It’s been a while since I reviewed Moloch’s Landspeeder (75210) from the Solo – a Star Wars Story movie, so I’m kinda late giving you my opinion on its counterpart, but bear with me.
The reason why I’m late to the party is that originally I didn’t plan on ever buying this set. When the tie-in sets for the movie came out fresh last year I pondered the idea for a while without actually having seen the film, but then decided against it.
The reasoning for this may sound ludicrous – the vehicle just looks too slick which not only makes it so stand out compared to the more rugged, used look in Star Wars, but also feels kinda boring. To me at least, since though I can get behind a nice car model and sure would love to buy e.g. the Ford Mustang GT (10265) from the Creator Expert series, I’m anything but a car aficionado. The circumstances under which I may like a vehicle are very specific and they figured into the buying decisions for this set insofar, as somehow that attempt at capturing that feel of 60s and 70s cars like the aforementioned Mustang, a Corvette, an Oldsmobile or whatever you may consider your favorite from that era just didn’t click with me. Not in the movie, not on the LEGO set.
None of that is of course LEGO‘s fault and I’m not going to say that the model is bad. It’s in fact surprisingly good within what the limited design would allow in terms of making things interesting. If anything, this impression of the design being a bit out of place in the given context is most definitely what is impacting its reception the most. If you appreciate a little design exploration then you’ll love it, if it ruins established Star Wars design tropes for you then you’re going to seriously not like it.
My moment of revelation came when lately my need for Dark Blue parts increased due to dabbling with stuff based on the Deep Sea Creatures (31088) and I began to see those tiles etc. in a different light. Apparently many people share reservations similar to mine about the landspeeder, so this set doesn’t appear to sell that well and has dropped noticeably in price. I got my example for a mere 17 Euro, but on average it retails for around 20 Euro now. The original 30 Euro MSRP aren’t that unusual for these types of sets, but especially in this case feel like “the Star Wars tax” , i.e. licensing fees, is/ are making things unnecessarily expensive.
With my expectations being pretty low, I didn’t think I’d be enjoying the build that much because it would be simple and thus short, but it is surprisingly complex and takes just that bit longer that makes it feel like you got your money’s worth in terms of the fun of actually assembly duration. It’s in no way negative and the actual building process has a nice overall flow. There are a few repetitive bits like plugging on a ton of brackets to attach the half-cylindrical shapes on the sides, but it never gets to the point where it would be a nuisance. There’s always enough variation across the individual steps.
The techniques employed aren’t revolutionary, but work very well and retain the elegance of the original. Walls aren’t overly thick, there is a sort of detailed interior and even the airfoil section in the aft is not overly massive. During the build things can be a bit confusing and nerve-wrecking, though, as in many places Lime 1 x 1 studs are inserted that have you wondering whether they will remain visible later on. Thankfully all of them disappear behind or under other elements, making for a very clean impression. Personally I also like the use of Tan for the interior instead of the usual greys, giving the look of fine leather.
People have speculated about the origins of the asymmetrical layout of the exterior, with the left side merely exposing the innards due to the covers having been shredded in an accident or something like that. That has led some of them to rebuild this side in the same fashion as the right one to get a better maintained/ repaired/ factory-fresh version of this speeder. While it’s certainly a valid interpretation of the circumstances, it’s not one I share. Point in case: As soon as you try that, the model loses its optical balance. Therefore I’m inclined to think that this is more a matter of a) conscious film-centric design using the asymmetry to add interest and b) even if they were closed, the left side covers likely could still have been shaped and arranged differently.
This point could be debated endlessly, naturally, and is very much a matter of personal view, but since the spoiler wing most definitely is intentionally designed with different left and right sides, I would argue that it’s not too far-fetched to assume the left side of the entire vehicle could have looked different once, too. Either way, exposing some of the tubes and wires is still nice. To me it feels like they could have gone even further and really tried to include more of the engine turbine, its fuel lines and electrical cabling.
The rear section is by and large the weakest part of the model. It looks like nothing in the movie, as it’s basically just the aft of a historic automobile where the round rear lights have been replaced with the jet exhausts and the two large boxes stand in as bumper bulges in order to cover the actual mounting points. Inevitably they couldn’t do much about it, so it looks pretty iffy, even more so since LEGO to this day hasn’t done a proper jet nozzle element and the ever same wheel hub elements are used instead. As a minor, they could have done them in silver at least.
As seen throughout this article, the model can accommodate the two minifigures just fine and the proportions look okay-ish. The model has almost the size of Moloch’s Landspeeder, which depending on what shots from the movie you look at could be about right or too big. It’s hard to judge, but in my opinion it boils down to the fact that LEGO‘s version of the Moloch vehicle is simply too small by comparison, or more to the point not “heavy” enough. Having minifigs furthers this impression even more. Therefore perhaps you should not put both vehicles immediately next to each other on your shelf or showcase.
On the whole this is a pretty decent model. It’s just not very exciting. The original was not used well in the movie and in fact that whole chase sequence to me felt forced and unnecessary (it seems they really just crammed it in to pull a cheap joke referencing the mishap later in the film). Inevitably that rubs off on the set as well and limits its attractiveness. It’s just not a must-have when every other vehicle in the Solo movie looks a ton of times cooler.