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Set Review - Star Wars Advent Calendar 75023 part II

Last week we looked at the first 6 (no, 5!) microships from the 2013 Star Wars Advent Calendar.  This week we'll finish off the fleet.  I had the pleasure of my 7 year old daughter helping me to assemble some of these, in the bag from just the pictures!  I started her off with any easy one, the Geonosian Starfighter.  Simple connections.  She even aligned the slot in the lever base perfectly.  Then she did the Jedi Starfighter with no issue.  Finally I gave her the Separatist Shuttle which started fine but slowly led to frustration.  Daddy ended up assembling the tail section.  Overall her skills stun me though.


Day 12 - Republic Dropship (LAAT)
In Ep 2 this ship was used to swoop in, release a bunch of AT-TE walkers, and then zoom off again.  One would hope that TLG designers at least put in enough thought to duplicate this scenario with the minis.  Guess what?  This is the shining star of the Advent Calendar.  Two minis, well done, working together.  I think I'm in micro Star Wars, um, Heaven or whatever the Force equivalent is.  As if that wasn't enough, the dropship has got some dark blue... yum.

"I can't put my arms down!"
"Put me down, put me down!"
Day 14 - Geonosian Starfighter
The full size set was one of the first sets that I parted out on Bricklink.  It was also one that introduced me to the world of sometimes mismatched or unmatched parts.  Why would you include a trap door without the trap door frame?  This little craft is instantly recognizable though looks like it was built in the 90's.  Instead of using the video camera brick, it would have been much improved to use two 1x1 Travis Bricks sideways so that the bottom, um, hull would be not only upside down and more visually balanced, but half a plate closer to the upper hull.

Original, all 90's boxy like
My counter offer with 2 sideways Travis bricks
Day 17 - Naboo Royal Cruiser
At first glance I thought this was the thing that was briefly introduced to us at the same time as Jar-jar Binks.  Or a B-2 bomber.  Apparently I was thinking of the Separatist Landing Craft, an untouched opportunity for TLG.  The cheese behind the engines is a nice sculpting touch even though it's barely seen.  Given the amount of single stud connections on here it's very susceptible to warping - or an amazing show of yaw, pitch, and roll.  Barnstorming, anyone?


Day 19 - Separatist Shuttle
I have no recollection of this ship though apparently it was a full size set.  The color scheme is nice as is the use of a headlight clip for some tight SNOT.  The hull design is a little unfortunate.  It appears as though this was a wheeled land transport turned to air mode.  A couple more bleu cheese pieces might not be perfect but better.


Day 20 - Jedi Starfighter
We've seen this ship in UCS size, full size, and planet size as well as bite size.  Yet none of them are so blatant with the red as this one is.  If this is Obi-Wan's craft, it should be dark red and white with a splash of lime. (more yum).  Uh, but this thing looks like a bloody mary exploded on the nose.  Plus it's a lot less sleek than the mini version.  Sure, they could copy the Republic Gunship from 2 years ago but not the starfighter from 10 years ago?


Day 21 - Jango Fett's Slave I
In serious danger of treading on repeat turf is the final ship of the Star Wars Advent.  This uses the exact same design as Boba Fett's Slave I from 2011.  EXCEPT that the wings are grill tiles instead of standard tiles and the color scheme is all bluish instead of dark reddishy green.  It's a solid little design though and forgiveable in my mind.

And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
"Someday we'll have Han Solo encased in carbonite!"
Wrap Up -

All in all I'm mildly impressed.  Some offerings such as the Geonosian Fighter and Cloud Car are forgettable.  The repeat of the Republic Gunship is a serious error.  Several ships could have been improved by minor color or part changes.  Even if that meant a new color for a mold.  But I bet the Advent sets don't warrant new elements in that regard.  Especially not at the relatively dirt cheap price that they are this year.  Thankfully this year's set was saved by the AT-TE and dropship.  Also, regards to Jango Fett's recolored Slave I and a delightful little Naboo cruiser.

Last year TLG tried to capitalize on the SW Advent set by placing it at $50.  I saw so many of them on clearance after the holidays.  This year it appears they are trying a new tactic.  Lower the price to make it look like a bargain compared to last year, and underproduce.  You can not buy a new one any longer nor could you have a week ago.  I bet they use that as a precedent to jack up the price again next year now that we're concerned they will sell out soon.  They'll be banking on us not being good historians.  We shall see, TLG, we. shall. see.

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