Star Wars is a powerhouse brand, there's no doubt about it. With a presence that stretches across films, comics, television, and countless other mediums, those two words are almost as recognizable as Superman or Coca Cola. Part of what has made Star Wars so popular over the years has been merchandise tie-ins, be it action figures, vehicles, or playsets.
One of the most popular toy brands is LEGO, with their easy to follow building instructions and endless customization, so it makes sense that there would be Star Wars LEGO sets. The kind folks at the LEGO Group have provided us with two of their newer sets for review, one a part of their MIcrofighters line and the other based on Solo: A Star Wars Story, so check them out below.
Millennium Falcon Microfighter
The set is catalog number 75193 and contains 92 pieces used to construct a Chewbacca minifig and a miniature Millennium Falcon.
Contained within the box are a single instruction book and the pieces for construction, held within two sealed bags.
Chewbacca consists of a basic, solid brown minifig body, an additional piece with the character details, and a bowcaster accessory. It's not surprising but nonetheless interesting how Chewie is realized: rather than a basic minifig body and standard issue head, there's an additional piece (similar to the classis ghost body from old LEGO sets) that slides over the body and locks into the head peg. It makes him look like Chewbacca, and gives him a little more height over the other minifigs to boot.
The Falcon itself is a fun little build. Since the design is for a miniaturized version of the classic ship, it's fun seeing how the designers compressed the look into a simple yet recognizable rendition of the classic Corellian starship. It's decidedly the Falcon, with the offset cockpit, twin prongs at the front of the ship, blue hyperdrive engines, firing gun turrets, and radar dish on full display. It's a tight, compact ship that easily fits in the palm of your hand once it's completed.
Chewie nestles in nicely just behind the cockpit, which is charmingly comical in the best possible way. Even without its pilot, the ship looks good on its own, but throwing the Wookiee in there just brings the whole thing together.
Imperial Patrol Battle Pack
The Imperial Patrol Battle Pack is catalog item 75207, and contains 99 pieces to construct four separate minfigures and an Imperial speeder.
The set holds a single instruction booklet with the pieces contained within two sealed bags.
The minifigures consist of an Imperial Emigration Officer, a Recruitment Officer, and two Patrol Troopers. Each comes with a blaster that can fire a red stud, which is a feature more and more LEGO sets are incorporating these days. The level of detail on each uniform is nice, with really nice paint applications across the board. I particularly like the look of the Patrol Troopers, reminiscent of Stormtroopers though not quite as sleek and refined. The Patrol Troopers have a nice grimace when you remove their helmets, and the Emigration Officer (I think...) has two separate expressions. The Recruitment Officer only has the one facial expression, but his facial hair is righteous so he gets a pass.
The speeder is a really, really fun build. The frame is very slim and ingeniously put together. More than once I placed pieces together and wondered what the purpose of that configuration was, only to add another piece and have an "aha" moment.
The "wings" or "fins" or "flaps" that make up the body of the speeder can fold up and down, another example of the clever design of the set. Once put together it's a very sleek, streamlined set, though the lack of symmetry with the weapons on either side makes it visually interesting. Any of the figures can fit in the cockpit of the speeder, and while it may not be how it's supposed to work, you can raise the plating of the body up and down at your leisure to create some cool visual effects.
Both sets are easy to assemble and have enough play value to be worth the purchase. I like the whimsical look of the Microfighter, because who doesn't love Chewie and the Falcon? The Battle Pack may not have as much name recognition to it, but the vehicle is really cool and it comes with four figures. Not a bad value at all.