Last week saw #ForceFriday explode across the world with Star Wars fever reaching epic proportions. Never before has the world seen such a product launch for movie franchised toys and with Disney now at the helm, Star Wars movie tie-in products will be taking center stage for a long while to come.
Set Number: 75108
Up there, front and center during the big product launches was everyone’s favourite construction toy, LEGO. With a partnership spanning 16 years and nearly 200 sets released, it’s safe to say the LEGO Star Wars franchise is an established brand on a level far exceeding many of the toy company’s other properties. In addition to a number of brand new sets themed around the upcoming movie (why isn’t it December yet?), we were treated to something new from the company, Star Wars themed buildable figures based on established characters from the series.
For anyone not familiar with LEGO’s Character and Creature Building System (CCBS), these buildable characters are essentially DIY action figures. Much like similar creations released over the last couple of years, they are made up of established LEGO pieces and purpose-built moulds. Six of the new construction sets have been released so far with more expected to be announced over the next few months, you can find out everything you need to know about this initial phase of releases here, for now though our focus is on Clone Commander Cody.
For those a little less familiar with the Star Wars prequel movies, Clone Commander Cody was a prominent member of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s forces in Star Wars Episode III. He would later show up in animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Unlike his clone brethren, his armor has distinctive orange markings on the shoulders, helmet and chest plate, all stunningly re-created here in LEGO form.
Set Design and Construction
When it comes to LEGO, building is half the fun. Now because the entire set is the figure itself, we’re already missing out on the minfigure element of the build so how does this match up for that joy aspect? The good news is, due to the uniqueness of the build and the large array of new set specific pieces, it’s a great example of LEGO keeping things interesting and fresh and something that even veteran collectors will enjoy constructing.
This isn’t a long build sadly, at 82 pieces that’s not surprising but that doesn’t take anything away from the building process in terms of fun. Beginning with an almost cross-shaped central piece, the build takes you through the process of building the figures lego skeletal frame before adding the outer shell of panelled armor pieces.
For those who have not built a CCBS set before, the limbs are connected to the main body piece using the same ball and socket connection we’ve seen previously on sets like the Metal Beard figure from the LEGO Movie or the flying ant from the Ant-Man set. What this means is, once connected, you will essentially have the freedom to pose each limb at any position you’d like. This is the same for the individual joints in the limbs; the elbows, wrists, knees and ankles all have the freedom to move in any direction, the poses available are extensive to say the least.
Moving away from the basic skeletal frame and on to the sets more unique aspects, the most obvious of these is the helmet. The headgear connects to the main frame via one socket on the bottom and while it captures the essence of the Clones Wars version of Cody’s armour brilliantly, it’s just a shame that this piece is one single piece of plastic with no movable parts. A retractable visor would have been a great addition but unsurprisingly, given the low-budget cost of the set, this would have most likely driven the set to a higher price band.
Bringing Cody’s distinctive armour to life, as we move down the suit, the shoulder pieces, pauldrons if you will, are bright orange, connecting directly to the upper arm armour plates. The new leg armour, used in a variety of colours across the Star Wars building figures sets, is brilliantly sleek, adding a new quality to the CCBS that was lacking in the relatively recent Marvel sets. One of the legs armour pieces has a printed (yey, no stickers) orange stripe, as per Cody’s armour, as well as battle damage detail to add a little character to the otherwise pristine limb armour.
The main torso armour is where the majority of the detail is focused, being almost entirely covered with set specific printing. The design itself is very loyal to the source material, even including a printed utility belt with orange thrown in. The entire printing on the torso has had scratch marks added to simulated battle damage, much like the leg piece I mentioned.
While the front of the figure looks superb, capturing the character brilliantly, turning the model around can leave you feeling a little disheartened. First though, the positive, the backpack transmitter is superbly constructed, despite its size this is actually where a good portion of the build time comes from. It’s well designed using a number of technics pieces and two wing-like armour moulds to create a very authentic-looking – by LEGO standards – transceiver.
The major downside with the back of the figure is that the arms and legs are bare, showing the LEGO-based skeletal frame, whether this was purely a design decision to show the fact it is still a LEGO set or whether this is for logistical reasons with regards to the joint movement is unknown but it does slightly cheapen the set as a whole.
That said, the set more than makes up for it in Cody’s weapon of choice. The blaster looks awesome, for you hard-core Star Wars fans out there, it’s a replica of the DC-15A blaster rifle and it’s a beautiful, yet simplistic, piece of design. A mixture of technic pieces and a couple of axles make up the weapon, it’s an incredibly easy build that adds a significant amount of value to the overall set.
The Completed Set
Overall, the set is a fine example of how awesome Star Wars merchandise really is. Even taking, in this case, a relatively unknown character to the masses can make something that looks amazing. With LEGO looking to expand on the buildable figure ranges following releases in their Marvel and DC franchises, it’s great to see they’ve saved the best for one of their oldest and most popular themes, Star Wars.
The finished Cody figure looks fantastic from the front but sadly a bit too bare from the back and in terms of post-build playability, it’s lacking any added bonus such as a spring-loaded shooter or stud launcher. All this leads me to believe that this is a set designed mainly as a posable collectors item rather than something to use on the imaginary battlefield of some alien world. Don’t misunderstand though, this does have some value from a play perspective. The poseability does allow you to put Cody in a number of precarious positions while acting out any given scenario and in terms of durability, one thing I know I look for in toys as a parent, it’s going to take quite a bit of force to pull the limbs away from the main body.
Comparing this particular buildable figure to the other Star Wars sets is not easy, with the likes of Obi-Wan, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader on offer, Cody is going to fall down the list pretty quickly but given that this is the cheapest of these particular type of new sets, it’s a great opener for anyone new to this building system.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, especially one under 20 who is more familiar with the newer elements of the expanded universe then Clone Commander Cody is definitely going to appeal. These buildable figures aren’t for every LEGO fan but as my first experience into this particular area, this set has been a positive.
This set was provided for review purposes. However, all reviews reflect the authors own personal views and are not influenced in any way.