I don’t know if it’s the satisfaction of recreating a classic shot or the fun of actually getting to add noise and make a picture worse to match the original shot, but I just love making those title pics. You can see it in all its glory with no text added here.
Like many people, I was really excited when I first saw this set: Five classic characters, three of them hard to find, and all for $25? Awesome! In fact, so many people apparently agree with that statement that the set was sold out until March after being released in January of 2010, and the LEGO Brand Retail Stores had to stop carrying it for a time so that Shop@Home could keep up with the demand. So far, I haven’t really been disappointed by a set that I thought was good, but the law of averages says I have to be wrong sometimes. After actually holding the box in person, I couldn’t help but think ‘Is this the set that will disappoint me?’
Set Name: Luke’s Landspeeder
Set Number: 8092
Number of Pieces: 163
Theme: Star Wars
Year of Release: 2010
The front of the box shows Luke’s SoroSuub X-34 Landspeeder Speeding past a Stormtrooper and his Sentry Droid in the streets of Mos Eisley. Straying from the norm for LEGO Star Wars sets, this one is apparently set in a peaceful scene. True to the movie, there are no blaster shots or explosions in the box art. Strangely, Artoo has been removed from the speeder and is rolling alongside it, perhaps for photography purposes. In the movie, he rides on the back of the landspeeder. You can see in the bottom left the ‘Special Edition’ tag, and a prominent warning that this set is not for children under age 3. Like all Star Wars sets from the Summer 2009-Winter 2010 waves, it has the trio of clone troopers with a red logo on the banner at the top of this panel. It’s also worth noting that in the minfigure lineup, TLG photographed Obi-Wan and Luke with their lightsabers in their left hands, even though both are right-handed.
Like most other sets, the back of the box shows the advertisements and features:
On the left are three very oddly chosen advertisements: two Hoth BPs and the Freeco speeder. They have nothing to do with the Landspeeder set. In fact, they couldn’t be more different, with the Landspeeder from a desert planet and the three advertised sets all from snowy planets. My best theory is that they wanted to advertise sets of a similar price point. On the right is a combination action scene and feature description. Luke and Obi-Wan have apparently given up on mind tricks, removed their lightsabers from the hidden compartment, and attacked the Stormtrooper. Artoo is, uh, conversing with the sentry droid and Threepio is running away as fast as his metal legs will carry him. From this view, you can also see that the box is sealed with tapes, not glue. That’s not a big deal when buying direct from TLG, but when making purchases at other stores, it decreases the chances that someone has opened up the box, removed the good stuff, and resealed and returned the rest of the set.
Finally, there’s the image of an included minifigure on the side, for those who don’t know what size LEGO minifigures are:
For this shot, TLG chose Luke, which is the sensible choice since it is his Landspeeder. He’s set on top of a red box with subtle lines radiating from the center, as if to say, “Bam! Luke Skywalker minifig that is this size!” It’s nothing bad, but I personally prefer the good ol’ days when the minifigs were seen in front of an appropriate screenshot from the movies. The box itself is quite skinny, as in BP skinny, yet it still manages to feel only half empty. I have a bad feeling about thins…
Open the box and out will drop three polybags, two loose light bley flex tubes, and one instruction booklet. The polybags, especially the large one, look pretty empty. Looks like my suspicions were correct. In the largest of the polybags, you can see the white cardboard envelope that holds the Sandtrooper’s pauldron.
You probably expected this, but nevertheless I will confirm that the booklet sports the same art as the box. TLG didn’t totally scrap the info, though; the choking hazard warning remains. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what the mentioned ‘small ball’ is. The closest thing is the minifig heads.
Inside the booklet at the back are two full non-instructional spreads:
The top one (which is actually the last one, because I read the booklet backwards for this portion of the review) shows advertisements for the other six sets of the wave, opposite another advertisement, this one for the LEGO Club.
The bottom one reprints the side- and back-panel pictures of the set from the box, but on the red background that is now standard for these sections of the booklets.
The page before it has the second half of the parts inventory; the first half is found on the previous page:
Here’s a sample page from the build instructions:
The color scheme is also standard in this section, with the sub-steps in pale yellow, the part call-outs in light blue, and everything on top of a light grey background crossed with random, very faint white lines. Color definition is decent, certainly not the best but it works for a small set like this. In addition, by step three of the build, you would have added both dk. bley and black to the model, which serves as a good guideline throughout the rest of the build.
Here are the stars of the set, all six minifigs in all their glory. I’ve arranged them according to the box picture- more or less from shortest to tallest. From left to right, R2-D2, Sentry Droid, C-3PO, Sandtrooper, Obi-Wan, and Luke. The Sandtrooper and Sentry Droid are technically exclusive to the set, although the brick-built droid can easily be recreated from other pieces, and the Sandtrooper is only exclusive because of his black pauldron. Previously, TLG had used the orange pauldron with black trim typical of Sandtrooper squad leaders, but this time they’ve opted for the solid black edition of the normal trooper. Despite this, the only other current set wherein you can find all the non-exclusive minifigs is the $400 Death Star playset. Mostly my only problem with this lineup is that I’d gladly have traded the sentry droid to get a Tusken. Even if it costs another $5.
The backs of the minifigs look like this:
Only C-3PO has back printing, which has been standard for his minifig from day one. Actually, depending on how you look at it, R2 either also has back printing or is the only ‘fig with a double-sided head print. All the characters are the newest editions of their respective minifigs: R2 has a light bley dome, C-3PO is fully dk. pearl gold, the Sandtrooper has a grey and black mouth grille, Obi-wan has his new torso print, and all the faces have pupils.
As with my last review, although the bags are not numbered, I’ve dubbed them Bags 1, 2, and 3 based on size of the included pieces. These are the contents of Bag 1.
Basically, the one thing that stands out here is what isn’t. For the largest bag of a set, this really isn’t a lot of parts. The only pieces that caught my eye (and then only momentarily) were the three engine pieces.
Bag Two is also very empty, and there is also nothing really rare that stands out here. A couple useful pieces, yes, but if you’re a Star Wars builder, at this point you go, ‘Uh, oh.’
Now this is more like it! There’s not a ton of pieces, but at least they’re all very versatile and the bag is nicely filled like you’d expect out of any other LEGO set. Of greatest interest would be the line of six ‘Brick 1 x 1 with Stud on One Side’s at the top- those are new for 2010, and I’ve been waiting a long time for them. The introduction of this piece means no more wobbly or spinning bits of your MOCs when you need that type of connection in that small space and previously had to settle for a Technic 1 x 1 with a half-pin.
Out of all that, here are the pieces of note, and I daresay there aren’t a lot, especially for an over-$20 set:
You’ve got a couple engines, one older engine (introduced in 1981, but has rarely appeared in this millennium) in light bley, some nice slanted vents, the curved brick in dk. red is there only because of its color, and then there are, or course, the 1 x 1s with stud on one side. It should be noted that the dk. bley bracket and black 1 x 1 with studs on four sides are used in the minifigures, so if you plan to take apart the set but not the ‘figs, they won’t end up in your bin. (or wherever you keep those pieces)
Here’s the full list, with links to Bricklink:
Engine, Smooth Large, 2 x 2 Thin Top Plate
Engine, Strakes, 2 x 2 Thin Top Plate
Slope, Curved 3 x 1 No Studs
Slope 18 2 x 1 x 2/3 with 4 Slots
Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Stud on 1 Side
Minifig, Neck Bracket with Back Stud
Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Studs on 4 Sides
The build seemed rather ‘Ho-hum’, just stacking up bricks with no real difficulty or interesting techniques, but if you want to get a closer look you can access the large version in my Brickshelf. Very quickly into the build, at Step 7, you’ll have laid the foundation of the landspeeder, which’ll be reinforced in Step 15. The shape is finalized by Step 19. The big step is Step 27, wherein you insert the pieces of flex tubing to imitate the ribbing found on the ‘real’ thing. By the way, if you were planning on using those for MOCing, I’d advise you to either never insert them or insert them for any pictures you may need (such as for a review) and then remove them whenever you’re not taking pictures. They can be bent back to fairly straight if you’re careful, but after only an hour or so during my photo shoot, they’re permanently angled a couple degrees. Back to the build, by Step 36 you’ve fully fleshed out the chassis and both lateral engines are attached by Step 38. There is a separately numbered section to build the dorsal engine, which is designed to be removed as a play feature which we’ll get to soon, but Step 39 officially completes the set. Other than that one sub-model, the instructions take you on a straight-forward path to the end of the build, but I’m not sure if I like that or not. The build seemed quite simple, more like building a BP or other $10 set than the $25 set this is. Then again, it’s not really much smaller than some other sets of this price range.
Here are the extras that should be left over when the build is complete:
Your usual Technic pin and studs, plus a white lever which is an okay extra and three cheese wedges which are always nice to have around. Personally, I would have given up both studs and the lever to get an extra lightsaber hilt, but hey, they’re freebies, so I really can’t complain.
The Finished Set:
First off, a couple links: As always, I have a larger version of the above pic here, but if you want to get up-close and personal with a set without actually building it, the best way is with an LDD model. You can find one from EB’s database here.
Now then, on to the set. It looks pretty good, instantly recognizable as the vehicle from A New Hope. Much of the design, including the flex tubing technique, is borrowed from its predecessor, which was included in set 4501. The only big changes are base color (from sand red to tan/sand yellow), windshield, and the pieces used for the engines. Speaking of engines, this is the first version to have the port engine missing its cowling represented by a completely different piece, rather than a color change. This makes it stand out more, but personally I think it looks too skeletal. A 2 x 2 cone with some Technic gears could probably have done the job better. If you look in the cockpit, you can see TLG aligned the seats and gave the right one a steering wheel (which is accurate; one of the props from Ep. 4 was a fully drivable landspeeder with three wheels hidden inside the bottom, and it was controlled by a steering wheel. Since the prop was built in England, the wheel is on the right side as opposed to the left). However, TLG didn’t leave a cut out in the dashboard for the steering wheel, and just makes the whole think one stud longer, which leaves a gap in front of the passenger seat. Minor gripe. As for the other changes, the move from sand red to tan makes sense, since sand red isn’t in production anymore. The windshield was changed to a more accurate curved variety from the Speed Racer sets. Not very many changes; TLG seems happy with this design, and I have to say I don’t think it could get much better without SNOT and illegal connections.
Here’s a reference picture off Wookieepedia:
The landspeeder noticeably has too much dk. red on the back half, and I think the engines, while the ‘real’ ones are dual-colored, would look better in tan than dk. bley. One thing I don’t like is how the dk. red tiles on the front are just on tan plates; if they had been sunk into the tan plating like that dk. bley grille in front of the windshield, it would have appeared much sleeker. That of course is impossible for the forward-most tile, which is on top of curved wing plates, but it’s purposely raised even higher anyways. Also a minor gripe.
As with most every System Star Wars set, TLG has added a play feature to the set. Thankfully, this is a non-violent vehicle, so no flick-fire missiles here. The feature is a storage compartment under the dorsal engine. It fits the two lightsabers nicely, provided you take the blades off the hilts, but it’s not really good for anything else in this set. I suppose you could pretend it was removable for engine maintenance. It’s really a nice touch, makes this set more appealing to the targeted audience, and it blends in nicely. Also, the bottom is lined with boat studs, like most LEGO landspeeders, so you can make it skid, slide and do fishtail turns across the carpet. I think I found that more fun than the storage compartment.
Price/Piece Count: 13/20 When a set makes you pay 15 cents per piece, it’s a given that this rating won’t be too high. I was in a good mood and added a couple points for larger pieces.
Bricks: 14/20 What’s even worse is that some of those pieces don’t have very many uses. The most useful pieces I got out of this set were the flex tubing and 1 x 2 grille slopes.
Build: 12/20 Honestly I want more than a BP-difficulty build out of a $25 set. Even inserting the flex tubing, which others said was hard, was quick with the right angle.
Minifigs: 19/20 These are likely the reason you got the set, but I would have liked to see a Tusken and the orange pauldron for the Sandtrooper, which is much more recognizable.
Playability/Features: 16/20 This is about as swooshable as a landspeeder gets, and the compartment is a nice touch. I would have liked to see a little more effort smoothing out that compartment’s interior, though.
Grand Total: 74/100, or 74%. All those categories have minor gripes, but those minor gripes add up. It’s certainly a passing score, mostly due to the minifigs, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. Or modding, for those who want to keep the set together.
If you got this for the minifigs, and most likely you did, these are indeed the droids you are looking for. I can’t deny that it’s deserving of the popularity it has attained due to that attribute. However, should you already own most or all of the minifigs, then this set loses a lot of its value.