28 April 2013

REVIEW: LEGO Star Wars Planets Series 3

May the 4th be with you

We've donned our best Jedi robes, taken our finest lightsabers out of storage and in strange grammar started speaking have we... all to celebrate Star Wars Day on 4th May.

As we've previously made clear, the only thing that makes that galaxy far far away even better is when its built out of LEGO. And that is why we were extremely (and geekily) excited to test Series 3 of the LEGO Star Wars Planets range.

If you are new to the Star Wars world that LEGO have been expertly recreating for years then these sets are the perfect way in. Priced at a wallet pleasing £9.99 they include a minifigure, vehicle and model of one of the many alien worlds featured in the movies. The sets aren't massive, consisting of just a couple dozen blocks, but a display base and the option to suspend the planet from the ceiling, makes these the perfect sets for collectors.

Previously we have enjoyed visits to the likes of the Death Star, Endor and Naboo, as well as seen tie fighters and pod racers. Series 3 takes us to three more worlds and with three more unique and iconic vehicles; Kamino and a Jedi Starfighter (#75006), Coruscant and a Republic Assault Ship (#75007) and finally the asteroid field from Empire Strikes Back and the Tie Bomber (#75008). A mixed bag indeed, but one we were excited to tear open and explore.

Whole world in our hands

Far better than any Easter egg!
All three sets come neatly contained within their model planets, which split open to reveal the parts. On the most part the blocks are smaller pieces, with a lot of singles to create detail (these are after all miniature versions of their full sized and pricier cousins). We opened the little plastic bags and got building.

The age range on the boxes put the sets between 6 and 12 years. As adults (seriously, we are) we found them a very easy and enjoyable build, each taking no more than five minutes. So not a great challenge for someone looking to sink their teeth into a meaty LEGO project, but enough of an exercise to get used to how the blocks work and what can be achieved. As ever, the included instruction booklets were clear and easy to follow.

One element of the series that will surely catch the eyes of collectors are the minifigures. Fortunately Series 3 does not disappoint, providing three interesting wee chaps to gawp at. Coruscant includes a neat looking clone trooper with long barrelled rifle and the asteroid field sees an insidious looking tie fighter pilot, also with blaster to deal with any rebel scum. Uniquely, and setting itself apart from all other planet sets in this and previous series, Kamino features Obi Wan's astromech droid R4 P17 (which is basically R2D2 is red). The inclusion of a droid, as opposed to a humanoid character, is an interesting move, although we would have loved to see a Kaminoan figure - the long-necked aliens from Star Wars Episode 2.

Our own efforts on the Jedi Starfighter.
Looking pretty slick, eh R4?
Once completed all three look pretty impressive, be they on the display stand next to the minifigure, or zipping around your living room in your hand as you shout “gold leader heading in!” They also actually look like the vehicles they are replicating and so are worthy additions to the ever growing LEGO Star Wars range.

All three sets are priced at £9.99.

See other LEGO Star Wars Planets sets at www.starwars.lego.com

Building excitement

So far 2013 is shaping up to be a great year for LEGO Star Wars fans. Some amazing full-sized sets that have caught our eyes have been the Z-95 Headhunter (#75004) and Jabba's Palace (#9516).

The Headhunter set features the awesome looking Jedi attack ship that is the grandfather of the X-Wing, as well as two clone troopers and the insane four-armed Jedi master Pong Krell, complete with two double-ended lightsabers. Get us that one for Christmas please.

Meanwhile Jabba's Palace recreates the memorable opening scenes of Return of the Jedi, in which Luke Skywalker battles to escape the clutches of the fat alien gangster. As well as a huge palace backdrop, the set features some really great minifigures including Han Solo, Chewbacca, a disguised Princess Leia and a truly enormous Jabba the Hutt. Get this set now, if only for the figures! You could stick Jabba on your car's dashboard so everyone thinks you work for the Hutt. No more parking tickets for you my friend.

One last thing, and to help get you into the spirit of Star Wars Day, check out this time lapse video of the building of a giant LEGO Yoda. Took great skill this did.

© The Test Pit

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