Review by JoshB
I told myself that there would be no toys on vacation. It would be a nice relaxing week at the shore in our beach house, sipping margaritas.
We invited good friends Shogundan and his wife, Shogunnadia, down for the night. Dan says, “I’ve got a surprise for you”
Dan goes out to his car and comes back holding the new Star Wars 3.75" Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon.
But I suppose, while the wives are out shopping, why not shoot a quick review?
Thus ended my toy-free vacation, just hours after I arrived.
The Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon is every Star Wars collector’s wet dream. It’s almost perfect – so close to perfect that it makes you wonder why they didn’t go the extra mile.
I shouldn’t complain though, the thing is awesome.
The first thing you notice about the new Falcon is the size – its 2 ½ feet long! This toy was designed to be more in-scale with the 3 3/4” action figures.
From the outside, it is immediately clear how much effort went into this ship. All of the details are crisp and clean, and the paint and decals add more realism to the ship.
The gun turret on the top of the Falcon is activated by a lever on the side. Slide the lever up and down and the turret moves left and right, also moving the gunner’s seat inside. The turret fires the bottom two missiles when either the left or right side hits the posts on either side of the turret. Motion and missile firing is accompanied by sound effects.
Moving a bit forward, you have the Radar Dish. The dish is controlled by a knob on the side. Rotate the knob, and the dish moves. What’s more, the knob controls the arm for the training droid inside the falcon.
Take a step backwards and open the flap on the side. The falcon makes a mechanical whirring noise as you lift up the door to reveal a small ship. This mini-fighter is a new addition for the toy and not seen in the movie. The falcon makes another sound effect when the ship is removed. The ship features an opening cockpit, slide out guns, and a firing missile. It’s not bad, but a lot of effort and resources went into this that I think could have been used elsewhere (see the section about the landing gear).
From the front you have a set of three missiles set between the two “mandibles”. There are three buttons to launch the missiles, but only the center one has sound effects. Just below at the bottom is a pull-down missile launcher that can rotate. Very awesome.
The front of the mandibles feature small, light up headlights that activate when you fire up the engines.
We’ll skip the cockpit to talk about it all at once. Be patient.
The right side has the feature that sold me on this toy – the boarding ramp. Hit a small button on the side and the ramp activates automatically, including lights and sounds! It’s a thing of beauty to see in action.
Around the back of the falcon are the engines. The panel on the back where the black vents are is removable and reveals where the batteries are stored. The engines light up and they light differently depending on what sound effects are being played. There is the regular running sound, the not-starting sound, and the hyperdrive sound. All are activated by pressing buttons on the side.
The underside of the falcon is similarly well detailed, and features a moveable gun turret as well. Unfortunately, there is only one gunner chair inside.
The landing gear is the source of the most disappointment here. It is true that this version of the falcon has more accurate landing gear than the classic version, but this landing gear does NOT retract. Instead, it is removable. The thing is, they are TOO removable, and often fall off if you handle it wrong, or push it along the floor. I’m not sure what the rationale here was, because the design of this toy appears to have the room for the landing gear. Instead of spending all that time and resources on the mini-fighter, why not figure out how to make landing gear retract? It’s like having a bat mobile that does all the cool stuff, but then the wheels don’t turn. It just seems like a basic function that was ignored. If you decide to hang the falcon, or fly it around, you can just pop off the gear but then you are left with ugly holes. Another compromise would have been to supply panels to cover up the unsightly gaps left behind.
The cockpit is our gateway to the interior from the falcon. The lid lifts up just like the classic one does, and actually comes off quite easily. The interior of the lid is detailed and has stickers.
The cockpit is spacious and now features room for four figures. The two pilots’ seats can swivel and slide forward and backward, while the rear seats just swivel. The instrument panels are detailed and the figures can grab on to the controls. The cockpit is also illuminated by two lights behind the passengers. The cockpit area looks great, but when taken in context of the rest of the falcon, is much too large. This is a toy after all, and we are aiming for fun-factor here, not movie accuracy. There is no passage from the cockpit to the interior of the ship, another major oversight.
To access the interior of the Falcon, you need to remove the panel nearest the cockpit first, then the panel near the radar dish. The interior is broken down into two compartments.
The first compartment, the area with the boarding ramp, has a few cool gimmicks. There is of course the aforementioned ramp, a smuggling compartment in the floor, the gunners’ station, a large storage area and the medical bed. The medical bed has an area that looks like something plugs in there – maybe the cuff for Luke’s severed hand as seen in ESB? I can’t help but think we will see a different version of the falcon for each movie. The area features tons of sticker detail and pegs on the floor for various figures.
Remember those buttons on the outside that activated the engines? Well, when the cover is removed, those buttons activate dialog from the movie. These sounds are largely, Han, Chewie and Luke when fighting the tie-fighters. I should also mention that the sound fidelity is AWESOME. The back of the compartment features dual doors that are a pain to open if you have fat fingers and no fingernails like me. Inside is just another storage space.
The other compartment also has a smugglers compartment, pegs on the floor, and sound effects. In addition, the holographic chess table lights up and has small holographic characters. Luke’s training ball is also represented here, and moves when the knob on the outside is turned. The focus of the sound effects on this side is the Chess match between Chewbacca and R2-D2, as well as Luke’s training with Obi-Wan.
Two figures are included – Chewbacca and Han Solo. I don’t know if these are re-releases or not, but they are well-suited to the ship, with Han having the communications gear on, and Chewie with the super-articulation.
The biggest problem with the Falcon is where to put it. This is a no-brainer – If you love Star Wars you NEED this. You just do. Just be careful when hanging this from the ceiling – Dan tried twice and both times it came crashing down on the floor. Fortunately, and this is saying something about its construction, it survived both falls unharmed.
I think this falcon will be under many Christmas trees this year. At around $160 USD it’s not cheap, but we Japanese toy fans have paid a lot more for a lot less toy.
Get one, you won’t regret it.
|Posted 21 August, 2008 - 10:21 by JoshB|