25 years in, LEGO Star Wars has finally created the perfect set – and it’ll cost you less than what came before

By admin May4,2024

As we head into another corporate made-up holiday for May 4th, know that there is at least one significant, non-annual, and lesser-discussed Star Wars thing to celebrate in 2024 – 25 years of Lego Star Wars.

The success of Lego Star Wars can’t really be understated. In video gaming, we know it as the brand combination that led to oodles of video games – but it charted a new course for Lego at large, too. It’s the single most successful piece of Lego franchise licensing, but is also undoubtedly the brand that cracked the door open for other brands. With Lego’s interest piqued, the toy behemoth has recreated everything from Batman to Horizon Zero Dawn in its iconic bricks – but it all began with Star Wars.

Part of the triumph of Lego Star Wars is really the breadth of its appeal. This is shared with regular Lego – there’s city sets of police stations and hospitals for kids, but also supremely detailed fully-featured buildings for the bigger kids. Lego Star Wars has long followed this template, serving up cutesy play sets ranging from a tenner or so up to larger ‘Christmas present’ tier toys – and then more expensive sets for adults who really should know better.

I count myself among those people, by the way. I should know better, but I don’t, and that’s why I own quite a few ‘Ultimate Collector Series’ sets – the big sets for big boys and girls willing to leave a big hole in their bank accounts.

The UCS kits are meant to create display pieces, and have typically been absolutely massive. The poster child for the set in my mind is and remains the now-discontinued 10221 Super Star Destroyer, which when constructed resulted in a model over 4 feet long and pushing 4kg in weight. It’s frankly obscene, but also rather cool. Even the smaller UCS offerings are nothing to sniff at – a new UCS TIE Interceptor launches this month, celebrating 25 years with a sizable set that’s composed of almost 2000 pieces.

LEGO set 75192 is shown with some Star Wars LEGO characters standing outside of it
Over £700 and 7000 pieces… | Image credit: LEGO

These sets are big, though. And expensive. And, honestly, what I’ve realized is that I just want good representations of classic Star Wars ships and locations that I can display – and I’d rather display more, smaller sets than one gigantic thing. This is why my UCS A-Wing and X-Wing found their way into my attic, demoted from a shelf here in my office.

Lego appears to have cottoned on to that fact, and in recent years have been revising down the size of some of their adult sets. Those big sets are still releasing, but… there’s a middle ground. And that middle ground? Reader, it’s the best.

Take the Millenium Falcon. The big UCS Falcon (set 75192) is over £700, a whopping 7500 pieces, and frankly obscene in size. Much of that piece count is spent on interior details that spark joy while building, but then never get looked at again. If you wanted something more reasonably priced the only other option was the playset, designed for kids and, well, play. Play features make it less sturdy, less accurate to the screen prop, less of a display piece, and a less interesting build.

Lego has finally addressed this with a new 18+ targeted Millenium Falcon (set 75375) – a building kit designed to give you a compact, gorgeous looking replica of the Falcon complete with a little name plaque and a stand – but for almost 10% of the price of its big brother. Interestingly, I actually think smaller scales can sometimes lead to a better looking and more representative offering – I think this looks the most like the Falcon out of the three available sets. It’s small enough to sit on a desktop or a shelf. And the price is right.

LEGO set 75375, a smaller Millenium Falcon, is shown on display on a windowsill
A smaller, more affordable collectible. | Image credit: LEGO

The Falcon isn’t alone – there’s also similar-design sets of the Executor Super Star Destroyer (that’s Vader’s big flagship, for those who don’t keep track of the names), and the Tantive 4, Bail Organa’s ‘diplomatic’ ship. This is the start of a series, clearly – and I’m here for it.

I could see myself with a whole range of these. In fact, seeing the Falcon, I can feel my desire to buy absolutely any other large-scale Lego UCS set evaporating like an oasis under the twin suns of Tatooine. Why would I have these massive sets when I can get a very similar level of joy, for a fraction of the price, out of something smaller?

It’s not just limited to ships, either – while not under the UCS branding, Lego has also released a range of Diorama sets that capture individual scenes from the movies – so far limited only to episodes 1, 4, 5, and 6 – but I can see this becoming a truly compelling and collectible range over the years.

Sometimes, it’s clear, less is more. That might mean that Lego sells less ridiculous sets for £200, £300, even £700 – but the result of offering something a little smaller is great for customers. Lego Star Wars might be getting up there in years – but here, its 25th year shows signs of being its strongest yet.

By admin

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