start to break down. The back of the torso looks okay when viewed straight on, with three shells and the backpack to fill it out. Move to either side a little bit and you come face to face with a huge gap that just makes him look hollow and empty. I couldn't help but feel that the new Toa did it better, and when I looked at them I realized it was because of the gearbox. It really adds some bulk and fills out the torso, and that's completely missing here. The back of the legs are also pretty egregious, with absolutely nothing hiding the bones. One solution I can see would have been to attach the thigh shells to the sides of the legs rather than the front, but that would have messed up the printing. Maybe if the bones were white instead of dark bley and black it wouldn't be so bad, plus we'd have bones in more colors too! Things I do like are the knees and shoulders, particularly how the new shells and armor do a good job of covering them up without restricting the poseability. From the front Cody looks great, just make sure no one sees him from any other angle and you'll be fine.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Unlike the Toa and Skull villains in Bionicle this year, the Star Wars sets seem to be all about the posing. I thought one of the great things about the new Toa was that for $15 or $20 you got conflict with the skull spider and action features with the gearbox and ejectable mask. Cody, for $20, gives you Cody. A spring-loaded shooter or stud launcher would have been a nice addition, I think. He's very poseable and can go in just about any position you want, but that's about it. Also, as mentioned above, he really only looks good from the front. There's plenty of poses you can put him in that are awesome, but unless you buy some of the other sets and have them fight it out, there's not much else going on.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Captures the look of Clone Commander Cody
- New shells and armor are cool
- Nice selection of pieces
- High degree of poseability
What's not to like?
- Only looks good from the front
- Printed parts limit their reuse
- No play features
If you're a Star Wars fan of the prequel generation, Clone Commander Cody will probably appeal to you. He looks great from the front, and I don't think the playability issues he has are going to be any better on the other Star Wars sets. He's not a bad constraction figure, but not my personal favorite from the Star Wars line or this year as a whole.
Thank you all for reading and watching our review! Hopefully you found it informative and insightful. We welcome your questions and comments in the Talkback and will do our best to answer them. This is just the first of six Star Wars constraction reviews, so to get the inside scoop, along with the latest LEGO news, keep checking back here on BZPower!
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