It's been a while since I posted any reviews, hasn't it. I've been busy with scanning my instructions, but now that's coming to and end I have time to crack open some sets and review them for you.
From a polybag point of view, this year has been unusual in that nearly all those that were revealed earlier in the year by LEGO in their building instructions portal, are now available in one place or another. Normally, we have to wait months to get our hands on them, more often than not, for the first UK newspaper promotion (which may or may not be happening this year).
Thanks to Bricksetters in the USA, Canada and elsewhere, I now have the four Star Wars polybags 30240-30243, so I thought it might be worthwhile taking a look at them all together so you can decide which to buy. Of course if you're a polybag collector you'll want to get hold of them all, but if not you might want to just pick up those that are decent models with good parts, because polys can be comparatively expensive when sold in the likes of Target and even more so on the secondary market.
30240: Z-95 Headhunter
It's common for LEGO to produce micro-scale versions of currently available minifig-scale sets, perhaps as a marketing attempt to get you to buy the larger, expensive one. 30240 Z-95 Headhunter is one such example.
It's a sleek model that works well at this scale. It's a pretty good representation of the later variant of the ship which you can see at Wookiepedia.
This is a great model, which is very 'swooshable' and is definitely worth getting hold of.
In the USA, it's available in Walmart.
30241: Mandalorian Fighter
The wings are well made and robust but the means by which they attach the the fuselage, using a 'Double Bush 3M Ø4.9' means that they flap about a bit. I don't know if they are supposed to, but it's annoying!
The cockpit rotates which enables the ship to adopt the configuration shown on the bag, with the wings vertical.
I'm not so impressed with this one: attempts to swoosh it usually result in the wings flapping about and while it looks much like it should, it doesn't quite work at this scale, IMO.
30242: Republic Frigate
30242 is the model that's currently available when you spend $75/£50 on Star Wars sets at shop.LEGO.com. The full size version of the frigate 7964 came out in 2011. Comparing the shape and design of the two, I think the designers have done a pretty good job of minitaurising it. Perhaps the engines are as bit prominent, but otherwise it's spot on.
Not a bad model, then. If you still have 2013 SW sets to buy, and don't mind paying full price for them, then it's worth doing so now in order to get hold of it. I think it's true to say that it's unlikely to be available elsewhere in future now that it's been used in a LEGO promotion.
30243: Umbaran MHC
It's an interesting vehicle that makes a nice change from spaceships. It's spider-like form has been recreated elegantly in this model.
It's a good model for parts if you're after 2x2 plates with bars/clips.
The only availability we have noted in the database is for Canada where it's available in Chapters bookstores. I believe it's also been seen in eastern Europe. Hopefully it will become more widely available soon, because it's definitely worth picking up.
To summarise then, I'll rank the four models from 'must have' at the top to 'could give it a miss' at the bottom:
- The Z-95 Headhunter is easily the best of the bunch: a great looking model which is fun to play with
- The Umbaran MHC is an interesting and unusual model
- The Republic Frigate is a competent representation of the large space craft, but perhaps a bit boring
- The Mandalorian Fighter looks OK but flaps about in the wind as soon as you pick it up
I hope that helps you with your purchasing decisions: happy polybag hunting!
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