The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sets are finally here. 75153 AT-ST Walker is the most recognisable, and perhaps therefore the most hotly anticipated, among the entire new LEGO Star Wars wave. But does the fourth minifigure-scaled AT-ST do enough to surpass its predecessors?
Price: £39.99 / $39.99 / €49.99 Pieces: 449 Available: Now
It’s difficult to believe, with the LEGO Group’s propensity for re-releases, that it’s been nine years since the AT-ST last appeared in a standalone set. In fact, it’s been seven years since it last appeared at all, as part of 8038 Battle of Endor. In the years twixt, we’ve had all manner of All-Terrain walkers, including a pair of AT-ATs, while the AT-ST was forced to watch miserably from the sidelines.
Then again, until 75153 came along, it seemed like the only reason to re-release the chicken walker was a matter of access. The version included in 8038 was the pinnacle of minifigure-scale design, at least as far as a sturdy LEGO set goes, with the only major qualms being the easily removable swinging-legs play feature and that the cabin still couldn’t seat two minifigures. 75153, however, shows us exactly what we were missing – albeit only solving one of those issues along the way.
The success of this latest iteration also depends on how in-scale with each other you like your sets. Put this next to any of the AT-ATs and it’ll look as out of proportion as a Snowspeeder – truth told, it’s massive, absolutely towering above its predecessors. Arguably, however, it’s truer to minifigure-scale, and that particular comparison is more the fault of the AT-ATs being far too small for purpose.
The swinging legs, which made the walker impossible to actually, well, walk, have been done away with. Instead, the rotating knob on the model’s back – which is still present, but uses a different gear system – controls the AT-ST’s head. It’s a far more satisfying play feature, and leaves the legs free to position how you like, as long as you like them to only move backwards.
Yes, there’s still no good way to display the AT-ST in motion without it looking like it’s having a good stretch, or instantly falling over. The AT-ST’s feet are a key part of its articulation, but here, the only moving joint is the ‘knee’ at the top of each leg. The feet are fixed in place completely, rendering the walker unable to replicate its primary, eponymous function without quickly becoming unbalanced.
The cabin, meanwhile, still only seats one minifigure at the controls, despite its increased size. A pair of jumper plates behind the pilot’s seat, on which a dangerously loose thermal detonator is placed in the standard set, are capable of housing a second minifigure – as long as he doesn’t have a helmet, so a second AT-ST pilot is out of the question. And if you’re still hoping for side-by-side seating, you’d better get ready for some serious modding.
Despite its oddly persistent flaws, however, the AT-ST still has plenty going for it. It’s far sturdier than previous incarnations, with the head’s side panels attached at two connection points – one with a Technic pin, and the other with a 1×2 plate, modified with arm up hooked in to a 2×2 plate, modified with pin hole. The increased size has also allowed for a greater level of detail, and more ingenious ways of capturing the various flaps, panels and weaponry.
The AT-ST driver has had a slight upgrade, with goggles printed on his helmet. If anything, it’s nice just to get another chicken walker that doesn’t have Chewbacca at the helm. Of the two brand new Rogue One characters, only one is named – Baze Malbus, the other half to Chirrut Îmwe’s spiritual warrior-monk. His gun is wonderfully inventive, with a rollerblade used for its complex sights and a small chain linking it to his rear power pack.
The nameless rebel trooper is good for bulking out ranks, and the new, two-tone helmet design is great. The diversity is appreciated, too – it’s just a shame there aren’t more female characters in this range, aside from the heroine herself.
At £39.99, 75153 represents a significant price upgrade from the AT-ST’s previous iterations. But there’s plenty of brick for your buck, and the size increase is enough that you won’t feel hard done by. The play features are limited, but on display, it’s the real deal – and certainly the most aesthetically-pleasing official AT-ST yet.
75153 AT-ST Walker is available now from shop.LEGO.com. You can support Brick Fanatics’ work by purchasing through our affiliate link. And don’t forget, there are plenty of deals to be had this weekend in celebration of Force Friday.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.