The Lego 7915 Imperial V-Wing Starfighter was a set released in early January of 2011. Its MSRP is $19.99, the set contains 139 pieces and includes 2 minifigures. Of the six sets released in the first Lego Star Wars wave of 2011, this set and the 7929 The Battle of Naboo are the only ones not based off of the Clone Wars. The Imperial V-Wing Starfighter was featured in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for a brief moment, escorting Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine in his private shuttle. It is the upgraded version of the Republic V-Wing Starfighter. In 2006, Lego produced the 6205 V-Wing Fighter. The 7915 Imperial V-Wing Starfighter shares many similarities with it. It is a great addition to any Imperial fleet, and goes great with the Lego 8096 Emperor Palpatine’s Shuttle!
With the recent rise in Lego prices, this set seems like a decent deal at first glance – however, looking back at the 6205 V-Wing Fighter manufactured in 2006, which cost $9.99, the Imperial V-Wing Starfighter’s price is one of the abnormally high ones of the 2011 wave. The V-Wing from 2006 had 118 pieces; the Imperial V-Wing has 139 pieces. The ship itself is slightly longer than the 2006 V-Wing and has a rotating wings function. Regardless, I don’t think that the small increase in the number of pieces or the improvement of the overall build and playability of the set justifies a $10 increase in price, even with the inflation of Lego prices over the years. At most, this set should have been priced at $14.99.
Design and Build
The minifigures in this set are very nice and highly detailed. The pilot surprised me the most, with his open helmet and painted face. Usually, an Imperial pilot simply has a black helmet and a blank head, be it yellow, black or flesh-colored. But this pilot has an open helmet and something actually painted on his head, which looks unique and that stands out. Chronologically, this also makes sense; their ships were seen in Episode III, after the Galactic Republic officially became the Galactic Empire. Meaning, this is the first Imperial pilot that ever came to be. Later pilots had improved helmets and as such, differed in appearance.
R2-Q2 isn’t particularly special, but I’m glad to see a new astromech, regardless. He’s colored a light gray with some white and black designs; the usual astromech design, though. Other than some red and blue buttons on his head, he’s monochrome – also fitting for the Galactic Empire and in keeping with the color scheme of the Imperial V-Wing. However, the plastic the droid is made of feels different from other Lego bricks and even from other astromechs. It feels cheaper, lighter and flimsier, but maybe that’s just me. On the back of the droid, there are some strange contours in the plastic that tell me of poor mixing or molding of the plastic. I’m no expert on the production of Lego pieces though, so I can’t say for certain.
The Imperial V-Wing Starfighter is very well designed. It’s sleeker and more accurate than the 2006 version, and a bit bigger to boot. The build was nothing fancy, until I got to the rear of the ship – that’s where the gears and such went. Before I knew it, it had fully functional rotating wings!
Stickers have always been an annoyance to Lego fans and collectors out there. Personally, I don’t mind them, except the Imperial V-Wing’s case is a special one. One that I do have issues with. The stickers are well designed, but not very well made. They do not stick on the pieces for long before they start peeling from the sides. I knew something was up when I saw an Imperial V-Wing in a display case at the Lego store with its stickers curling up. The only ones that don’t have this problem are the round stickers – the Galactic Empire insignias.
The ones that are peeling are the rectangular ones; the largest one spanning the entire front end of the starfighter, and two smaller ones on the two pieces of armor plating protecting the astromech.
Another thing about the set that bothers me is how to place the astromech into the ship. To do so, you must remove its head and place it in the area behind the cockpit. For me, that sort of defeats the purpose of including R2-Q2 as a complete minifigure. They might as well have included no body, as they did with the V-Wing Fighter from 2006.
One aspect of the 2006 V-Wing Fighter that bothered me was the cockpit. It was very cramped and difficult to place the pilot in. The window piece was also too small. Lego was able to improve that in the Imperial V-Wing. The cockpit window is a new mold, which is large and opens easily due to the “bar and hook” connectivity instead of the traditional pieces used to connect such windows to ships or vehicles; those snapped into place and did not smoothly open or close. One such example is in the 8037 Anakin’s Y-Wing Starfighter. Those who own the set know the type of connecting pieces I’m referring to. The same pieces are used for the Imperial V-Wing’s side wings and the plating around the astromech droid. The pilot has plenty of room in the V-Wing, which is very nice because you can fit his blaster in there along with him. I also like how Lego decided to make some of the pieces brown, to suggest that the cockpit is padded and more comfortable for the pilot. It’s little details like these that I enjoy seeing incorporated into sets.
Being that this set includes only two minifigures, with one of those two being an astromech droid, I didn’t expect any sort of accessories. Pilot minifigures typically don’t come with weapons either, so I was surprised that they included a standard blaster for him. There’s no place to put the blaster in the V-Wing, but that’s not a problem because it fits nicely in his lap.
The boosters – or thrusters, whatever you refer to them as – on the rear of the ship stand out and look fantastic with the rest of the ship. I’m unsure of how to describe it. The light green really pops out at you. The 2006 V-Wing Fighter had the same color boosters, so I’m glad to see that they kept it, because in all honesty, it works very well. I can’t imagine it being light blue, or red, or orange – light green fits it perfectly.
The Imperial V-Wing Starfighter is a well designed set, although it is somewhat “recycled,” if you will. The pilot minifigure is brand-new and the astromech, R2-Q2, is also new. The ship’s rotating wings function is very neat and fun to play with, whether you’re pretending to fly it around or if you’re putting it into a cool pose on your shelf. However, the price of the set is an issue, even when considering inflation of prices and the rising costs of petroleum products. It is especially apparent when one compares this set to the 6205 V-Wing Fighter, which cost $9.99 and contained 118 pieces, only 21 short of the Imperial V-Wing, which cost $19.99.
-brand new Imperial pilot minifigure and astromech droid (R2-Q2)
-very detailed torso and helmet on pilot
-functional, rotating wings
-sleeker design than previous V-Wing
-well-done Galactic Empire color scheme
-poor piece-to-price ratio
-R2-Q2’s head must be removed to place him on the V-Wing