This Imperial Light Cruiser forms the base of operations for Moff Gideon during the second season of The Mandalorian. The minifigure selection in this set is based on that final confrontation between the Mandalorian and Moff Gideon, with several other supporting cast from the season also included. This review might contain some spoilers for the episode.
The set has 1336 pieces, and 5 minifigures. It went on sale on August 1 2021, world wide. I was fortunate to be sent a copy by the LEGO Group for review. So, how does the largest regular set of the August 2021 wave stack up? Read on to find out.
The selection of minifigures seen during this wave of LEGO® Star Wars sets has been remarkable, and the ones included in this set are no exception, although it is a shame that many of them are only included in the most expensive set of the wave.
This figure of Din Djarin is the Beskar armour print, seen in 75299 Trouble on Tatooine and 5312 Boba Fett’s Star Fighter. In this version, he is armed with his Beskar spear as well as his Amban Phase Pulse Blaster. As I have previously stated, the printing on the legs, torso and arms is impeccable, and I am glad that it has not been restricted to this most expensive set of the wave. Unfortunately, this figure once again comes with a blank, black head piece, rather than one with a face. A missed opportunity, particularly since the character spent a period of time unmasked in this episode.
The primary antagonist in the series Gideon wears a black armored chest piece – printed on his torso front and back, as well as a black/dark red cape. As a weapon, he carries the Darksaber: a silver lightsaber handle with a black rod as the blade. I would have been delighted if a bar with a black central core and transparent outer could have been created for the Darksaber, but it was not to be.
His legs and sleeves are unprinted.
This is a reissue of the Cara Dune figure previously seen in 2019’s 75252 AT-ST Raider. She has a dual printed head, with a smirk on one side, and an angry expression on the other. Her torso has printing back and front, as well as unprinted medium nougat arms. Her Dark blue trousers feature a printed belt, as well as medium blue printed detail. I am grateful to see that this figure has made a return: The previous set that she was included in had come and gone by the time the series reached our screen.
This bounty hunter first appeared in series1 of the Mandalorian, and has subsequently appeared around 25 years earlier in the Bad Batch animated series. This figure has an intricately printed torso and arms, as well as the front of her legs. She has a dual sided face print with a neutral expression on one side, and a quizzical smile on the other. The head is light nougat in colour, and I wonder if a darker shade may have better represented the character’s on screen appearance. I am also disappointed that she did not come with an alternate hair piece, as she is not always wearing her orange and black helmet. Something to look forward to in any sets associated with the Book of Boba Fett, I suspect. However, the level of detail in the costume is magnificent.
The Dark Trooper program spent a period looking at augmenting clone troopers, but by the time of the Mandalorian (9Y ABY) the third generation of the troopers have eliminated the human element, being fully cybernetic. We saw a platoon of Dark Troopers activated during the finale of Season 2, The Rescue, but we have only one here. The figure is black, with silver line art to emphasise the lines of the droid. The printed detail on the torso is enhanced by the use of the the new shoulder yoke element, first seen on the Wrecker minifigure in the Bad Batch Attack Shuttle. The printing is duplicated on the front part of this element, while there are two studs present on the back. The head is black, with a red eyeline on one side. this allows the eyes to show up red, through holes in the helmet, demonstrating that the Dark Trooper is active. And to intimidate any enemy forces confronting it. The helmet element feels like an amalgam of Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper and Death Trooper, all rolled into one. I certainly hope there is a battle pack released next year. That could be awesome. The new shoulder element could also have worked well on Cara Dune, in Earth Blue, given the armour she wears typically extends over her shoulders.
A variation of the LEGO Minifigure baby, Grogu has appeared in 4 sets now, appearing the same each time. It is one of the most adorable minifigures I have ever seen, from the sand green rubbery head to the infant’s torso. While not unique, it is good to see it here.
The set comes with bags numbered from 1 to 9. The majority of elements are dark stone grey, medium stone grey and black. The figures are scattered throughout the bags, but I wont dwell on them as we consider the build process.
We start by building up the floor, with a variety of plates, as well as several bricks to set up the superstructure. The 5×5 technic bricks( with 90º bend) serve to provide additional strengthening across the floor, at the rear of the main cabin. Hinges serve to start setting up the distinctive wedge shape of the hull.
We build a shifting plunger, extending between the forward prongs. I’m sure we will see what that’s about later.
Bag 2 consists of a number of long technic bricks, many Technic connector pins with studs (the blue ones) as well as a couple of slopes and wedge plates. A right angle triangle is set up, with studs attached to the outer edge.
We apply a number of a couple of stickers to 3×2 slopes, to form some control panels. Plates are used to stabilise the 90º angles throughout the triangles. The wheels serve to form the lateral docking ports ( I presume they are docking ports) with detail added to the central aspects of these.
With Bag 3, we have an ongoing mix of technic elements, as well as plates – several rectangles, as well as 8×8 45º wedge plates. The tan elements will undoubtably ultimately be buried with the structure.
We add shape and structure to the rear of the ship’s hull, and build up a technic tower, just behind the midpoint of the vessel. This will add strength to this region, probably contributing to a carry handle.
As well as the plates, we also have a collection of sloped elements, going towards building up the conning tower, as well as the rear upper plating. Between the upper and lower plating, we set up some greeblling and front
Hidden amongst the greebling are two TIE Fighters, stashed in side mounted launch bays. We get a 1×1 round printed tile, which serves as the windscreen of some microscale TIE fighters: built around a brick with studs on four sides, the solar panels are made with a single 2×2 offset plate. Despite this square, rather than hexagonal shape, the look is quite effective.
there are two bags labelled bag 6 included. Unfortunately, due to a terrible miscalculation, we through there were three. As such, some of these elements belong in bag 9!
There are some relatively new elements here, including the 3×3 curved quarter circle arch, whichmakes fro the front portion of the engines. The two outer engines are made using curved 8×4 simicircular panels. Panels are sloped over the rear of the ship, including the central engine. Transparent light blue radar dishes are attached to simulate the main engine jets. There is a little deviation from the source material here: there are 4 smaller engines between each of the main thrusters on screen. Not even including a hint of them feels a little thoughtless, but, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to improve on the model with your own modifications.
With lots of plates, wedges and plates with pin holes, bag 7 takes us back to the front of the ship, building the lower plates that form the lateral edges of the hull.
You can see where the underslung plates attach to the side rails, where the red and black connectors are joined together. We also add greebles to the outer edge of the front part of the wedge, including a couple of gun emplacements.
We fit out the cabin: some computers at the back, and a large communications/operations station in the middle of the space. There is a coffee cup in the middle. of the desk, but I am not entirely sure that it is canon. Chances are that someone needed a drink at some point. I am a little surprised at the sheer number of stickers required here, particularly as computer screens.
Bags 8&9 go towards building the lid of the bridge. Bag 9’s contents already appeared unwrapped with bag 6, however.
We start by building a central core for the lid. This bag also builds the starboard panel for the lid.
The final bag brings us the opposite panel, as well as the gun turrets. The lid connects via some technic fasteners just in front of the base of the conning tower.
Our completed guns rotate on a turntable. The guns are loaded with transparent bright green spring missiles, which look a lot like the laser blasts used by the Empire.
And so it is complete. Overall I appreciate the look of the craft. The silhouette fits nicely, and the underlying technic elements in the conning tower provide a sturdy handle, improving the overall swooshability of the model. The tiny TIE fighters are gorgeous. One can be placed in the opening at the front, and pushed forwad. Unfortunately, this mechanism is only functional when the cabin lid is open.
Diversity amongst Minifigures
I set out to arrange all of my minifigures together from the August Releases: The Duel on Mandalore, Imperial Armourder Marauder, Boba Fett’s Star Ship, the Mandalorian Starfighter, The Bad Batch shuttle, the Imperial Light Cruiser and the UCS Republic Gunship. I am missing the 2 figures from the 75296 Darth Vader Meditation Chamber.
In this range, there were 24 minifigures released – two identical figures of the Mandalorian – so 23 distinct characters. (add 2 more from 75296 = 25 in total)
We saw four out of seven sets feature female characters; and 5 out of 25 characters as definite females, including one storm trooper.
We see 4 non humans: Grogu, Maul, Ahsoka tano and the death trooper.
Of the humans, we see: 7 with light flesh heads; 7 with medium flesh heads and 4 in dark reddish brown, and Darth Vader’s head in white. Two heads are represented by a plain black head piece: the Mandalorian Loyalist and The Mandalorian. Compared with previous ranges, this is one probably provides our most diverse drop of humans in LEGO Star Wars, to date. Of course, there was only one female character released in the first drop of sets this year: a re-release of Princess Leia. I appreciate the shift in Stormtrooper minifigures, which saw three different head prints on the three stormtroopers included in 75331 Imperial Armoured Marauder.
Overall, I enjoyed the build of this model. I haven’t built too many of the LEGO Star Wars ‘Big Grey Spaceships’ previously, and I was surprised at just how enjoyable the overall building experience was. I enjoy the opportunities afforded by the cabin, as well as the movable gun turretsEven though there are a few minor inaccuracies, I feel the set was a satisfying build and it comes with a fantastic range of minifigures. With three exclusive, and one hard to find minifigure, as well as a couple that have made multiple appearances. The set is remarkably expensive however, at $AUD250. It does raise the issue of some of the key characters for this series: Cara Dune, Moff Gideon and Fennic Shand all appearing in the most expensive set of the wave. That these key characters, who also add to the diversity of the minifigures (person of colour, 2 women) in the LEGO Star Wars range. If I could influence one thing about this set, it would be for Fennic Shand to have her own hair piece, as well as the helmet.
Additional minifigures that could have been considered include the comms officer who appeared in a couple of episodes, before she was killed during the Mandalorian’s team attacking the Light Cruiser. There is certainly a shortage of Death Troopers included in this set, and a battlepack would certainly be a sought after by many fans of the series.
This set represents the scene of the bulk of the action for the final episode of season 2 of the Mandalorian – the Rescue. We have had a number of sets in this wave tie in with this episode, including the Mandalorian Starfighter, despite technically being released in conjunction with the Clone Wars. The two ships featured in that episode which are not included in this wave are an Imperial Shuttle, and Luke’s X-Wing fighter. It turns out both of these were released in the first half of the year. We even get a Luke Skywalker dressed in black as a Jedi. All he is missing is a cloak – he could use the one from Darth Vader (also included in 75302), and add black cowl, from any recent Dementor or Emperor. And Bingo. Perhaps we also substitute the Mandalorian Loyalist for Koska Reeves, although the eye printing on the helmet is not consistent with that worm by female Mandalorians.
The 75302 shuttle also appears to be in scale with the Mandalorian Star Fighter and Slave I, as seen on the planet where The Mandalorian recruits Bo-Katan for the rescue mission. Perhaps we just need to build a desert planet landscape, in conjunction with an out of the way Cantina.
Hmmm… it leaves me feeling that I have a little project ahead of me.
Overall I give the Light Cruiser 3.5/5 Arbitrary praise units. The build experience was great, as is the minifigure selection. I also really enjoyed the microscale TIE Fighters. While there are some innacuracies with the actual craft, I probably feel most challenged by the final price, especially in Australia, where it seems that perhaps the pricing is now geared to big box retailers offering 10-20% on an almost weekly basis.
What do you think of this ship? A must buy? Just looking out for minifigures? Why don’t you leave your comments below. If you are considering purchasing this set, or any other LEGO Star Wars set from the current wave, please consider using these affiliate links. (you can navigate to your preferred set from these light cruiser links if you wish. The Rambling Brick might receive a small commission, if you go on to make a purchase.
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This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own.