Seeing as the new Star Wars sets seem to be only available in Argos and the LEGO brand stores in the UK at the moment, I suspect many of you in the USA want to know more about them before their release in the US, which I am told will be the end of January, with shop.LEGO.com accepting pre-orders from Jan 1st.
So, I thought I'd do a mini-review of 9490 Droid Escape which costs £19.99 in the UK. It consists of four minifigs, three of which are new, an escape pod, and a small speeder bike, which I think is a new design
It's a reworking of 7106 which was released in 2001, so you could say it's long overdue.
The pod itself is a good rendition of a class 6 escape pod, and certainly much better than the one in 7106. This one has somewhere for the two droids to sit confortably and a control panel, so it's much more realistic. The speeder bike is also an interesting design. It's a shame there aren't two of them, though.
I suspect the main reason many of us will buy it is for the minifigs. As you can see above C-3PO gets a new torso that looks great, showing as it does his innards.
Like some of the Toy Story figs, the sand troopers are 'weathered', and covered in random dirt -- sand -- marks. They are identical apart from the colour of their pauldron, though, so the dirt marks are the same on both. They have printed legs and backs, although you can't see much of their backs due to the back-packs they are carrying.
This is certainly a set that minifig collectors will want to get hold of (but then, I think all Star Wars sets fall into this category these days, don't they?), although as with all SW sets it carries a hefty price tag so you may want to wait until it's on offer at Amazon, or 3-for-2 or something.
Here are some more pictures from my flickr gallery:
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