Review: 75153 AT-ST Walker
Rogue One’s theatrical release is just around the corner, this coming Wednesday in case you’d just so happened to miss all of the recent hype, and with that in mind (and Christmas just a few weeks away) I’ve decided it’s time to do some timely reviews of the new LEGO Star Wars Rogue one sets that were released at the end of September.
Full disclosure: The following LEGO set was provided to The Nerd Recites without cost in exchange for an honest review and as such all of the views and opinions of the author are their own. Being sent a review sample does not guarantee a review or even a positive review, but should we enjoy the product we will always promote it.
In this review we shall be taking a look at the LEGO Star Wars AT-ST Walker (75153) set, a solid mid range set with an RRP of £39.99. The set consists of 449 pieces which construct an AT-ST Walker (think Battle of Endor) with rotating cockpit and comes with three minifigures.
All three of the minifigures are unique to this set and consist of generic AT-ST Driver and Rebel Trooper alongside Baze Malbus, one of the main characters from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You can read the official description for this LEGO set below:
Go on the hunt for Baze and the Rebel Trooper aboard the All Terrain Scout Transport. Open the top hatch, load up the AT-ST Driver and move the legs to speed into action. When you’ve tracked them down, turn the wheel to rotate the top and prepare to fire the spring-loaded shooters. Can Baze and the trooper escape the advancing AT-ST? That’s for you to decide. Includes three minifigures: AT-ST Driver, Baze Malbus and Rebel Trooper.
We’ve seen several AT-ST models from LEGO in the past and in various sizes ranging from just over 100 pieces to over 1000 pieces, most suitable for a brief comparison is the LEGO (7657) AT-ST from 2007. It is somewhat similar in design, shape and ultimately it’s movements, although it is only made from 244 pieces and comes with just a single AT-ST Driver minifigure.
While they feature similar rotating cockpits and a shared design (most notable with the legs), it is fair to say the that newer model wins out in all respects. It is a vast improvement on previous LEGO AT-ST designs and even though this is an AT-ST in support of the new Rogue One story, I couldn’t help but be thrown back to the Battle of Endor once I’d completed this build. The clear improvement between the two AT-ST models is in cockpit design, the newer one is highly detailed, features missile launchers, opening hatch door and a detailed interior. It’s clear to see where the extra 200 bricks are put to use on the modern set.
The AT-ST also features limited movement at the knee joints just behind the cockpit, but in all honesty it’s not too much to shout about. This is because of the top heavy nature of the build making it difficult to position the model into any sturdy yet dynamic poses. However every bit of articulation does add to the play experience of a LEGO build and for a child such as my nephew this would enhance his enjoyment of it. All of the weapons turrets also move to some degree, helpful for positioning and role play.
In terms of the build, this was a simple vehicle to put together, admittedly a bit samey at times due to it’s symmetrical design but nevertheless it was fun and easy without any complicated connections or pinning. This LEGO set is super light on the stickers as well mainly focusing on adding the finer details onto the feet and to the rear of the cockpit, in total there are eight stickers to apply.
As stated earlier, the LEGO Star Wars (75153) AT-ST Walker model comes with three minifigures all of which are unique to this very set. Two of the minifigs are of generic characters, an AT-ST Driver and a Rebel Trooper, both however add flavour to this set and could be useful for army building.
While they may be based on generic characters they still feature high quality printed torsos and legs with metallic accents such as buckles. Both characters come with helms sporting printed elements, the Rebel Trooper has an insignia printed onto the left side of his helm while the AT-ST Driver has a set goggles printed directly onto it’s helm.
The third and final minifigure is of Baze Malbus, a renowned warrior, who in the new film is tasked with helping Jyn Erso locate and steal the original Death Star’s blueprints. Much like this minifigure’s real life counterpart it sports (what I can only assume to be) a heavy laser rifle, which is connected to a power pack on his back. Baze Malbus also comes with two expressions printed on his head, neutral and angry.
Now I do have a major bone to pick with this minifigure and because I’m somewhat anal, this fault bothers me way more than it probably should. As you can see in the left-hand side of image below, Baze Malbus has two braids in his hair with one on either side of his head. They both drape down past his face and sit atop his chest armour. The key point is that his hair is continuous, from scalp to the end of the braids it’s all one mass.
However, LEGO have taken an interesting route when representing Baze Malbus’ hair and have used an odd mixed media approach. As you can see in the right-hand side of the below image, Baze has been given a rather generic hair piece, with no braids, that ends short at his jawline. It’s odd enough that his hair piece is matched poorly to the reference material but upon closer inspection you’ll notice that they’ve printed the ends of his braids directly onto the torso of the figure. This leads to some unpleasant aesthetics with his hair just ending and abruptly restarting in a different media. It kind of feels like an afterthought to me.
This decision to represent Baze Malbus’s hair like this makes little sense to me, why do it this way? I know that making new moulds is expensive but if LEGO were happy to do brand new hair pieces for the Company of Dwarves in the Hobbit range, why not do it for Rogue One’s main group of characters. I guess we will never really know why, it could be because he wears a backpack which lengthens the neck, but I’m not sure and what I do know is that my Baze Malbus minifigure will be resigned to the storage boxes for the remainder of it’s life.
Overall this is a set I am very happy with, I think LEGO and their designers have done a stand up job of recreating the look and feel of an AT-ST from the films. Even the somewhat awkward way that the knee joints move coupled with the imbalanced swing of the cockpit just reek feelings of nostalgia for me. Now, while most of my feelings of nostalgia are based around the Battle of Endor you have to remember that in the Star Wars canon, Rogue One is set just 19 years before the Battle of Endor so a the vehicles would be of a very similar design.
My only issues with this set would be the aforementioned hair snafu with Baze Malbus’ minifigure and the general lack of articulation available to the AT-ST’s legs. It would’ve really made the model if it had articulated ankles and hips but I fear I’m expecting too much for the lower end of a mid-range set.
Now would I pay the RRP of £39.99 for this set? Probably not but if the set dropped slightly in price to around £30/35, I’d be all over it. For me it’s a fantastic set, chock-a-block with nostalgia and on the whole an build. I loved this AT-ST Walker set so much so that it now has a prime spot on my display shelf.
In the end if you’re looking to reignite some Star Wars love or you want to get pumped for Rogue One then this is the set for you. However if you’re looking for a more dynamic model or a set with much greater playability then it would be best to look at the rest of the LEGO Rogue One range.
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Image Credits: LEGO / Disney / Lucasfilm