Sandcrawler, UCS or what?

Posted by ,

The marketing people in LEGO have been reading your comments, here and elsewhere, about the UCS labelling on this set. Here's what they have to say about it:

"The decision has been made to change the packaging for future “LEGO exclusive” Star Wars sets to include the UCS seal and de-link from the core Star Wars packaging. In addition to the packaging change, an update has been made to the building instructions. The building instructions will have additional pages detailing the model’s connection to the movie and its development process. Much as the Creator Expert badge differentiates the larger models from the core assortment, the goal of this change is to better communicate to builders that these sets represent our biggest building challenge in the LEGO Star Wars theme."

 

Sponsored content

38 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

That explains things.

Gravatar
By in Sweden,

Man, this is gonna be one expensive set here in Sweden.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Still no answer to the faceplate question. To me, that is what denotes UCS or not regardless of what is on the box. I don't see a faceplate on the new Sandcrawler. This is a bummer as the Sandcrawler was always my favorite Star Wars vehicle when I was a kid. I would've paid $500 for something closer to the Cuusoo Sandcrawler.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I personally don't get why there even has to be a huge debate about this kind of thing. Sure, it's not a UCS by the traditional definition, but neither was the UCS Millennium Falcon (which, instead of being purely a model kit, was equal parts detailed replica and playset), and it has become one of the most beloved and sought-after UCS sets by far.

The only thing that bothers me about this ever-so-slightly is that it doesn't have a nameplate. That would have been a nice thing to include and shouldn't have driven up the price much in the grand scheme of things. Still, I don't think The LEGO Group could have delivered a model much more "Ultimate" than this! It definitely puts the old one to shame!

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I agree that the face-plate with the specs for display has been a definitive aspect of UCS sets.

Personally UCS sets have always been designated as models with limited to no play ability.

usually representing a " to scale" version of the set ( lets not talk about the b wing).

Developing the playable side of larger sets I think is excellent, UCS or not. I bet there is not one person out there that doesn't wish their UCS Falcon has a detailed interior.

I have no problem with seeing larger playable sets. If it means phasing out UCS "model" sets thats fine to me, just keep them just as big, to scale and with a ton of pieces and figures. It would be easy for lego to include a face plate for display.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I have to admit, that box does look pretty cool.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

That doesn't sound too bad, I have created nameplates for the MTT and Republic Gunship in the past from information on Wookieepedia, stickered on a 8x16 tile. Perhaps not as professional looking, but it does the trick well.

It has changed my perception of what could happen to the UCS Slave 1 promised later this year, perhaps we could have a few Cloud City figures packaged with that after all (certainly it would be a good opportunity to redo a Cloud City Lando, and have Boba Fett with printed legs and arms again).

Gravatar
By in Germany,

I'd be tempted to buy UCS sets - and spending a lot of money on Lego - if they were designed more as playsets and not mere models. I was very disappointed by the UCS Falcon, because it had no interior. So I think Lego is heading in the right direction now.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@anchir For a collector like me I must place limits on what series I will collect else I go bankrupt and live surrounded by plastic interlocking bricks. To that end I decided for SW I would only buy UCS, and I have defined that to be ones that come with the nameplates. I didn't buy any of those other large playsets, although the Republic Dropship was very tempting.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

This explanation sounds like a cop out to justify the high cost for this set.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I like the piece number for the set but wish it was slightly larger - the problems is the very high expectations after the cusoo project which was fabulous. Never the less due to the un complex shape it may be probable to enlarge successfully from maybe just 2 sets? Enabling those lighted windows for example. For some time I have considered re building my UCS MF to create a detailed interior but have never got around to it - perhaps as mentioned a re-release may give lego this opportunity especially if the original MF freighter is shown in the new Star Wars film? I guess we shall see....

Gravatar
By in United States,

Well, it seems to me that the definition of UCS is shifting a bit, whether for ill or good. By making it a little "less epic" and including the minifigs (and play features) it makes it much more marketable, but at the same time loses that feel AFOLs (and TFOLs) have come to know, love, and expect from UCS.

Gravatar
By in Spain,

And what about the numbering? As somebody said, im a "UCS" collector as I had to set some limits, what I used check to call a set UCS was the 10xxx numbering, but now looks like even that will chance.
I like classic UCS sets, not for play but more like mock-ups. Thats why i have the first Death Star II and not the last one. That is changing, now even UCS labeled sets are just for play (ewok forest, death star)

Gravatar
By in United States,

The high cost is because there's 3,000 pieces, a ton of them being complex expensive bits like track links.

It seems like there's two totally different arguments being made against this set - 1) it's too expensive and 2) it's not as good/detailed as the CUUSOO version. To me, that says LEGO hit the sweet spot - any more detailed and nobody could afford it. The people clamoring for CUUSOO would have been looking at a $500 price tag.

Gravatar
By in Singapore,

Lego SW UCS is a big deal for me. I am an AFOL and I have a rule of not buying play sets. SW UCS has always been about large models, large amount of pieces, detailed and greebled to the max. I think for sets like the new sw scrawled, the lines between UCS and a playset have been blurred. And folks are upset because of the missed opportunity of having a really great and detailed set along the lines of the famous 10030 star destroyer.

Just my 2 cents. As mentioned, the sand crawler is close, but no UCS to the truest definition. If it were made minifig scale, I doubt that most will be able to afford it, let alone lego would release it.

But on the brighter side, there's that (rumored?) UCS Slave 1 to look forward to!!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Am I the only one concerned about the fact that Luke has a lightsaber?

Gravatar
By in United States,

Brilliant looking set. I'm glad Lego is adding play features and more minifigs, as that will surely expand the potential audience for this set.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

You could always just leave the lightsaber in the box?!

Why wouldn't Luke have a lightsaber anyway? Ben rescues Luke from the Tusken Raiders, Ben hands Luke his father's saber from the Clone Wars, then they get in Luke's speeder and head across the dunes and stumble upon the Sandcrawler that's been attacked by Stormtroopers. Whilst this set shows the main characters from the droid sale scene, there's no reason why you can't then later on add some blaster fire damage and make a pile of dead Jawas for burning?!

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@shaase - it's $350 canadian for 3200 pieces. It's a lot of money, but that's pretty good value --- and in line with Canadian prices on other AFOL-targeted high-end sets. Orthanc was $250 for 2200+ pieces. Haunted House was $200 for around 2000 pieces, as was Diagon Alley. Strictly on piece count, it's better value than the Ewok Village at 2000 pieces for $300. The Death Star is 3800 pieces for $500.

And on top of that, there's only a $50 price difference between the US and Canadian prices. Much better than the gap in other sets over the past few years...

It IS expensive. I'm not arguing that. From one Canadian to another, I don't understand why it is considered to be overly or too expensive. It's big friggin' set with over 3000 pieces! If it was $400 or more I'd be right there with you. The $300 tag on the Ewok Village for 1990 pieces kills me. *shrugs*

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

I don't get the reason for the change and I don't get why some people get so upset. Setting yourself a rule to only buy 10xxx numbered SW sets and then blaming Lego for releasing a set you like but with the wrong number? Complaining that it's not a UCS set because it doesn't have a name plate? Give me a break.

So Lego are labelling this as UCS and without the normal SW branding to show that it's a top of the range set, just like Creator Expert. But Creator Expert still keeps the normal Creator branding. Why not call it Star Wars Expert and keep the regular packaging?

To me it's not a UCS set because there are too many compromises for play options but luckily I'm not a completionist and I don't have self-inflicted rules for what I buy so I can just leave this set alone.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Burn the Jawas!

Gravatar
By in Puerto Rico,

Great explanation Lego, now Jawas have always used capes, or not.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@lippidp: You're totally entitled to buy whichever sets you want (I don't plan to get this set myself, since I haven't been a dedicated LEGO Star Wars collector in nearly a decade). But I don't understand why some people think the LEGO Group is being tricky or deceptive by not defining their UCS product collection by the same rules AFOLs use for their individual collections. I guess part of it is that some people are indignant when their collections are no longer "complete" by TLG's terms, but as long as your collection is complete by the terms you define for yourself I don't think its value is any less.

You see the same sort of concerns among fans of the Modular Buildings, the LEGO Architecture theme, or the collectible Minifigures theme who have very vocal opinions on what it means for a set to be a REAL modular building, a REAL Architecture set, or a REAL collectible Minifigures collection. Why not define your collection by your own terms and let TLG define products by their terms? You can choose not to buy any UCS set without insisting it's not a REAL part of the UCS series.

As I understand it, the set's cost is already more than justified by its piece count, size, and level of detail. It may not have a "to scale" interior like the UCS Millennium Falcon, but neither did the Super Star Destroyer. It may not have a nameplate, but neither did the UCS Yoda set. It's got every bit as much detail and greebling as any other UCS set. There are definitely ways the set could be made even cooler, like a nameplate or Power Functions, but it's still an incredible work of art, not just a traditional playset.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

When the original 3 3/4 inch figures were released by Kenner in the late '70s the Jawa came with a cape. Kenner then realised their error and re-issued the Jawa with a hooded top. Fair enough, the original caped Jawa is now worth a lot of money, but the re-release was more accurate. In the Star Wars universe Jawas have never worn capes. Jedi wear capes, Lando wears a cape. Jawas don't.

Gravatar
By in United States,

It's not UCS in that it doesn't have the usual marks of a UCS set...the numbering/faceplate being two such marks.

It's "technically" UCS in the sense that Ewok Village, Dropship/AT-OT and other large sets are UCS; they're big, playable, and at the top of the price range/piece count.

Personally I like the new way LEGO is doing UCS, with the special box and label.

Brown capes on Jawas would be nice, might make it easier to imagine them as they are in the movie if they have some sort of cloak wrapped around them, but doesn't make a huge difference. The eyes are a bit big though.

I haven't seen the CUUSOO project (a link would be nice), but this looks fine to me. The Parisian Restaurant overall probably has better parts/price value and more rare parts but I wouldn't mind buying this over it.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Where do you get these 'technical' definitions for UCS? It's UCS if its written on the box. That's it. Most of these sets share some similarities, but there's no 'real' or 'true' definition of UCS independent of whatever sets TLG applies the label to. Thinking otherwise is silly for these reasons and for those pointed out by Aanchir.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@GregoryBrick: The issue with that is that the older UCS sets have extremely inconsistent labeling. So some sets specifically identified as UCS (for instance, in the catalogs) might not have UCS in the set name or anywhere else on the box. That's part of the reason this issue exists, not just for UCS Star Wars sets but also for things like the Modular Buildings and other informal product collections.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Thanks for the info Aanchir. From what I can figure, it makes all the concern over the UCS appellation even more silly.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Speaking for myself, I will not lose any sleep over this. Of course Lego has the right to do whatever they want as do I. I was just voicing my confusion. This set will be a pass for me.

Gravatar
By in Singapore,

Looks ok. Kinda ugly though. I'll wait for the new UCS millennium falcon. I'm sure they have to release an updated one for it. Lol

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I was one of the ones who said it couldn't be UCS when the DK picture was revealed, and I was going by the set number plus minifigures not being typical in UCS sets. To be fair, last year's USC model, after the new set number system had started, was still in the old 10xxx style, so all we had to go on indicated that it wasn't UCS.
Now that TLG have announced the change to the format - great stuff! :D

Gravatar
By in United States,

As a private company not accountable to any of us, TLG has the absolute right to break their own stated rules from time to time, to the utter frustration of their slightly OCD AFOL fan base...

We of course have the right to boycott their products in protest, but somehow I don't see that happening...

Gravatar
By in United States,

Sandcrawler, UCS or Nah? I personally think so, just slightly disappointed at the lack of a plaque.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

NEW Sandcrawler CHECK
NEW Jabba's Palace CHECK
NEW Sailbarge CHECK
NEW Cantina CHECK
NEW Dewback CHECK
Rancor CHECK
Cantina Musicians CHECK
NEW Tusken Raiders NO
Banthas NO

Come on LEGO! your so close now....

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Woo that's a beaut!

Return to home page »