Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Lego Star Wars Set 75164: Rebel Trooper Battlepack Review

The Lego Star Wars set 75164: Rebel Trooper Battle Pack is one of the 11 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sets released in early 2017 (December 2016 in Europe/ [as of writing unreleased] in the US-of-A). It contains 120 parts and 4 minifigures and is priced at about £12 / $13 / 15€, bringing the cents-per-piece ratio to about 10.0p / 10.8c / 12.5c (which is fair enough for a Star Wars battlepack). Over the years we have seen not that many Rebel Trooper battlepacks, yet most of them where really good. This one makes no exception, in fact, I would go as far as to call it the best one yet. Read on to find out why.

Disclaimer note: I have bought this set with my own money from the local store, paying full price. The Lego Group had no entanglements with the way I aquiered this set and is probably unaware of my existence anyhow. The opinions here are therefore my own; they are not reviewed before being posted here by anyone else but myself.

Box, Instructions, Out-of-the-box and building experience

The box art shows the built set and some details (including set number, title, the number of parts, age rating) on the front side and some play features on the back side. It is basically just a standard Lego box, nothing special about it.
Front side of the box

Rear side of the box
After opening the box, you are left with 2 parts bags (one containing the larger bricks, the other one the small parts) and the normal sized instruction booklet. Nothing special here.
The build process is pretty straight forward, I liked how that machine-gun nest is put together. You also get some extra parts, most of them are additional ammo for those blasted studshooters.

Minifigures and accessories

With this set you get 4 minifigures all of them are fighters of the Rebel Alliance (as the name of this set suggests). All of them are humans. This is where things get exciting: Their uniforms are all different from eachother, as are the faces of the minifigures themselves. There are basically 4 different types of torsos and 3 different types of legs that are mixed up among the soldiers, while still being generic enough to fit in any diorama. These guys simply look like rebel soldiers: their "uniforms" apart from each other, but still military grade, their helmets diverse... Also, this is the first time I get an Afro-American minifigure. Bonus points for that, I guess.
I have to mention that the way the legs fit with the color of the torsos and the prints are very appropriate.



 I will not complain about the lack of double-sided heads, since the minifigures themselves look amazing the way they are. You will also notice the new Rogue One helmets (depicted below). There have been similar deign in the past, but this one bears the logo of the company these soldiers belong to. Also that grey cap with the white goggles is an old mold with a new color.

The completed model

There have been a lot of battlepacks containing speeder bikes over the years, most of them very similar to the 74-Z model. But this one is different. Not just a variation over the standard like we have seen in 75133: Rebel Alliance Battlepack, but a whole new model.


 It does not use any uncommon parts or anything and it is rather small, but you can fit a minifigure comfortable in the pilot's seat and its weapon in the clips on the side. The main issue I noticed with the design are the steering levers the pilot has to hold on to. They are made using some Agents pistols held in place by a pair of "plate 1x2 with vertical grip". The problem here is that the pistols hare a bit too far apart form each other. Also, because of their position and angle, seating a pilot and clipping his hands to them can be very hard, and it does not look clean at all (see the picture below).

But the speeder bike is not the only thing to build in this set. You also get this "fortified" machine-gun nest. Needless to say, this adds a lot of play-value if you also have other Imperial troops or vehicles, since you can set up some sort of ambush. It would also look great in any battle-related diorama, as a defense installation. The gun swivels in all directions and has a studshooter above the barrel. As much as I hate them, this one does not bother me. It is positioned so that it looks like it's part of the optics if the gun. The fortification also contains 2 special (or just new... or uncommon) parts. To achieve the angeled shape of the brick walls on either side of the gun, a pair of  dark blueish grey A-shaped 1x4 plates are used.

Overall

I used to avoid buying these rebel battlepacks due to their rather specific nature (look at 8083: Rebel Trooper Battle Pack from 2010 for example) and I always ended up with a bunch of Imperial or Republic-era battlepacks, since the minifigs were more suited for a battlepack, a set that you would use to expand your army. That is not the case with this set, however. The minifigures are very generic soldiers that can be used in a variety of environments, while still looking good in most dioramas. They also offer some impressive army-building potential, because you can mix their parts (that are already mixed up well enough in my opinion) around however you would like. I'm not excited when I see a Lego Star Wars set containing a speeder bike, because I have so many speeders that resemble the same exact 74-Z model. As I mentioned before, however, this speeder bike is different and does not take up all the parts included, leaving enough components to put together the machine-gun nest as well. The speeder bike becomes in this case a welcome addition. The machine-gun nest itself is something we have not seen that often and adds a huge amount of play-value in the long run (if you get more sets or try to set up a diorama of the ambush on Jedha from Rogue One.
The only thing I am not very happy about is the inclusion of those studshooters. I get it: kids like them. But would it hurt to include some standard (moulded) blasters as well for collectors? I'm getting tired of ordering every now and then new blaster rifles.
To sum up, I am very happy with this set and I think it is a worthy addition to anyone's rebel army.
I will make my personal goal to swap out any studshooters I get with some real rifles, so here you have a picture of that.


Interested in buying this set? Check it out at the link below:
http://amzn.to/2lbpoC7