A the beginning of the month LEGO released the #75098 LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth, the latest set in the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series. The set has been receiving a lot of criticism since it was first announced back in February, however after it became available it got some positive feedback also on some of its features. Below I will share with you my own opinion about the set, as well as reviews other LEGO fans. Hopefully this will help you decide if this set is for you or not. 🙂
The LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth was first rumored all the way back at the beginning of 2015 with a scheduled release sometime last fall/winter. It would have actually made more sense to release it last year, as the #75054 LEGO Star Wars AT-AT was still available. Without adding more imperial troops and vehicles the LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth is definitely lacking on the assault side – in fact, it is looking like the rebels are assaulting a couple of poor snowtroopers.
Most of the criticism against this LEGO Star Wars set stems from the addition of the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series logo. LEGO Star Wars UCS sets supposed to be aimed at older teen and adult LEGO fans, with focus on accuracy, displayability and advanced building techniques. As you will see from the details, the LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth is not an accurate model of the Hoth rebel base, it doesn’t look good as a cohesive display piece, and with all those stud-shooters and spring-loaded shooters added everywhere, it is definitely aimed at kids, not older LEGO fans. It is best to just ignore the LEGO Star Wars UCS label, and consider this a large but regular LEGO Star Wars play set.
The LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth does have some features that we can usually only find in more advanced sets. The landscaping (or I guess we could call it snowscaping) looks very pleasing in my opinion. Other reviewers point out that there shouldn’t be so much rock exposed – which is true as far as comparing the set to the movie – but if we just look at it as a LEGO set, the combination of white snow pieces over the gray rocks is quite nice – especially around the hangar doors. The Wampa cave is nicely snowscaped as well, and looks particularly sweet attached to the main section – giving the base a more substantial and organic look.
Another feature that indicates a more advanced set is all the interchaneable modules. I think this is a very big plus from the playability perspective and one of my favorite features. You can take the fully built turrets and easily reposition them throughout the base for different configurations, and you can do the same with the Wampa cave and the Tauntaun stable area. I would love to see such a feature added to more sets; no need to fully rebuild the entire model (like in the LEGO Creator line) or a section (like in the LEGO Minecraft sets), but simply move modules around on jumper-plates or reconnect them with LEGO Technic pins.
While the base and the trench with gun turrets look nice from the front, some sections of the set look terrible from other angles. The design of the ion cannon in particular baffles everyone who reviewed this set. It is fine from the front and the sides, but from the back it looks awful with all those mismatched colors. The sliding doors of the base also look very bad from the back. It is realistic to have an unfinished and somewhat crude look of a rebel base like this, and the exposed LEGO Technic mechanism achieves this well. However those random light-gray plates on the black doors are just ugly.
Continuing the list of inaccurate details, the power generator only got three modules instead of four, and there is that strange little lookout tower tacked on the set for no reason. In a playset having such inaccuracies would be forgivable in favor of play-features, but in a $250 Ultimate Collector Series model this shouldn’t be happening.
The snowspeeder, speeder bike, and other vehicles and smaller accessories look fine on their own. The snowspeeder needs a really accurate pilot though to fit through those blaster doors!
Minifigs included are Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Toryn Farr, a rebel officer, Wes Janson, Wedge Antilles, K-3PO, 5 rebel troopers and 2 snowtroopers, plus an R3-A2, a Tauntaun and a Wampa. They are all okay – nothing too special, but okay. My favorite are the two droids; the R3-A2 unit comes with a really nice white and orange color-scheme and translucent dome, and K-3PO got lots of upgraded details.
The inside of the rebel base is not nearly as nicely laid out and accessorized as the #7879 LEGO Star Wars Hoth Echo Base from 2011. The sliding crane is okay, and the little control room is fine (although very plain), but while the front of the set is oversaturated with play-features and shooting action and has nice landscaping, the back doesn’t look good, and there is not a whole lot to play with. Again, the 2011 set was much better in both look and play-features, and it was only $90.
In the video-player below I’m including reviews of the LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth by JANGBRiCKS, and The Brick Show. Their reviews are quite similar and quite long, so if you only have slight interest in this set I recommend watching just one of the reviews. However they also make some different points that I think are valuable. I’m also including a build-review by Sariel’s LEGO Workshop to give you a sense of the building process. (You can use the drop-down list in the upper left corner to choose the review you want to watch). I would also suggest to read the review on Brickset. It is critical, but well thought out, and well written. Between these reviews you should be able to make an informed decision if you are considering to buy this set.
I think the main problem with the #75098 LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth is that it’s not clear on its target audience – trying to please everyone, and ending up appealing to none. The price, piece-count and LEGO Star Wars UCS logo clearly targets older LEGO fans. But the lack of accuracy, lack of displayability, and the compromises made to facilitate so many kiddie shooters is turning adults away. On the other hand how many kids have $250 to spend on a single LEGO set? LEGO released many much better Hoth based sets with nicer details and for reasonable prices. The LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth is not for collectors who want a nice display piece, not for movie fans who want an accurate model, and is not an affordable set for kids – so who is it for exactly? 😕
If you have any of the previous LEGO Star Wars Hoth based sets, you likely already have everything included here. If you don’t have the previous sets, and you would like to own a LEGO Star Wars Hoth based scene, it might be worth taking a look. After all, it is not a bad set; the building experience is fun, the modular features are nice, the minifigs look good, and you basically get a whole Hoth rebel base in one box. It is just not as good as the LEGO Star Wars UCS logo and the $250 price tag would suggest. You can find it under the LEGO Star Wars section of the Online LEGO Shop.
I also thought to mention that there is an interesting endeavor by Reddit user RRR3000, who did a survey on what LEGO fans would like to have in a LEGO Star Wars UCS Hoth set. Based on the feedback he designed his own LEGO Star Wars Hoth Base, using about the same amount of pieces as the official set and will plan to post building instructions as well. See below. It looks so much more grown up than the official set!
What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth? Do you agree with the negative reviews? Or do you think they are too harsh? Are you planning to get this set yourself? Would you recommend it to others? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
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I added one more video to the player. It is an analysis by Jang about why there is so much negativity about this set. It is thoughtful and insightful, so I thought it would be a valuable addition. Plus I agree with his points. 🙂
If this set had more Snowtroopers and less Rebel Soldiers, I might consider it. 2 troopers is not nearly enough.
Yeah, the assault part is really missing. That’s one of the biggest complaints. I have actually seen some reviews by kids where they ended up blowing up the base itself because there was nothing else to shoot at. 🙄
Same here. The Snowspeeder was used to destroy the shield generator.
I agree with Jang. I think the smaller pieces that Lego didn’t make could have put in a smaller set and sold cheaper. As for it being on display , I think Lego sets should be play sets or else where’s the fun at looking at it all day . Unless you are planning on making a museum.
LEGO does make display sets specifically for adults and older teens. Most adults don’t “play” with their LEGO like children do. They like to build using complex building techniques, and display their creations. They don’t make swooshing noises and go; “Poof, poof, die, badguys, die!” – although some of the more playful ones might do it occasionally.
Sets like LEGO Architecture, larger Technic models, the LEGO Creator Expert Builder sets, mosaics and sculptures, and the SW Ultimate Collector Series are released for older LEGO fans, with a focus on advanced building techniques, accuracy and displayability. By putting the SW Ultimate Collector Series emblem on this set the issue is that LEGO appears to have completely lost track of what teen and adult LEGO fans want. At the same time the set is not particularly appropriate for kids either, as it takes a long time to build, and there are no badguys to shoot all those cannons at. So yeah, they missed the marked on so many different levels…
” Poof, poof, poof, die, bad guy, die . I don’t mean that kind of play. There are different levels of play , even building a LEGO set is a form of play. I mean, I hate it when I buy a LEGO set and an adult would say ” aren’t you to old for that ” . ( those non LEGO fans) .I don’t know about you, but when I build a LEGO set I feel like a kid expert level or not . Creativity comes from imagination, imagination comes from thinking like kid . As a person gets older they sometimes lose that.
Oh, sure! If we use the word play in a broader sense like that, LEGO is all about creativity and play. In fact, from that perspective, everything can be play – even washing dishes! 😀
I am talking about LEGO . Washing dishes is considered work or a chore. Unless you can pretend to wash dishes and that falls In a more of a child act. LEGO gives us a broader range . When adults complain about a set that isn’t challenging enough for them. Then make it how you what it to be. Make it a launch pad and make it better. Keep mind LEGO has already made two big sets for ” adults” Batcave and Gostbusters firehouse . I think LEGO is spreading things out for everyone.
Oh… am I the only grown-up playing battles between cups and turning plates into islands while washing dishes? Opps… maybe I should have kept that to myself… 🙄
The issue with the Hoth Base is not that there are play-features included for kids. They are fairly well hidden and could be either ignored or simply removed. The problem is that it is not a display piece like all other previous sets in the SW UCS collection. It looks way too messy. Also, it is not accurate to the movie (another requirement for the UCS line). Yes, it could be modified, but this means having to drop extra $$$ on even more pieces. LEGO fans feel (I would say rightly so), that a several hundred dollar set should be complete enough and should not need significant “fixing”.
Kids and adults usually have different standards of what they want from a LEGO set. LEGO has been great at providing sets for different age ranges, but lately they have been experimenting with blurring the lines, which is actually fine in my opinion. In some sets like the Detective’s Office and the Brick Bank they did an excellent job with this. The sets look beautiful on display, but there are play-features kids can enjoy too. The Firehouse HQ also works well both as a play-set and a display piece. The Batcave and the Hoth base however missed the mark. They are neither display-sets or play-sets, but some hodgepodge in between.
As far as Star Wars UCS sets, someone put it really well on a forum (forgot where); if the set looks impressive as a center piece on a coffee-table, you have an UCS set. If not, it belongs to the kids’ room. The Sandrawler, the Slave I, the TIE Fighter, the Red Five X-wing, etc. are all impressive display pieces and have great play features. They deserve the UCS designation. Assault on Hoth doesn’t. Here is the list of all LEGO Star Wars UCS sets. Looking at the list I think it’s pretty clear why collectors are upset: http://brickset.com/sets/theme-Star-Wars/subtheme-Ultimate-Collector-Series/page-1
Can we agree that LEGO sets can be displayed and played with no matter how old you are . As for you playing with your dishes just proves that we as adults like to be kids once and awhile and LEGO helps.
Oh, sure! I didn’t think we were disagreeing. Just looking at the same points from different angles. It’s like building a collaborative project with LEGO; each person adding a little bit of their own taste. 😉
That fan base is interesting… Maintaining about the same piece count… Many critics seem to want MOC-like sets with the same scope as the film or something similarly unrealistic…
Yeah, I thought so too. That’s why I included it. It has a cleaner, more displayable and accurate design, and it also includes an AT-AT! 😀
I can just think about a parent working on the assault on hoth set with their kid and building a happy memory together.weather we like the set or not . That is a wonderful thing and it’s in a way another LEGO creation.
Yes, that’s sweet. The fact that the set is so modular actually perfect for several people working on different parts.
I’m still shocked that for this price the set doesn’t include Leia.
Yeah, that was a pretty strange decision as she is crucial to the scene.