LEGO announced a renewal of their Star Wars license at Toy Fair translating a successful thirteen years of not only fun and creative construction sets, but also a transformation into a global property that also includes theme parks, video games, and television. Not that the construction sets have played second fiddle either. LEGO reported over 200 million sets sold since 1999, making it one of the most successful toy lines.
What else plays to LEGO’s success? The ever growing adult collectership and support of the line that is now more than ever solidly transgenerational.
For 2012, LEGO continues their themes across film, prequel, and expanded universe, with the first sets launched on January 30th and the second wave scheduled for release in August and back to school. Nineteen sets are planned, including their new mini planet collectibles. There’s also a couple from The Old Republic video game and two nice nods to Return of the Jedi and the upcoming 30th anniversary, including a new and fantastic Jabba’s Palace.
A second wave of mini planets are scheduled for August that includes Yavin 4, Bespin, and Endor. This is a neat concept that harkens back to Hasbro’s Complete Galaxy assortment, which included a mini planet with a figure. Each planet features a mini figure and mini vehicle with display stand. You can even string up the planet like an ornament for display.
9677 X-wing Starfighter & Yavin 4 (77 pieces)
9678 Twin-Pod Cloud Car & Bespin (78 pieces)
9679 AT-ST & Endor (65 pieces)
9496 DESERT SKIFF
($24.99, 213 pieces, August)
An all new Boba Fett with Sarlacc highlights this set. It also includes Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, and Kithaba.
9498 SAESEE TIIN’S JEDI STARFIGHTER
($29.99, August, 244 pieces)
A new Even Piell and R3-D5 are nice additions to this set. The starfighter is equipped with 4 missiles and a cockpit section that detaches to become an escape pod.
9509 STAR WARS ADVENT CALENDAR
($39.99, September, 234 pieces)
The 2011 Advent Calendar was successful enough to spawn another for 2012. Darth Maul dons the Santa outfit this time. Countdown the holidays featuring 24 gifts of minifigures, starships, and accessories. That R2 snowman minifigure with top hat is definitely on top of our list!
9497 REPUBLIC STRIKER CLASS STARFIGHTER
($44.99, August, 376 pieces)
LEGO didn’t waste any time releasing sets based on the newly released The Old Republic video game. The starfighter comes with attack and cruise mode configurations , flick missiles, and even rear lightsaber storage. Jedi Master Satele Shan, a Republic Trooper, and T7-O1 astromech droid are all new minifigures included with this awesome set.
9499 GUNGAN SUB
($69.99, August, 465 pieces)
The Gungan Sub features a large cockpit, cargo bays, storage boxes, rotating tail propulsion, missiles, and even a mini sub with harpoon. Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jar Jar Binks, as well as a Theed Gown Queen Amidala minifigures round off this Episode I based set.
9500 SITH FURY CLASS INTERCEPTOR
($89.99, August, 748 pieces)
Another set based on The Old Republic game, and this time it’s the bad guys. You’ll want this for the all new Darth Malgus and Sith Trooper minifigures. The Interceptor has folding wings and armed with 4 missiles.
9515 THE MALEVOLENCE
($119.99, August, 1,101 pieces)
LEGO finally releases Grievous’ flagship and features a cargo bay with transport train and a detailed interior with removable opening sections for easy access. The six minifigures include Anakin Skywalker, General Grievous, Padme Amidala, Count Dooku, Battle Droid Commander, and Battle Droid.
9516 JABBA’S PALACE
($119.99, August, 717 pieces)
Last, but certainly, certainly not least and just in time for Return of the Jedi’s 30th anniversary, Jabba’s Palace includes some great play features like a sliding throne with trap door and hidden treasure. There are 9 minifigures included with this set including Jabba, Han Solo (and his carbonite block), Leia as Boushh, Chewbacca, Salacious Crumb, Bib Fortuna, Salacious Crumb, Oola, and B’omarr Monk.
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE SULLENGER