9516 Jabba's Palace mega-review, part 1

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9516 Jabba's PalaceThis is such a highly anticipated and sought-after set so it's important that we review it fully. I've therefore enlisted the help of gold-rated reviewer CapnRex101 to help. He has provided the text and I've taken the pictures. The review will probably be in three parts.

Today we will look at the box, the contents, and Jabba the Hutt. Then, we'll cover the minifigs, and finally we'll take a look at the palace itself.

So, here we go...

This set is based on one of the most famous scenes from the entire Star Wars saga and is an ideal representation of the legendary lair of Jabba the Hutt in my opinion. It is the set I was most excited for of all of this summer’s sets and I am far from disappointed. In fact I am delighted with this wonderful model! The set is a huge step up from the previous incarnation of Jabba's Palace, set 4480, Jabba's Palace which was released in 2003. The model of the building is utterly fantastic, but the Minifigures are even better than that, all ten of the minifigures (I am considering Salacious B. Crumb, the carbonite piece and B'omarr Monk minifigures) are superb, especially the excellent new Jabba the Hutt figure and the brand new Boushh which were both highly anticipated.

The box is very nice indeed, being a large set the model warrants a huge box, and it looks superb wherever you look at it. The artwork on the cover shows the palace from the inside, on the left is Jabba's luxurious throne room, and on the right is the vast guard tower which looks out over the Dune Sea of Tatooine. The two components are disconnected from one another and angled in towards one another which shows off all of the detail to best effect.

All but one of the minifigures are visible, Jabba himself is sitting on his gigantic dais, Bib Fortuna is standing just behind him ready to whisper advice to the crime lord and Oola is dancing in front of Jabba for his entertainment. Salacious Crumb is sat on the edge of the throne room as Boushh approaches with the chained Chewbacca in tow. The B'omarr Monk is walking around near the door to the palace and the Gamorrean Guard is standing high up at the top of the guard tower holding his axe and a pair of macrobinoculars to keep an eye on all of Jabba's many enemies. Han Solo in Carbonite is found to the left of Bib Fortuna but the Han Solo Minifigure cannot be seen as he is still encased in Carbonite at this point in the film.

The entire set is displayed on a Tatooine background similar to that on set 9496, Desert Skiff. There are some sandstone rocks and the vast expanse of the Dune Sea is visible behind the palace along with a blue sky with a few clouds and the unique twin suns of Tatooine. The entire design of the image looks excellent in my opinion. On the right side of the cover is the dark blue area of the box on which the minifigures are all displayed and seven of them have the 'new' stamp next to them as they are brand new. The same blue border as usual runs along the top of the box with the lovely shot of Darth Maul in action towards the right end, and the LEGO Star Wars logo on the left.

9516 Jabba's PalaceThe back of the box displays the model from the outside of the palace on a similar background to the front. The set is labelled with the numerous features, each of which has a small image which demonstrates the functions. These functions include the opening door to the palace, the swivelling turret above the door, the flick fire missile, Jabba the Hutt's sliding dais, the opening trap door and the removable roof as well as several others. Jabba's Palace is shown from various angles in a blueprint style as well which has been seen on most other sets this year and I am a huge fan of these lovely images. There are also a few pictures of the Minifigures in various situations in the palace, for instance, Han having just been freed from the Carbonite by the disguised Leia, with Bib Fortuna quietly observing them, ready to tell Jabba what he has seen.

 

9516 Jabba's PalaceThe instructions are split into two booklets and they each have the same wonderful artwork as the box on them, I found no mistakes in them and my set had no missing pieces. A comic is included at the back of the second manual showing Leia infiltrating the palace in her Boushh disguise and attempting to free the incarcerated Han Solo, this is a nice touch and could inspire some play for younger Star Wars fans. I really hope they continue this comic strip feature in future instruction manuals.

 

9516 Jabba's PalaceThe set contains 717 pieces and there are vast numbers of superb parts among them such as the swathes of tan and dark tan which make up most of the palace and a huge number of dark grey plates of both the rectangular, square and curved variety which make up the flooring. There are an incredible six brand new moulds in this set! Such a vast number of brand new pieces is almost unheard of in one set, although all of them make up part of a minifigure.

There are ten dark tan rounded corner pieces which make up the roofs of the throne room and tower. Four of these are the larger ten by ten versions, and the others are all six by six, both are incredibly useful for MOCs and in this colour they are totally exclusive to this fantastic set. There are some nice arches in tan which create the spectacular architecture of the palace both inside and out, these could be useful for your own models as well, especially Mos Eisley buildings perhaps. There are five of the fairly new column cylinders in tan, which are reasonably uncommon and could be useful as well. Some pearl gold pieces are also included which are always welcome and there are two green frogs which act as Gorgs for Jabba to snack on. Two printed tiles are included, each of which comes with a spare so you actually get four, but I will discuss those further later on in the review.

Best of all in my opinion are the twenty one dark tan slopes included which mostly form the curved outer wall of Jabba the Hutt's throne room. Although they have appeared in two sets prior to this one, they have previously never been seen in such vast quantities. They could be very desirable components and I am certain will be used very frequently. Overall, this set is an incredible parts pack, especially if you are making a desert or Tatooine related MOC.

Now onto the star attraction..

9516 Jabba's PalaceJabba the Hutt is a unique figure made up almost entirely of brand new parts. It is a huge step up from the previous Jabba the Hutt figure which appeared in two sets as this one, unlike the older one, is printed all over. It is made of three parts: one large piece that forms his tail and the lower half of his main body, a blue Technic connector and a combined head and arm piece. Each of the components are packed in separate plastic bags in the box as they are presumably made in China, although the quality of the parts still seem very good to me.

 

9516 Jabba's PalaceThe tail and lower body pieces are olive green and have lots of nice printing of wrinkles and folds in his ancient skin which looks excellent. It is a much more accurate mould than previously and Jabba look suitably rotund now as his tail is thicker and his body has a much wider circumference.

 

9516 Jabba's PalaceThere are holes for twenty studs on the bottom of the piece and a single hole for the connector to attach his head and arm component.

 

9516 Jabba's PalaceHis head is much more detailed than the bottom half of the figure and is also cast in olive green. The arms are poseable but cannot be removed. He can hold pretty much anything, from blasters to his Hookah pipe and his right arm is printed with Jabba's unique tattoo, which is fantastic, far more than I could have hoped for with this figure before I got it. Most of the front of his head is printed in tan, with more wrinkles and his corpulent chin prominent. His hefty chin and capacious mouth are both very accurate to the film as are his asymmetrical nostrils and squinting eyes, which are printed orange and black with lots of detail.

 

9516 Jabba's PalaceThe tan printing is varied all across the figure, with uneven edges which makes him look much more realistic and closer to the character of Jabba the Hutt than I expected.

The back of this piece has a few more wrinkles like his lower half. I am very pleased that the top half of the figure can be turned so he can be displayed as either slithering forwards, or sitting on his dais in the throne room of his vast palace. Overall this is an incredible figure and one which I really think is a highlight of the entire set. As you can see, it is a vast improvement on the 2003 version.

Tomorrow we will look at the minifigs in detail. Do let us know in the comments whether you appreciate a review of this depth or if you prefer them to be shorter and simpler.

40 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow! In deph much??? Great review, looking forward to the minifigures tomorrow. But will it steal my money? Only time will tell...(yeah probably :P)

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By in Australia,

anyone know when exactly the summer set hit US stores or US lego store??

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Last year summer sets were first available in the first few days in August, though this year may be different.

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By in Romania,

It's a great review and I look forward to the next part :D

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By in United Kingdom,

I like in-depth reviews, they make me want to buy the sets!!!! Great figures and nice palace so I hope the next two parts are as good as the first!

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By in United Kingdom,

Is the B'omarr Monk identical to previous variations or does it include new elements? Personally I would have liked to have seen a rancor pit or a larger throne room with corridors to open the palace up more.

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By in Netherlands,

Review is great, not too much information. Only the box description is a bit overdone, because you could see everything on the pictures.

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By in United Kingdom,

Just finished building - agree simply outstanding set (the minfigures especially).

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By in United States,

i want to seee the figures in depth. Great job on this review.

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By in Germany,

Good review... even though I prefer more "bite-sized" ones... :P

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By in United States,

I can't wait to get this set. Looking forward to the rest of the review

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By in United States,

I definitely prefer this kind. It actually tells me whether I need the set or not, as, in this case, I now do.

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By in United States,

Wonderful review! Very detailed, but I think I would prefer a shorter one.

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By in United States,

CapnRex101, I'm not so big on your reviews that literally take half an hour to read, some of us have to keep a schedule! But whatever you decide what you want the length to be, I only have that schedule to do with school, and it's summer vacation for me starting Wednesday, and I have no plans except I don't have a laptop and I might be going to BrickFair with my dad. That's I think about a ten hour ride!

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By in United Kingdom,

Thank you everyone for your support. I apologise for the length, but I wanted to go in to as much detail as possible about this fantastic set!

@billybobjoe - There are plenty of reviewers who do much shorter and more succinct reviews, I just like writing in full detail as you may have guessed!

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By in United States,

^ Yes, I love your reviews but lately they have gotten too high in detail. For example, your review of the Desert Skiff had a whole paragraph about LEGO's quality of jets of smoke coming out of Boba's jet pack! Plus the people with the short review usually can't even spell "review". Some teens might even spell it "revue". No offense, guys.

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By in United Kingdom,

Everything very well covered, and great pictures a usual. A very nice detailed review. I have to say, although I think I will be in the minority, that I prefer the original Jabba, whilst the new one is without doutb more detailed etc, I think its a shame they did away with the poseable tail. There is something very nice and charming about the old one. You can see its still very popular, by the price people are prepared to pay. Im very glad I have one of the originals.
Anyway, I will want this set on release for dure.

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By in Australia,

As nice as the review is, it is a little long-winded, and some parts - like the box description - are perhaps unnecessary or maybe even just overwrought. We can see in Huw's photos what is on the box, there's no need for four or so paragraphs detailing the obvious! :P

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By in United Kingdom,

SO should have got this when it appeared all so briefly in the UK!!! Can’t wait to add this to my collection!! Excellent job, keep up the good work!

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By in United States,

I've seen the quality of the Dinos, and now Jabba...when they finally get around to releasing a rancor, i expect him to be the greatest thing ever...

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By in United Kingdom,

I hope that this means Lego might make a Ziro the Hutt figure if they already have the moulds to do it.

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By in United States,

I have both the other sets that came with Jabba, and I never had an issue with him as a figure. That is until I saw him next to the new Jabba, the old one looks awful compared to the new one. I can't believe I never had a problem the old one. I can not wait to get this set. It will be on my Christmas list for sure. (Even at 31 I still ask for one LEGO set for Christmas. A few years ago I didn't, being an adult it didn't seem right, well Christmas morning my mom made a comment about to. To the affect of "you didn't as for any LEGOs, I was kind sad, I like still having a toy to buy on Christmas")

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By in United Kingdom,

excellent review Huw, thanks. Not purchased yet, but it's inevitable.

I was critical of the last couple of Star Wars line ups, but this summer line up really is the best for several years.

rich

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By in United States,

I don't mean to be negative or offensive in anyway but I enjoy your reviews Huw. I don't feel like I'm reading a novel when I'm reading them. Your reviews are fantastic when I have time though CapnRex101. I must admit, they are in great detail. Jabba's palace looks fantastic though. When do these come to the U.S.?

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review, and it only confirms my need for this and all the new Starwars sets. Although I did manage to buy the 9498 before Lego decided we couldn't have them yet? I must say its a fantastic build and I can't wait for the rest, whenever that maybe.

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By in France,

I can't wait for it !
The minifigs are wonderful.

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By in United Kingdom,

CapnRex101. You cant`t please everybody, your damned if you do, and damned if you dont. Personally, better to have more detail than not enough. If you not interested in part of a review, you can always skip it, but it great to see some passion for the detail.
The review is very well laid out also, so you can see clearly what is being reviewed, ie the packaging assemly manuals and figures. I for one, feel the review has done its job, by giving the vast majority a neak peak of the set. Perfect.

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By in United States,

Yeah, that looks like a really good set with a great selection of minifigs.
I can tell because of the box, which I can see with my own eyes. :)
Somebody really likes the word "vast". :D

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By in United States,

I thought it was a fantastic review -- looking forward to the next two parts and all of the detail is hopefully going to be enough to tide me over until later this summer when the set is available for sale. This went from a "probably" to a "must have" set. LEGO should charge you two commissions!

I now feel compelled to pick up an old Sail Barge set.

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By in United States,

Excellent review. Keep them as detailed as you can!!!

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By in United States,

Since TLG insists on bombarding us helpless and willing LEGO fans with new sets and genres, it is getting harder and harder to discern when and where the dollars are best spent. Great reviews like this one, Huw, along with your increasingly excellent photography are why Brickset is the best resource for the LEGO fan.
CapnRex101, I don't think I can ever get too much information in a review. I especially appreciate the comparison of new models/minifigures to their predecessors.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for the review! Am I the only one who thinks this set is a joke in terms of its value? people seem to rave about it which would be fair enough maybe if it was £80 but £120?! lego is really stealing from you if you buy this one! never the less, i do look forward to the rest of it :)

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By in United Kingdom,

^I totaly agree, I didn't realise it was that expensive! Please, can anyone out there tell us why?

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By in United Kingdom,

@brix and meccanotwitch - I will be discussing that little issue in the final part of the review.

Thanks everybody for advice and support.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review with excellent photos that really show how nice these figures are,but,
i totally agree with the above 2 posts, i love starwars lego and will buy this set as the minifigs are super cool, but i really dont understand how it can be 120 gbp.
Im sure this kit has the highest pence per brick ratio ever . 16.7 pence per brick as oppose to say the town hall which came in at 5.4 pence per brick.I get that there are a few new molds and the license to pay for but i think the pricing is all wrong here,especially when you consider the mines of moria set (which also needs license and new molds) has the same amount of bricks for 70 gbp.
This all started with the last slave 1 that came out (again with cool mini figs ) for a rediculous 80 gbp.
I love my lego , and will buy this set as soon as i see it in store , but i do feel a little robbed.

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By in United Kingdom,

@brix It's the figures that make it so expensive - I mean - they are amazing! Jabba, Oola, Gammorean Guard, Boussh....

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By in United States,

Wow. I can't believe I spent the time reading that! It was very good and incredibly detailed! The part about the box seemed unnecessary, though, but I appreciate everything else, such as the types of pieces in the set. I really like this in-depth review better than shorter ones.

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By in United Kingdom,

@LegoC10 - Sorry about the length of the box review. I got so caught up in the actual set that I almost forgot that the review was going to be accompanied by images. Anyway, thank you for your comments!

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By in Germany,

What do you think about writing your doctoral thesis about LEGO box designs? Seriously, that's not a review, it's a dissertation. ;)

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By in United Kingdom,

^I will bear that in mind. :)

I would be astonished if we do no see a remake of Jabba's Sail Barge in the next year, and although I have the original I would not be adverse to seeing another one so fingers crossed for that.

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