On the morning of Force Friday I walked over to my local Toys R Us to see if they had received a shipment the new Star Wars Lego sets. I wandered around the Lego aisle and they had nothing from The Force Awakens and oddly no-one else was around. Feeling dejected as a squirrel with no nuts, I nearly wandered back out of the store, but I thought I’d just go see the new Star Wars toys before I left. I quickly realized why no-one was in the normal Lego aisle, the store had set up a Star Wars zone and it was filled with Star Wars nerds just like me.
The aisle was packed, from guys in bespoke suits to hairy dudes in stinky t-shirts, the range of people picking up Star Wars bits was wide. Another woman was wandering the aisle too so I spoke to her, she had just come from Wal-Mart and they’d already sold out of certain toys and Lego sets so she was here as the store had just opened. She had a basket overflowing with figures and other toys. Then I spotted them, the new Lego, the sets were in this temporary Star Wars zone, but they hadn’t bothered putting a sign in the normal Lego aisle to tell anyone.
Lego has launched seven sets ready for the new movie and they’re not cheap. The price per piece count is high, in terms of total cost the least expensive set is Rey’s Speeder and the most expensive is the updated Falcon:
I was told that the set selling the least was the Falcon. I was surprised, but I shouldn’t have been. It’s the most expensive set of this series and the last Falcon set looked almost exactly like this one. Aside from the new post ROTJ radar dish I can easily convert my old set to match the outside of the new one. After a short period of agonised soul searching I decided to not buy the Falcon set (for now) so I bought Rey’s Speeder, Poe’s X-Wing, and the First Order Tie Fighter. The latter is the set selling out everywhere, even though when you look at price per piece it’s the most expensive set at a huge 17 cents a piece.
I don’t like the look of most of the First Order sets, they are grey and uninspired for the most part. The only one that grabbed me was the Snowspeeder. I think that Kylo Ren’s Shuttle might grow on me yet but right now it wasn’t worth buying it given how much I was already spending. I walked back to work with my new sets, by the time lunch rolled around I dug out Rey’s Speeder and built during my lunch break. Bah, food, who needs it! Apparently me, because I got hungry in the afternoon. Ah well, it was worth it.
Look at her! Rey’s a badass. Her minifig is nearly perfect, she has two expressions and one of them is a delightfully angry scowl. She’s really detailed too, she’s got freckles and a neat shoulder bag. What stops it reaching Lego nirvana is the waist scoops. Lego have been adding a waist onto female minifigs for a few years now, women have to be curvy and men just get to be the default minifig shape. Lego please stop this crap.
If you are eagle eyed you might notice from the picture that I don’t use stickers, I wish Lego would print the designs directly on the bricks as needed. It’s a minor gripe though. The other minifig in Rey’s set is called ‘Unkar’s Thug’ and I have no clue what that’s about, which is funny. Given that the film is still months away and we don’t know if it is any good or not the number of people buying Star Wars merch was impressive. I’ve never seen the store like this outside of the Christmas rush and the staff were run off their feet trying to cope. People weren’t buying one or two items they were piling up lightsabres and figures. The money Disney is getting from this early merch is huge.
Since 2005 Lego has financed its recovery on these licensed Lego Sets, they have been Lego’s main income and they are getting more expensive as time goes by. The last Falcon was $150, this one is $180. It’s a shame and I hope Lego is prepared for when 3D printing can churn out compatible blocks at a better price point. The Lego set quality and detail level keeps improving though, and I’m really looking forward to building Poe’s X-Wing, despite the fact I have the last X-Wing model, this one’s different enough to excite me as it has 150+ more pieces.
Picking up the three sets today, and already building Rey’s Speeder and The First Order Tie Fighter, has me really pumped for the movie in December, as much as seeing Boeya light it up!