Friday, October 9th, 2015 at 9:22pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's time for us to do a new set review, looking at another non-constraction Star Wars set. Fresh from 1983's Return of the Jedi is 75094 Imperial Shuttle Tydirium, one of the larger sets in the 2015 Star Wars assortment. Will this set sneak past your defenses and make its way to the shield generator of your heart? Or will the stolen access codes be recognized and passage to your shopping cart be denied? How many awkward movie references will we make? You'll have to read and watch on to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box is very reminiscent of Return of the Jedi, or would be if the Imperial Shuttle was used in the attack on the shield generator on Endor in an offensive manner. It was just a landing craft and never fired a shot. Ignoring that though, the forest moon is nicely rendered, as is the Death Star II looming overhead in orbit. Along the top we have the expected LEGO and Star Wars branding, which is unchanged from other sets this year. Along the bottom we have the still-weird Disney logo and a callout of the five Rebels this set includes - no Imperials here!
The back of the box shows the Tydirium in its landing mode, with the wings folded up. Various callouts show off the many features crammed in here: launching missiles, opening cockpit and troop compartment, lowering loading ramp, retractable landing gear, and more. Along the right we have a three pane mini-comic that I suppose is meant to describe the Battle of Endor.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
With 937 pieces, this set is no slouch to build. The Imperial Shuttle takes quite a while to put together, with lots of intricate assemblies. Considering it's made primarily of three large wings that are supposed to be fairly thin and connect sturdily to the main body there's quite a bit of Technic involved. If you look closely at the build section of the video you'll see I messed up in a couple spots and had to go back and fix it. I try to build these as quickly as possible to make the videos shorter, but I definitely recommend taking your time and enjoying the process. It is perfectly symmetric, so that can speed things up, but aside from that there's not much repetition so it doesn't really get too boring. I definitely enjoyed it!
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The set is primarily white, which doesn't make it overly-exciting from a parts perspective. If you're looking for white plates and slopes, this is the perfect set for you though. There's also quite a bit of Technic for the support structure on the inside, and a smattering of dark and light grey to-boot. Still, there's some unique and uncommon pieces, including the following:
- Brick Yellow Camouflage Poncho - Exclusive
- White 3X3/25∞ Roof Tile - Exclusive
- White 1X6X5 Roof Tile - Exclusive
- White 2X2X3/73∞ Roof Tile Corner - Exclusive
- White 3X3 Plate - Available in 1 other set
- Bright Red 1X1 Brick with studs on 2 sides - Available in 3 other sets
- Silver Metallic 1X1 Round Flat Tile with Thermal Detonator Design - Available in 3 other sets
- White 1X4X2 Wall Element - Available in 3 other sets
- Black 1x2 Foot Plate - Available in 4 other sets
- White 3X4X2/3 Curved Slope - Available in 5 other sets
- Medium Stone Grey 3X4 Plate With 4 Studs - Available in 6 other sets
- Bright Yellow 3X4 Box - Available in 7 other sets
- White 6X12 Plate with 22 Studs - Available in 8 other sets
- White 1X2X2 Flat Tile Corner - Available in 8 other sets
- White 2X2 Inverted Flat Tile - Available in 8 other sets
- Transparent Brown 1X6X3 Vertical Front Windshield - Available in 9 other sets
All told, 973 pieces is nothing to slouch at, and there is some decent variety, but I'm not sure it would be worth picking up just for the parts.
Now we'll move on to the minifigures, starting with Han Solo and Leia Organa. Both are unique to this set garbed in their jungle gear, although as far as I'm aware the heads are the same as other recent instances of those characters. Leia has a camoflaged poncho, which is pretty nice and I'm sure something military builders will want tons of. Han's trenchcoat is printed on and goes down his legs and looks pretty good. They've got some detailed back printing and alternate faces as well, although Han's shows through under his hair piece on the back.
The Endor troopers are unique to this set too. Although their legs and helmets are the same their torsos and faces are different, which makes for some nice variety. I like that the printing for the belts on the two different torsos matches up with the shared leg printing. We've gotten Endor troopers in the past, and each version is a little different, but that allows you to create an ever-growing pool of soldiers for your diorama.
Finally there's Chewbacca. He received a face lift recently, but not for this set exclusively. The printing on the head and body piece does a better job capturing the character than the older non-printed piece, so that's definitely appreciated. It's definitely a good figure.
But what you really care about is the Tydirium itself! While this is a big set, it's still small compared to how large an actual-scale Imperial Shuttle would be, which makes it difficult to capture everything accurately. That said, it's quite impressive and gets the core shapes right. The wings attach very securely and while they bow a little, they generally keep their shape. The dorsal fin connects via a lot of Technic and isn't going anywhere, but some of the pieces near the top can come loose easily, as you can see in the pictures. (Oops!) The body and cockpit are solid too, and have some nice details like the blasters on each wing and on the back. Speaking of the back, I quite liked the engines and their smooth look. This certainly isn't the UCS Imperial Shuttle, but it's still a large set that is instantly recognizable from its on-screen counterpart.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
As you would expect with the Imperial Shuttle, the wings fold down into flight mode. Unfortunately the set does not include a stand so it's difficult to take pictures when this is happening, and even harder to get the whole set into frame. It uses the large, round click hinges to make it work, so you can be confident that the wings will stay folded up or down or any position in between that you place them in. Once the wings are down, it's sturdy enough that you can hold it from the back or bottom and swoosh it around.
The cockpit seats two minifigs not quite next to each other. They have to be offset so their arms don't get in each others' way. Both Han and Chewie have control panels for flying the ship, and fit in there just fine.
When the wings are in the landing position you can't really access it, but fold them down a little and you can get to the troop compartment on the sides. On the starboard side there's a crate filled with thermal detonators that also has some space for blasters and a seat for Leia. On the port side there's room for the two troopers. The inside also has a removable rack for holding a couple of blasters and a display screen showing the Death Star II and Endor. Wing positioning aside, the doors work well and it's easy to get your fingers in to place the figures.
It's a good thing those doors are there because the ramp on the bottom is pretty useless for accessing the inside. It's a nice feature though for capturing the look from the movie and it stays in place with no problems. It does eat up the interior space a bit - you can't place any figures on the inside where the ramp is.
Aside from the pictured features, the landing gear also goes up and down. When it retracts, it doesn't completely go away, but it goes flush enough to allow the wings to fold all the way down. There's also the new 1x4 spring-loaded blasters incorporated into the wings, with a clever little mechanism to allow you to fire them.
Of course, there's nothing for you to fire the blasters at, because this set only includes Rebels. Most Star Wars (and many LEGO sets from other playthemes) thrive on the 'conflict in a box' idea, featuring characters, vehicles, or locations from two or more factions to give kids the ability to create conflict-driven stories and fun without having to buy more than one set. The Tydirium lacks that, and while as an adult I don't mind it much at all, and in fact enjoy the lack of extraneous details like a lone tree or a fuel pump, I wonder if that choice hurts the set in any way.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Nice-looking model
- Very sturdy and swooshable
- Captures the look of the movie ship
- Lots of play features
- Good and appropriate selection of minifigs
- Decent variety of parts
What's not to like?
- Not the UCS model (ignore the contradiction with the last bullet)
- Some stability problems in the dorsal fin
- Difficult to access the troop area
- No Imperials to fight
I really like the Tydirium set - I think it's a great looking model. It crams in a good selection of minifigs and play features that make sense and work, for the most part. There's no conflict opportunities without buying other sets, but there's also no extraneous elements like the fuel pump and stairs on the Naboo Starfighter. It's not a cheap set, and from just a parts perspective I'm not sure there's a lot of value, but if you're a Star Wars fan it's definitely worth your consideration.
I hope you all have enjoyed reading and watching this review. If you could take the time to share your feedback in the Talkback or on YouTube we'd greatly appreciate it. And don't fret, we'll have more set reviews and LEGO news every day, right here on BZPower!
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