75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers is due to retire by the end of this year, and fresh reports suggest it will be instantly replaced by a completely different 501st-themed battle pack. While the original set is a supersized take on the classic battle pack formula, featuring six minifigures and 285 pieces for £24.99 / $29.99 / €29.99, the newer model is said to hew closer to 75320 Snowtrooper Battle Pack.
That means it should include just four minifigures, and will likely retail for £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99. According to the rumour mill, those characters will include two Heavy Troopers, a Sniper and a Commander – all of which have appeared in EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II video game, potentially giving us some insight into what they could look like in minifigure form.
Anyone who’s spent any time with Battlefront II will know the soldier classes are actually identified in-game as Assault, Heavy, Officer and Specialist, but they effectively fill the same roles: the Commander will likely match the Officer, the Sniper should resemble the Specialist, and we probably don’t need to explain where the Heavy comes into the picture.
The image above displays the differences in style between the various Clone Trooper classes, and therefore what to expect from their LEGO minifigures. The troopers will presumably use the new style of helmet introduced in 75337 AT-TE Walker, complete with holes for attachments, to allow the Sniper (or Specialist) to include a visor, for example.
It doesn’t seem a stretch to imagine the Commander will be a standard 501st Legion Clone Trooper with slightly different torso printing, a shoulder pauldron and kama, while the Heavy Trooper will likely include a brick-built backpack assembly, larger weapon and – hopefully – a shoulder bag, which could also be sported by the Specialist.
What will likely remain constant across these characters is the helmet (beyond the Sniper’s visor), ensuring a degree of consistency between your previous 501st Legion army – full of standard soldiers and Jet Troopers – and these new additions. Not complete consistency, though, given the original 501st Legion helmets don’t feature the holes for accessories.
This is obviously all dependent on rumours proving true, so take everything here with a grain of salt until confirmed by the LEGO Group. In the meantime, head here for a complete rundown of LEGO Star Wars sets said to be arriving in 2023.
Featured image: EA / AdiGames