[Today is obviously the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, easily my favorite sci-fi property of all time. Some may be surprised that there isn’t a DW related feature today. Well, I did in fact have some items coming in to feature today, but as luck would have it nothing arrived on time. I suppose that’s irony when dealing with a show about time travel. As a result, I’ve just decided to extend the festivities into next week were you’ll see a lot of DW-related content. In hindsight, it works out best because I plan on relaxing this weekend, watching the 50th about a hundred times and capping things off on Monday when I go to see it at the local theater. I’ve had today’s feature ready for just such an occasion, and so I’m dropping it in here, and I have another one ready to go for Monday. Now I can take the weekend off! See y’all on Tuesday!]
If you hunt Lego, you may have noticed this set getting discounted at a number of online retailers lately. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it’s because a bigger and better X-Wing has recently come out for a lot more money so Lego has retired this one. Either way, any time I can get a 500+ Lego set for under $40, I’m ready to jump at it. Let’s take a look!
The X-Wing comes in a really big box. I have a huge cat and so I usually judge the size of anything in relation to the size of my cat. This box is just slightly longer than my cat, therefore it is a really long box. I think that’s a syllogism. I can never recall getting a Lego box this big for so little money. I felt like I was committing a crime. The artwork on the front is glorious as it shows the Lego X-Wing making the trench run on the Death Star. The back shows you pictures of what you get inside. The only bad thing about the box is that it has Darth Maul’s stupid mug on it. He has nothing to do with the X-Wing and I don’t like him.
Open the box and spill out the contents and you are confronted with five big bags of bricks, one large instruction book and a sticker sheet. All told you get 560 pieces, which build the X-Wing and four Minifigs. As usual, we’re going to start with the Minifigs!
First off, you get two X-Wing pilots: Luke and Porkins. Wow, I own a Lego Porkins. Let me take a moment and let that sink in. Both figures use the same bodies, which is fair enough. The heads and helmets have unique printing. Luke comes with a lightsaber and Porkins comes with a blaster. Not bad. You also get a pair of droids. I’ve never been all that impressed with the Astromech Minifigs. Is it too much to ask to put printing on the back? And can’t you make the head swivel? Maybe I’m being too picky. Anyway, I already have an R2-D2 from the Landspeeder, but I guess it never hurts to have another.
When I look at Lego sets, I don’t usually feature much of the build itself, but I’m going to change that up here. Most of the big Lego sets I buy build several things, so this X-Wing was kind of a new experience for me. Up to this point, the biggest Star Wars ship I build was the Republic Strike Fighter, which at three hundred and change had a lot less bricks than this baby. I feared I might find the build redundant, but it was not. In fact, I really enjoyed some of the clever design work at play here. The first bag builds the base of the main fuselage. Yup, take a good look. You’d probably see a lot of these bare-bones T-65 chassis swinging on cranes at the Incom Shipyards. It’s a weird looking contraption that had me wondering where Lego was going with this thing. What’s particularly cool here is starting to see how the mechanism for the wings will work. It’s all very clever.
The next bag builds the rest of it and now I could see more of what was going on. I love seeing how some of the engineering goes into these builds. You think how complex can it be to just build a long X-Wing body? Then you see all the supports and reinforcements that go into the design and result in a very sturdy model when all is said and done. This is also the point where part of me wanted to toss away the instruction sheet and start building it into a Colonial Viper. But I stayed the course, mainly because my freeform Lego skillz aren’t that good.
The last two bags build the four wings and here’s where things get a little repetitive because you’re basically building the two of the same wing twice. Still, even the wings were interesting and complex enough to keep things interesting. I like the way Lego used the red bricks for some of the ship’s larger markings and some stickers for the finer ones.
The last bag builds the laser cannons for the wings and the engine pylons. Here you also attach the rubber bands to the backs of the wings to add the tension and you can finally see how they work. It uses a wheel on the back of the ship and the internal gear system to distribute torque to the little arms that push the wings apart. Very cool! The X-Wing looks fantastic on display and includes some other nice features like a retractable landing gear under the cockpit and clips on the sides for a pair of proton torpedoes. There’s even a little spot on the back to clip a blaster pistol!
When all is said and done this is a great looking build. I want to say it’s about the size of the vintage Kenner X-Wing, but it’s been so long since I owned that toy I can’t say for certain. Keep in mind, however, that with how much smaller the Minifigs are, this ship is a lot better scaled. There are only two things that irk me about the finished model. One is that R2 has to go into his droid slot sideways, similar to the droid slot on the ARC-170 fighter. It just feels wrong. The other is the use of the round discs for the ends of the laser cannon. It makes sense, it looks good, but it’s obviously not accurate to the screen model. I know this is something that Lego got right in the larger and more expensive X-Wing, but it clearly doesn’t bother me enough to want to spend the money on that one. This set is all over the place now for under $40, so if you are a Lego collector without deep pockets and if you don’t have an X-Wing in your Lego hanger, I can’t recommend this one enough.