Even though my LEGO preferences tend to lean more towards the larger, more complicated sets (the UCS Slave I is currently sitting just to my left), one of the “Force Friday” The Force Awakens sets I was most looking forward to was the relatively tiny Rey’s Speeder (75099). I liked the look of the vehicle from the two teasers we’ve seen so far, and the set itself looked like a solid, satisfying build — not huge or intricate, but well-designed and fun to put together, much like the Inquisitor’s TIE set (75082) from back in January. That wound up being an extremely satisfying build, despite its small size — does this new (even smaller) offering from LEGO follow suit? Read on to find out!
(Minor spoilers/speculation for The Force Awakens, I guess)
Set name: Rey’s Speeder
Price per piece: 10.4¢
Release date: 2015-September-05
Rey’s Speeder comes in a long, narrow box, with a perforated half-circle on the back for easy opening. Inside are two numbered bags, a small sheet of stickers, and the instructions.
At 193 pieces, I wasn’t expecting a particularly challenging or complex build, but as mentioned above, I was hoping for a sturdy and satisfying one. Fortunately, Rey’s Speeder does not disappoint. The build is fairly standard, building up from the bottom, filling in the set’s main structure before surrounding it with the outer ornaments.Being as small as it is, the structure winds up being fairly minimal, but it is designed in a logical and satisfying way. There aren’t really any advanced building techniques employed here, but none are needed for a set this small. The main bulk of the speeder sits in the front, with a pair of engines to propel it sitting in the back. The top engine structure supports Rey’s seat and console, while the bottom engine actually operates a fun little surprise: the side panels on the main body of the speeder can be opened with a twis of the engine to reveal storage space within. A small storage box slips inside this area, in which ammunition for the small blasters mounted to the front of the speeder can be stored. These are the newer style of studshooters seen in some of the 2014 Battle Packs, rather than the ubiquitous spring-loaded shooters, and for that I am quite grateful. The stud shooters, being smaller, look less obtrusive on this small set than the spring-loaded shooters would have, and they’re less likely to be accidentally set off by an errant finger or a curious cat. A pair of movable fins attach to the back of the speeder, giving it a nice functional, aerodynamic feel; reminiscent of the fins attached to the rear of Jabba’s Sail Barge (75020).
There aren’t a ton of visible studs (accomplished more by curved pieces than an excess of complicated SNOT — Studs Not On Top — techniques), but what’s there adds to the textured “rough and ready” feel of this vehicle. There are clips on the speeder’s port side for Rey’s tools. It can sometimes be a trick identifying what LEGO’s tool and weapon pieces are meant to represent, but these appear to be some kind of long-barreled blaster, a pair of macrobinoculars, and — most interesting — a buzzsaw.
The buzzsaw implies Rey may be some kind of scavenger, perhaps making her living carving off pieces of fallen Star Destroyers and X-Wings and selling them to mechanics or junk dealers — perhaps the mysterious Unkar (see below).
That’s really the only story hint or spoiler one can glean from this set — other than the minifigure selection, of course. Rey herself is fantastic, featuring two expressions (and teeny tiny freckles!) and a nicely sculpted shemagh that can be swapped out with a hair piece. She also comes with a long pole-like tool or weapon and a neat little satchel that I haven’t seen before. The other minifigure, who looks like one of the mechanical skeletons from The LEGO Movie crossed with a Jawa, is simply identified as “Unkar’s Thug”. His (or her’s) hood is a nicely sculpted piece, the printing on the figure has some good detail to it, and the figure carries an intriguing-looking hooked staff. Likely the henchman of some local Jakkunian criminal; it should be interesting to see this individual in the flesh come December.
All in all, I’m very pleased with Rey’s Speeder. As the most inexpensive — and, at 10.4¢ a piece, the best dollar value — set of the new line, it will no doubt be a popular one. Fortunately, it strikes me as one of the best-designed sets of the new line as well. It’s hard to tell just from pictures, of course, but none of the First Order sets look particularly impressive to me, and the X-Wing and Millennium Falcon (especially the latter) are simply redesigns of earlier sets. No, in terms of value, design, and even just pure aesthetic display-ability, I think Rey’s Speeder is the set to beat from this new line. Highly recommended.