The long awaited Darth Vader Transformation set to be released in June 2017 attempts to improve on a set last released by LEGO in 2005 with the very same name (7251). Both sets portray the scene when a badly burned and dismembered Anakin Skywalker is operated upon at the Emperor's Surgical Reconstruction Centre and given his iconic suit and breathing mask for a new lease of life with the Dark side of the force.
Piece count has been bumped from 53pcs to 282pcs in an attempt to give more detail to this iconic scene compared to its predecessor.
The front of the box shows the scene where Darth Vader Force Crushes the droids that operated on him and screams in denial upon learning from Palpatine that Padme was killed by Anakin's Force Choke in Mustafar.
The back of the box shows an earlier part of the scene when a badly burnt and dismembered Anakin is operated on upon transport from the planet Mustafar to the Emperor's Surgical Reconstruction Centre.
Sub images show the play features of the box including the rotating and flipping of the operation table, the mask mounting arm and the droid "ejection". An iconic side view of the mask being mounted as the final transformation piece is also shown.
No surprises that the instruction manual is bound with staples as usual but the highlight for me has to be the full lineup of the minifigures for this summer 2017 wave found right before the parts list.
The build starts off with 8 similarly shaped sections with some minor differences in greebling to make something similar to an octagonal portal. The sections reserved for the play features are quite obvious after bag one as the 2x2 jumper plates and the red carpet-like visual stands out from the rest of the build. I was somehow reminded of the Lego Dimensions portal build after this. The emperor and the DD-13 Medical Assistant droid is also built up at this stage.
The second bag finishes off the build with the mechanism for the operation table and the mask mounting arm. Badly burned and dismembered Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader, a brick built FX-9 Surgical Assistant Droid and a brick built Prowler 1000 exploration droid "floating" over some kind of Lightsaber mount is included in this bag. There were no air bubbles in any of the two red lightsaber blades so I might have gotten lucky or TLG has improved on their processing for this element.
The play set has two primary features that move, one is what I call the 'helmet mounter', and the other is the one where the Anakin minifigure is swapped with the Vader sans helmet. The animation below gives you a good feel of the playability and scene recreation of the set.
(Click on any of the images to have a closer look).
The prints on these minifigures are brilliant! Vader has the same prints, except for the Anakin headpiece and the soft cloth cape.
Darth Vader Unmasked - the scarring both back and front is just perfect detailing!
Anakin with this new battle damaged outfit is new and one for the collectors to go for.
The Emperor - The Palpatine figure is the same issue as the previous sets with the exception that the cape is now the soft cloth material as opposed the crinkly paper tradition.
Surgical Driod - Even tough it's simple, it's definitely better in black than the previous issue of the DV Transformation set.
Surgical Assistant and Prowler Droid
The iconic scene where the Vader helmet is finally mounted is simply epic and one that LEGO knows fans will not want to miss, especially the last one featured was 12 years ago in its sub-par form. It's certainly captured more essence of the film in details and minifigure detail.
Probably the stand out playset for this wave, it will excite many Darth Vader fans and is a definite huge improvement over the 2005 version.