The LEGO Group has proven before that there is no screen time too minimal for a set to be immortalised in the brick – Rey and Finn’s almost ride joins those storied ranks in fine form
Price: £54.99 / $49.99 / €69.99 Pieces: 457 Available: Now
I confess to having laughed when I first heard about this set. The Quadjumper, as named in The Force Awakens, has less than three seconds of screentime and is literally there only to be blown up by the First Order. It exists to set the stage for the reveal which had us all cheering a few frames later when the ‘garbage’ alternative that spirits our heroes away is revealed. Being so completely and utterly overshadowed by what is arguably the most famous spaceship in either of our galaxies, the Quadjumper is a completely forgettable ship – that the LEGO Group has turned into a surprisingly fabulous set with great value. I went into this build dismissive and found myself won over.
Right out of the box, 75178 hit one of my sweet spots, as it is a single model. As a father of two girls I build a lot of Friends sets and admit to often being annoyed by the numerous-small-models approach to sets and have lamented the incursion of that approach into recent Star Wars and Super Heroes offerings. Call me old school but I appreciate a set which consists of a single, well executed build – and that is exactly what the Quadjumper delivers.
I was also surprised by the size of the set. Having given the promotional photos only a passing glance my impression was that the craft was roughly on par with a Jedi Starfighter in terms of scale. While they may be similar in length the Quadjumper is noticeably taller than I anticipated and far more hefty. Despite what its movie presence would suggest, this is a ship which appears like it could take a beating.
As I progressed through the build the delightful surprises continued. Presumably to enable acting out an alternate reality to the The Force Awakens storyline, the cockpit seats two, allowing both Rey and Finn to make a getaway. Access is facilitated through a double hinged retractable canopy. However, the remainder of the ship’s ample fuselage was not wasted. The mechanism which facilitates 75178‘s main play feature, more on that in a minute, was brilliantly kept to a minimum profile thereby leaving room for an entire rear compartment which can hold a third figure. This is technically accurate to the design of the ship as imagined in the larger Star Wars universe, where this rear hatch is the point of access for the ship via a retractable ladder. The LEGO Group has taken some creative license here and made it so that the a gunner’s port can be opened – though presumably only for in atmosphere combat, due to the absence of a windscreen to maintain vacuum.
Quadjumpers are intended to be used as space tugs ferrying cargo containers within orbital transfer yards. This is the reason for the bulk of the ship being devoted to four huge engines. After constructing the chassis two pairs of engines, top and bottom, are attached. Designers have put their parts allotment to good use, the engines are highly detailed and use only two stickers. Hidden within the center of the fuselage, and activated by a push button on top, is the set’s primary play function. LEGO designers have immortalised the Quadjumper‘s claim to fame – blowing up. A rather impressive exploding function will forcefully dislodge the top two engines. While effective when it works, the mechanism is not quite as intuitive as some other play features, making it one of the set’s misses. The other miss is the cockpit windscreen, which fits so poorly that an unsightly gap almost big enough for a minifigure to pass through is created.
The final major selling point of 75178 is the minifigure selection. Many lamented the spread out nature of The Force Awakens main cast in the original round of sets. Those days have passed. An astonishing 4.5 figures are included with the starship including both Rey and Finn as well as BB-8. Along for the ride are a First Order Stormtrooper and a generic, though highly detailed, rough looking pilot.
Such a great minifigure selection coupled with a solid model, decent display value and a fairly generous piece count add up to make the Quadjumper a surprising treat. I went into the set with low expectations, as it is a ship that has never appeared in LEGO form before, but this turned out to be a strength. The Force Awakens and Rogue One have been a breath of fresh air in terms of new spacecraft, but even many of those are clearly inspired by previous craft we know and love.
75178 is unlike anything which has come before, a completely new ship building experience rather than an incremental improvement. I had underestimated how delightful that would be. Considering the LEGO Group’s propensity for remakes, I am sure there will be another version of this craft, but considering its limited screen time that should be a few years away yet. Based on that, the good value, play potential and display quality, I heartily recommend this set.
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