It’s been said that the alliance with the Star Wars brand is what saved the LEGO company. At the time, the company was flagging and was in dire need of something to boost their flagging fortunes. Combining the creativity of LEGO, the brand power of Star Wars and an a new tongue-in-cheek approach to the franchise that hadn’t really been seen before made it an instant winner. Taking this light hearted approach a step further, LEGO recently brought us the Microfighters range of small scale vehicles designed as ride-on toys for the Minifigures. As part of Series 2, LEGO turned to The Empire Strikes Back for inspiration and released the Rebel Snowspeeder…
As with all the toys in the range, it comes complete with a single figure, this time a generic Snowspeeder Pilot. Opening the box reveals the instructions and two bags of pieces. One contains the larger parts, the other the smaller, more intricate pieces. Instead of taking a more organisation approach, throwing caution to the wind I opened both bags into one pile and dived straight into the instructions. As you’d expect, they’re clear and simple to understand and anyone with a basic grasp of LEGO construction won’t have any trouble assembling the toy. At a couple of pieces shy of 100 in the set, it won’t take long to put together but that didn’t stop it from being an enjoyable build and kudos once again to LEGO for including a couple of spares of the smaller pieces for those of us for are less… careful with our toys.
Onto the assembled ship and it’s roughly the same size as others in the series, approximately 2″-3″ in length / width, with a seat space for the aforementioned Minifigure in the centre. While the bigger Star Wars vehicles that have been produced have gone for film accuracy and the all-important “wow” factor, the Microfighters have gone all out for cute appeal and they’ve succeeded admirably without losing the all-important “cool” factor that the blend of Star Wars and LEGO has offered for so long.
Considering its small size, the detail is superb. Despite only having a seat for the pilot, the Snowspeeder still has front and rear windscreens as well as a small gun emplacement at the rear. There are two firing missile placements, one on each wing, and excellent attention to detail on the Minifigure itself. As with several others in the series, the face of the pilot has a choice of expressions as well – happy and abject horror (no doubt a pilot about to fly head-first into an AT-AT).
I have to say that I was very impressed with this set. While it’s not quite up there alongside the Microfighters X-Wing with it’s moving x-foils, it’s still a very good toy and for the asking price it’s fantastic value for money. The Microfighters range as a whole is a great entry-level way for Star Wars fans to start collecting LEGO interpretations of the ships without having to break the bank and when they’re this good, I’m only too happy to build up a small fleet myself!