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It’s not very often that you see more than one Lego Star Wars set retailed at the same price than another above the $30 threshold – and perhaps for good reason. That creates some conflict in a buyer’s mind if both of the sets look appealing, and that is, of course, the question of which to buy if indeed a choice must be made. This year, the 75004 Z-95 Headhunter and the 75013 Umbaran MHC were both released in the same wave and for the same price of $49.99. I gave the Umbaran MHC a 9/10 rating and recommended it. So… what about this set, the Z-95 Headhunter? How does it stack up to the Umbaran MHC? And how does it stand on its own? Well, hopefully my review of this set can help you, the viewers, make the decision; after all, that’s the goal of these reviews! So let’s get on with it.
Retailing for $49.99 and coming in at a piece count of 373, the piece-to-price ratio isn’t looking so bad. Calculated out, the PTP ratio is roughly 13 cents per piece. It’s worth it; it’s no steal but it’s not a scam, either.
Design and Build
The build was split up into four bags. The first bag builds the lower half of the starfighter’s main body. Bag 2 builds the “beak” of the ship and some extra parts that attach to the lower half of the main body after attaching the beak. The third bag builds the two large engines on either side of the starfighter, and the last one builds the wings.
Starting off with bag 1, the build of the main body was pretty involved with Technic – not that it’s uncommon for larger sets like this – and, for the most part, was the skeleton. The clone pilot minifigure is also included in this bag, and oddly enough his helmet comes in a smaller bag on its own. It’s solid plastic like any other helmet, so I’m not sure why they needed to package it separately. There was also a small, thin package, which I later found out was the rubber band that allows for the hidden cannon to “reveal” itself. Not sure why it was even packaged; I understand soft goods like capes, but why a rubber band? In any case, surprise surprise: you have to apply a sticker on this part of the build. It’s the control panel for the pilot. It’s new as far as I know and nifty too.
Building the beak was somewhat interesting, as most of it is actually hollow. At first I was afraid it would be too flimsy, but the combination of side-studs and long and short plates in key areas keeps it together adequately. After attaching it to the main body, the instructions called for finishing up the landing gear. I wanted to try them out, so I kept them deployed the rest of the build and quickly understood why there was so little to the beak’s build. It keeps the ship from being too front-heavy. That Technic on the main body (which I consider to be unnecessary in many different builds) lends to this as well; it not only keeps the ship sturdy, it also helps to add some extra weight to ensure the ship doesn’t tip in any direction.
Now, the engine build is rather strange. It starts off as a very flimsy build, having you basically feed in parts with Technic holes in them onto a Technic rod – the ones that are plus-shaped. These parts wobbled around a bit as the stack got higher and higher, but thankfully small parts added here and there kept it from moving around too much towards the end when they were finally capped off by the black exhaust parts. I think it could have been done differently to make it less of an irritating task, seeing that you have to line up 3 consecutive holes at the end to attach them to the main body of the ship. I was also rather annoyed that I had to line up circular stickers twice on a surface that is slightly pushed into a larger part. The 501st clone trooper minifigure comes in this bag and is identical to the one from the 75002 AT-RT set.
The wings were arguably the quickest build. There’s very little to them, though I’m guessing it’s for the sake of keeping as much weight as possible off of the legs. Still, I think the wings could have benefitted from a couple more solid, partially smooth white plates on top. The General Krell minifigure is contained in the bag as well. Like the pilot’s helmet, Krell’s upper torso is kept in a small bag of its own too.
The Z-95 Headhunter looks great when finished. It’s a very long ship and considerably wide and is accurate to the show. It sports the typical white and dark red colors of the Republic, but interestingly has stripes of black running down either side. It accents the ship well. I thought it was odd, however, that the front ends of these black parts ended in holes. Looking at a render of the ship from the Clone Wars, I realized that it was meant to be there. It’s not the best representation, but at least it was included. Little details mean a lot.
In terms of features, the ship has an opening cockpit and “trunk” of sorts, where a small, simple storage rack resides. It can hold up to two blasters and a pair of binoculars, plus it sits in the small space very well (a tan 1×2 smooth slope really helps). There’s enough space to fit Krell’s lightsabers too, provided you take one blade off each twin lightsaber. Underneath the starfighter is a firing cannon, which automatically fires when the back of the cannon is pushed upwards, pushing the front down and pressing the trigger.
The last thing I want to talk about is the rear of the ship – usually, there’s not much of anything going on in the rear of a ship except the thrusters/engines. Here, though, there’s a small panel that has some random light gray parts thrown in. It may not seem like much, but it’s little things like this that put a smile on my face. The way it’s done here reminds me of the mechanical parts pattern put on some of the more recent Y-Wing renditions.
The set includes three minifigures: a 501st pilot, a 501st clone trooper and a General Pong Krell minifigure. These are all brand new figures.
The 501st pilot is probably my favorite minifigure in the set. The helmet mold is completely new and the printing on the front is also new. Starting with the helmet mold – I’m very impressed with it, suffice it to say. The mold itself is one of the coolest I’ve seen and is modeled exactly after the Phase II clone pilot helmet seen in the Clone Wars TV series. The print job is phenomenal too, with blue and black markings printed on with great precision. Looking at it this way I understand why they included in its own bag. The front torso printing is very detailed as well, with clean lines depicting both the body armor and the tubing. Usually, lines that are printed close together smudge – these don’t. They’re very sharp. The back printing is the same as any standard clone.
The 501st clone trooper, as I mentioned before, is the same one included in the 75002 AT-RT set. The helmet mold is good and I honestly prefer the visor to be printed on the helmet, as opposed to cut out as with the Phase II clones introduced in 2005. The 501st’s signature blue markings show up on the trooper’s helmet, torso and even on the legs, which are printed. It all adds a great deal to the minifigure, which would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill clone. The back printing is the standard one used on all clones, so there’s not much to say there.
The General Pong Krell minifigure is probably my least favorite in the set. Perhaps some of my bias is showing up here, as I didn’t like the character in the show, but more than that, the figure just doesn’t look right. His torso looks stretched and his legs are very short. I can get him in some cool poses with his dual, double-bladed lightsabers, sure, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that he was so poorly designed. The head and face are good as is the printing, but that’s all pretty much moot when he looks like a stretched-out smurf. He would have looked much better with longer legs (like the ones Woody has from the Toy Story line) and a new torso mold that is shaped more like an upside-down trapezoid and that has all four arms on it.
The set comes with a normal blaster, a pair of binoculars, Krell’s signature dual twin lightsabers, and a part remover. In a way I suppose the weapon rack counts as an accessory too. It’s very simple but I love how it fits in the back of the ship so nicely. One of Krell’s lightsabers is blue while the other is green, and he can wield them well. I just wish the rack in the ship could have accommodated for them. The weapon rack is a simple little build and it fits perfectly in the back of the Headhunter, and can store up to two blasters and a pair of binoculars.
As I suspected in my written review of the 75013 Umbaran MHC, this useful tool is included in all sets priced $50 and up. I hope Lego continues to do this. While a casual collector like myself may end up with a bunch of them, it’s great for people who may be getting into Lego, particularly younger kids.
The Z-95 Headhunter is an awesome set. The amount of detail put into it is enough to satisfy any fan and pleasantly surprise others, both for the ship and the minifigures. I personally had no serious gripes with the ship itself and the end result, so to speak, is satisfying. I felt like I got my money’s worth. Sometimes I can feel this way about a set that has a somewhat high PTP ratio, but this set has a good PTP ratio, so that’s a bonus! I really like the minifigures (other than Krell, of course) and the fact that a part remover was included in the set. If you were debating whether to get the 75013 Umbaran MHC or this and value and satisfaction are determining factors, go with this set. The Umbaran MHC is a very cool set, don’t get me wrong (it has a better PTP ratio too, actually), but I personally felt much happier with how this set turned out.