75316 Mandalorian Starfighter: Hands-On Review

I was late to the Clone Wars, only really seeing any of the significant storylines during 2020. I recall the initial Mandalorian arc, seeing Pre Vizla’s Mandalorian fighter fly off, and thinking ‘Gee, it would be cool to have that as a set.’ Now, I am not much of one for thinking about hunting down sets that are around 7 or 8 years old. So I let it be. Then I caught up to the final season, with the return of Bo-Katan Krys, picking Ahsoka Tano up from the Coruscant slums, and heading home to reclaim Mandalore. Flash forward to late 2020, and Bo Katan returns, this time in The Mandalorian. Again piloting the Mandalorian Star Fighter, and this time appearing in scenes with both Slave I and an Imperial Shuttle – both of which feature amongst the 2021 LEGO Star Wars releases.

Set 75316 Will be released on August 1st 2021, has 544 pieces, and has a recommended Retail Price of $AUD 89.99. This set feels like a suitable bridging set in the current release of LEGO Star Wars releases: – featuring in both The Final Season of The Clone Wars, as well as The Mandalorian, as such, it is sure to be a popular set.

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75309 Ultimate Collector Series Republic Gunship [Hands On Review]

When the Republic Gunship won the LEGO Ideas fan vote to determine an upcoming LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series set, I was a little disheartened. I was more of a Nebulon B frigate kind of a guy – this was the vessel where we saw our heroes gathering, healing and planning, after what had been a pretty dreadful time overall in Empire Strikes Back.

However, the size of the fan vote, and the proportion of that vote that was looking for the Republic Gunship (more than 30000 out of 50000 votes) certainly meant that the prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars was certainly meaning something to a lot of people. And then, in 2020, the world locked down, and my son sat me down, and we started watching The Clone Wars. By the time we finished, I had developed a new understanding of the both the prequel trilogy, as well as the importance of the gunship to the next generation of Star Wars Fans. And I probably became a little excited at the prospect of a large scale gunship to be released in LEGO form

The gunship is essentially a troop transport, as well as a low altitude assault vehicle. The contemporary analog would be akin to a Black Hawk helicopter. This version of the model is larger than minifigure scale – probably around one and a half to twice that scale, and provided the design team with an opportunity to increase the level of detail included in the build.

In this review, we will take a look at the build itself, and then consider the fact that the major virtue of this set is also possibly its biggest drawback.

Set 75309 will be released on the 1st of August 23, and has 3292 pieces. It has a RRP of RRP $349.99 / £329 / €349.99 / 579.99 AUD / 479.99 CAD.

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75309 LEGO® Star Wars: Ultimate Collector Series Republic Gunship Revealed.

You’re going to need a bigger coffee table!

Over recent years, there has been a tendency for the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate collector series to be getting bigger and bigger.

The latest offering, the Republic Gunship is no exception. The model was chosen by a fan vote conducted on LEGO Ideas, and there was an unprecedented response, with over 50000 votes, of which around 30000 were for the Gunship. [Me, I was an Original Trilogy kind of a guy, but I have come to unterstand the role that the prequels are playing in the lives of the next generation, who have grown up watching those films as ‘Their’ Star Wars.]

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75312 Boba Fett’s Starship: Hands-On Review

The Bounty Hunter Boba Fett first appeared in the Star Wars Holiday Special, all the way back in 1978, but he didn’t really hit his straps until the arriving in The Empire Strikes Backin 1980. His starship, Slave I, has been subjected to over a dozen reimaginings in LEGO® form, from key rings to Advent calendar’s to UCS and all sizes in between. The last version of the ship was released in 2019, as part fo the 20th Anniversary Collection.

Boba Fett has reappeared in the world of the Mandalorian, during the second season, and so the ship has been reissused to fit in with that world, at a smaller scale to some seen in recent years, but more akin to that in the 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City from 2018. We have a new Boba Fett Minifigure, in keeping with his appearance in the Mandalorian, as well as another appearance of the Mandalorian in beskar armor. We can have a chat about the name change on the box later. I saw the set briefly at the Fan Media Days, when Jay, from Jay’s Brick Blog and I had a chat with the LEGO Star Wars Team.

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75311 Imperial Armored Marauder: Hands-On Review

The Northern Summer 2021 wave of LEGO® Star Wars sets focuses almost entirely on sets based on Television Series: Clone Wars season 7/The Bad Batch and the Mandalorian.

At LEGO® Con on the weekend, 3 sets from the Mandalorian were officially revealed – The Imperial Armored Marauder, Boba Fett’s Star Ship (the ship formerly known as Slave I) and the Imperial Light Cruiser. All three of these are integral to key moments in the series, and along with 75299 Trouble and Tatooine, as well as the 75314 The Bad Batch Shuttle shows an ongoing commitment to presenting more LEGO® sets from the newer, Disney managed, faces of the franchise.

The AFOL Engagement team at the LEGO Group sent over a copy of the the new wave to review, including the Clone Wars sets, and today, we will take a look at the 75311 Imperial Armored Marauder. Appearing in the Mandalorian, series 2, episode 4: The Siege, the Armored Marauder is a heavily armoured version of the Troop carrier, seen in the finale to season I.

The set has 478 pieces, and 4 Minifigures. It will cost $59.99 AUD, and go on sale on August 1st. Is this an enjoyable build, or just a big grey box with guns? Read on to find out.

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75314 The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle: Hands On Review

Clone Force 99, also known as the Bad Batch, are introduced at the beginning of the final season of ‘The Clone Wars’, and have subsequently spun off into their own series, following the end of the wars, and the execution of Order 66 by the Clone forces of the Grand Army of the Republic.

As such, the team and their adventures open up a rich new vein of material for LEGO® sets. 75314 the Bad Batch Attack Shuttle is one such craft. The set has 969 elements, and will go on sale on the 1st August 2021. The RRP is $AUD 149.99/USD99.99

I was excited to receive a copy of this set to review by the LEGO® AFOL Engagement Team. I was late to appreciate The Clone Wars, only coming to watch it during the extended pandemic lockdown last year. I am grateful to my son for encouraging me to do so, as the wealth of stories contained within helped me to appreciate the Prequel Trilogy all the more.

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75310 Duel On Mandalore: Hands-On Review

I had been somewhat oblivioius to the Clone Wars for many years, and it was only during the lockdown last year that my son started to introduce me to the rich tapestry of characters and stories in the series. It almost had me appreciating Revenge of the Sith in a whole new light.

75310 Duel on Mandalore is the smallest of the LEGO Star Wars sets to be released with the new wave, and while it might only contain 147 pieces, the $19.99 USD. (AUD 32.99) price tags suggests that this set is about far more than the build.

The duel between Sith Lord/Crime Lord, Darth Maul, and Jedi Dropout Ashoka Tano takes place in Season Seven of The Clone Wars, as part of the Seige of Mandalore story arc.

These two characters are highly desirable in minifigure form, and it is good to see them in a relatively inexpensive set. This continues the trendof key characters available in smaller sets, a key example of which would be 75299 Trouble on Tatooine – released earlier this year – which gave us the Mandalorian, the Child and a Tusken raider for 44.99 (AUD).

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75308 R2-D2: Hands On Review

The astromech droid R2-D2 was one of the first characters that we met at the beginning of Star Wars (Episode IV a New Hope to the Younglings). Along with C-3PO, he (why is it virtually always he?) is one of the few characters to be involved in each of the films of the Skywalker Saga. As such, he was felt to be a suitable subject for the set celebrating 50 years of Lucasfilm, as well as appearing in time for May the 4th celebrations this year.

The set will go on sale May 1, exclusively at LEGO Branded Stores, including the online store, priced at 199 EUR/USD – 179,99 GBP – 329.99 AUD – 269.99 CAD.

The AFOL Engagement Team of the LEGO Group sent me a pre-release copy of the new 75308. Join me as we wander through the build, and see if this set has sufficient material to justify an outlay of your money.

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75308 R2-D2 Officially Revealed.

He may not be the first character to speak in Star Wars: A New Hope, but he is the second. The feisty droid R2-D2 is the subject of the major release in time for May the 4th.

With 2314 pieces, a minifigure version of R2D2 and a special Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary LEGO Brick, you can expect 75308 R2-D2 to be on sale from May 1st 2021. It will initially be a LEGO.com/LEGO Brand Retail/ Certified Store exclusive, and is priced at €199.99 EUR – $USD199.99 – £179,99- $AUD329.99 – $CAD269.99 .

This new model is similar in size to the 10225 from 2012, but has undergone a dramatic redesign compared to that model, taking advantage of new elements that have become available in the last 9 years, including various curved slopes; there is also a new mechanisism to release R2D2’s central leg.

This is the only set that the 50th anniversary brick, as far as the team have revealed to date. It is a 4x1x3 Brick. Unfortunately, R2-D2 is still devoid of any printing on the back.

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Hunt the Rebellion on Hoth with the Imperial Probe Droid [75306 Hands On Review]

The Empire Strikes Back is regarded by many to be one of the best Star Wars movie ever made. The ominous, speechless opening of the movie as the Empire searches out any hidden enclaves of Rebellion, around the Galaxy, sets the tone as to which team is on the offensive: A New Hope started off with the rebellion on the front foot—smuggling the hidden plans of the Death Star to those who might be able to best exploit any weaknesses. The Empire Stikes Back sees the Imperial Forces taking the initiative with the Probe Droids being dispatched across the galaxy. We see one crashing onto the barren world of Hoth, rising out of the snowdrift like a malevolent cybernetic jellyfish before setting out to scan the landscape. Appearing before a cross to Luke Skywalker on his Tauntaun, in all its stop motion animated glory, make the Imperial Viper Probe Droid the first character to appear in the film.

As such, it is high time to see this droid receive a more detailed treatment than the minifigure scaled brick built versions we have seen across various Hoth playsets, Advent calendars and magazine covers, over the years.

The 75306 Imperial Probe Droid will be released on 25th of April, along with the 75304 Darth Vader and 75305 Scout Trooper Helmets. It has 683 pieces and will cost: $59.99 USD/ €69.99 EUR/ £59.99 GBP / 119.99 AUD / 79.99 CAD.

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