Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 at 7:07pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
With full excitement of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, having the new Millennium Falcon LEGO set was a must in my collection. She's more than a "hunk of junk," the Falcon is a flagship piece of iconic film space ships. Today we review the newest iteration of this ship in LEGO form to see how it stacks up in your collection. Don't worry, there are not any Force Awakens spoilers here, just plenty of pictures and a video review to show off the set.
This set is arguably the eighth iteration of a build-it-yourself LEGO set for the Millennium Falcon. There have been a few micro versions in the advent calendars over the years, along with a keychain, but it looks like when it comes to sets, this is number eight. I have seen some squabbling online about it looking too similar in build to previous sets, but those sets are not financially-friendly to purchase now. If you want a Falcon but could not get one before, this is another reasonably-priced chance.
This new Millennium Falcon, with a few updates for The Force Awakens, rings up at $150 USD with 1304 pieces and seven minifigs including the BB-8 droid. That is not too bad for a licensed theme like Star Wars, especially for a big set.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box starts us off with an impressive size, which is daunting and empowering when plopping it on the cash register counter to buy. We see an action shot of the Falcon flying through a desert chased by what the box labels as “Kanjiklub Gang Members.” The lasers and explosions are a nice touch too, while making sure the Falcon is clearly visible with every greeble and panel pictured. Rey and Finn are in the cockpit, trying to keep it out of harm's way. Of course, all the important logos and info is there, along with the face of Kylo Ren marking all boxes of this way of Star Wars sets.
The back of the box then shows off some play features, like the spring-loaded missiles, stowaway hatch, and turret gun seats. The space chess board “Dejarik” is still present, and other odds and ends are found in the Falcon.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The set took me about 2.5 hours to build at a consistent pace. Building starts with a Technic base that is quickly secured with large System plates. Off-color parts in red are used in places where they will be hidden later, but for now they are easy to find in the pile of bricks and identify on the instructions. After the base is established, the curve of the ship is built in segments and works quite well given the “blocky” nature of LEGO bricks.
With each new bag opened, more and more of the set starts to resemble the Millennium Falcon. From various supports and panels, to interior details like the engines, seats, and boxes, to the turrets on both the top and bottom, it is almost about time to take her on a joyride.
The Falcon really comes together when the final parts include the triangle panels that make up the top curvature of this iconic ship. If I applied stickers, the back disks would feature the grills that stand out, the communications dish would have some texture, and a few more details would be present. I still might for displaying on my shelf, but some interior stickers like for the couch I just did not feel were necessary for my building purposes. Regardless, fully built the set looks great.
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 pieces come in about a dozen bags numbered 1-9, or not numbered at all. Like other large sets, this helps sequence the building into sizable chunks, allowing for a smooth and satisfying build experience. Of these pieces, there are not too many new ones. The windshield has a new design, and its solid-grey counterpart is also impressive. The detailed transparent disk that fits in front of that is also neat with its asymmetry. The Dejarik board is a variant of Captain America's shield, but is canonically inaccurate as the board is flat compared to this curved piece. Finally, Chewbacca's Bowcaster is a new piece which I expect to see more of in upcoming themes like Nexo Knights.
Most of the minifigs in this set are unique to it. Rey and BB-8 are the only ones to appear elsewhere. Rey looks no different here than in her $20 speeder set, though here she has a small silver blaster and in her speeder she has both her hair and fabric mask. Chewbacca and Han show their age, with some color change on Chewie's hair and Han looking totally different. Chewbacca's bowcaster fires studs in a similar fashion to the not-so-new-anymore stud launcher. Finn has a new hair piece I believe we will see more of in future sets. The two Kanjiklub Gang Members have some cool outfits which I would love to use in some steampunk builds.
As I said earlier, people have made some remarks about how this iteration of the Millennium Falcon looks too similar to previous sets. While LEGO does recycle bits of instruction when comprising an updated version to sell, it seems odd to have almost a complete rehash. That said, for someone like me who could never buy a large Millennium Falcon set before, to have the opportunity to finally own and build one is second-to-none, repeat build or not. Plus all those minifigs are a nice addition to my collection.
While the outside may look fantastic, it's what is on the inside that counts. We have the engine, the Dejarik board, and a few seats and couches. What really gives the interior some charm though is various boxes of miscellany lying around. Greys, browns and tans just sitting around waiting to be traded.
Finally, the Falcon's size and weight is impressive. I decided to compare it to Benny's Spaceship (Spaceship Spaceship!) as I had it on hand. Benny's ship is longer and wider, but lacks as much substance as the Falcon. The Falcon has more stuff to it: Panels, interior, and brick-built curves. At $50 more than Benny's Spaceship, that is a very good thing.
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.
There are lots of static and action-oriented play features on the Falcon, as one would expect for a $150 set. To start, the entire interior (aside from supports) is open for viewing, which is a standard now for the Millennium Falcon sets and many other sets with interior details. This allows the kids to explore the play features like the smuggling hatch, Dejarik board, crates of gear and more.
The new spring-loaded missiles in the front blend in well and fire fabulously. However, the holes in top to trigger them seem empty to lend themselves that function.
The loading ramp is present and functional, to an extent. You can not really lead your minifigs up the ramp without them bumping their heads, but the effort is there to include that.
Just like from A New Hope, minifigs can man the upper and lower turrets. This adds more role play value for the youngster swooshing the Falcon around against bad guys.
One of my favorite play features is the stowaway hatch opposite the boarding ramp. It is a great call-back to Episode IV and is quite clever. Slip a minifig in while inside the Falcon, and underneath set him free. This bottom hatch was prone to falling out if not clipped in properly, but the function works well.
The cockpit is also easy to access and put whoever you want in the driver's seat. The box shows Rey and Finn up front, so that's what I'll show off here. Putting the windshield back on is a little tricky, but not impossible. It can fit two minifigs, but I was having trouble getting Chewbacca, who is taller, into it.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Another affordable Millennium Falcon in stores.
Great, large build.
Large variety of play features.
What's not to like?
Few new parts.
Heavy reliance on stickers.
Supposed old but updated build.
From purchase to final build, I was in awe of how great this set looked. Having the Millennium Falcon in hand, swooshing around, was a great feeling. Looking at that interior, with those minifigs, it's no surprise that fun can be had. There are a lot of impressive play features, giving the set lots of potential. Of course, the minifigs are a big draw, as always. It has been a while since we have had a set of the Falcon on the store shelves, and the decent price makes picking it up worthwhile if you need it for your collection.