Price: £79.99 / $89.99 / €89.99 Pieces: 622 Available: Now
Solo: A Star Wars Story introduced a variety of new vehicles into the Star Wars canon, one of the most interesting of which is probably the closest fans will ever get to a train in a galaxy far far away train. 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport is part of the sequence that has Beckett’s crew seek to steal from the Empire, which is always a risky business. In the film, the sequence is tense and gripping – can one of the LEGO sets based on it live up to the cinema scene?
Obi-Wan Kenobi admonished Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi, telling him that a lot depends on point of view. He could have been speaking of how to assess 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport. The third largest set in the extensive line based on Solo: A Star Wars Story is a mixed bag which gets better or worse depending on the perspective you assess it from. Depending on whether you rate it based on play opportunities, value or build/display potential, you will get very different results.
Solo: A Star Wars Story was, at its heart, rooted in the tradition of American Westerns. It was therefore no surprise when a train robbery, albeit a high tech one, featured prominently in the film. An absolute staple of the genre, movie history is brimming over with examples of this trope. There is a simple reason for this – train robberies make for great action – and by extension, for great play. This is why 79111 Constitution Train Chase helmed the fantastic line based on the underwhelming Lone Ranger film a few years ago – robbing a train is something kids love to play. I built my own trains in the mid-1990s to be robbed to complement the Western line.
75217 facilitates that exact type of adventure. Any number of different robbery scenarios can be played out over and over again; the play possibilities are extensive and everything needed for a satisfying heist is present in this set, from hatches, to pilot stations for drivers to be thrown from, to a giant tread system for running people over. My eight year old self would have loved this set.
Play is not the only measure of a LEGO set. My first thought upon completion of this model was that it is not worth the asking price. Upon completion, there is just not a lot sitting in front of you, certainly not enough to make the price feel justified. At only 622 pieces, the only objectively rare items are the two Range Troopers, which will inevitably show up in a Battle Pack before too long. The price does not feel justified, even in the new reality of licensed pricing which has become even more objeectionable over the last five years. Should you pick up this set, be prepared for your first reaction to be, “is this it?”.
For AFOLs who can stomach the price, 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport is busting with potential. Designers made it easily expandable so that multiple copies could be used to add additional cars to the train. It is an objectively good rendition of the source material, and is a prime candidate for easy modding into an even more movie accurate version of its on-screen inspiration. Some of these mods, like adding a bit more slope to the sides and adding additional train cars with different interiors would make great entry level projects for those looking to learn how to enhance sets. There are also numerous fantastic parts in shades of grey, especially if you opt not to attach the stickers.
Solo: A Star Wars Story was not a typically Force-ful hit at the box office, but the LEGO Group has done impressive work in terms of producing desirable sets based on the film. 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport is the weakest of the line’s larger sets, but that is largely due to being in such amazing company. It is bursting with play potential as well as modding possibilities. Hamstrung only by its high price, this is an easy pickup for those looking to score a good gift or cool project.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
Graham was the BrickFanatics.com Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education.
Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.