Stay Class I-ey, Hasbro! Because Hasbro is cool, I got to play with the Class I and Class II 2013 vehicles. You saw some impressions of Class II earlier, and now I get to tell you about the new Mini-Rigs! So read on, and know that I had me a great time.
First up is the coolest entry, the Yoda's Jedi Cruiser. All Class I vehicles include two figures and this one sports Yoda with a Super Battle Droid to attack. The Super Battle Droid is based on the 2002 Deluxe model which has been repackaged and repainted many times. Yoda seems to be mostly new parts, with non-articulated ankles, swivel wrists, and ball-jointed elbows. The figure is particularly different in the head, with a sculpted-on pilot's headset.
The vehicle itself is tons of fun. The small vehicle has flip-out spring-loaded cannons, a fold-out kickstand, and best of all, a removable astromech dome unique to this set. You can pop it off and switch it for any other Astromech droid you like, so keep your spares handy and be sure to get a spare body for it. The ship has a sort of a "booster seat" specifically for Yoda which elevates him in the pilot's seat. If you remove the seat, there's a room for a full-size Jedi human or alien, assuming they have the right leg and arm articulation to fit. Of the entire wave, this one is the clear winner and is sure to be the best-seller with kids. And if I'm wrong, well, whatever man.
Next up in the new mold front is the MTT Droid Fighter, which was designed to be compatible with the MTT. Actually, it was designed to come with the MTT but costs and things don't always work out, as you all well know. This mini vehicle is designed to be a unique robot, so it's technically an autonomous being meant to attack the Obi-Wan Kenobi figure included in this set. Speaking of Obi-Wan, this is a repack of the most excellent Battle Pack version from this year with 5 points of articulation, while the Battle Droid seems to be an all-new sculpt with ball-jointed-ish shoulders and about 5 joints. It looks good, and feels sturdy.
The vehicle itself should be familiar to some of you in that it feels a little like Kenner's AST-5. (Look it up, kids.) The figure pilots the ship by laying on its back, and there are rotating wings and rotating firing cannons. It slips into a storage bin in the top of the MTT vehicle, and has decent deco. Note the red eyes on the ship, making it ore than a little like a Battle Droid heads with wings on it. It's a lot of fun, too.
Rounding out the assortment are a pair of repaints. The 501st Legion will expand with the AT-RT and Republic Clone Dropship, the former of which seems to include an animated ARF Trooper and Tactical Droid while the latter includes a Clone Pilot and Battle Droid. The deco on all figures is new and unique, so you should probably want to get these.
The AT-RT is a redeco with a 501 on it and in blue and white. It's fundamentally the same as the other AT-RTs in design, with blaster storage on the back, hand grips for the driver, and mildly posable legs. Rounding out the assortment (so far) is the Republic Clone Dropship, which is shipping in red right now if you're lucky enough to find one. (Online, Walmarts too.) The ship is a very tight fit for 1 pilot figure, but there's a nifty articulated set of wings which allows the ship to assume slightly different forms. There's also a chip clip-like mechanism on the back which carries a pair of harnesses. Each one has articulated guns and acts as a sort of weapons pack for the figures. Try it, it's fun!
So there ya go! 4 new vehicles, 2 of which are completely new. Hasbro expressed a desire to reuse Yoda's Jedi Cruiser in new colors with other characters, which I really hope they consider doing. Not only will you get new versions of one of the most funnest ships in ages, but there might be some more Astromech droid domes coming with them too!
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