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Lego 7959 Geonosian Starfighter

The 7959 Geonosian Starfighter is a great set that has been improved in almost all areas since the version released in 2003. The starfighter is very accurate and is visually appealing, and the minifigures are fantastic. But there are a few issues that will have a significant impact on the final verdict.

Price

There's really not much to it, when you break it down...

As lenient and understanding as I’ve been about prices, I think Lego went a bit overboard with pricing this set. It’s hard to ignore when the set is about as long as the 7915 Imperial V-Wing Starfighter (MSRP $19.99) and just an inch or so taller. Not to mention that the Imperial V-Wing has 139 pieces, whereas the Geonosian Starfighter has 155. For $10 more you can get 16 more pieces! …Not the best deal. Don’t get me wrong here though – I love the set, I just can’t say I like the price tag. I’ve definitely stated in the past that I would not penalize a set for its price this year, given the state of the economy as well as the price of oil, but this set is an exception. I’m not pleased with the piece-to-price ratio (which comes out to $0.19 per piece), in all honesty. If it had come with a Geonosian cannon (like the 2003 version) the set would be worth the price tag.

Design and Build

The Geonosian starfighter is a great rendition of the original. The build was fun and clever, but somewhat predictable. The basic structure of the fighter is simple: there are four parts to it. There’s the top of the fighter, the bottom, and the two pieces that link them together. One is the primary blaster cannon, and the other is the booster. After I built the bottom of the fighter, I could easily figure out how the top was put together. There is only a slight difference. The top has a cockpit, and the bottom has a bomb hatch. The booster made use of a hemispherical socket and two cylinder hemispheres, allowing the booster to rotate. The same can’t be said about the blaster cannon though, which uses arm hinges instead. It goes without saying that that only allows for side-to-side motion, which is disappointing.

Compared to the 4478 Geonosian Fighter, this version is visually superior in almost every way. To start off, the 2003 version hardly has a visible cockpit. A small 3 x 3 trans-clear disc is used as the cockpit. The 2011 version has a much more accurate cockpit, which is quite a bit larger. The older model was also much more blocky and had a bit too much variation in color – brown, orange-brown, tan, black, dark gray, and light gray. The colors were scattered all about the fighter, as if the designers decided to attach a piece of a particular color on a whim. The newer model is brown, orange-brown, dark gray and light gray. Some colors are used more sparingly and overall,  the colors blend together well. The only thing that’s missing are – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – stickers. As annoying as they are to apply, they make a set even more detailed and fun to look at. I hate to say this, but the days in which most (if not all) parts are printed are long gone. The fighter looks great as it is, but it could have been better with stickers. Every set I’ve reviewed this year (aside from the mini sets) had stickers. It’s very odd that this set has none at all.

The fighter has a few play features, including the aforementioned mobility in the booster and the blaster cannon. The cockpit can open and close and underneath the fighter, there is a bomb hatch that can open and close as well. A bomb rests on the hatch, and once it is angled far enough, the bomb falls out. These features are nothing special, but they’re worth mentioning at the very least.

The minifigures in this set are excellent. You get Ki-Adi-Mundi, Commander Cody and a Geonosian Pilot. Both Mundi and the Geonosian are brand new minifigures.Ki-Adi Mundi is, for the most part, a normal minifigure. Normal legs, torso and head, except he has an extra piece. As a Cerean Jedi, he has a… taller head, for lack of better words. Lego molded a new piece just for that. It’s quite detailed. They got the folds in his skin on the back of his head, and even molded in his ponytail. As I’ve said in many of my previous posts, Lego’s really been stepping it up with their minifigure designs, and this is another fine example. I feel that a molded piece for the entire head would have been better for Mundi, though. The transition from the top head piece to the head is a bit odd, as you can still see a gap. The folds in the skin are actually molded on the top half of the head; on the head, it’s printed. It still works, it just could’ve been better.

The Geonosian Pilot has to be my favorite figure in the set. Its head is a brand new sculpt and it’s done extremely well. It’s almost as if the Geonosian head was taken right off of the TV screen. The slitted eyes, tiny pupils, angular bone structure of the face – it’s all there. The great head sculpt doesn’t overshadow the rest of the figure either – the print job on both the torso and the legs are awesome. There are many fine details, some of which include gold accessories and garments. There’s a lot to look at. Even the back of the torso is printed.

Commander Cody hasn’t changed since his release in the 7676 Republic Attack Shuttle, but because he hasn’t been released nearly as much as say, Anakin Skywalker, it’s nice to have another chance to get the figure. He comes with the standard clone trooper gear: a visor, a pauldron, a kama, two rangefinders, and two helmet search lights.

Accessories

The set comes with a blue lightsaber for Ki-Adi-Mundi. Cody comes with the standard clone commander gear: a visor, a pauldron, a kama, dual blaster pistols, two rangefinders, and two helmet search lights. Unfortunately, the Geonosian doesn’t come with any weapons. It would’ve been nice if Lego had included a Geonosian blaster with the pilot. Sometimes, Lego seems to exclude items that could easily be included for no other reason than to save on production cost, and that is truly a shame.

The Verdict

The Geonosian Starfighter is a very well-designed set, and the minifigures still hold up to the standard Lego has set on Clone Wars minifigures. The one major issue with this set is the price. The piece-to-price ratio is fairly poor at $0.19 per piece. Like the old set, this one should have come with a Geonosian cannon, but based on the 2012 previews, I’m sure you’re all aware that said cannon is being released as a set on its own. There were also a few things on the fighter that could have been better – minor things, like the inclusion of stickers. All in all, though, this set is very well designed and has great minifigures. It is a wonderful improvement from the 2003 version; almost every aspect of it was improved. I would recommend picking it up when it’s on sale – Wal-Mart discounted the set to $25, so I would grab one before the month ends, which is when the sale will likely end as well. Even $25 is a bit of a stretch, but if you really want to get the set, it’s better than paying full price.

Pros

-well thought-out color scheme; blends together well

-sleek design with curved parts

-fantastic minifigures; new molds, great prints

Cons

-very poor piece-to-price ratio

– minor issues could have been rectified to make the set that much better

BrickWars-Sets Rating: 7/10 | Great

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