Friday, February 12, 2016

Brick Bucket Review: 75074 Snowspeeder [Microfighters]


Appearance - 3/5 
Construction - 4/5 
Playability - 4/5 
Pieces - 5/5 
Minifigs/accessories - 5/5 
Value for money - 5/5

75074 Snowspeeder is part of the second wave of Star Wars Microfighters sets, released in January 2015. It retails for £8.99 / $9.99 / 9.99€ with 97 pieces, yielding a prices per piece of 10.3 cents. 

Verdict: The minifig is excellent, and for some people it may be the only reason to buy this set! I have my issues with the design of the Snowspeeder, but based on other reviews I've read, I don't think those complaints are likely to apply to other people. If you want a fun, swooshable, inexpensive set, this is for you. And if you're a MOCer, it's an excellent parts pack!

This was an impulse buy, and I was surprised to find out the set has been available for over a year already! I wasn't really interested in Microfighters, but this set might have changed my mind entirely. Read on to find out more...

(image from Brickset)

Build and appearance
I built the model quickly, as you would expect. There weren't really any surprises but there is a neat use of the flick-missile piece to construct the engines/guns:

Another thing that struck me as I was building - just an unrelated curiosity - is that LEGO has not yet produced a complete pair of 1x4 click hinges. Only half of the pair of connecting elements comes in 1x4; the other comes only in 1x2, which leads to the instruction page shown below:

That doesn't have any effect on this set, it's just something I thought about! I wonder if we'll be seeing a 1x4 version of the other half of these hinges anytime soon...

Finished build looks like this:
Not bad, in my opinion! I was actually surprised how hefty the model seems - small, but with lots of pieces. Overall I think it does a pretty good job of looking like the "real" snowspeeder, as well as LEGO's non-Microfighter versions of the vehicle. 

These microfighters are meant to be swooshed and are built to be highly collectible but also playful. This one is a bit small in the hand but it certainly has that Star Wars swooshability!

And now it's time for "what's wrong with the picture at right?"

Can you see it?

Probably not, so I'll tell you: there are flick-missiles in this model, but they are NOT fluorescent green, as LEGO's official images would have you believe! They are in fact trans-red. And to be honest I don't like their inclusion here, which is usually the opinion I have on flick-missiles. They add nothing to the appeal of the set, although admittedly they are easier to fire than some in other sets. Fortunately the wings do a pretty good job of concealing the missiles from the top and side views. 

Interestingly enough, one of the things I like least about the microfighters is that they are built to seat a minifig right in the middle! I feel like it ruins the design of the vehicles and makes them look childish. The sets have good builds and great minifigs, but I don't know if I like that the models are actually built around the figs. Their appearance is altered too much for my liking. 

That being said, I don't complain about the minifig in this set - I just wish it was meant to be a separate entity from the snowspeeder. Because this minifig is awesome. 

Rebel pilot minifigs might get redesigned every other year, but in keeping with LEGO's recent attention to minifigs, this is the best version yet. The printing on the uniform, face, and helmet is spectacular, making this one of my favorite minifigs in my Star Wars collection. 

He has a double-sided face, equally well done on both sides:

For some collectors, this fig might justify the entire $10 price of the set on its own! It is exclusive to this set, as far as I know, and seems to be selling for anywhere from $7 to $10 on the internet. 

Aside from useful army-building minifig parts and the little blaster, there are some really useful building elements in this set, and its price makes it a great parts pack. 

This set is cheesy!

And in addition to all that cheese, we get plenty of other useful pieces:

I don't know if I should still be getting excited about those 1x1 SNOT bricks, given that the light gray ones are now in 127 sets, but I still find them useful! Less common are the fantastic "upside down" Technic plates (in 39 sets in this color), and rarer still are the 1x2 half-plate, half-slope elements (in only 6 sets in this color). The 2x2 round tile with hole is also a useful part. In addition to the parts I've shown above, there's a jumper plate, joystick, clips, 1x2 cheese, column bricks, rack gears, SNOT plates, and pretty much anything else a MOCer could want!

There's one other very rare piece, which is the printed (!) 2x3 slope used for the design on the front of the snowspeeder. It's similar to the piece used in the original snowspeeder (set #7130) from all the way back in 1999!

You can view the full Brickset inventory here

This set is excellent. I recommend it to almost anyone - builders and collectors young and old will find something to like. 

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