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Lego 7869 Battle for Geonosis

The Lego 7869 Battle for Geonosis is a set in the first “wave” of 2011 Lego Star Wars sets to hit stores in January. It features a Separatist proton cannon, a BARC speeder, and five minifigures. This set is marked as “Special Edition,” as denoted by on the yellow strip running down the right side of the box. Its MSRP is $39.99. It is a great set which I have very few complaints for; the price, being one of them. One of the good points of this set include the proton cannon, which exceeded my expectations. Read on for the full review!

Price

For $39.99, this set didn’t come with much. However, after having purchased the 7913 Clone Trooper Battle Pack and the 7914 Mandalorian Battle Pack, as well as seeing images for the other 2011 sets on Lego Shop At Home, I’ve come to accept the fact that prices will never be the same as they were before. What we have now is the new standard. After some thought, I can see Lego’s financial side on the matter more clearly. We’ve all seen gasoline prices rise when we go to fill up our cars, and toys are no exception. Plastic is a derivative of fossil fuels, just like gasoline is. So with a rise in the cost of production comes a rise in the final store retail price. Like many of us living in the United States, it’s hard in this economy to make ends meet. Lego has to raise its prices to make ends meet and to make a profit. That being said, this set is fairly decent in comparison to the Mandalorian battle pack. With 331 pieces for $39.99, it really isn’t too bad.

Design and Build

The minifigures included in this set are as follows: Luminara Unduli, Captain Rex, a super battle droid (with rocket-launcher arm) and two battle droids. A Separatist proton cannon and Republic BARC (Biker Advanced Recon Commando) speeder make up the rest of the set.

The Luminara Unduli figure is brand new and very well done. Her torso and legs are very detailed and her overall design is in keeping with the Clone Wars theme. Her face is two sided; on one side is her normal face, and on the other she wears goggles. This is a nice plus. It makes sense because in a Clone Wars episode (Season 2, “Legacy of Terror”), she does indeed ride on a BARC speeder on Geonosis in pursuit of Poggle the Lesser. When a sandstorm rolls in, she flips down her goggles.  It’s similar to the Anakin Skywalker figure in the 8085 Freeco Speeder, where one side of his head is his normal face, and the other is bundled up with a pair of goggles and a scarf.

The Captain Rex figure, like all clone commanders, comes with many accessories: a visor, two view finders and two flashlights that can be attached to the helmet, a kama, pauldron, and dual DC-17 pistols. I was surprised at how his face is different from that of other clone trooper minifigures. His unshaven face gives him that tough-as-nails appearance of the Captain Rex we all know and love.

There’s nothing new with the battle droids, but the super battle droid sports a rocket-launcher arm, which is quite rare to find. It’s a very neat sculpt and it looks great.

The proton cannon is, of course, the focal point of this set. I was a bit apprehensive when I first saw it. I was worried that the legs wouldn’t be able to hold up the large cannon sitting on top, or that it would have a difficult time standing correctly. These concerns were quickly thrown out the window after I assembled the set. It has a solid build and its legs are very sturdy. Each leg features a piece that functions as a sort of hydraulic suspension system. When you spread out the legs, the light gray rod in the larger black tube slides outwards, and when you pull the legs in closer to the main body, the rod slides inwards. They don’t seem like much, but these suspension pieces stabilize the entire cannon. Otherwise, the legs would simply keep spreading outwards due to the weight of the cannon until the base touches the surface of the ground. It sort of looks like a flattened bug, actually. It’s quite humorous.

The other function it has is the adjustable cannon. It has a movement range of roughly ninety degrees (backwards and frontwards). Within the proton cannon is a series of gears connected to a knob on the outside. You can turn the knob clockwise to aim the cannon upwards and counterclockwise to aim it downwards. It’s a nifty little feature that allows you to set it up in many different positions for display or for play.

I had also thought that the two large, curved pieces on the rear of the cannon would be flimsy, but they’re pretty solid, too. Now, I’ve heard many people complain about the firing cannon that is inside the proton cannon (that is, right under it). It looks a bit silly, but then again, it’s another one of those play functions for younger kids, like the flick-fire missiles. This makes the proton cannon itself less accurate to what’s depicted on the show. In my personal opinion, however, it’s not very prominent; the firing cannon is well hidden and not very noticeable.

I really like the color scheme of the cannon. It’s simple and it’s accurate to the proton cannon seen on the Clone Wars. Because of this, it goes very nicely with the 7681 Separatist Spider Droid. The color schemes are exactly the same, and even the “eyes” are of the same translucent color. Some other sets that go well together based solely on color scheme and faction include the 7678 Droid Gunship, 8018 AAT (Armored Assault Tank) and the 8036 Separatists Shuttle, which have the gray and dark blue color scheme of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. It’s quite nice to see consistency with some of these sets, as it gives the line some variety.

The BARC speeder is exactly the same in build as the one included in the 7913 Clone Trooper Battle Pack, with only minor differences in the color scheme. One of the more prominent alterations is in the colored parts of the speeder, where it is dark red as opposed to green. The speeder bike’s build is solid and aesthetically pleasing, even though it’s a bit bulkier than the real BARC speeder. I’m glad that Lego decided to keep the handlebar design for speeder bikes, which was introduced in the 8084 Snowtrooper Battle Pack. They’re easily adjustable and fit very well in a minifigure’s hands.

The only other thing that irks me about this set as a whole is the fact that it includes no Geonosian minifigures. The Battle of Geonosis involved primarily the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, indeed, but Geonosians were involved as well. I assume that this set is based on the Clone Wars episodes “Landing at Point Rain” and “Legacy of Terror,” which took place during what is technically referred to as the Second Battle of Geonosis, in which the Geonosians were present. I believe that the inclusion of a couple of those minifigures would have made the set that much better. I wouldn’t have minded if they had to take a droid or two out of the set to make room for them. But alas, what’s done is done.

Accessories

Clone commander gear, a couple of standard battle droid blasters and Luminara Unduli’s lightsaber covers all the accessories included. It’s not much, but I don’t mind. With Luminara or Rex piloting the BARC speeder and one of the battle droids operating the proton cannon, it almost seems like there’s an excess of weapons (when you don’t equip them while they are operating their respective vehicles). I think it would’ve been nice if they included some small contraption to store weapons in. A compartment somewhere on the proton cannon or a couple of hooks on the BARC speeder would have been convenient, but again, it’s not a problem either way.

The Verdict

This is a great set that has a good number of play features and details. Unless the case is extreme, I will no longer figure price into the rating, because the prices for this year’s sets are the new “standard,” as I mentioned near the beginning of this review. It’s simply pointless to complain any further about the price, because it’s not going to change. With that out of the way, here are the main points of the set once more.

Pros:

-new Luminara Unduli minifigure; detailed and in keeping with Clone Wars design
-proton cannon has a solid build and stands very well due to intuitive suspension pieces on legs
-unique play feature (cannon is adjustable); nice degree of movement
-BARC speeder has a solid build
-sufficient amount of minifigures
-good number of accessories

Cons:

-BARC speeder model is reused
-includes no Geonosian minifigures

BrickWars-Sets Rating: 9/10 | Fantastic

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