After a 14 year wait, the fourth LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series re-release has arrived in the form of 75181 Y-Wing Starfighter. Daniel Konstanski takes an initial look at the latest major Star Wars offering
Now that 75181 Y-wing Starfighter has been officially announced, it is time to take a look at the gallery of images and see hos this set shapes up. The Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) label was not even applied to the box the last time such a version of the Y-wing was released. With 31 sets now classified, some retroactively, as LEGO Star Wars UCS, the original, 10134 Y-wing Starfighter, clocks in at number nine. Considering a teenage fan of LEGO (TFOL) could have not even been born for the last incarnation, it is safe to say that the X-wing’s slightly less iconic cousin was due for an upgrade. The LEGO Group has delivered in spades, if these images prove to be an accurate reflection of what we will all be building in a month’s time. 75181 UCS Y-Wing Starfighter appears to have hit almost every high note, delivering what will surely be a must have set for Star Wars fans.
I don’t know if there has ever been a Star Wars UCS ship so closely modelled after a regular system set based on the same source material. Last year’s 75172 Y-wing Starfighter clearly test drove a lot of 75181’s features. The colour scheme is almost identical. Brown bars dot the fuselage of both sets. The bar construction of the exhaust vents is eerily similar. Finally, the cockpit and turret are virtually identical with 75181’s being just a bit longer. This is not a bad thing – as noted in the Brick Fanatics review, last year’s Y-wing was a truly outstanding model. Simply scaling it up seems a good recipe for success, and I fully anticipate much of what made the smaller version great will be even more fulfilling with this larger iteration.
The scale of 75181 has me very curious. Looking at the pictures it appears to be slightly oversized for the included minifigure pilot. Last year’s UCS Snowspeeder reboot, set 75144, included minifigures but they were clearly meant to be decorative – an added bonus to spice up the display stand. Here, multiple photos show the included minifigure piloting the Y-wing, and the windscreen is the same as has been included with every version of the Y-wing released to date. While I won’t deny that the idea of swooshing a model this large around the room makes me giddy with delight, the ship seems a bit large for minifigure scale. I would love to put this set next to 75192 Millennium Falcon and see how they compare.
Overall, I am very impressed with 75181 Y-wing Starfighter. It looks to be a gorgeous model, making full use of the larger array of colours and parts available now to make dramatic improvements over its predecessor from 14 years ago. That original Y-Wing is somewhat amazing to look back on, the designer pulled off something pretty amazing considering what they had to work with at the time. Much like the other re-releases that have arrived over the last several years, this new Y-wing is so dramatically better than the first version that there is a strong case to be made that even folks who have the old one should consider upgrading – and for folks who don’t have the previous version this purchase will be a no brainer. After a rough 2016 as far as Star Wars UCS models went, the LEGO Group was on-point in 2017 and that trend appears to be continuing in 2018.