In which I try to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t attempt to buy Every Star Wars Set Ever, despite a childhood obsession, and come to realise that reissues of sets are useful as elements and building pieces evolve.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. If you have read any of my posts about the 20th Anniversary of LEGO® Star Wars, it would become apparent that Star Wars played an important role in my childhood. There was something enchanting, in a fairy tale sort of way, about the way in which the characters moved through the story. I read the novel (Ghost written by Alan Dean Foster) several times before I turned 10. I had a couple of action figures. Some follow me today. My brother and I saved up lots and lots of pocket money, to be able to afford the Kenner’s Landspeeder, with amazing floating action, when it finally became available at our local toy shop in 1978. I had a book mark left in a friend’s copy of ‘Splinter of the Mind’s Eye’, and when our family went to visit theirs, I would read another twenty of so pages. In 1983 I finally finished reading it.
The movie was in cinemas for actual years. It was the first film that I knew people had seen several times at the movies. It felt timeless. Like it would never go away. And indeed it has not gone away. Even if the collectables did. After a couple of years, it became apparent that the original 12 figures were never going to form a complete collection on my shelves. When they stretched out over the next few years to more than one hundred, I stopped dreaming about them.
NOW, I did not come out of my LEGO Dark Ages when LEGO Star Wars made its debut. LEGO sets were for kids. And I was a bit too busy doing some post graduate study at the time. Triumphant defeat of a significant examination hurdle was celebrated by my brother giving me a copy of 9454 Dark Side Developer Kit. IT was amazing. I put the various models together, experimented with the control system, and kept it built up for years, through the birth of two children, four house moves and several mortgage repayments, Ultimately dismantling it in 2016.
The rest of the program I was studying was comparatively easy from there on, and on completion, he gave me a copy of 7106 Droid Escape. By the time I returned to LEGO building in 2006, as my children developed an interest, the colour grey had changed, several Ultimate Collector sets had come and gone and I quickly realised that I could not afford to be a collector of LEGO Star Wars sets.
Of Battle Packs and Building
Now, if you are in the business of building a battle scene, you need an army. A big one. Unfortunately, certain contractual arrangements with Lucasfilm mean that LEGO has the licence for construction toys, and Hasbro has the licence for action figures. So LEGO sets need to feature a significant amount of construction. And as such, we will never be able to buy a bucket of 1000 Stormtroopers. And it was in this milieu that the Star Wars Battle Pack building set was born: relatively inexpensive, containing four or so minifigures, and a small vehicle or weapons emplacement. Sometimes there would be a variety in the figures, sometimes not.
As part of the 20th Anniversary Special Edition LEGO Star Wars sets, we have seen a reimagining of the 7667 Imperial Dropship. This was not the first Battle pack, but when it was released in 2008, it was the first to contain Stormtroopers, as well as a Shadow Trooper, serving as a pilot. The set had 80 parts.
The ship never featured in any of the films, and as such might be considered to merely be one many Legends that now abound in the Star Wars Universe, reduced from its expanded form after Lucasfilm moved over to the House of Disney. However, the desert background on the box makes me happy to imagine that it fits in somewhere around Episode IV.
There are several obvious changes as you look at the new ship: the shift from bright blue to earth blue, the shape of the windscreen, and the shape of the stabilisers – changed from a wedge plate to a cockpit cover, introduced in NEXO Knights. As you can see, the number of elements has expanded from 80 to 125, of which only 12 can be attributed to the Y2K version of Han Solo. The other big change has been the loss of ‘realistic’ blaster rifles, to be replaces by the stud shooters. Infact, most of these differences are pointed out in the first few pages of the instruction manual
There are a number of elements that have appeared in recent years that enhance the construction of this set, including brackets and the cockpit covers. Overall, I feel this is a sleeker looking vehicle than the original, with the new elements making a great contribution to the look
The playability of this set is enhanced by the ability of the dropship to …drop the seating for the stormtroopers. It does what it says on the box.
There are 5 minifigures in this set. I am amazed, and a little discouraged, to discover that this is perhaps the first time I have had a set with stormtroopers in. Particularly disheartening when I am looking for one for comparison. Fortunately I discovered that I have an older version, tucked away inside the cover of my DK Lego Minifigures Year by Year, A Visual History.
The new Stormtroopers features a dual moulded head. and updated printing. The overall proportions are a little different to those we have been used to for the last 20 years. It’s as if you are looking at them from another point of view…
The Shadow Trooper also features the new head mould, and also looks suitably menacing.
These sets also come with a 20th anniversary figure: An authentic reproduction of an original figure. So long as you recognise that the brown and grey has changed in the meantime. And the printing on the back. HOWEVER, as I had not previously owned a ‘yellow face’ Han Solo figure, it is pretty cool, and reminds me of what I missed out on while being distracted by Real Life around the turn of the century!
The set is a quick and easy build, and at only $AUD34.99, it seem to be a pretty popular set. Priced at €19.99/USD19.99/GBP19.99, it is slightly more expensive here than Europe and US, but perhaps on par with the UK Price.
I feel this is an appropriate set to re-release, especially in the context of the stormtrooper helmet being re-released this year, with a new dual mould. It the shape of the helmet is going to change, you probably want to be able to pick up a few!
I quite like the new stormtrooper design, and the shadow trooper becomes an easy substitution for a TIE pilot, in the head of a nine year old. Han provides plenty of nostalgia for a set I never knew about…
I give the set three point five out of five (3.5/5) arbitrary praise units.
While you are here, have you heard about our building contest, where you can win a set of Disney Series 2 minifigures? You can read about it here. Entries close May 12th 2019
What do you think of the Imperial Dropship? Is it worth the reissue? Is it one you would look to pick up? Leave your comments below. And until next time…
The Imperial Dropship 75262 was provided by the LEGO Group’s AFOL Engagement team for review purposes. all opinions are my own.