Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Force Awakens set images and analysis!

Scrolling through my Flickr feed this morning I was presented with something really really cool: images of the new Star Wars sets from The Force Awakens, posted by THE BRICK TIME! After seeing these images, I can say I'm extremely excited for these sets to come out - even more so then before. In this post I'm going to do a little preview/analysis for each set saying what looks good and bad about the design, pointing out new parts and techniques, and making price estimates. 

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... 

75099 Rey's Speeder

This is the only one of these sets we don't yet have a box image for. It is the smallest, but still seems to offer quite a few pieces for its size; I'm guessing it'll be priced at $19.99. ($14.99 would be nice but we rarely see Star Wars sets at that price.) The main selling point will undoubtedly be the minifigs - Rey and someone whose identity I can only make wild guesses about. An interesting new piece (especially for custom-fig builders) is the headwrap presumably included as an alternate headgear for Rey. Of more interest to me (and probably plenty of other builders) are all those juicy dark red slopes. Overall this looks like a really nice small set and it's one I'd like to add to my collection. 

75100 First Order Snowspeeder
The next smallest set is another nicely built speeder, this one for the bad guys - a trio of new Stormtroopers, which look like great army-builder figs. As with most of the sets in this wave, stud-shooters abound, which fortunately results in a huge amount of trans-neon-green 1x1 rounds. I'm also pretty impressed by the angled building in the sides of the speeder; it's not something we tend to see in sets of this size. My price estimate is $24.99. 

75101 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter

That name is a mouthful. Are they gonna say all that in the movie? All jokes aside, this set's really nothing new; with the exception of the red highlights around the cockpit, it's basically the same as the 9492 TIE Fighter from 2012. It's still an important inclusion in this wave as a counterpart to the good-guy X-Wing set (see below) and because it'll be such an important vehicle in the movie. Price estimate: $49.99.

75102 Poe's X-Wing Fighter
Having an X-Wing that isn't red and white just seems weird to me, but I'll go with it: it's another sweet build. (The designers really pulled out all the stops for this wave - as I think they should have. This is gonna be a huge movie and any toy tie-ins will need to take advantage of that.) For the most part this is just a normal X-Wing but there's some particularly nice building around the engines, as well as a lot of orange pieces - still a fairly rare color. And of course the minifigs are great too (note the little rolling astromech BB-8!). I'd estimate a $59.99 price point for this midsize set. 

75103 First Order Transporter
OK, forget the Halloween X-Wing, this one's really weird. At first I thought it was some kind of boat, although given the lack of water on the box art, I guess it's a hovercraft. This might be my least favorite set from the wave in terms of build quality, and seems destined to be one of those "$79.99 for a load of gray bricks and some exclusive minifigs" deals. The Captain Phasma minifig will probably be pretty sought-after. 

75104 Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle
Another heap of gray bricks, and probably at $99.99 this time, but better-constructed than the previous set. I think the ship has a rotating-wing function judging from the box art; anyway we can't expect it to fly in that position all the time, can we? Kylo Ren is the much-discussed villain of the new movie - here we can finally see him in minifig form, along with his cross-hilted lightsaber. That might be one of the most interesting new pieces to come from sets this year: if it's produced in other colors, think of its potential in SNOT work and MOCs of all kinds!

75101 Millennium Falcon
Ah yes, the quintessential Star Wars ship. We last saw a version of this set with 7965 back in 2011, although calling this new one "more of the same" would be an injustice: it's been retooled with plenty of new designs and effects for the new trilogy of films. It's realistic, of course: 30+ years of flying around the galaxy getting into trouble will inevitably damage one's ship. And yet even with this new Falcon, the thing my eyes are drawn to most in the above pictures are the minifigures. Old Han! BB-8! Some actual people of color in the Star Wars universe (Lando being the old exception of course)! And maybe my favorite: finally, Chewie gets his own bowcaster mold! (Edit - after perusing this article on Minifig Price Guide I realized the bowcaster is also a new type of stud-shooter! Should be an interesting part to try to fit into MOCs...)

There's a lot to be excited about with these sets: minifigures, pieces, and simply the thrill of seeing the iconic vehicles from what will inevitably be this year's biggest movie recreated in LEGO bricks. Assuming my budget doesn't collapse, a few of these sets (the small ones at least) will find their way into reviews right here on The Brick Bucket in due time. Until then, let us know your thoughts on these sets - and if my co-bloggers have anything to add, by all means let your voices be heard!

All images in this post are from THE BRICK TIME Team on Flickr:

UPDATE (4:00 PM 8/15/15): The Brothers Brick has posted an image of the box for set 75099, which I was previously missing; I've added it to this post. The Brothers have also listed the following expected price points (in USD) for the sets, which conflict somewhat with mine. Theirs are as follows:
  • 75099 - $19.99
  • 75100 - 444 pieces, $39.99 (I would not have guessed that from the pictures!)
  • 75101 - $69.99 (seems high)
  • 75102 - $79.99 (also seems high)
  • 75103 - $89.99
  • 75104 - $119.99
  • 75105 - $149.99
It should be noted that The Brothers Brick seemed reasonably more sure about these prices than I did with my estimates. They also had a piece count for one of the sets; I was unable to find this information anywhere else. 

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