A number of things have changed in the way LEGO has begun marketing its sets in 2019, and one of them is the Juniors line of branding. The “Juniors” branding has been replaced by boxes with a huge “4+” number at the bottom left corner. This year, for the very first time, the LEGO Star Wars theme enters the newly branded 4+ (formerly “Juniors”) age group and one of our favorite vehicles makes its debut, the X-Wing Starfighter. We don’t typically review sets meant exclusively for younger kids, but with Star Wars, how could we say no? 75235 X-Wing Starfighter Trench Run is available now, retailing at $29.99 in the US (CDN 39.99 and GBP 24.99), and we wanted to let you decide for yourselves as we dive into the details.
As to be expected with the sets for this age group, the design is going to be as simple as possible, and parts where possible are made out of large parts that surely could be designed with a higher number of smaller pieces. Below is a sample of parts which make the set’s build process easier and the finished model sturdier for younger kids, but take away quite a bit of the fun for an adult builder.
The packaging and instructions
This set contains 3 bags and one instruction booklet with two large elements loose in the box. They stand out with their shapes, and it’s easy to guess where they will eventually fit into the build. One of them is the long body of the X-wing and the other the base of the firing cannons from the trench run scene. The great thing about 4+ sets is that they never have stickers. Any parts that require any decoration, are always printed.
The Build – Trench Run cannons
The base builds up pretty quickly with the contents of the first bag, with two turbolaser emplacements and what seems likely to be a power station to fuel the firepower of the cannons. Two grey barrels blocking the path on a walkway are built on the opposite end. The box art and instructions feature a stormtrooper firing at the X-wing from this vantage point. I’ve never seen a stormtrooper take down an X-wing with his blaster rifle. To enjoy the set, it would be wise to allow all Star Wars reality to be suspended and just enjoy the build.
There has definitely been some creative and artistic license applied to the design of this particular build. The giant turbolaser emplacements on the surface of the Death Star were never manned by stormtroopers out in the open. This particular cannon consists of a green power module and a console with two barrels, with a stormtrooper taking aim at an X-wing. But once again, let’s suspend our Star Wars reality and play along.
With Bag 2, the X-wing takes shape very quickly. The ready-made part gives shape to the body of the X-wing, right down to the underside of the nose cone. The rear end of the body involves a quick assembly to snap in the S-foil wings with 4 hinge plates with fingers on one side.
The three printed parts of the X-wing features a printed nose cone and printed side slopes.
All that’s left to be assembled is the top detailing of the body and the ready-made nose cone, and even that comes with its own printed parts to finish the build quickly. The body is completed with the transparent canopy placed on top.
Bag 3 contains the S-foil wings, which are all built with very simple parts.
A repetitive build quickly gives us four wings with thrusters affixed, ready to be mounted to the body.
As the wings snap on, the X-Wing starts to take its familiar shape.
This set comes with printed Red 5 markings, which indicates that it is piloted by Luke Skywalker.
The remaining build consists merely of adding the printed markings to the upper S-foil wings and mounting the laser cannons and a clip to keep Luke’s lightsaber safe. With that, the X-wing is complete.
The completed X-wing with S-foils closed and pilot Luke taking his seat resembles a somewhat stunted, short-nosed X-wing — not something especially accurate, but good enough for a kid’s imagination to stretch the boundaries and make believe he or she is Luke Skywalker.
With the new release this year, we get a newly molded stormtrooper helmet. I’m also glad to see proper, classic blasters being issued instead of stud shooters.
The stormtrooper comes with the usual, flesh-colored faceprint of an angsty and strained-looking trooper — perhaps from the frustration of being stationed to shoot X-Wings with his blaster and never being able to take a single X-wing down to date.
R2-D2 comes with the standard prints on the front with a plain back. It’s basically the same variant that was featured in the last Droid Escape Pod (75136) set and the recent Betrayal at Cloud City (75222) and the Escape Pod vs Dewback Microfighters we recently reviewed.
Luke Skywalker’s torso and legs feature the very same print from the 75218 X-Wing Starfighter issued last year. The new part unique to this Luke Skywalker minifig variant is a dual face print with a visor in two modes. On one side the visor is raised, and on the other, it’s lowered, with a printed chinstrap on both sides. The helmet, however, is not dual-molded like the new Rebel helmet included in last year’s X-wing. We wonder why, as it seems like it’s taking a step back, instead of moving forward with the new dual-molded helmets for consistency. I suppose for play reasons, it might make sense to give younger kids the option of raising and lowering the visor, but that’s such a minor detail that the old-style helmet is a disappointment.
Conclusions & recommendations
With an extremely quick build, keeping the bare essentials of what an X-wing and Death Star turbolaser look like, this set does a somewhat decent job. For adult builders and collectors, what’s obviously missing is the satisfaction of an intricate build and a detailed finished model. This set will certainly appeal to 4-year-olds, but adult Star Wars fans may feel that it’s not their cup of bantha milk. The minifigures still make a nice catch if you need them, but that’s a stretch — particularly without the new-style Rebel pilot helmets. The design of the turbolaser emplacements takes some design liberties, with a stormtrooper firing at an X-Wing — and that’s just a bit far fetched. This is definitely meant to be a playset for kids, to “swoosh” and “pew pew” to their favorite parts of Star Wars: A New Hope.
What I do see as a potential upside is the printed parts of the X-wing, which make it possible for LEGO builders to enhance their creations with a little more detailing — perhaps even as replacement parts for the stickered Red 5 markings in 75218. It’s a tough decision to make if you’re a Star Wars fan.
If you’re someone who needs to have every single piece of LEGO Star Wars issued ever, you’ll probably get this and then stash it in a dark corner. Another good reason is if you want to start training a little young Padawan to be a future Jedi, yes then certainly, get them started early. For any other adult fan of LEGO, you may want to save up for the next Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) set, whatever and whenever that may be.
75235 X-wing Starfighter Trench Run includes 132 pieces, 2 minifigs, and 1 astromech droid. The set is available today from the LEGO Shop (USD 29.99 | CDN 39.99 | GBP 24.99), eBay, BrickLink, and elsewhere.