Price: £19.99 / $24.99 / €34.99 Pieces: 282 Available: Now
75183 Darth Vader Transformation is based on one of the closing scenes from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, when Anakin Skywalker, maimed and burnt from his defeat to Obi-Wan Kenobi, is physically transformed into Darth Vader, as he completes his transition to the dark side. It’s a memorable scene that brought to an end a dark time in the Star Wars galaxy – the prequel trilogy. It’s been 12 years since the last brick interpretation of this moment and, given how far along the LEGO Group’s build and set quality has advanced during that time, it’s hardly fair to call 75183 a remake of 2005’s 7251 Darth Vader Transformation.
Indeed, it is more recent work from the LEGO Group that this set should draw parallels with. First impressions of 75183 were of another fantastic £20 location-based set akin to the recent 75137 Carbon-Freezing Chamber, 75138 Hoth Attack and 75169 Duel on Naboo – a nice selection of minifigures and a recognisable small display representative of a scene or location from the Star Wars films.
Whilst 75183 Darth Vader Transformation ably stands as a worthy addition to this great run of sets, its true delight is to be had in its play features, which add an extra dimension to it perhaps not matched by its recent price-point predecessors.
There are only two to construct, but they are clever in conception and even more so in realisation, using common pieces to create a final couple of effects that are not only fantastic to twizzle and turn to your heart’s content, but that are also central to the scene’s – and therefore the set’s – identity. A Technic set-up rotates the central panel that the Sith Lord formerly known as Anakin Skywalker is lying on, to reveal his almost complete transformation into Darth Vader, whilst a couple of Flexible Rubber Axle Connectors at the end of some Technic Axles suspend and then maneuver into place Vader’s helmet.
The build is smart, as the two play features complement each other where it could have been easier for them not to do so – the helmet seamlessly slots on to the minifigure as it lies on the revolving central panel, positioning at exactly the right height and angle. It makes for an effect that is as close as one could dream a LEGO recreation of the film scene could be, and one I can guarantee you’ll be fiddling with for a long time after you’ve built the set.
Once you’ve popped his helmet on, you can use the first play feature to then lift forward the central panel, for Vader to take his first steps, and enquire after Padme…
Included are a handful of brick built droids and three minifigures, counting a new Anakin Skywalker, whose head piece is also used on the Darth Vader minifigure. Given that by this stage of Revenge of the Sith Anakin only had the one, robotic arm left, the minifigure created is probably as close as the LEGO Group could get – the leg printing makes an effort to conceal the lower portions of the limbs. You could also pop that left arm off, but you’ll need those legs to keep him connected to the central rotating panel.
The final build, beyond its playability, makes for a great display item – small in size but complete – where 75137 Carbon-Freezing Chamber was more one third of a chamber, this is a fully-rounded out transformation…area.
Whilst 75183 Darth Vader Transformation will boost your dark side minifigure collection, teach you a new way to build a droid and leave you with a cute, circular vignette for display, it’s those standout play features that will have you returning to this set more often than other sets in your collection will. As with all location-based LEGO Star Wars creations, there’s no ship to swoosh, if that’s your thing, but there’s so much fun to be had here to recommend this set as not only one that you make sure not to miss out on, but that you perhaps grab as soon as you can.
After all, you don’t want to realise just how good this set is after it’s no longer available, to be left thinking ‘NOOOOOOoooooOOOOOoooooOOOOO’.