It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been more than five years since I last built and reviewed a LEGO set here on FFZ. And while LEGO has been out of the picture here, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been picking up the odd set here and there over those years. And having recently moved, I’ve unearthed some of those sets from storage and decided that it was time to build some of them and check them out. So, let’s have a look at the AT-ST Raider from The Mandalorian!
Full disclosure: The main reason I bought this set was because it turned up on clearance and I just couldn’t resist it. I would have much rather picked up the Hoth AT-ST that’s still on the shelves now, but I’m just a sucker for discount LEGO, and it is still an AT-ST. This one is based off Chapter 4 from the first season, titled Sanctuary. I wouldn’t say that I actually disliked any episode of The Mandalorian yet, but Sanctuary was probably my least favorite. It was just really cliched, but at least it had an AT-ST going for it. Anyway, this set consists of 540 pieces, spread out over four numbered bags, which build the AT-ST itself and four Mini-figs! It’s been a while, so let me see if I remember how to do this… oh, yeah… LET’S START WITH THE MINI-FIGS!!!
You get two heroes and two villains, which would make this a well-balanced battle in a box if it weren’t for the giant AT-ST. The heroes consist of The Mandalorian himself and Cara Dune, both of which were good incentive for me to pick up this set. They both look great, and don’t involve any surprise pieces. Mando has a cape, but does not have a printed face under that helmet, just a black head slug. The printing on both figures costumes is nice, and I like Cara’s smirk, while she also has a bit of a snarl as her other face. Cara’s rifle is great, but I’m not as impressed with Mando’s. I guess this is supposed to be his disintegration rifle, with the claw serving as the tuning-fork style barrel, but that’s a bit of a reach. But, even with that nitpick, I love these figs!
For the villains, you get a pair of Klatooinian Raiders, and these guys are pretty damn cool too. Their legs feature the same printing for both, but their torsos are each unique. One has a helmet and a road-warrior style piece of spiked shoulder armor, while the other one just has this weird neck piece. You get an impressive rifle and two pistols for these guys. But do you really need guns, when you have this…
This is my first time building a LEGO AT-ST, so I can’t speak to whether or not this is the same build as the Hoth one, but it is a very impressive model. The scale on the AT-ST feels just right, as it could easily step on a Mini-fig if they get underfoot. The build was pretty fun, with the only redundancy being in the legs, and the model mixes things up a little bit with different colored bricks to show the custom work done on this beast. You also get some exposed cables for the left leg, which is a great little touch.
The legs are a fairly technical build, and the design kept me interested in exactly what they were doing with all the support pieces. It is, however, a little deceptive, as during the build, I believed that I was creating a lot of articulated joints, when in reality the only articulation in the legs is in the “knees” up near the top. I though that would be disappointing, but it’s really not, as I appreciate the stability of this model. It stands rock solid, and I doubt that would have been the case with a lot of working joints in the legs. And I’ll throw it out there again, how much I dig the custom color pieces, which are also helped along by some well-placed stickers.
One of the biggest surprises of this build was the way the body goes together. It isn’t a solid box, but rather the sides just kind of hang on the front and back pieces. This means there are notable gaps where these connect, which become very obvious when looking inside the cabin, but is also pretty apparent from the outside too. It doesn’t deter my enjoyment of the model at all, but it’s an interesting design choice, nonetheless. There is an action gimmick with a knob on the back of platform that can be used to rotate the head left and right. The weapons are also all articulated, so you can swivel the cheek guns, raise and lower the chin guns, and there are two flick-fire missiles hidden on each side of the chin guns.
Like the old Kenner toy, the entire top of the body lifts up to give you access to the cabin, but there’s also a hatch that can be opened as well. There’s actually room inside for both Mini-figs, even though in the episode, the AT-ST was some kind of robotic drone. I like that there are hand rails on each side of the hatch, so you can snap a Mini-figs hand onto it and it will hold him in place popping his head through the hatch. The window armor plates are also articulated, and can angle up or down.
This was a great set to come back to after being away from LEGO for so long. I’d say it took me about an hour or so to build, but I was having some drinks and taking my time. The instructions were well illustrated, and I was able to get through it without making any stupid mistakes or swearing up and down that I got shorted a piece, only to find it a minute later. Yeah, that happens to me a lot! I don’t remember what this sold for originally, but $22 was the magic number that got me to take it home, and I’m very glad I did. It’s a fun build, has some solid Mini-figs, and the AT-ST is a great model with plenty of play potential.