Heavily-requested, long-rumoured and eagerly-anticipated, 75313 AT-AT joins the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series with huge expectations on its shoulders – but can it deliver everything we’ve always wanted?
AT-ATs first romped on to the silver screen during the iconic Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back some 41 years ago. Standing over 20 metres tall and with near-impenetrable armour plating, these massive combat vehicles were built as much for their tactical advantage as they were for the psychological effect they brought onto the battlefield – striking fear into any rebel trooper who was unfortunate enough to encounter one.
Over the years, LEGO Star Wars fans have been treated to numerous iterations of the dreaded Imperial machine, starting with the minifigure-scale 4483 AT-AT in 2003, all the way to the most recent in 75298 AT-AT vs Tauntaun Microfighters. Each one has brought something different to the battle, but none have ever come quite this close at capturing the sheer monstrous size and intimidating presence that the AT-AT represents in the Imperial arsenal.
Standing at a hugely-impressive 62cm tall and containing 6,785 pieces, it’s the largest AT-AT to date by quite some way – and thanks to the Ultimate Collector Series tag, fans can expect a high level of accuracy and authenticity when compared to its on screen counterpart. But can the behemoth that is 75313 AT-AT live up to the hype, and do the Empire’s most intimating land-based vehicle the justice it deserves?
— Set details —
Price: £749.99 / $799.99 / €799.99 Pieces: 6,785 Minifigures: 9
— Build —
Gigantic, massive, enormous – get used to these superlatives, because they will be used a lot during this review. Quite frankly, it’s the only way to describe just how imposing a set this really is. The box alone is huge, and gives a good indication to how big the final model will actually be, but more than that the artwork and overall design of the packaging immediately separates this from your average set.
Flipping over the main flap, you’re treated to some gorgeous Empire Strikes Back artwork, obviously featuring the Imperial invasion of Hoth, but also featuring a view of the marching AT-ATs in the distance – as viewed through a doomed rebel trooper’s electrobinoculars.
Opening up the packaging further reveals a set of smaller boxes that contain the four manuals and 6,785 pieces needed to construct the Empire’s deadliest ground assault vehicle, the AT-AT, as well as an E-Web blaster and two speeder bikes. It’s a wonderful way to start what is ultimately an utterly captivating experience.
Anyone who has built one of the previous minifigure-scale AT-ATs will know that while they are fully poseable, they’re often not the sturdiest of models. So when the rumours began to surface about a possible UCS version, the first question that popped into our heads was: “How is this thing going to stand up?”
The lumbering mechanical walkers made for an intimidating and imposing sight on the horizon during the battle of Hoth, and therefore the articulation of the legs is an important feature to get right with any recreation of an AT-AT – but no doubt what’s even more important with a model this size is making sure the legs also have the necessary strength. It’s this conundrum that forced the design team into trying and testing myriad designs, before finally settling on the techniques and parts usage that are present in the final model.
In order to solve the problem, the designers developed new arc elements, which are used in all four feet, acting as both design details and stabilisers that keep the mahoosive model from toppling over. These arc elements evenly distribute the weight of the model, giving the entire structure a solid foundation. Further to this, the relatively-new Technic ‘flip flop’ beam attached to each leg adds even more strength, and allows the joints to instantly lock into position.
Constructing the four giant legs takes up roughly half of the entire experience. It’s repetitive, labour-intensive and methodical, but overall an incredibly rewarding engineering masterclass. The central arc for each foot uses an impressive technique, employing hinged Technic axles that flip the arc elements up to the centre of the foot, before connecting to one another at the top of the arc.
The inside of each leg contains an intricate Technic assembly made using gears, worm gears and turntables. These are then covered using plates and tiles to add the necessary detailing. The lower legs attach to the feet using a ball and socket joint on the outside, and lock into place through the use of the arc elements and Technic gears on the inside. On each leg’s middle joint there is a hidden Technic axle, which can be turned using a brick-built wrench, allowing for a small amount of positioning to be achieved. As a nice touch, the wrench is finished off with a 2×2 tile with a printed Imperial insignia.
The first bag focuses on the lower section of the AT-AT’s body and the top of the legs, while the second bag concentrates on the four feet and lower leg sections. Incredibly, these all slot together with the use of just eight Technic pins, but instantly feel secure and stable. Connecting these two sections will, for the first time, really give you a sense of how tall the AT-AT is actually going to be. Spoiler alert: it’s absolutely massive.
The legs alone are larger than the most recent minifigure-scale model, 75288 AT-AT, and amazingly this gigantic model feels sturdier too. A simple prod with a finger will send the smaller AT-AT tumbling to the ground, whereas the UCS version requires a lot more effort to topple.
Despite the size, the level of detailing and greebling on the legs is expertly achieved, with tiles and curved tiles slotting together to form almost seamless curves and macaroni tiles, while 2×2 corner cut-out tiles intertwining along the fuselage creates interesting shaping. It’s very pleasing to put together, and more importantly feels very authentic with all the details faithfully recreated.
The interior space of an AT-AT is something rarely, if ever, seen on screen, and previous sets have tried to include some inside space, but their size has meant these are usually quite small and cramped. The interior here feels cavernous by contrast, with enough space for 40 – yes, 40 – Snowtroopers (although only five are included here – thank goodness, then. for the rumoured 75320 Hoth Battle Pack).
The lower section contains a garage space that can hold up to four speeder bikes, and there are storage areas, fuel cells, backpack chargers and more. It really brings the whole set to life, and gives you a greater sense of the firepower and Imperial might these walkers could bring to a battle.
The structure for the interior comes together surprisingly quickly. The angled floor is achieved using hinged bricks that connect to a ball and socket joint. These are then covered over with wedge plates that fit perfectly into place – it’s a satisfying, if not somewhat straightforward, process. However, the snake-like neck is a lot more inventive, once again mixing Technic and System pieces to great effect. Technic crane arm elements allow for some flexibility in the neck, but still offer an impressive amount of strength, too.
The way the wedge plates and tiles seamlessly integrate with the Technic bars looks fantastic, and the Technic crane arm elements allow for an impressive range of movement. There’s some really clever LEGO maths going on in order to offset various tiles to create the right coverage and angles, encasing the entire Technic frame behind it. The whole neck assembly is really smart, and feels a real pleasure to put together. It’s a moment that sums up what a UCS set should be: large, accurate, ingenious and fun.
The cockpit has enough room to comfortably seat the two AT-AT Pilots, with General Veers standing behind at his command post, which is complete with a printed console. The rear hatch is faithful to the film, as is the windshield, decorated with controls and a sticker displaying Echo Base’s shield generator – and unlike another Hoth set we won’t mention, here there are actually four components that make up the generator rather than just three.
Meanwhile, the exterior of the cockpit is just as densely packed with detail as the inside, including two rotating side canons – with excellent greebling achieved using angled wedge plates – and two front heavy laser cannons with recoiling action.
Finally, the sides and roof are covered by gigantic sub-assemblies built predominantly from plates and wedge plates connected via clips and bars. While these sections aren’t challenging to put together, there is something quite impressive about building things at this scale. Rather than connect to the model through either a stud connection or clips, these sections simply slot into place, allowing for easy access to the interior.
Once finished, the model is quite simply breathtaking in its scale. It’s just massive in every sense of the word. The feet alone are the same size as the recent Microfighter, and it absolutely dwarfs all previous AT-ATs. To give you an idea of just how big this is, picture a medium-sized dog and you’d be pretty close.
It really does an amazing job of transporting you to the battle of Hoth, and for the first time in LEGO form you can really appreciate just how imposing, impressive and mighty this Imperial beast actually must have been on the battlefield. And that’s really all we could ever ask of a UCS AT-AT…
— Characters —
The AT-AT is such an icon of the battle of Hoth that really the only minifigures that could possibly come with the set are those that are seen on the ice planet. Previous AT-ATs have featured a combination of AT-AT Pilots, Snowtroopers, General Veers and Luke Skywalker in his Hoth fatigues, and true to form, this set also includes these characters, with nine in total.
Luke Skywalker is the same design included in 75301 Luke Skywalker’s X-wing Fighter. While the printing on the torso and legs are excellent, the facial prints really don’t suit the situation and a more determined or worried expression would have felt far more appropriate.
There are four Snowtroopers and two AT-AT drivers, each with the same leg and torso printing that appeared in 75288 AT-AT, although here it’s what’s under the helmets that’s important. The LEGO Group has been vocal this year about offering more diversity throughout its themes, and these minifigures are a perfect example of the company delivering on its promise.
Mirroring the approach taken in 75311 Imperial Armored Marauder, there are two dark-skinned troopers, one male and one female, and two light-skinned troopers, again one male and one female. The AT-AT Pilots are similarly coded to separate genders, with a mix of skin tones.
Leading these troops is the first of two exclusive minifigures, a Snowtrooper commander, who’s been updated significantly since his last appearance in 2014’s 75054 AT-AT. He shares the same print as the regular troopers, only with a chest insignia designating his rank. The other exclusive minifigure is General Veers, dressed in his battle gear that was also included within 75288 AT-AT, but here he comes with dual-moulded legs to represent boots.
We’ve seen variations on these minifigures before, and although something new would have been brilliant, there aren’t many more characters that would make sense for this model (and we’ve at least avoided Han Solo and C-3PO wandering around the battlefield again, a la 8129 AT-AT Walker). With that in mind, it’s a decent quantity of minifigures, and given how spacious the interior is, they’re needed to make 75313 AT-AT feel like the proper armoured transport vehicle that it is.
— Price —
Ever since the first Ultimate Collector Series set was released in 2000, we’ve come to expect high-quality, authentic and accurate models on a massive scale from the LEGO Star Wars subtheme. Aimed at an older market, these sets are hugely desirable, but often come with a price-point at the most expensive end of the scale. 75313 AT-AT is no different.
Is it worth it? If you live in Europe or North America then absolutely, yes. The UK has once again got the raw end of the deal at £749.99 (compared to $799.99 / €799.99), but it feels like this is something out of the LEGO Group’s control and UK residents are just going to have to get used to higher prices.
Regardless, 75313 AT-AT offers a build experience that is long and incredibly enjoyable throughout, coupled with a final model the sheer scale of which is a sight to behold. Obviously not everyone will be able to enjoy this set due to the price, but if you can afford it, or have friends or family who are feeling particularly generous, you will absolutely not feel short-changed.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
75313 AT-AT is an absolute beast of a set. The build experience takes you on a wonderful journey of LEGO design at its very best. The fact the designers managed to find a way to have this colossal monster stand on its own four feet without the aid of any supports at all should be commended, and the fact there’s only eight Technic pins connecting the leg sections together is more akin to magic than high-end engineering.
Constructing the cavernous interior is a joy and a real marvel to behold. The level of detail across the entire model is phenomenal – so much so you’ll have to keep pinching yourself to check you haven’t actually been transported to Hoth. The sheer scale of the final model is bound to leave most people speechless, and it makes for an absolutely dominating display piece – if you can find room for it.
The AT-AT has been among the most-requested vehicles to be transformed into a UCS set, and 75313 AT-AT has therefore been a long time coming – but it’s absolutely been worth the wait.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.