75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker

“Inexorably marching” is a commonly-used phrase that springs to mind when describing these plodding behemoths, but think back to the scenes in The Last Jedi where we meet them on the salt plains of Crait we hardly see them in any form of forward motion – not like the AT-ATs on Hoth anyway. That’s because when you’re trying to get a handful of turbolasers to bear on the last members of the Resistance you know that at the back of your mind the meter is running, so you’ll do your best to find a parking place as near to the door as possible.

When it comes to considering adding this set to your collection, one of the first things that is sure to cross your mind is the price. At a cent under $150 it’s a lot of cash to spend, and this late in its lifetime you’ll have decided what camp you’re in when it comes to the whole The Last Jedi debate so a paragraph arguing on the pros and cons of its value is pointless. Suffice to say, with a new movie coming out in six months retailers are going to want to clear out shelf space, so there are sure to be more than a few good deals to be had on this set. If you still need more convincing, this set made the Toy Retailers Association dream toys list for Christmas 2017 in the Licensed to Thrill category.

The build itself is pretty interesting, with enough puzzle points that will keep most builder’s concentration levels on alert. While not overly taxing, it is a long build that can take over four hours and with its size and relative complexity it wouldn’t be suitable for someone who has yet to have ‘teen’ in their age.

There’s a decent amount of detail and play features to add functionality to the set included in the model. Each of the Heavy Assault Walker’s haunches hides a crew and storage compartment, the turbolaser fuel pods on its back look like they were crafted in the ILM model shop, the turbolaser itself – popping out from the armour like an inquisitive vulptex poking its nose out of its burrow to scent the air on a cold morning – provides a bit of ballistic fun, and while snug though the cockpit might be, it feels just right.

While the First Order Heavy Assault Walker itself shows great attention to detail on the designers part, the included minifigs are a bit of an odd mishmash of goodies and baddies. What comes with the set – two hero character minifigs, a generic Resistance soldier with a very (yet not) futuristic battle helmet and two bad guy/cannon fodder figures – is still representative enough of the Battle of Crait scene in The Last Jedi to allow for all parties to come to the table and enjoy reenacting key action sequences.

Having a mix of characters that allows for roleplay is obviously good for creativity, and won’t hurt sales, but a more realistic selection would have included General Hux, Kylo Ren, the First Order Walker Driver, a retro-yet-post-Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker and General Leia Organa minifigures. These, at least, would have given the Walker Driver someone to aim at and allowed for some comedy dialogue between the two highest ranking officers left in the First Order.

From head to tail and shoulder to heel this model does a great job of reflecting its on-screen counterpart. The chin’s angular jowls makes it look just like Uncle Deadly, the hunched back gives it a bulky, menacing air, and while the front knuckles aren’t quite as beefy as the AT-M6s seen in The Last Jedi they do create the effect that its main means of motion is through knuckle-walking. The ensemble, with its eclectic collection (bar the Heavy Walker Driver) of minifigures, works well and does deserve a place in your toy box or collection.

This 1379-piece set is still currently available on LEGO.com in the United States ($149.99), Canada ($169.99) and Australia ($229.99), as well as through Target, Walmart and Amazon.com.

Of course, you won’t want to pitch up on your own and battle a harmless door – behind which the last of the organised resistance is defending the freedom of the galaxy – no matter how old and battered it is.

For this you have 75177 First Order Heavy Scout Walker to pull your battering ram/laser beam, and maybe throw in a touch of forced perspective to your diorama by adding mini-scale 30497 AT-M6 to the background too and a 30380 Kylo Ren Shuttle to keep everythign in scale. Then while your First Order forces are distracted by the last so-called Jedi who is making his final stand against the might of not one, but seven All-Terrain MegaCaliber Six walkers, the remaining members of the Resistance can slip out the back door, securing themselves a pyrrhic victory and a sequel movie.

Or if defending yourself against unaccountably high odds with none of your so-called allies rallying to your call to arms, and you’re only hope is a pipe inspector, a traitorous ex-Stormtrooper and a pilot officer who hasn’t managed to obey a single command and led an mutiny against his flag officer then – all flying ploughshares against a well equipped enemy – is more your thing then you’ll definitely want to add 75202 Defense of Crait to your field of play. Unfortunately it’s retired, but there are plenty on eBay and Amazon.com so your diorama won’t be without Resistance for long.

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