9516 Jabba's Palace review, part 3

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In the final part of the review, we look at the build and the completed model. Words by CapnRex101, pictures by me...

9516 Jabba's PalaceThe build takes about two hours and is quite an enjoyable build. Although not many construction techniques of interest are used, most of the build uses traditional bricks and there is very little Technic involved. The way in which the difficult curved outer surface of the throne room has been formed is quite nice as is the large domed roof which looks superb when completed. No SNOT or other techniques really feature in the construction, but it is a fun and traditional build nevertheless and one which would be ideal for younger Lego fans as it is quite easy to put together due to the numbered bags.

When the model is all finished, it looks exquisite. Both the guard tower and the throne room are just about perfect for display and there are a huge number of excellent features to keep younger buyers interested.

I will begin with the guard tower. At the base of the tower is the door to the palace which is seen at the beginning of Return of the Jedi when R2-D2 and C-3PO gain access to the palace via this main door.

The door is split into several panels just like in the film, and from the central one, the gate watcher droid can peer out at anybody who comes to the door. The eye stalk is retractable into the door or can be extended and moved around a bit from the inside. The actual eye piece is a wonderful printed golden round tile which looks extremely accurate to the droid from the film and you even get a spare one! The walls all over this guard tower section are made up of mostly tan pieces with a bit of dark tan interspersed with it which gives it a worn look which is quite realistic. The door can be slid upwards to allow access to the palace and there is a mechanism which allows the door to be held open if you wish. Above the door is a rotating turret to protect the entrance from Jabba's many enemies which is seen briefly in the film so is a nice touch on the part of Lego. Inside on the ground floor there is just an empty room with two orange lights on the wall and some windows.

On the next floor is a balcony area which is mostly filled by the door mechanism, but a minifig can be stood up there if need be. Three small domes surround this veranda which is in keeping with the architectural design of the rest of the palace. On the inside of the building on this floor there is a wooden crate which holds a large rifle and a translucent bottle piece. Very simple but a neat little room nonetheless.

The top level is the lookout post and I love the shape of this. From the outside an outward curving shape has been created with four windows for the guards to look out over the Dune Sea. On the inside there is easily space for two minifigs to look out. On the walls a pair of macrobinoculars and a standard blaster are held on clips in case the lookout spots any possible intruders. The roof uses two curved slopes and a small dome piece which looks great and matches the roof of the throne room nicely.

9516 Jabba's Palace9516 Jabba's Palace

 

Now I will move on to the much larger of the two sections, Jabba's huge throne room. The floor area of this room is about six times the size of the tower which is plenty big enough to fit a lot of lovely details into this area. From the outside the difficult curving wall has been created from lots of dark tan slopes very well indeed, or as good as you are going to get without making it from a single large piece which would have been very boring indeed. Around the top of this wall are the tiny windows seen on the actual palace which allow some atmospheric lighting into the throne room.

The domed roof section can be removed easily and looks very good, most of the large dark tan curved slopes are used here and there is inexplicably a flick fire missile hidden beneath the upper section of the dome. This is launched by pushing a button on the other side of the dome. I have no idea why this was included, but for younger children it might be a fun feature, and it does not take anything away from the palace aesthetically.

Inside the room itself there are loads of features. It is possible to clip the sections together and walk straight from one area to the other through a large archway to the right of the throne room as you look at it from the inside. There are a few more lights on the wall here like there are in the tower and just by this doorway is Jabba's combined Hookah and Gorg bowl which he has next to his dais in the movie.

 

9516 Jabba's Palace9516 Jabba's Palace

 

In the bottom section a frog piece (which is acting as a Gorg, one of Jabba's favourite snacks, in this set) can be seen through a translucent bell jar style component. This is attached to the upper section, which is Jabba's Hookah, using two gold pieces which were first introduced in the Ninjago theme and are actually very useful indeed. A black lever is attached here underneath a white dome piece, which is the crime lord's Hookah. From the Hookah itself a string piece is used which Jabba can hold as his Hookah pipe. I was astonished that Lego included this as Jabba is using it to smoke something, possibly a narcotic, in this scene during the film and I would have thought that Lego would not want to place a smoking related instrument in a Lego set, even if it is just a fantasy model. I am glad that they did though as it is very accurate!

Two tables are found in front of Jabba's dais, which have goblets and an ice cream piece on them. Between the tables there is an open grille piece so that you can see down into the Rancor pit beneath Jabba's throne room. A brown box is one the left of the room which is empty. Central to the entire building though is Jabba's dais from which he plans his nefarious criminal schemes. There are four round plates used on the front of it like we see in the film and there is a place for Jabba and one of his slaves to sit. There is room for Salacious Crumb to sit here and for Bib Fortuna to stand behind Jabba whispering advice to him.

9516 Jabba's Palace9516 Jabba's Palace

 

Jabba the Hutt's dais can be moved back and forth to cover the sliding trapdoor which allows Jabba to drop anyone who displeases him, such as the unfortunate Oola, down into the den of the Rancor. A tab on the left side of the model can be pulled to open up the trapdoor which is completely open and will drop whatever is on the flap right through the floor, so if you have the parts to do so you could add a Rancor pit down under the palace!

Two small flights of stairs lead up to the dais on either side of it and behind Jabba is a small cooking area. There is another tab here which can be pushed forwards to move the dais forwards, although moving it backwards must be done by hand. When the dais is pushed forwards over the trapdoor it reveals a dip in the floor in which two gold round tiles, a Gorg, and a small blaster pistol are found. The back section of the throne room can be hinged open for easier access to play with it.

Last of all, to the left of Jabba is an alcove in which the frozen Han Solo is kept. On the wall next to him is a control panel which Leia will use to release him and the Carbonite is mounted on a turntable so it can be flipped around as though Han has been freed. The look of the throne room from the film has been captured perfectly and I love it

9516 Jabba's Palace 9516 Jabba's Palace

 

Summary (by CapnRex101)

I am absolutely delighted with this set overall. It is a model of real quality and you can tell that a lot of time and effort has been taken over designing this vast set. There are numerous fantastic features and the minifigs are incredible. This model can be used with set 9496, Desert Skiff, and the minifigs from that wonderful set can be added to here if you wish which really adds to the playability. From a play perspective, this set is hard to beat with so many functions, but for display this set is also amazing, there is loads of detail and it looks good from the inside or the outside!

There is just one problem which many people have been concerned about, the price. Yes, the cost is high, the price per piece ratio is way off, but I honestly believe it is just about worth it! There are a lot of large parts in this set and a plethora of brand new moulds which will drive up the price, so when that is taken into account, I think the price, while still high, is far from extortionate.

This is a set which I highly recommend and if you have the money, do not hesitate to buy it. For fans of the Original Trilogy this set is really a must have and I do advise you to get it if you can. If you see it on sale, snap it up as soon as possible as it really is an absolutely delightful set which contains excellent minifigs, fantastic pieces, and a superb representation of the legendary Jabba's Palace.

Summary (by Huw)

There's no doubt that this is an excellent set. The completed model looks great from the front and the back, and the minifigs are, generally, excellent. As has been noted in the comments to the other parts of the review, they are not without fault, though. Chewie is showing his age now: his mould is crude compared to more recent ones and is overdue an update. Oola's mouth is visible below her headgear at the back of her head and Han's back isn't printed. Fairly minor points, and not really worth worrying much about, IMO.

What may seem more worrying, though, is the price, which at first glance seems astronomical. £120 for just over 700 pieces makes its price-per-piece high, although actually, it's on a par with other Star Wars and licensed sets. However, given the quality of the minifigs and the care that's gone into the design of the palace, I think it's probably just about worth it. I can't see many parents buying it for their kids, except maybe for Christmas, but for AFOL Star Wars fans, it's an essential purchase.

31 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review guys , kit looks stunning,but,you're spot on the price is way steep.I guess lego have figured out that a large portion of starwars lego fans are working adults and that a good set of mini figs is the most important asspect of starwars lego kits.
i cant wait until these sets arrive in the uk, (3 for 2 argos/toys r us , bring it on).
Also could anyone confirm that this set has the highest pence per brick cost of any lego kit to date as i cant think of one ever being higher.

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By in United Kingdom,

Really detailed review, great work guys but the price is a bit to high for me specially, so maybe sometime before i get it and as my no.1 set for this year now is the haunted house.

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By in Canada,

Great review. I'm going to get it, once we know the price and it becomes available in Canada. The playability of the set and the look of it is great. Of course, the minifigs are always a treat.

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By in United Kingdom,

thx for pointing me to that link Paul.

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By in United States,

Does anyone have an idea on when these new Star Wars sets release in the U.S.? Thanks for the detailed reviews!@ Very awesome!

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By in Russian Federation,

Great review. IMO detailed reviews are much better that shorter ones. ^_^
If this review was in one big article imo it will be better, coz you don't need to wait for the next part to appear :)
THUMBS UP

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By in United States,

@ Hippoeater - I believe that the summer wave hits the US sometime in August

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By in United States,

Great review guys. I was not planning on getting any of the Star Wars sets this time around ,but your reviews have changed my mind. Now to find the budget for these , the Spider-man set , and the two upcoming Monster Fighters sets.

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By in United States,

great 3 part review.Thanks for writing it.

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By in United Kingdom,

Very good review it really is a fantastic set. At the moment Amazon.es has the set back in stock discounted to €99 which when you throw in delivery to the UK comes out just under £88 which isn't too shabby.

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By in United States,

Really long and descriptive review. I'm happy they re did this set, because I wasn't able to get my hands on the old one. I will be buying this as soon as possible. Good review. Shame about the price.

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By in United States,

The price does seem a little steep, but as a Star Wars OT collector, I must have this and the desert skiff. I'm sure I'll be able to get a discount coupon through B&N, TRU, or maybe I'll have enough VIP points saved up to knock off some of the price. It definitely looks worth every penny!

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By in United States,

This review is so excellent that I had to stop lurking and actually register for the site so that I could comment. I can't wait for the set. I'm going to be keeping a very watchful eye on this for virtually any kind of discount.

Let's play a fun game: who wants to guess what Toys R Us will price this at? I'm guessing $150 which makes it more than $0.20 per piece.

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By in Netherlands,

I really need a summary...

Huw, when will you actually continue to review the sun's promotionals?

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By in Netherlands,

Just saw the summary, sorry for that :)

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By in United States,

@orwellisn:

"Let's play a fun game: who wants to guess what Toys R Us will price this at? I'm guessing $150 which makes it more than $0.20 per piece."

Oh, but don't worry...there'll be some "sale" for like 3 days in September where it's 15% off, delighting anyone who doesn't realize that it's still above MSRP. I truly despite TRU's business model of huge markups followed by continuous "promotions" on their fake price.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks so much for this wonderful review! I appreciate you made a 'mega' review for this one considering it's size, and hope you continue to do so for the flagship/large sets.

The set is really nice. The figs are really good (I disagree about Chewie needing a new mould, he just needs printed eyes. I think recently TLG have been making too many unnecessary new moulds for figs (like the Gamorrean, the old on would have been great in olive with some printing)). The set is very fun and detailed, and I'm just really glad they made a building!

However, the price is ridiculous. I mean, compare this to the Kingdoms Joust, which is £20 less! I think they should have either dropped the price significantly, or added another room to the palace.

Thanks again!

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By in United Kingdom,

It looks likea fantastic set with outstanding design and figures (excluding old chewie) but £120 is crazy for the size and what's included and seeing its $120 is quite bitter. This set should be £100 price wise at the most.

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By in United States,

I like the "continue reading" feature.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Good. The reviews are a bit long to put all on the home page, so it was introduced to accomodate them.

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By in United States,

:'( I hope U work in another news article, CapnRex101!

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By in New Zealand,

"but for AFOL Star Wars fans, it's an essential purchase."

Now, you see comments like that really do not help my wallet nor do they make a credible explanation to the wife (a.k.a. minister of finance).

Now I am compelled to go out and find this set; along with...

Because, of course, I wasnt' going to get it anyway ;)

Great reviews for this set.

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By in United States,

This looks like one to buy for me. Especially since, my brother says a Rancor set is on the way. (He works at Target HQ). I really hope the 2 sets can combine together.

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By in Netherlands,

I'll be very honest and go contrary to many opinions here, but I really am not very impressed by Jabba's Palace. The build is boring, and the set itself is low on actual play-features. To me, it currently reminds me mostly of a theater stage, designed to make the actors (minifigs) look good, but mostly just serving as background. I always used to think that for an expensive set, the 6211 Star Destroyer was a little bland, but this one is actually far more boring and static. The play-features it currently has are lacklustre: an opening trapdoor (which leads to nowhere), a sliding dias (to nowhere interesting), a sliding door (boring, small, and ill-designed), and a laughably badly placed flickfire missile.

HOWEVER... This leads me to something which I already presented on Eurobricks, and which I actually miss in this review: interesting evidence that this set might indeed be accompanied by an official Rancor Pit in the future. @Znodis: I usually don't pay much mind to rumors based on "my friend/mom/uncle's dentist's neighbor works at ... and says..." but in this case I am a little intrigued by your brother's statement, considering the picture I took of the underside of Jabba's Palace (http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7218/7352556164_ea8282fe0f.jpg). It shows four 2x2 slots designed into the bottom of the palace, which currently have no function for anything in the Palace, but which do add significantly to the piece count and which complicate the building instructions.

Back to the review and this set: I have no doubt that raising the Palace off the ground level by way of a Rancor Pit (either official of MOC'ed) certainly adds to the usefulness and 'fun' of the current play-features, especially that sliding trapdoor.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ I had not noticed these slots previously but they are an odd inclusion, unless as already suggested, a Rancor pit may be in the works, I wonder how such a model would work? You would need quite a few bricks for those rock walls and it would ideally need to look good from the outside as well like the rest of the palace.

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By in United Kingdom,

@alldarker: that's pretty interesting about the slots... I can't imagine how it would be made (would the palace just sit on top? That would look strange. Would it have a sandy hill up to the entrance? Perhaps the trapdoor in the Palace would lead to a low tunnel under the throne room, which lead to a larger Rancor pit which attached to the side?) however I can't think why else they'd be there other than a Rancor pit. I certainly hope you're right, as that is something SW fans have been wanting for quite some time.

Thanks for that info!

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By in United Kingdom,

A Rancor pit would be expensive I would have thought, perhaps beneath the tower section they could have the droid control room with a new EV-9D9 Minifigure.

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By in United States,

I don't know about a whole Rancor pit for several reasons. A buildable Rancor would be a huge deal in and of itself; kids would be excited enough just to have that. Adding an entire pit for it would drive up the cost *considerably* and probably wouldn't add enough play value.

To fit an entire Rancor--assuming it's at least somewhat in scale--the pit would have to be quite tall, and with the palace sitting on top of it, it may end up taller than 10224 Town Hall! And would Lego actually stack two entire sets on top of each other like that using only a few 2x2 slots to secure them? Imagine a kid in tears because he toppled the place while playing with the Rancor in the confined space under it.

And last, has Lego ever actually done a modular Star Wars set? Or any modular themed set? With the exception of the the designated modular buildings, it seems all Lego sets are meant to stand alone.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Modok - The original Jabba's Palace was made up of three sections, the large central throne room and the pit beneath, the door of the palace, and an alcove area with Han Solo in Carbonite hung in it. I know what you mean, however I agree that it is odd that these slots have been included.

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