While we have already discussed the 2018 LEGO sets that were released early (see: December 2017 – New LEGO Sets & Promotions), there was one 2018 LEGO Star Wars set that sort of sneaked in all by itself, and we haven’t yet talked about; the . The set is an exclusive to Target stores, and is also available at the Online LEGO Shop. So let’s talk about this interesting little ship. 🙂
The #75204 LEGO Star Wars Sandspeeder appears to be nothing more than a recolor of the classic snowspeeder, but there are actually some other differences as well. Both vehicles need to operate efficiently under extreme (but very different) weather conditions, which require some unique features and modifications. In addition, LEGO designers incorporated different building techniques to achieve similar shapes and functions (which is always interesting to see).
First, let’s talk about the original vehicles from the Star Wars universe, that the LEGO versions are based on. Both the snowspeeder and the sandspeeder are adapted from the T-47 airspeeder, manufactured by Incom Corporation. In Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, rebel technicians had trouble adapting the vehicles to the extreme cold, but they eventually figured it out by modifying the radiator fins. The small and agile speeders with a white paintjob and orange markings are well-loved by Star Wars fans and LEGO fans alike. In fact, LEGO released a number of different versions of the snowspeeder from tiny tosize, and it seems like LEGO fans never get tired of it. Snowspeeders are just so swooshable!
The sandspeeder, on the other hand, is much less known in the Star Wars universe, and this is the first time it appears in LEGO form. According to the Star Wars wiki, “the Sandspeeder was a variant of the Incom T-47 airspeeder utilized by the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. It was modified specifically to undergo operations in hot, dry conditions. The drive section was left exposed for easier maintenance, although the airspeeder itself was enclosed. It also had a maximum speed of 600 kilometers per hour. They had been developed shortly after the Alliance had modified the T-47 airspeeder to operate on Hoth, leaving the modifications of the same airspeeder for arid environments relatively simple.”
The same wiki page mentions that the sandspeeder was originally designed for a Star Wars toy line made by the now defunct toy company Kenner, that supposed to be the continuation of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. While Lucasfilm scrapped the project, some of the concepts ended up getting integrated in other ways – like the sandspeeder.
Here is the official description of the LEGO Sandspeeder: Expand your LEGO Star Wars collection with the Sandspeeder. This variant of the iconic Snowspeeder features some fascinating details, including desert camouflage elements, opening minifigure cockpit and button-activated spring-loaded shooters. There’s also a toppling moisture vaporator, which any budding Sandspeeder pilot will love to use for target practice. Includes 2 minifigures: a Sandspeeder Pilot and a Sandspeeder Gunner. Sandspeeder measures over 2” (6cm) high, 6” (17cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide. Vaporator measures over 5” (13cm) high, 1” (5cm) wide and 3” (10cm) deep. 278 pieces. Price: $29.99 –
The tan and dark-tan color-combination of the sandspeeder is quite striking, and goes well with the smoky window and dark-gray accent colors. Also, notice the special fins on the two sides of the cockpit, which is unique to the sandspeeder. Speaking of the cockpit, it opens up differently than the one on the snowspeeder, and includes a hidden compartment for extra weapons. The back of the sandspeeder is also different, and doesn’t include the tow-cable that was used to trip the AT-AT Walkers. The wings of the sandspeeder are attached with LEGO Technic connectors which makes them more sturdy compared to the snowspeeder, and also add some nice greebling effect. In the video below, just2good will show you some more details of the set.
As you can see, both minifigs are very detailed with really nice torso and leg printings and a great color-scheme. And, getting those rebel helmets with different colors and markings always make LEGO Star Wars fans happy. The moisture vaporator is also surprisingly well designed for such a small model, and the sideways rock piece is a very effective technique to hide some simple and clever play-functions, while also adding to the look of the terrain.
While overall the set looks pleasing and the play-functions work well, there are a couple of weak points also. The cockpit of the sandspeeder can open up in two ways; you can open it fully to reveal the hidden compartment, or, you can just open up the windshield section in the more traditional way. However, because the hinges of the windshield are quite tight, unless you hold down the section behind it, the whole roof tends to fall off. This is an issue on other small vehicles too where there is not enough room to tighten down the hinge with extra pieces. It’s an annoying problem that I’m surprised LEGO didn’t yet fix. I also feel like the sandspeeder could have used a bit of extra greebling. I particularly miss the 2×2 round tiles over the 2×2 slopes on the wings (as seen on most versions of the snowspeeder). Little things like that can make a big difference in overall shaping. Fortunately, this is an easy fix, as greebling is fairly easy to add to any vehicle with a few extra pieces.
With everything considered, I would say that the #75204 LEGO Star Wars Sandspeeder is a great little set with a very swooshable airspeeder wrapped in a unique sandy camouflage. LEGO Star Wars fans should be very pleased to add this version of the vehicle to their snowspeeder collection. Hopefully, we will also see it in upcoming movies, so we can tie some great stories to it – just like with the snowspeeder. As I mentioned at the beginning, the set is exclusive to Target stores if you want to check it out, and is also available at the.
What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Star Wars Sandspeeder? Do you think it’s a worthy addition to the fleet of LEGO snowspeeders we already got? Are you planning to add it to your collection? Or do you already have it? Feel free to share your thoughts and own review in the comment section below! 😉
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