Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Minifigures Are The Point

7930 Bounty Hunter Assult Gunship
The Chronicler's Rating - 2/5
Price ~ $50.00
Year Released - 2011

This set is difficult to review because the point of it is not the ship, the point is the minifigures.  For all practical purposes the ship is ancillary.  This set is a perfect example of a trend which started just before the advent of the Lego Star Wars series in the late 90's and has now grown into a whole segment of Lego’s product line: minifigures as collectibles.  The Lego Company tried it first with sports figures; you used to be able to get sets with a collection of basketball players and their associated cards.  The idea was that Lego could charge more because the minifigures were "one of a kind" and you couldn't get them in any other set.    The Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship is employing this same strategy, albeit on a slightly larger scale.

 This ship, out of necessity, employs what I call the “scaled down technique”.  What this entails is taking a ship that is quite large and making it into a model of much smaller size and scale.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this technique, it has allowed from some wonderful sets (2006’s 6211 Imperial Star Destroyer comes to mind).  I love what this building style allows for the problem here is that due to the collectable figures the price feels very inflated for the size of the ship that you get.  The pictures are a bit misleading in reality it is no bigger than a fighter.  I have many ships in my collection that were under $20.00 that are the same size as this. 

If your child is a Star Wars fan and really wants these minifigures my suggestion would be to wait and see if an cheaper way to acquire them comes along (Lego will often follow these "one of a kind" sets with smaller cheaper ways of getting the desired minifigures).  This review is being written in March of 2011 so if it is significantly later than that I would check.  If no other option is available, and your child is not set on having these 4 figures, I would suggest you spend your money elsewhere.  The reason for this is 2 fold.  First, the number of pieces you get for the price is not very good on this set (again remember the point is the collectible minifigures so this makes sense).  Secondly, Lego sets inevitably get taken apart and your child uses the pieces for their own creations.  Dark green (the predominant color in this set) is rare and it will be difficult for your child to use these pieces for anything else, their color inhibits their versatility.  However, if your child is a fan of these figures and the ship those two points will not matter much so go for it. 

This is a fairly expensive Lego set.  If you are a fan of the Star Wars movies and TV show where this ship appears and really want to be able to have adventures that include capturing Jedi Knights with these 4 bounty hunters then this will be a great set for you.  If the idea of a prison ship is what makes you excited about it I would suggest looking at the Space Police sets instead as their prisons are cooler and you get more for your money. 

When I was a kid Lego minifigures were all very simple.  They all had the same smiley face and wore very simple accessories.  In light of that I must confess that the idea of a minifigure being the reason you buy a Lego set doesn’t make sense to me (in that I recognize that I differ from many Lego enthusiasts, too each their own).  If that is something that you enjoy and is a major goal of your collection then this is the set for you.  If you are looking for a versatile set that is also a good deal I would look elsewhere. 

Happy Building

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