Let me start off by saying that while this set is small, it’s still an outstanding – and creative – little set, and well worth the $3.99. The Lego 30005 Imperial Speeder Bike is another exclusive set that was only available as part of a promotion for the Daily Mirror, a newspaper in the United Kingdom (along with a couple of other sets: the 30004 Battle Droid on STAP and the 30006 Clone Walker). That’s right, you could only get this set in the UK, unless of course you were to purchase online from those who decided to sell theirs – often for exorbitant prices. This year, in 2010, LEGO decided to repackage the set in the “Shadows of the Dark Side” theme and sell them once again, this time as a Toys R’ Us exclusive for $3.99. The sets were spotted around late October/early November. So without further ado, on with the review.
When I first saw this set at my local Toys R’ Us, I wondered, “Why are they selling this now? It’s such a rinky-dink set. The speeder seems too small for that stormtrooper. But it IS only $3.99… seems to be a pretty good army builder.” So I grabbed a few off of the rack, thinking it was a relatively decent deal, and when I got home, I assembled the set. Once I was finished, I was pretty surprised; it didn’t turn out as badly as I had initially thought. I took a liking to it. Its design is unique, it actually goes well with the stormtrooper, and it reminds me of the 74-Z speeder bikes they used on Endor in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Design and Build
I must say, the design is quite different from what I’d expect from a small set such as this. There’s a nice variety of pieces provided, which are used in unorthodox ways. As I built the set, I was somewhat surprised at how everything fit together. One part of the speeder that still stands out to me is its use of axes – the type of axe you’d find in a Knights Kingdom set or a Vikings set. They’re attached to the side of the speeder. From what I can tell, they represent not only the connecting cables and rods on an actual speeder bike, but also the landing/parking gear and the gas tanks.
The heads of the axes serve a neat function too: you can turn the blades to the side, parallel to the ground to make the speeder rest on its underside. Or you can turn the blades perpendicular to the ground (or a 45 degree angle if you prefer) and adjust the front end downwards to raise the speeder. Basically, it functions as landing gear! One-by-one cylinders are inserted on either side from the shaft of the axe to the blade, which look like either gas tanks or simply expansions for the pilot. The axes and cylinders are used in a very clever manner and are aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
For a set of this size and price, I didn’t really expect any. If you consider the stormtrooper an accessory, that’s all there is. I wish they would’ve included a blaster, but it’s not really that much of an issue. You could remove a handlebar and pretend it’s a blaster pistol. Although… it wouldn’t be such a good idea for the stormtrooper to remove the handle. Let’s just say… the speeder will veer off to one side uncontrollably. Don’t do it, Stormie! Oops, too late.
Overall, this set is a good deal, a unique build, and a fantastic stormtrooper army builder. One could argue that the 7667 Imperial Dropship (considered a stormtrooper battle pack) released in 2008 is a better deal, and I would agree. However, it’s been nearly three years since the release of that set, and you’re not very likely to find it for the MSRP of $9.99, let alone any lower than that. Now, this set is the stormtrooper army builder for 2010, unless another stormtrooper battle pack is released in 2011. The only issue I see with this set is a minor one – the lack of a blaster for the stormtrooper. Let’s review the main points once more:
-unique design that works
-fun build; pieces come together in unconventional ways
-very detailed; aesthetically pleasing
-has a play/display feature (landing gear)
-potential stormtrooper army builder
-does not include blaster for stormtrooper minifigure
So with all things considered, this is the final score for the Lego 30005 Imperial Speeder Bike.