Monthly Archives: January 2010

LEGO Star Wars 8091 Republic Swamp Speeder [Review]

8091 Republic Swamp Speeder is among the first wave of Star Wars sets released in 2010. It’s a Toys R Us exclusive and is also available at LEGO stores and on LEGO Shop at Home. This limited edition set costs $29.99 for 176 pieces and 5 minifigures, including the unique Barriss Offee, about whom I only know that the name rhymes with coffee.

The 0.1 price per piece ratio now seems like an ideal rather than the standard. At $30, you’re paying more than $0.17 per average piece from the set. But we’re still lucky in the US where it costs others €39.99 and £29.99 for the same product. If you’re buying it, you’re probably citing the unique Barriss fig as one of your top reasons. In case you want more reasons to buy or not buy the set, read on.

Building experience and play:
The Swamp Speeder is a simple and fun set to build. The only technique to note are the use of 1X2 dark red plates on the bottom to complement the curved contour of the front. The play value of this set is much better compared to its original version in 2005. The new version features a steering mechanism for the guns, which also pilots the wheels so both kids and AFOLs can push and navigate the speeder across their tabletops while making hovering noises and pew pews.

Parts and display
Without the four 1X3 dark bluish gray tiles, this set could have been released in the last decade as it employs no other 2010 mold. Yet even without new elements, the speeder is a great display item based on its efficient design and stickers that greatly enhance the model. It’s a worthy addition to your Star Wars display that may or may not be collecting dust on a neglected shelf.

The “limited edition” marking on the box only means that the set is an exclusive to LEGO retail and another brand-name store (in this case Toys R Us). You probably don’t have the worry about the set going out of stock soon judging by the last time we reviewed a limited edition set (7752 Count Dooku’s Solar Sailer) and it’s still sitting comfortably on shelves a year later. On the contrary, there are inconspicuously marked exclusives such as 8092 Luke’s Landspeeder that could disappear completely within a few months. It’s one reason that the landspeeder is currently the hottest-selling set on US LEGO Shop at Home.

Resale value:
If you’re selling the figures on Bricklink, you’ll get between $15-20 for Barriss, but even so selling the rest of the figs will barely fetch the price you payed for the set as long as stores still carry it. While the clone trooper has a new and slightly different design and is currently exclusive to the Swamp Speeder, it may not remain that way for long as it is a common character. If you’re planning on hanging onto a copy of the set, it’s not a bad idea. While you may have to wait a while, the rewards of possessing an out of stock limited edition Star Wars set are significant. As for me, I’ll be buying a second copy at a later time to keep MISB.

Concluding remarks:
This is a set that appeals to fans of Barriss Offee, the swamp speeder, and collectors. Kids will have fun with the play features of this model while some AFOLs can find it as a good display item. As builders, you can get more parts from Bricklink than from this set, and even resellers may be tempted the same. If you’re sitting on the fence with 30 bucks, go buy Luke’s Landspeeder if you don’t already have it. It even comes with the droids you’re looking for.

For more pictures, see the full gallery on Brickshelf.

With A Little Help From My Friends...

Hornet Bomber Prototype This creation would never have come together this way, were it not for the advice of several friends. This ship came about from the idea I had for the engine shape using arches, and the angled configuration. My first attempt at a fuselage (inset) was rather thrown together, and didn’t quite work.

A few friends suggested playing up the bee-like qualities of the original, which I attempted to do. The fact that there was an official LEGO sticker available with a hornet on it made this idea all the better. A few people suggested changing the canopy, and one suggested the style of a glass-domed WW2 era bomber. That idea worked itself into a full spherical canopy, and the addition of the large guns, to become the Hornet Bomber.

Hornet Bomber

Grand theft of animal roundup

First is an everyday sight for me, goat theft thwarted by a bull mountain troll. I’m not sure which of Steve Vargo’s (:jovian:) features I like the best, the goats, the troll, the nature bits, the action capture or the rail fence. I really don’t know.

LEGO jovian goat theft

The second is something I see slightly less frequently, but it is still a pretty common sight: cow theft in giant flying washtubs. Precisely what Liwnik captures in this great scene. I particularly like the resulting crop circle. It explains a lot.

LEGO Liwnik stolen cows in flying tub

That’s PC487(d)(1) in California, if you want to get all technical about it.

Armed Courier

Soren Roberts has built a new micro-scale ship. It merges curved and angled elements into an interesting and cohesive shape. I’ve never liked building space craft in red, personally, but this one works, with just enough of other colors to impart a sense of reality.

This photo is of the underside of the ship, which is also my favorite side.

Soren's Armed Courier