LEGO Star Wars AT-AT – everything you need to know

LEGO Star Wars 75288 AT AT lifestyle 1 resized featured

Since the moment it first staggered across the icy plains of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, the fearsome Imperial All-Terrain Armoured Transport (or AT-AT) has left an indelible imprint on moviegoers – and, more pertinently, Star Wars fans – the world over.

It’s little wonder that the AT-AT is therefore a LEGO Star Wars staple, having been rolled out time and time again at almost every scale imaginable. And it’s all led up to the brand new Ultimate Collector Series version, which blows away every previous iteration of the Imperial walker in size, piece count and ambition.

LEGO Star Wars UCS AT-AT

It’s finally here: the LEGO Group has at last unveiled the first-ever Ultimate Collector Series AT-AT. Coming in at an incredible 6,785 pieces, 75313 AT-AT is the second-largest LEGO Star Wars set of all time – only behind 75192 Millennium Falcon – and has the price tag to match, at £749.99 in the UK, $799.99 in the US and €799.99 in Europe. (And yes, that does make it the most expensive LEGO set ever in the UK.)

For your money, though, you’ll get a feat of engineering many of us long thought impossible: an enormous four-legged LEGO walker that can stand up without any additional support. And it’s not at the expense of detail or aesthetics, either – pop off the side panels and you’ll reveal an incredibly-detailed interior, complete with room for a whopping 40 Snowtroopers. (Which makes the new 75320 Snowtrooper Battle Pack even better-timed.)

The result is as definitive a LEGO AT-AT as you’ll ever see, and a real holy grail set for many a LEGO Star Wars collector. It launches on November 26 – or Black Friday – and is sure to sell out very quickly, so get your finger on the button as soon as it goes live to secure your copy. And if you need any more persuading, check out our written review and video review, both of which take a deep dive into the building process of this beast of a set.

LEGO Star Wars AT-AT

LEGO Star Wars 10178 Motorized Walking AT AT review 12

Arguably one of the most iconic vehicles in Star Wars history – up there with the Millennium Falcon, X-wing and TIE Fighter – the AT-AT stands as an imitable symbol of the military might wielded by the Empire. And back in 1980, when Star Wars hype was through the roof (not for the last time), it was one of the first visuals to greet audiences in a post-Episode IV landscape.

That early debut in the first Star Wars sequel helped to cement the AT-AT in the minds of moviegoers, but it wouldn’t have been the same without the walker’s intimidating physical presence. Towering high above the snowy ground below, the AT-AT was designed ‘as much for psychological effect’ as for tactical advantage – at least according to the Star Wars Databank – and that feels obvious just looking at the huge, mechanical quadruped. 

Recreating those qualities in LEGO form is no small feat, but to date, most of the brick-built walkers released since 2003’s 4483 AT-AT have been surprisingly successful in capturing the vehicle’s imposing nature. The price point established for playset-scale AT-ATs over the past two decades has proved pretty much spot on in delivering a model that scales serviceably to LEGO Snowspeeders (with a bit of imagination), without breaking the bank in the process.

If you are interested in completely blowing your LEGO budget on a single, monstrous AT-AT, though, it sounds like the rumoured UCS version will be able to fill that gap. But in doing so, it needs to conquer the other inherent challenge in designing a LEGO AT-AT: ensuring it can stand up on four legs, bearing the weight of its enormous body and head.

In the roughly-1,200-piece walkers, that isn’t too much of a problem. But when you bump up the part count to nearly 7,000 pieces, as 75313 AT-AT does, it becomes much trickier – and indeed, stability has been widely regarded as the main obstacle to any UCS AT-AT, explaining why it’s taken more than 20 years for the first one to hit shelves. Thankfully, it’s a problem the LEGO Group has managed to solve for 75313 AT-AT

LEGO Star Wars AT-AT history

LEGO Star Wars 4483 AT AT

For years, LEGO Star Wars fans held up the original 4483 AT-AT as the pinnacle of playset-scale design – even while subsequent versions came and went. And looking back at it now, it’s hard to say that was a warped perspective, because even today that 1,064-piece set can hold its own.

That’s largely thanks to how accurately the 2003 model recreates the walker’s proportions – something later renditions wouldn’t always manage – but it’s also fondly remembered as the first LEGO Star Wars set to include Snowtrooper minifigures. Those Hoth soldiers would prove pretty elusive for the next seven years, until the debut of 8084 Snowtrooper Battle Pack in 2010.

Launching alongside that original walker was 4489 AT-AT, part of the LEGO Star Wars’ short-lived Mini subtheme, and a decent recreation of the Imperial vehicle at just 98 pieces. More importantly, it was a precursor to how the AT-AT would, over the next two decades, come to dominate every spectrum, scale and price point of the LEGO Star Wars line-up.

We’ve since had a further 10 iterations of the AT-AT, and they’ve run the gamut from tiny, foil-bagged magazine freebies and Microfighters to motorised, Technic-driven sets, authentic playset-scale models and a brand new Ultimate Collector Series version.

10178 Motorised Walking AT-AT deserves special mention among that mix, because it’s still the most experimental version of the vehicle the LEGO Group has done to date, and one of the most unique LEGO sets of all time. Where it makes necessary compromises in aesthetics – it’s shorter and stockier than other LEGO AT-ATs, and its source material – it’s functionally superior to everything that has come before or since.

That includes the two standard playset models that followed, 2010’s 8129 AT-AT Walker and 2014’s 75054 AT-AT. Neither of those were particularly bad sets, and they hit all the right notes – they just did so in a way that wasn’t especially impressive. Whether in proportions, detail or minifigure selection, both of those sets left room for improvement, which we’d later see realised in 2020’s substantially-better 75288 AT-AT.

The Imperial walker is also one of the few vehicles to enjoy more than one Microfighter since the introduction of the chibi-style sets in 2014 – first in 2015’s 75075 AT-AT Microfighter, then again in 2021’s 75298 AT-AT vs. Tauntaun Microfighters. Throw in a couple of magazine freebies, and you’ve got an AT-AT for virtually every budget, display space and format.

Regardless of how the LEGO Group chooses to present it, there’s no doubt that the AT-AT will continue to be a constant presence in the LEGO Star Wars line-up. When 75313 AT-AT lands on shelves, at least three versions will be available simultaneously, including the UCS model, 75288 AT-AT and 75298 AT-AT vs. Tauntaun Microfighters.

And if the longevity of 75192 Millennium Falcon and 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer is any indication, 75313 AT-AT will likely be around for years, long after those other, smaller sets have retired – and probably even when newer playset-scale versions are introduced.

LEGO Star Wars AT-AT Walker

LEGO Star Wars 75288 AT AT featured resized

If you’re after an AT-AT that won’t break the bank – or just want one sooner than Black Friday, when 75313 AT-AT is confirmed to launch – look to 75288 AT-AT. Arguably the only Imperial walker to truly surpass 2003’s original 4483 AT-AT in design, 2020’s updated version is the biggest, beefiest and all-around best AT-AT the LEGO Group has committed to plastic.

Improvements on 8129 AT-AT and 75054 AT-AT include a cockpit that can finally fit two minifigures side-by-side; better-proportioned legs and a bulkier body; and a more detailed and well-equipped interior. Throw in a generous helping of minifigures, and the stage is set for the definitive AT-AT – at playset scale, anyway.

That size does mean this is the priciest non-UCS AT-AT to date, but £139.99 / $159.99 / €149.99 still doesn’t feel like a terrible deal for 1,267 pieces and six minifigures, including Luke Skywalker, General Veers, two Snowtroopers and two AT-AT Pilots. There’s also a speeder bike and E-Web turret – both hallmark accompaniments to any LEGO AT-AT – to…

LEGO Star Wars AT-AT minifigures

LEGO Star Wars 10178 Motorized Walking AT AT review 43

The minifigure line-up for the LEGO Group’s AT-ATs hasn’t varied hugely over the past two decades, and with good reason: there are core characters that must be included with any Hoth set, and more specifically with any Hoth set that also includes an AT-AT.

First on that list is at least one AT-AT Pilot, which has been a constant with every single playset-scale AT-AT released since 2003. That number doubled with 75288 AT-AT, which finally expanded room in the walker’s head to seat two pilots side-by-side, matching the on-screen cockpit. The general approach to that minifigure has also changed over the years, not only keeping up with updated TIE Pilot helmet moulds, but also enjoying improved printing and colour schemes, switching from a white base to light grey in 2014’s 75054 AT-AT.

LEGO Star Wars 75288 AT AT minifigures

The second must-have minifigure for any AT-AT is, of course, a Snowtrooper – or, more accurately, multiple Snowtroopers, because this is an All-Terrain Armoured Transport, after all. The first three walkers all included just two Snowtroopers, before 75054 AT-AT upped the ante to three. 75288 AT-AT then knocked its snowy soldier count back down to two, replacing one of its predecessor’s with a second AT-AT Pilot.

Rounding out the Imperial contingent for LEGO AT-ATs is General Veers, who’s appeared in some form in every single playset-scale walker since 2007’s 10178 Motorized Walking AT-AT. His minifigure has improved dramatically in recent years, culminating in the version included in 75288 AT-AT, which gifts the general the new helmet mould from 2018’s 75211 Imperial TIE Fighter, complete with moulded goggles. It’s as accurate as Veers has ever been in LEGO form, and bar the addition of dual-moulded legs, it’s difficult to see how it could be improved for 75313 AT-AT.

LEGO Star Wars 8129 AT AT Walker 2

Given the AT-AT is an Imperial machine, it’s fair to expect the focus to be on Star Wars’ villainous minifigures – and yet all but one of the LEGO walkers released to date has included some kind of Rebel Alliance representation. Luke Skywalker has appeared in all but one (75054 AT-AT), usually dangling from the beast’s belly to recreate the Jedi-in-training’s key takedown from The Empire Strikes Back’s opening battle.

2010’s 8129 AT-AT Walker went one step further, however, throwing in a rebel soldier manning a turret, Han Solo and C-3PO, for reasons anyone has yet to determine. Both of those named characters were certainly present at the Battle of Hoth, but neither one was wandering around the open plains of the desolate planet, ready to be trampled by the Empire’s mechanical terrors.

It does mean that that curious model currently boasts the biggest minifigure count of any LEGO AT-AT, however, with eight in total – at least until 75313 AT-AT launches, and pips it by a single character. It’s not Han Solo or Threepio, though: instead, the UCS version includes General Veers, two AT-AT Pilots, Luke Skywalker and five Snowtroopers.

LEGO Star Wars AT-AT Black Friday

There’s a lot to get excited about when it comes to the AT-AT this Black Friday. Not only is there a chance that the best playset-scale version of the walker to date – 75288 AT-AT – will enjoy some kind of discount, almost a year and a half after it first arrived on shelves, but November 26 is also the release date for 75313 AT-AT.

You’ll be spoilt for choice for Imperial walkers come the end of the month, then, although there’s an enormous gulf in price and size between the two, which may make your decision easier. If you’ve got the space and the cash spare to splurge, then the Ultimate Collector Series version should be top of your list.

If you’d prefer to keep things a little more manageable in terms of both budget and room required for display, keep an eye on Brick Fanatics for any tempting offers on 75288 AT-AT across LEGO VIP WeekendBlack Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap