In what must’ve been the worst kept secret ever, LEGO have finally revealed 75159 Death Star for 2016. And boy, is being underwhelmed the understatement of the century.
When photos of the 2016 Death Star first started leaking onto the internet, I was pretty confident that it was an elaborate hoax. I though that there is absolutely no way that LEGO would re-release a set that has barely been retired for a year.
It looked like the old Death Star, just with a few new minifigures and minor cosmetic changes. Turns out, the joke was on me and everyone else.
Check out the individual product pages below:
For all intents and purposes, it’s the exact same model as 10188 Death Star, just with a few new updates. LEGO are positioning this set as being an updated version of the 2008 with a few improvements incorporated by LEGO designers. So what’s new? LEGO have added over 200 bricks and elements as well as 3 new minifigures.
LEGO are also confident that the 2016 version offers a great building experience for fans of the original, or those new to the LEGO Star Wars universe. Strangely, there was a short line included in the communications sent out that “This is not an indication of any future re-releases or set updates”. Make of that what you will.
As you may have guessed, the LEGO Death Star’s price has gone up slightly and it will cost US$499.99, CA $599.99 and UK £399.99. Not cool. I don’t think that an extra 200 pieces and 3 new minifigs warrant such a price bump.
Update: The Australian price for 75159 UCS Death Star is AU$799.99.
The release date for the 2016 Death Star is 30 September and it will be available via LEGO.com and in official LEGO stores as per usual. LEGO VIP members get early access to the set on 15 September.
Here’s some official information from the press release:
- Includes 23 minifigures: Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Imperial Navy Officer, Imperial Officer, 2 Stormtroopers, 2 Death Star Troopers, 2 Emperor’s Royal Guards, 2 Death Star Gunners, Death Star Droid, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO, Han Solo, Han Solo (disguise), Luke Skywalker (Tatooine), Luke Skywalker (disguise) and Luke Skywalker (final duel), plus R2-D2, an Imperial Astromech and a Dianoga trash compactor monster.
- Features a superlaser control room, Imperial conference chamber, hangar bay with moving launch rack and detachable TIE Advanced with space for Lord Vader inside, Emperor Palpatine’s throne room, Droid maintenance room, detention block, trash compactor, tractor beam, cargo area, turbo laser with spring-loaded shooters and seats for the 2 Death Star gunners, and 2 movable turbo laser towers.
- Weapons include 3 Lightsabers, 4 blasters, 3 blaster pistols, 4 blaster rifles, 2 force pikes, 2 Force Lightning elements and a bowcaster.
- Load up and fire the turbo laser’s spring-loaded shooters to keep the rebels at bay.
- Maneuver Lord Vader’s TIE Advanced into position and prepare for launch.
- Battle the Royal Guard in the throne room and then take on Palpatine himself!
- Help Leia escape from the detention block and swing to safety with Luke across the chasm!
- Will Obi-Wan shut down the tractor beam and help the rebels defeat the Empire?
- Can you spot the Dianoga trash compactor monster?
- Recreate other unforgettable scenes from the classic Star Wars films.
- The perfect addition to any LEGO® Star Wars collection.
- This set offers an age-appropriate building experience for ages 14 and over.
- Measures over 16” (41cm) high, and 16” (42cm) wide.
Okay, I’ll try and dial down the negativity and be a little objective:
Why 75159 Death Star is a good idea
- For LEGO and Star Wars fans who missed out on 10188, it provides another opportunity to get ahold of the set.
- Speculators and LEGO investors who have been hoarding boxes of 10188 are effectively screwed as they will have trouble moving their inventory
- The updated minifigures are pretty cool. The minifigs on 10188 were a little dated.
- 10188 is considered a classic LEGO Star Wars set and is well-liked by fans. An upgrade should therefore be good
- LEGO Star Wars fans will have more money to spend on Rogue One sets as you can completely skip out on this and Assault on Hoth
Why 75159 Death Star is a terrible idea
- It’s just lazy. Structurally, it doesn’t look like much has changed.
- It brings nothing really new to the table.
- 2016 will forever be known as the worst year for Star Wars UCS
- It still has a very blocky dated design. Some added curves would’ve been nice
- No tie-in to Rogue One
- The price increase
- Another wasted UCS slot
- Two UCS “playsets” in a year
- The new minifigures aren’t even that exciting
Anyway, there you have it. Very, very disappointing on LEGO’s part – and I’m not even the biggest LEGO Star Wars fan. This just made me go “meh”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to re-releases, in fact, I welcome them when done for the right reasons such as to address scarcity issues – I loved 10249 Winter Toy Shop despite owning the original. I just feel that a set that has barely been retired for a year warranted such a quick re-release.
Even if they HAD to, I would’ve liked to have seen a lot more improvements and changes, so much so that when you put these two sets by side, you can at least tell that they’re different versions.
2016 has been a cruel year with so many celebrities dying. I think it’s fair to say that 2016 has killed the pedigree and reputation of the Star Wars UCS label. I don’t know what’s in store after this, but LEGO have a LOT to make up for in 2017 for LEGO Star Wars UCS fans.
Let me know in the comments how you feel about this set! There are more photos below as well for you to check the set out in more detail!