Toy Maniac: LEGO Battle of Hoth Review (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Thursday, July 18, 2013
Source: Mania.com

As a kid who grew up in the eighties, I loved Star Wars. Naturally, when The Empire Strikes Back came out, it was a field day for me. There were so many action figures, play sets, and vehicles that it was a cornucopia of Star Wars that still hasn’t all been obtained. The new play sets or retro re-fit play sets today are okay. They just don’t have that endearing eighties charm. Thankfully, LEGO has stepped into the world of Star Wars, long ago, and have been producing classic moments such as the LEGO Battle of Hoth. The charm of the eighties lives and breathes in this LEGO set. 
 
This is not the first Hoth play set from LEGO. In fact, it is just one of many of the essential sets needed to complete your Star Wars Battle of Hoth recreation. Previous Hoth sets include: LEGO Star Wars Echo Base (7749), LEGO Star Wars Snow Trooper Battle Pack (8084), LEGO Star Wars AT-AT Walker #8129 and the LEGO Star Wars Hoth Wampa Set (8089).
With only 426 pieces and numerous other Hoth LEGO sets already existing, I knew that I was only scratching the surface of the Battle of Hoth. Fitting, as this LEGO set features what happened on the surface. 
 
Construction Time:
 
This was an easy set to put together. Since I only had a few LEGO sets when I was kid, I always loved getting LEGO men. This sets comes with six characters, a probe droid, and a Tauntaun. As it is with all LEGO sets, there are numbered bags and flawless instructions that make putting these bricks together easy. 
 
Rebels:
 
 
The LEGO Hoth “defense wall” is a clever piece. It has a major gun turret, a Radar Gun, and tons of blasters. It is as if you built a tiny show fort out of LEGO. The details are amazing. The nice touch was including the Tauntaun. 
 
What would the Battle of Hoth be without a Snowspeeder? This LEGO Luke Skywalker comes with a two sided face that allows one side to be just his face. The other side is a goggles down Luke (see instagram picture at bottom left). The Snowspeeder itself has functioning wings and, of course, a tow cable. What is missing is Dak. One more figure wouldn’t have made a difference in the price. However, if you are going to have Luke Skywalker’s Snowspeeder, you need his tail gunner. 

Imperials:
 
The imperials did have the advantage of the AT-ATs, but not the advantage of defense. Obviously, they didn’t need as they won the Battle of Hoth.
 
The heavy gun that comes with this set is impressive. While you are constructing it you know would never have put those pieces together to make that gun on your own. I guess that is why they call the creators of this set, Master Builders. Simply incredible.

 
Though I don’t remember any Snowspeeders on screen I am happy to have it in this play set. Call it an expanded universe moment. However, it got me thinking, why didn’t the Rebels uses these over Tauntauns? Not enough in the budget I guess. 
 
One of the few problems I had with this set was the placement of the eyes for the Snowtroopers. They have a ski mask LEGO face on one side and on the other it is just black. The black side works for the eyes when the Snowtrooper helmet is on (right side). Yet if you don’t turn the head turned around, it doesn’t (left side).
 
New LEGO Figures:
 
This set features two new Star Wars LEGO Characters. General Rieekan and Hoth Pilot Luke Skywalker. Rieekan comes with a Hoth Cap, a blaster, and goggles. Luke only comes with his lightsaber. 
 
Unexpected / Extra Pieces:
 
I’ve begun to notice that LEGO usually includes, randomly, extra pieces here and there in their sets. While I am just getting back into LEGO collecting, I am starting to accumulate a lot of little pieces. The challenge is to come up with something with these pieces. I decided to make Luke’s hand held harpoon gun (see instagram photo at bottom).

What I didn’t expect in the LEGO set was that little bit of light heartiness that appears in so many of the LEGO films. Here I was treated to a cup of coffee for whoever was manning the radar dish. Plus I think I was also treated to single Hot Dog. While I think this part was clever, how about a full on grill with a few more franks? 
 
The Final Word:

This is a great set and came with a few unexpected surprises. Like anything with collecting Star Wars items, it is never enough. There are a several more LEGO Hoth play sets to acquire. Most important is the LEGO Star Wars AT-AT Walker #8129

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.



Mania Grade: A
Toy: LEGO Battle of Hoth
Toy Producer: LEGO
Toy Line: Star Wars
Suggested Retail: $99.99
Pieces: 426
LEGO #: 75014
Series: