75199 General Grievous’ Combat Speeder has both Mace Windu and General Grievous in it! A sure fire hit, right? Right…?
Price: £25.99 / $29.99/ €29.99 Pieces: 157 Available: Now
75199 General Grievous’ Combat Speeder is the second LEGO Star Wars set released in the 2018 winter wave to be priced at the new price point of £25.99 and offer just the two minifigures and a relatively small build in exchange. And similarly to 75200 Ahch-To Island Training, 75199 offers a new build previously untouched by the LEGO Group. But, that’s where the comparisons between the middling 75200 and 75199 end, and not so in favour of Grievous’ new toy. If you’d like a clue as to why, 75200 Ahch-To Island Training felt expensive at £26 for 241 pieces. 75199 General Grievous’ Combat Speeder is £26 for 157 pieces…
You would be forgiven for not immediately recognising that the combat speeder is indeed canon, but it is, having appeared in an episode of The Clone Wars television series back in November 2012. A one-pilot speeder, it is powered by a turbine engine, steered using the central column, and has laser cannons mounted at the front (represented by the black spears in this case) and recessed rocket launchers (appearing as spring shooters underneath the build).
The source material is so uninspired that, almost by default, so too is the LEGO build here. There is further misfortune for the brick version, though, in that whilst it is relatively faithful to that dull source material, in meeting its piece count the entire thing is over-scaled at almost twice the size it should be. A build based on a boring vehicle is one thing, but coupled with being rather too big and clunky, there’s little to like about it. The stickers aren’t for beginners either. Grievous’ control column is slightly adjustable up and down, but not side to side, as the steering column is rigidly stuck in line with the back half’s platform. There’s not much movement at all in the vehicle and the only play features are the two spring shooters on the underside, and the more sophisticated LEGO fans among us try to ignore those. After building this, the impression is only that of an overpriced set and a real waste of the LEGO Group’s chance here to revisit The Clone Wars for source material.
But, do the minifigures save the set? Honestly, no, and that’s even acknowledging how impressive both are. Mace Windu is a completely new design after four-and-a-half years away, and the improvement in detail is duly appreciated, to the extent that this could be described as a definitive version of the purple lightsaber-yielding Jedi. One improvement? Just imagine how awesome the leg printing would have been on dual moulded legs with dark brown to represent his boots.
The mould and design for General Grievous remains a work of art. The LEGO Group knocked it out of the park with their 2010 re-working of the four-armed Kaleesh cyborg. This version is identical to the 2014 recolour. The only negative aspect, however, is a big one in, that the plastic that the legs are made of feels cheaper and flimsier than that used for the head, body and arms. Given that there are only 157 pieces in total for the £25.99 paid here, that does sting. With nothing outstanding in the pieces used to put together the speeder, it certainly seems that Grievous’ mould is the high-cost element to this set, so to have part of that luxury minifigure feel lessened in quality makes the price of the entire set all the more extortionate.
Two excellent designs of minifigures are nowhere near enough to save 75199 General Grievous’ Combat Speeder from being the overpriced, oversized beast that it is, particularly when the quality on one of the minifigures is questionable in any way whatsoever. Whilst dull source material is an issue that can only be rarely overcome or improved upon when converting into LEGO, the LEGO Group were not necessarily tied to choosing such odd source material in this instance, compared with, say, the unavoidable and sometimes iffy source material that they have to work to on each year’s new film. Ultimately, this feels like a poor excuse to put Mace Windu and General Grievous in a set together.