Review: 75204 Sandspeeder

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Popular vehicles, characters and locations often seem to be omitted from LEGO's product range in favour of some more obscure subjects. 75204 Sandspeeder is a particularly striking example of this phenomenon. The craft has never appeared in a Star Wars movie or in any official material, either from the modern canon or Legends!

Instead, the vehicle is loosely based upon a Kenner toy that was scheduled for release in 1985 but was subsequently cancelled. This might be considered a bizarre source from which to take inspiration, especially given the unprecedented obscurity of this vessel. Nevertheless, it seems logical that the T-47 airspeeder could be adapted for desert conditions as well as the cold and the set includes a couple of interesting minifigures which have caught my attention.

Minifigures

Two minifigures are included, the first of which is a Sandspeeder Pilot. This character wears a light bluish grey flight suit with dark tan straps and a white flak vest so resembles the pilots of Grey Squadron from the Battle of Endor. I appreciate the creation of a distinctive design and the new printing on the legs looks superb, featuring a little more detail than we have seen on previous Rebel pilot minifigures.

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However, better still is the brand female head which has been introduced here. It surprises me that we have only once seen a female Rebel pilot in a LEGO set before now as several appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This is a nicely designed element, including a smile and a grimace as well as the usual orange visor. The Snowspeeder Gunner also sports a grey flight suit with plenty of printed detail but his head is much more familiar, having first appeared in 2014's 75049 Snowspeeder.

View image at flickr

My favourite aspect of these minifigures is definitely their new helmets as both are highly detailed and are based upon helmets seen during the Star Wars saga. The dark red helmet belongs to John D. Branon who flew as Red Four at the Battle of Yavin. It is decorated with a few black streaks as well as winged icons on either side. You may recognise the other as that worn by Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was originally owned by Dosmit Ræh, a pilot who fought during the Battle of Jakku and whose name is written in Aurebesh on the side of the helmet, as shown below, beside two yellow Rebel Alliance starbird symbols.

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

Moisture vaporators appear on arid worlds across the galaxy and have been included in a couple of past LEGO sets. This example features four chilling bars spaced evenly around a cylindrical core and is built upon a rocky surface. The contrast between the dark bluish grey base and the white vaporator looks great, as does the tan gear which provides some texture at the centre. Moreover, the tiny humidity sensors at the top are more appropriately scaled than they have been on other moisture vaporators.

View image at flickr

The model rests on a Technic axle so can be knocked over easily, lifting the rock and releasing a light bluish grey snake. This element last appeared in 70912 Arkham Asylum and does not seem to take inspiration from a specific animal, although several species of serpent exist in the Star Wars universe. I think the vaporator found in 75204 Mos Eisley Cantina remains my favourite by a narrow margin, although this is an excellent rendition and certain aspects of its design are a definite improvement.

View image at flickr

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back demonstrates the versatility of the T-47 airspeeder as it is modified to cope with the freezing conditions on Hoth, becoming a Snowspeeder. It therefore stands to reason that the craft could also be adapted for the deserts of Jakku, as shown on the packaging, so this model features a suitable tan colour scheme as well as a couple of new design elements taken from the original Kenner toy.

View image at flickr

The most notable of these are the two stabiliser fins situated on top of the wings. This curved component was introduced for 75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-wing Starfighter from 2016 and one might imagine that the fins have been removed from an A-wing and repurposed for the Sandspeeder, perhaps to increase its atmospheric manoeuvrability. I like the stickers on the sides and the hinged air brakes look great against the tan armour, although there are no mechanical details hidden underneath.

View image at flickr

Laser cannons are fitted to the wings and these line up with spring-loaded shooters underneath, much like on the standard Snowspeeder found in 75098 Assault on Hoth. The printing on the canopy has been updated to match the tan fuselage of the Sandspeeder but its shape remains the same. This is unfortunate as I think there is room for improvement here, particularly when compared with the more accurate cockpit of 75144 Snowspeeder.

View image at flickr

However, the structure of the cockpit has definitely been improved. The canopy opens on hinges at the rear, revealing seats for both minifigures along with printed consoles and an area in which to store their blaster pistols. Each figure must lie back for the canopy to close properly which looks slightly awkward, although not to the extent seen on many previous Snowspeeder models.

View image at flickr

A large bank of cooling fins are found on all T-47 airspeeder models and these would be especially vital given Jakku's warm climate. It is therefore a shame that the designer did not expand the radiator to suit a desert environment, although I like the traditional configuration seen here. A stud shooter is fitted in place of the standard tow cable and this rotates all the way around. Unfortunately, the elevation is not adjustable.

View image at flickr

Viewing the model from beneath reveals another distinguishing feature of this model as the wings are attached using Technic elements rather than click hinges. This design is very sturdy but leaves no room for the spring-loaded shooters which were previously placed towards the back. They have now been moved to the front which makes it more difficult to launch the missiles while flying the model around. Even so, I am glad that they are included.

View image at flickr

Overall

75204 Sandspeeder remains an enigma. Kenner's unproduced Sandspeeder vehicle feels like an odd source from which to take inspiration and simply applying a new colour to an existing model, albeit with a few minor updates to the design, is somewhat disappointing. Moreover, the printed helmets which have appeared in the movies but have little relation to this set are a strange inclusion, although I am glad to add them to my Rebel Alliance collection.

View image at flickr

That having been said, this is still a good set. The Sandspeeder is sturdily constructed so feels very tactile and I like the tan colour scheme as well as many of the alterations made to the traditional T-47 airspeeder design. Another minifigure might have gone some way to justify the price of £34.99 or $29.99 but the two that are included are excellent and I think the cost is reasonable, particularly in the US. It is a shame that the opportunity was not taken to release something more desirable but I still quite like this set!

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

 

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40 comments on this article

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By in United States,

is it weird that im hoping for a sand themed at-at because of this?

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By in United Kingdom,

Maybe "assault on Jakku" could make up for "assault on hoth"! Plus, after looking into this thing's backstory, I REALLY want that at-ic (basically an at-at with a huge gun on the back)!

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By in United States,

I’ve been wondering about the source material. Thank you for providing that extra context and backstory! What an odd origin! Still, a fun build, and one I can definitely see working its way into either my Jakku or Tatooine display.

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By in United Kingdom,

I wonder if this will emerge to be based on a Battlefront II vehicle in a future DLC.

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By in United States,

@Speed Champions Fan So, basically an AT-M6 recolored as a tan model?

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By in United States,

The reason LEGO makes the obscure sets over more mainstream ones is because they know there's a serious collector market out there and know that there's a significant group of fans who like the original Star Wars universe with as much buying power as the other 80-90% of fans combined.

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By in United States,

I knew it was based on the Kenner model, and am pleased to see Lego making a set on such an obscure source.

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By in United Kingdom,

@invisibletimmy
No, the whole back is cut out and replaced with a giant ion cannon. Just look it up on Wookieepedia, there's a picture.

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By in United Kingdom,

We had a female pilot in the A-Wing and TIE Advanced set from Rebels a few years back didn't we?

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By in Norway,

I would swap the faces for a more canonical appearance

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By in Belgium,

Nice little set. Do any of the minifigures in there current form represent a character from the movies? It seems that LEGO has the habbit lately of making several parts resemble something shown in the movies (for example the helmet from Rey).

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By in United Kingdom,

Without spoiling the new film, presumably the models are based on what they think will end up in the finished film or what they thought a year ago or so. Seems a more likely explanation that basing it on a cancelled toy from 1985

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By in United States,

$30 is too much for a recolor of an existing vehicle (which is less desirable than the existing vehicle, by the way) and a pretty terrible-looking piece of scenery.

I might consider it if they had redesigned the canopy along with large swaths of the rest of the build, but as it is, I see no reason to get this set.

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By in Netherlands,

This is a really cool looking set and I like the inclusion of canonical references, although, I wonder to what degree this set is considered canon.

Besides, $29.99 is very reasonable, but €49,99 (that's $60.03, twice US price) here in The Netherlands is absolutely ridiculous! For US price I would definitely get one.

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By in France,

Easy pass for me, even as a huge Lego SW fan and collectioner. I'll try nonetheless to get both minifigs which are really beautiful (I like a lot the light grey which contrasts so nicely with printed details) and more and more detailed. They confirm the past months (years) inclination and choices in SW range from TLG : more detailed but smaller sets and part count for equal price, as time goes by. And even if the color scheme is nice on the ship, no interest in a recolored snowspeeder IMO. Thank you for your review again, which confirms my first feeling .

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By in Germany,

So what if, it had been canonical, until Diznee changed the plot in the last minute? Maybe we see there Reys Parents. Dosmit Ræh owned the helmet, Rey holds dear. Ræh/Rey?! Got it? It's her second name, not her first. Another pointer towards major plot changes during production of Ep. 8, I think.

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By in Germany,

An enigma indeed, back to front. I'm very curious about where the heck this came from, and about it's release. It's one of the rare cases in recent time where the first we hear about a set is when it pops up on shelves somewhere, and oddly slotted in between other waves and release dates too.

And the Euro pricing is simply staggering. I know we get the short end of the stick on this side of the pond, but this is in no way justified at 40+€.
I'm hoping that, combined with its obscurity will lead to heavy discounts pretty quickly, might pick one up then.

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By in Germany,

Excellent review and nice background information. A set with such a history! What do we fans and collectors want more? Well, an interview with the designer at LEGO would be the icing on the cake :o) Or even an interview with Pablo Hidalgo, he should know about this vessel and its history. Anyway, thanks for this very enjoyable review!

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By in United States,

Is this Disney’s way of announcing Jakku: A Star Wars Story?

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By in Germany,

40 Euro for this obscure set? With only two minifigures? Has Lego gone completely nuts?

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By in Puerto Rico,

I am aiming to buy this set along with others on May to take advantage of whatever opportunity arises. This could've benefitted from a Sandtrooper with tribal markings as the novel SW Afthermath mentions.

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By in Netherlands,

Going to pass on this set as it officially doesn't exist in the Star Wars universe.

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By in United Kingdom,

I arrange all my minifigures from each year chronologically, from as far back as the Old Republic and as far forward as Episode VIII now, so it's kind of weird where I'm going to put these - probably between Episode VI and VII as there seems to be the suggestion of this being used in the Battle of Jakku, although not officially. The Yoda Chronicles sets and other Legends materials like a TIE Defender Pilot have always got me thinking about where they fit in too! The Force Unleashed game was easy because it was between III and IV in comparison.

I think it's actually pretty nice to see a vehicle we thought only really worked in one environment adapted for another. However, what with the Lego white droid/vehicle hybrid in Mos Eisley Cantina, Grevious' Combat Speeder and this, it is truly a January of obscure sets!

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By in United States,

I bought this set and it is great. The minifigs are perfect with the helmets being the best, yet. The printing is so detailed. I understand other people's complaints but for me, this was a must buy.
However, I got it at 25% off as it is a Target exclusive in the USand they had it on sale right before Chirstmas. It was on sale for 20% and I get 5% off because of my Target Red Card so $22.50. It is worth that price.

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By in Ireland,

It's nice to see a different take on the speeder, and after many nearly identical versions I like that the construction of the wings has changed.
However the price tag of €40 for 278 parts is an absolute joke so I'll be waiting for a sale to get it at a lower price.

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By in Denmark,

I'm pretty sure these are Rey's parents.

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By in United States,

Watch out for snakes!

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By in Puerto Rico,

^^Perhaps there was supposed to be a part where we did learned who Rey parents were in TLJ but it got changed to what we saw on film. I thought it was a couple from SW Battlefront 2 Iden and Del.

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By in United States,

This set had gotten a lot of flak but I jumped on it. My favorite set of all time is the original Sniwspeeder from 1999 so I enjoy seeing this unexpected variant. Target had an online sale for 30% off Lego some time after Thanksgiving so I bought one for me and my youngest son. Very swooshable but the moisture vaporizer and snake are kind of a head scratcher. I would have taken a third minifig instead.

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By in United Kingdom,

Perhaps this interesting set answers more questions than Episode VIII The Last Jedi managed to. I wish I had saved the ticket money for a Lego set instead, what a mess of an episode that was.

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By in United States,

The old Star Wars: Customizable Card Game by Decipher had a sandspeeder. I think there may have been a brief appearance of one in the background on Tatooine in the special edition.

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By in Germany,

It even got the symbolism right: Adam & Eve plus the snake.

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By in Australia,

If the Dosmit Ræh helmet was on the female figure I would say these could be Reys parents.
A couple bottles included would have clinched it.

Good catch djmax101! I have a few copies of that card in my cupboard somewhere.

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By in United Kingdom,

I like the theories about rey's parents, but after further though they sadly don't add up. You see, rey was born about ten years after the battle of jakku. However, for her helmet to be left behind, ræh would need to have been shot down and presumably killed in said battle. While there is a chance she could survive, that gets into a whole mess of extremely unlikely events. Another more likely theory, suggested by a friend of mine, is that rey is obi-wan kenobi's granddaughter.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ you could either go down the 'family' route and suggest Rey is still related to one of the more famous characters we already know like Obi-Wan - therefore perhaps also suggesting the Midichlorians mythos could carry some weight.

Or alternatively you could believe that Rey is just a 'Force sensitive' blessed with a natural connection, totally independent of her lineage. 2 options there which could both be perceived to be viable though I prefer the latter.

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By in United States,

The snowspeeder is my favorite SW vehicle of all time. When i saw pre-release photos of this I thought that meant it would be in The Last Jedi, but it didn't look 'different enough' for that to make any sense. Seeing this to be basically a dirty snowspeeder, I'll pass. The minifigs do look great, though!

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By in United States,

@TheRancor

The TIE defender appears in Rebels

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Yes it does, I couldn't remember to what extent before but I remember seeing a concept blueprint shown in one the the episodes. I also arranged the minifigures from the year the TIE Defender was released a while ago, before the Defender was made canon by appearing in Rebels. Think it was 2009 or 2010. As it happens I don't think it has to move at all because it's the first Episode IV fig I'd placed for that year!

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By in United States,

I'd honestly prefer if they just kept it canon that Rey isn't related to anyone important at all.

Eh... this thing looks OK, but it just feels like it has no reason to exist. Easy pass for me.

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