For some odd reason this set was actually quite difficult to get my hands on. I’ve been looking for one since it was released on the 4th of September, 2015. I hadn’t bothered looking online with postage raising the price to more than I was willing to pay for it. I’d looked in plenty of toy stores (big chain and small) and hobby shops but eventually (and surprisingly) found it in a supermarket for slightly less than it’s RRP of €26.99 when I was grocery shopping last weekend.
The set contains 193 pieces, including 2 minifigs, Rey of course and Unkar’s Thug. For Rey you have the option for her to wear her head scarf and goggles or not. Rey also comes equiped with a saddle bad, a circular saw, binoculars, a blaster and her iconic staff. The speeder itself has doors on either side which can be oped by twisting the bottom engine exhaust either way to give access to a storage space which has a little container in it. It also has two shooters, one on either side of the engine intakes and a rack to store Reys’ gear.
The box contained two big, numbered, bags of pieces with a small back of smaller pieces in each. It also contained a small set of stickers and of course the instruction manual. This is where Lego have done something very clever. You only have to open one bag at a time while building the set, saving on both space and time searching for parts. Open bag 1 and build the first half, then open bag 2 and finish the build. I really like this aspect and I hope they do it for further sets, especially the bigger ones with 2000+ pieces. Searching through piles on those sets can be a pain and this is a great way of avoiding that altogether. It also help to keep you immersed in the construction itself, as you’re not taken away from the building very often, or for extended periods of time.
Building the set took me somewhere between half an hour and forty five minutes. And was that bit more enjoyable as I didn’t have to search to hard to find any parts. They really hit the right beats with this set. At 193 pieces it’s not a big build and there’s not a lot of room for details, but Lego have a way of using it’s own studs as well as flat pieces to give the impression of details. And they did a great job, this isn’t a perfect replica by a long way but it captures the essence of the speeder and the broad strokes are great. It’s also a super solid build (unlike the slightly creaky Heavy Lift Helicopter), and for such a small set I really wasn’t expecting that and it was great to see.
As I see it, there are only two minor places the set goes wrong. The first is near the end when you’re building the door panels, it only gives you instructions for one and tells you to do it twice. If you were to follow these instructions one of the doors would be upside down, so I inverted when I build the second door, just a minor niggle but given the quality of the rest of the build it stands out as a strange omission. The other was not having one of the doors built to be used a Rey’s sled. It might have taken a little more work and even a couple more pieces but it really would have finished the set for me.
I don’t like that the left out BB8 from this set but it makes more sense to have BB8 as part of Poe Dameron’s X-Wing so I’m not going to hold it against them. I’m also not really sure why they felt the need to include the 2 shooters but kids love moving parts and it makes the set a bit more dynamic even if it isn’t exactly accurate. And they’re surprisingly effective, they fly out at a decent speed and would be easy to loose, which is why I suspect Lego have packed in an extra 8 light pieces in case just that happens.
Overall I’m really happy with this set. While it isn’t 100% perfect it comes close enough, especially at that size and price. If you can find it in a store near you, or don’t mind paying postage I highly recommend you pick it up.