Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 at 10:02pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we're getting into some 2018 LEGO set reviews, and to tie into the recently-announced Art Contest: The Definitive Edition!, they're going to be about Star Wars! To start off, Ta-metru_defender takes a look at 75201 First Order AT-ST, which in a way is a revamp of the chicken walker we've seen several times over the years. Will this iteration avoid the insurgent attacks and tree trunks of its predecessors, or will it succumb to the same design flaws? While you're thinking about that and what to enter into the contest, come see how this set stacks up!
Per the new LEGO social media policy, this is a disclaimer saying that Ta-metru_defender works for LEGO as a Brick Specialist and his views are not representative of those of the The LEGO Group.
There's a slightly spoilery scene in The Last Jedi when, after some Stuff Happens, there's a big fight in the hangar of Snoke's flagship. It's Captain Phasma and the First Order against Finn and Rose - who are backed up by BB-8 in a hijacked AT-ST. A set based on that scene sounds like a lotta fun, so I'm going to review it.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box of the set is, like many other LEGO sets' boxes, a hyperrectangle made out of cardboard with printing on it. The printing on the front depicts the set itself with Exciting Stuff going down, the back's printing are features and you-already-know-this-let's-move-on.
Oh, The Last Jedi banner's dope and Jedi Rey gives me life, so I do like the branding on these.
The parts are in four bags, there's an instruction book, you know the deal.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build's pretty neat, if very familiar to the AT-ST from Rogue One (75153). Like, super familiar. Like, legs-are-basically-identical familiar. But, I guess, if it works, why fix it? Let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
If you'd like to watch me build the set, check out the video review for a time lapse!
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Minifigs, because you gotta talk about minifigs in a licensed set. We get BB-8, Finn, Rose, and Captain Phasma.
BB-8's the same as every other BB-8. Looks good. Woo, moving on.
Finn and Rose are both in their First Order disguises. Finn's is pretty par for the course; pretty sure we've gotten that torso and hat elsewhere. Rose's is new, and her hat has her hair molded on to it. I really like how her bangs are molded onto her cap. It's a small detail, but a nice one.
With the scene in mind, I do wish there were a couple more minifigs. Maybe an Executioner Trooper since they're in the scene, or even a couple regular Stormtroopers. Heck, why not throw DJ in it as another villain? Poor Phasma's a little outmatched.
Now then, the main attraction.
Wait, you don't like simple elevators? It's a super simple design, but it's a surprisingly sturdy elevator with a solid function. The liftarm lets you stop it at one of a few 'floors' and you can release it for a quick trip down. Altogether it's neat.
Now then, the AT-ST as it were.
This is... an odd part of the set. And it's hard to discuss it bit by bit because this is one of those things where the sum is infinitely more important than the parts. Right off the bat, it's very similar to the AT-ST from 2016; the legs are just about identical and the stickers on the feet are the same. There's no improvements from the prior iteration, there's still just the one point of articulation at the hip and no balance adjustments to let it stand on one foot. So... Y'know, it's kinda the same if you got the old one.
Except this one has no head. It's got a chin, with a nifty blaster (I actually really like the big, rotating blaster), but... no head. Which, makes sense, because this is the part of the movie where the headless AT-ST goes on a rampage. And, sure enough, you can fit BB-8 in the pilot's chair (and have Rose ride shotgun, if you're so inclined). The head swivels, as an AT-ST should, and there's a function to turn it by rotating a gear in the back (just like in... you guessed it, the other AT-ST).
But this one has no head.
And it's frustrating, because it makes it look like an unfinished set. And I know that's the point, but, at the same time, really? I feel like LEGO missed out on a great opportunity to make this set one where the head could pop off or something. 'cuz the First Order AT-ST looks pretty neat, but the LEGO one's half-finished. And, if we're being honest, it's a real bummer.
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?
The elevator really is the playable highlight of this set. I know the AT-ST should be, but the simple pleasure of the elevator is really hard to beat. It works super well and I'm a fan.
The actual AT-ST does that head swivel and has spring shooters, which is nice enough. Serviceable. There's nothing particularly unique about it; the prior AT-ST had the same swivel function, and its spring shooters had a spiffy firing mechanism in the back. It does what it does well, but just doesn't do much.
Of course, Rose can take it for a joyride. So, not a total wash.v
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
I'm gonna forgo the usual pros and cons list on this one. Sorry if you like those, but my opinion on this set can be summed up in one word:
Because it's not a bad set per se; the minifigs are neat (Phasma!) and it's not badly built. Like it doesn't look super ugly or fall apart at a slight touch and there's some cool play features (elevator!). It's just that it feels like the first draft of an idea. As if someone said "hey we should make a set based on that scene in The Last Jedi" and someone else went "how about a headless AT-ST?" and that was it for prep work.
I wish I could say I hated it, that it was a lousy design and all, but it's not. There's been so much worse. LEGO's been making some pretty good stuff lately (hello, literally the entire Rogue One line), and design-wise this is no exception - and I really like that elevator! It's just such a sorry excuse for the scene that, just, why? Why is this a set? Why couldn't it have been more?
Thanks to LEGO for sending us this set and thanks to Josh for assembling this review! Let us know what you think of the set in the Talkback topic! Hopefully you found our look at the First Order AT-ST enjoyable, and maybe it even inspired you to enter Art Contest: The Definitive Edition!. In any event, you can expect to see more Star Wars reviews soon right here on BZPower!
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