Sunday, October 15th, 2017 at 8:34pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we have another set review for everyone's reading pleasure. Coming to us from a galaxy far, far aways is 75180 Rathar Escape, a set based on 2015's Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. BZPower Blog Assistant Ta-metru_defender has taken some time to share his thoughts on the set in both text and video format. Will this set jump out at you like a Rathtar through a suddenly-unlocked door? Or is it better sealed away on a shelf where it can't hurt anyone? Let's find out together!
I have a bad feeling about this.
About Rathtars. Not the set about Rathtars. The set seems pretty cool.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Behold! A box! On it we see the hallways of the Eravana, and, of course, Rathtars. And the other minifigs. You get it.
The back shows the set in action, herein meaning Rathtars chasing people and other fun stuff.
But let's put this thing together.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build is split into six bags, each one its own part. It comes together quickly enough; the Rathtars are a particular highlight, with their small intricacies.
There's some unusual building going on in the corridor pieces, with single studs being placed into technic beams. Beyond that, it's quite straightforward. Oh! There are clear coffee mugs used as decorations and I don't know why, but I like them!
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There are five minifigs in this set! Some of which are even new!
So first off we have the familiar duo of Han and Chewie, one of them having gotten a little long in the tooth.
That being Han. He's mostly similar to his appearance in the Millennium Falcon, just with different expressions on his face. Chewbacca, meanwhile, is the same Chewie we've been getting for a while. It's nice to have these minifigs if you, like me, didn't get the TFA Falcon. Elsewise, well, it is what it is.
Bala-Tik, the leader of the Guavian Death Gang, looks enough like he should. He's not nearly as impressive as the actual Death Gang folk, and in that regard, he's just this guy, you know?
Now, the Guavian Death Gang, There's no denying that the Guavians had some striking designs in The Force Awakens, so I for one am stoked to see these guys as minifigs (and so early too, usually we have to wait a while for obscure characters to be minifigs!).
They have a new sculpted piece for their head which looks delightfully science fiction-y, and their body armor is accurate enough, while still remaining versatile enough for use in MOCs or what have you.
Now, let's talk Rathtars. They look downright creepy in TFA, some sorta tentacle-y abomination. LEGO does a pretty good job recreating them in the brick, with plenty of limbs and teeth to go around. Their eyes are abstracted with orange round tiles, which honestly look more like textured spots than eyes, but hey, still makes them creepy. I also really like that they aren't absolutely massive and scale quite nicely with (or when eating) a minifig. Also, the tentacles and teeth all move and that's a lotta fun.
Overall, I like the brick built Rathtars. They're interesting and recognizable, while still providing for a fun build. Can't complain.
So, the Eravana corridor itself.
There are three parts, hereby termed Door, Connector, and Pod.
The Door segment has the door (surprise!). So if you've seen TFA (which, seriously, why wouldn't you have?) you'll know that there are a lot of doors in the Rathtar sequence. More particularly, doors slamming shut on Ratters and people. So it stands to reason that there would be a door in this set, and a door that can open and slam shut at that.
The door can slide up, in a manner not at all unlike that Jedi Defense II set from fifteen years ago. A piece on the back locks it open and, when released, lets it slam shut - but that's for the playability section. It's quite a nice door, as far as doors go, with the Keetorange making for a striking pattern on the front.
There's also a trap door here which, in theory, is the gateway down to the maintenance tunnels of the ship. There's a cool pop up mechanism that I'll talk about more later, but the tunnels are nice enough as is. The brown flooring and gray grills make it look all industrial, so it looks the part. In any case, their inclusion is a neat touch for the set.
Connector is the least interesting part of the set. It's basically the platform part of Door, but without the trapdoor or door. The beams are used here (and in Door) to create the impression of hallways, or at least bits jutting out from the walls, and they do a good job of it. The tan double cheese slopes help contribute to the effect and you get the idea that it's meant to be a corridor and not, like, a boardwalk or something. Also, the control panels look nice with their stickers.
There's also a crawlspace here, but it's really low and minifigs do not crawl well.
What Connector has - as does Door and Pod - is ways to connect to the other segments. Technic pins on all four sides let it connect to Door and bars on the bottom let Pod click on to it. Door too has these connections, which give the set a neat modular ability.
Finally, Pod, home to the Rathtars. It's a big tan box. A big tan box with orange windows, which is cool. There are greebles on the back which are always important for a Star Wars thing. Aside from that, the top lifts off and the door opens, but most importantly, you can put a Rathtar inside. Which makes sense since it's, y'know, the Rather container and all. There's a bucket with a bone in there too which I think is an absolutely lovely touch.
Door, Connector, and Pod all come together quite nicely, making for a nice corridor to run through. Their modular nature means you can rearrange the layout as you want, which is a really neat detail, but having only three parts kinda limits what you can do with it. It also feels kinda small. I feel like the set needed another Connector module to add more flexibility and to really push the flexible layout. As it is, it's just a bit lacking.
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?
This is a playset and you know what that means: play features!
Door's door can, as said before, be hooked open, and, at the flick of a lever, drop.
It's a cool function, one that lets the door slam shut with a solid thunk. Which is important.
Door also has a trap door, but it's not a door that goes down. Rather, there's a simple mechanism that lets you lift a minifig up through it.
Playwise, it's all about the element of surprise. Someone can burst through (as I enjoy), or instead just peak out. It kinda makes sense.
Also you can bounce.
Lastly, Pod's got a bunch of axles on the back. Some of them do nothing, but pull the right one and the door to the Rathtar pod will (sometimes) (slowly) slide open. It's... a little underwhelming, really. I mean, it's cool that they have the whole "which switch opens the door?" question, but it doesn't work nearly as well as it should.
In any case, there are enough minifigs here for some pretty great scenarios and showdowns of Han and Chewie VS The Guavian Death Gang VS The Rathtars. And that's great, but I can't help but to wonder where are Rey and Finn? Or at least BB-8, the central object of the conflict. Honestly, I can overlook Rey and Finn, but BB-8 would be a small but really important addition.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Each section is pretty neat in its own right
- Door mechanism is cool
- Yo, the Guavian Death Gang look really dope
What's not to like?
- The completed model is kinda, well, lacking
- Some important characters are missing, which I get, and yet...
- It doesn't really capitalize enough on its winding corridors concept.
Overall, I do kinda like the Rathtar Escape set. But I also know that this set could have been better. If you're into Rathtars or Guavian Death Gangs, this set will be of interest to you. If not, well, there's no good reason to pick it up.
Thanks once again to LEGO for sending BZPower this set to review - we really appreciate it! We also appreciate Josh taking the time to write the review and any feedback you guys provide in the Talkback or YouTube comments. Until next time, keep checking back on BZPower for more LEGO news!
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