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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Clarification: Ultimate Collectors Series vs Master Builder Series

75222_ProdLast week’s announcement of 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City left a number of people concerned as to what the ‘Master Builder Series’ might be, and what implications there might be for the Ultimate Collectors Series line.  There is no doubt that this Cloud City set is a departure in style from last year’s Snowspeeder and this year’s Y-Wing Starfighter. img_037475144_Front_01Clarification of the term was sought from the LEGO® Star Wars team, and they responded via the LEGO Ambassador’s Network this morning:

The Master Builder Series models are large playsets and beside being complex builds they are characterized by having many play features and functions, interior details as well as a range of minifigures. Ultimate Collectors Series will remain highly detailed display models providing complex builds with a focus on authenticity and both Ultimate Collectors Series and Master Builder Series will continue as a way to highlight the unique characteristic of each style of model.

While I suspect there will still be some people who consider this to be a dumbing down of the UCS line, I think it is good that in the future the label will now be reserved for brilliant display pieces, rather than large playsets such as 75159 Death Star and  70598 Assault on Hoth.  What do you think of this conceptually?  Why not leave your thoughts below.

Play well.