The Ultimate Collector Series is a long-running product collection in the LEGO Star Wars line, with its first sets appearing way back in the year 2000. These products recreate Star Wars vehicles at a larger scale than we’re used to seeing, with the sets designed as display models rather than conventional toys.
Releases in the subtheme have tended to focus on the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, although there have been exceptions to this rule. The most recent example of this is 75309 Republic Gunship. This set recreates one of the iconic Republic vehicles from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and comes with both Mace Windu and Clone Trooper Commander minifigures. Ironically, these character choices drew criticism from some LEGO fans.
At the same time, the broader popularity of that set has gotten the LEGO Group considering more UCS models from this era. In an interview with Brickset, Jens Kronvold Frederiksen (Creative Lead and Design Director at the LEGO Group) suggested the company is open to bringing more prequel-era designs to the UCS.
“We have definitely taken on board the feedback resulting from the Republic Gunship, particularly in relation to minifigures and exclusive characters in the Ultimate Collector Series”, Jens says. “We can see how important it is that we provide something special with the minifigures in these sets and I think 75331 The Razor Crest demonstrates that learning.”
“Probably the most significant lesson though was that the market is ready for Ultimate Collector Series models from the Prequel Trilogy, from the response to the Republic Gunship… Today there are adults whose favourites vehicles originate from the Prequel Trilogy and we want to explore that part of the universe because the Ultimate Collector Series, fundamentally, serves our adult audience.”
That said, the era of Star Wars vehicle doesn’t seem to be the deciding factor in what appears here. “I would say we are thinking more about the ship itself, rather than its origin, when we are deciding on UCS models,” says Michael Lee Stockwell, one of the LEGO Group’s Design Managers. “Anything is on the table, as long as it is cool enough and popular enough!”
From that perspective, it appears that the prequel era of Star Wars needs to prove its designs are interesting enough to warrant large-scale models. Of course, with several colourful and unusual designs, this doesn’t seem like a challenge.
If you’re interested in adding a prequel-era LEGO set to your collection, 75309 Republic Gunship is available for purchase now at LEGO.com. Buying it now will also allow you to add 40566 Ray the Castaway to your LEGO collection, conjuring up some unexpected play scenarios.