In our first Brothers Brick exclusive review, we bring you a look at the newest LEGO Star Wars set: 7752 Count Dooku’s Solar Sailer, scheduled for release in February 2009. This limited edition set first appeared at a few Toys R Us stores this week, marked for sale at $59.99. It includes 385 pieces and 4 minifigures, most notably the new Count Dooku.
$60 for 385 pieces is a very steep price and will deter many from purchasing this set. However, the remarkably well-designed Count Dooku minifig and the set’s limited edition bearing will spur others to purchase it right away. In my following remarks, I will list the qualities of Count Dooku’s Solar Sailer pertinent to builders of all ages, collectors and sellers.
This is a simple and straightforward set to build without any awkward connections or fragile sections. Only a few Technic parts for the missle firing mechanism interrupt the entirely System-based build. Symmetry and repetition are displayed on the folding wings and basic SNOT techniques are used effectively to achieve the overall appearance, making the build slightly more fun the average set.
- Back panels open to unveil a removable speeder bike
- Push mechanism fires two missles from each side of the ship
- Four folding wings: two on top and two on bottom
- Cockpit opens to reveal removable pilot droid
Overall, an average set of play features, nothing new or revolutionary. The push-fire missles are weak as usual.
If you’re buying this set for parts, something is wrong. 7752 offers a very low parts per price ratio and do not contain notably unique pieces except for the two light bluish gray bubble windscreens. A few dark tan pieces and 1X6 tiles may be useful; there are no notably unique brown parts. In the end, I find the stickers to be the most interesting piece; their neutral bluish gray tones make them applicable on a variety of creations. An image of the parts list can be found here.
Star Wars minifig collectors will be pouring over the new Count Dooku, and rightfully so since this unique minifig is likely to have its only appearance in this set. The pilot droid is also a unique minifig, but unlike the Count, it can be made with LEGO pieces from other sets, but I admit that the use of a skeleton leg for the head is pretty clever. The limited edition bearing marks this set as an exclusive to only the store that carries it (in this case Toys R Us) and LEGO stores/LEGO Shop at Home. In addition, this set may have a short lived production frame and may be sold out within a shorter time period than the average LEGO set. For collectors, keeping a new copy of the set may be a good investment.
As a set for display, the Solar Sailer lacks any dynamic visual appeal except when its wings are expanded, but in this position, the model cannot sit upright (the left side photo above makes use of a temporary support). Even in its collapsed-wing version, the model either tilts forward or backwards and is extremely difficult to balance as in this picture.
Not all of us are builders or even collectors, just ask the sellers on Bricklink and Ebay. This set may be sold in several forms, from MISB (mint in sealed box) to parted out with minifigs. The Count Dooku minifig will fetch a hefty sale price of at least $20 and possibly over $30 while the Magna droid guards currently go for about $10 each. Once the set is out of production, you can expect both its MISB value and minifig value to rise to more than 200% of the set’s retail price, talk about a lot of money!
For a set with limited positive attributes, it sure has a lot of downers to discourage buyers. Most obvious is the heavy pricetag, but less so are the uninteresting selection of parts. Nevertheless, a few redeeming features like the unique Count Dooku minifig and decent collectibility value make this set more geared towards collectors than builders. Unless you really want the Solar Sailer, there are other sources to spent $60 of your income or allowance money.
For more pictures, see the full gallery here.