By Jim Hrabak (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It’s toy fair season! This is the time of year that Lego fans get a preview of upcoming sets. Even though the second wave of 2016 sets will not hit the US until (presumably) March, we are now getting a glimpse of what Lego has in store for Star Wars fans in Summer 2016.
On January 10th, the always excellent Star Wars News Net published leaked photos of five sets due this summer. While we cannot verify the accuracy of these low-quality photos, we are now getting some additional (and at times contradictory) detail on the summer wave thanks to Brick Fanatics’ coverage of the 2016 London Toy Fair. Finally, we can turn to one of my favorite blogs, The Brick Fan, to flesh out the details.
75145 Eclipse Fighter
According to Brickset, this set is from a new Lego Star Wars animated series (UPDATE: the new show is called The Freemaker Adventures). The set also includes a speederbike. I think it’s an interesting design. Doesn’t look like a traditional Star Wars vehicle and I am curious to see it in the flesh.
75147 Star Scavenger
This set is also from the upcoming Lego Star Wars animated series. I haven’t seen any reports on this series, but there is some speculation that the show may focus on the Aftermath era. Notice the minifigs on the box. Could that battle droid be Mister Bones and the smaller figure a young “Snap” Wexley? (UPDATE: The Freemaker Adventures will take place in the time frame between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The show will focus on a brand new set of characters) Downside: Look familiar?
75148 Encounter on Jakku
This is one of only two The Force Awakens sets expected in the Summer 2016 wave. No pictures are available at this time, but according to The Brick Fan, the set includes Unkar Plutt, Rey, BB-8, Teedo, a Jakku Thug, and a brick-built Luggabeast. This is a set that I loosely predicted, although it will be interesting to see how much of Niima Outpost is captured. (UPDATE: Friend of SWBR Robert P. passed along the this unauthorized photo from the Nuremburg Toy Fair. I love the look of the Luggabeast!!!)
75149 Resistance X-Wing Fighter
OK, so I gave this set a low probability in my December 23rd article, yet here it is. This is an interesting mashup as it depicts the opening battle of The Force Awakens and Poe’s T-70 X-Wing which was promptly destroyed. A big bonus of the set will be the Flametrooper and Lor San Tekka minifigs. I am of the opinion that we didn’t need another X-Wing so soon after the release of Poe’s X-Wing last September. I would have preferred to see an actual playset for the Battle of Tuanul with another opportunity for fans to get a Captain Phasma minifig.
75150 Vader’s TIE Advanced and A-Wing Fighter
This looks to be a nice two-fer set from the Star Wars Rebels animated series. The A-Wing is outfitted to Phoenix Squadron’s specifications, and based on the coloring, it looks to be the A-Wing that Sabine pilots. Moreover, Brickset has this set listed at $99.99 USD. If the piece count on the picture is correct, this will be a seriously overpriced set.
75151 Clone Turbo Tank
This set is another head-scratcher for me. This is the third Turbo Tank since 2006. If the photo, and Brickset’s data, is correct, this set will retail for $119.99, which is identically priced to 2010’s 8098, yet will have 250 fewer pieces and a lower-quality minifig assortment (I’ll take an Aayla Secura over a Luminaria Unduli every time).
75157 Captain Rex’s AT-TE Walker
This should be a great looking set from Star Wars Rebels. I was very happy that they found a way to bring back the much beloved Captain Rex! My only concern here is that we are only three years past the last release of an AT-TE (75019) Although Rex’s TE will be significantly modified with a nice collection of minifigs, I can’t help to think that Lego is running out of ideas for its Star Wars license.
The fan in me wants desperately to be excited for this wave of sets, yet I can’t help but think that Lego is spinning it’s wheels here. The new animated series will be a shot in the arm, no doubt, but we’ll have to see how many new concepts derive from that property. As far as Saga sets, I am underwhelmed. Lots of retreads and expensive ones at that. There is, of course, hope. Notice the six set gap between the Turbo Tank and Rex’s AT-TE. I am curious to see what sets fill that space.
I’d love to get your thoughts on these new sets. Please leave your comments below!