There are a few things about the latest mega LEGO Star Wars release that are undeniable. 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City is a sizable display piece comprising of 2,812 elements, marking the return of large scale playsets in the style of 75159 Death Star. The set is available now, exclusively at shop.LEGO.com.
But while the basic facts are undeniable, everyone has an opinion when it comes to a set of this scale. When the LEGO Star Wars theme introduces something this big, it is not just for the usual LEGO collectors, but also intended to appeal to a broader audience. So Brick Fanatics has visited some of the websites covering the launch of 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City to round up the reaction to this significant release.
“LEGO‘s latest philosophy appears to be go big or go home, and damn the costs,” says Nerdist. “While it requires cheating the size a bit, they’ve created the biggest and best Cloud City playset ever–the only significant attempt since Kenner’s Micro Collection in the ’80s–allowing you to recreate basically the entire third act of Episode V.”
The note about the location having not had much love since Kenner was a thing is an excellent point, as for years, the LEGO Group has been picking up the slack for traditional Star Wars licensee Hasbro. Fans begged for action figure playsets such as 75159 Death Star and 10236 Ewok Village, which were delivered in LEGO format instead. There were not exactly a great many collectors petitioning for Cloud City, though…
“Back in 2003, Lego released a 698-piece Cloud City for fans of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back but now they’ve issued a brand spanking new version worthy of Lando Calrissian,” shares Yahoo! Movies.
It is a reminder of just how far the LEGO Group has come. 698 pieces did not feel like a small set at the time, yet now 15 years on, 2,812 is not even considered an eye-wateringly large piece count. The way expectations, and set sizes, have crept up over the years has been cleverly engineered by those crafty LEGO marketers.
“The time at which Star Wars and LEGO have reached peak insanity is now,” Slash Gear announced. “Here, in 2018, we’ve gotten back to the point at which the most fabled and legendary of original Star Wars LEGO sets was hatched is back. This is Star Wars: Cloud City, in LEGO form.”
LEGO fans may dispute “peak insanity” – that could have been anyone paying the retail price for last year’s 75192 Millennium Falcon or the aftermarket prices that 10123 Cloud City reached. It could have been the first year that the LEGO Group released over 500 products, which for a long time now has been every year. But to release a set this size, for a location that is not the Death Star, is pretty insane. It is a good job that there a lot of insane collectors out there who love massive LEGO sets.
“This set will certainly be a breath of fresh air for long term LEGO Star Wars fans,” declares MovieWeb. “This is the first legitimate Cloud City set to be released by LEGO since 2003. While the toy company has released smaller sets based on locations in Cloud City, specifically recreations of the famous Carbonite scene, this is the first time that we’ve received Cloud City as a whole in 15 years. The original set has been outdated for some time, with the characters still having LEGO’s classic yellow faces, so this monstrous update is certainly long overdue, but still worth the wait.”
While the website is right to say that an updated 10123 Cloud City was overdue, the question lingers as to whether that is because anyone actually wanted it, or because the aftermarket price of the original had risen so astronomically. It could be argued that a “breath of fresh air” would actually be a new, never before released in LEGO brick location getting this kind of treatment.
Ultimately, it is rare to have the opportunity to own a LEGO Star Wars set in the style and scale of 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City, so anyone who this appeals to should pick it up. The biggest challenge this year is choosing which large LEGO sets, as they continue to be released thick and fast.