Detention Block Rescue (Star Wars 40th Anniversary Celebration Set Review)
The recent tradition for releasing special collectible sets by LEGO for Star Wars Celebrations never fails to capture anticipation and attention. This year, LEGO did not disappoint with the feature of a diorama scene with Luke and Han at Detention Block AA-23 from A New Hope to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars over at Orlando celebrations.
This exclusive was for sale but via a raffle draw and it is said that there were at least 2000 of these were released throughout the four celebration days. Lucky winners on-site were able to purchase these at $40 USD, and at the current rate on eBay, it’s hovering no less than $200 USD. Over and above that, four lucky fans were also randomly rewarded for re-tweeting a post for the giveaway, one set each day during the celebrations for free!
I've come to learn since there were some lucky fans who got a separate announcement who need not give their fate to the lucky draw but there was a queue that they could buy this from, but boy that queue was long, at least 4 hours wait!
The back of the box details a bit more into the scene description. Sealed with a serial number sticker wrapped along the bottom of the box to ensure that it remains 'exclusive' as such.
The box that hosts the set is uniquely built as a slot-in case style. Its print quality is extremely high using glossy material to give it a premium feeling and is sealed with a serialised sticker to indicate the running number of sets issued. It’s exactly the same format as the SDCC Brickheadz packaging last year. Beyond the box packaging and the printed manual, nothing else is unique about the parts in this 220 piece set. I’m actually pleased for the fans that could not be present at Orlando for it can be re-created like for like and enjoy the very same experience, with the exception of the exclusive box.
The particular packaging I’ve received it in came in a single manually packed bag and stuffed to the brim. I've read in other sites that there were two bags instead, but it didn't matter as we all know these were hand packed instead of the factory sealed bags. I was wondering why the tight fit, but did not think of it much. It seemed like there were too many bricks. But I'm not complaining.
I did spy this sticker placed externally, so it seems that even though they're hand packed, they do have some Quality Control in place (OR DO THEY? keep reading!)
The back of the manual has a very nice scene of the two pseudo stormtroopers, which is actually also showcased separately at each side of the outer box, but this one scene put together merged really makes a nice wallpaper for fans. *HINT* LEGO, we want a high resolution wallpaper for this scene!
The build starts off with the foundational base and the eventual setup of the hexagonal corridor slowly taking shape. Red grill parts are used to line the floor entrance to the detention block where the princess is waiting for her saviour. This detailing of color is a nice representation to recreate the actual scene from the movie from where the grills on the floor glow in a reddish hue.
The back wall is my favourite part of the build which simply rings with the instantly recognisable Star Wars-ish corridor light-tubes motif.
The 3rd part and final remaining walls are built with a curved wall and then finally to mount the door keypad, which is the only printed part in this set.
This printed part can be found in at least 4 released sets. The cheapest way to obtain this is from the 40175 Policeman Stinger Polybag which was a free giveaway last month in the UK.
The final steps include the side roofing tiles placement to give it the finished studless loo and the accessories two consoles and the two cameras angled to monitor the room which eventually gets destroyed by Han Solo in the movie. While it may not be a perfect replica of the scene, it does have sufficient elements to give it the right look and feel.
The two minifigures featured are none other than Luke and Han. Both feature the same torso and leg prints, but have unique headpieces and dual expression faces equipped with a blaster for each.
On top of that, two additional Stormtrooper helmets were provided should you wish to dress both heroes as they were right before they entered the control room area.
Although the design and size of this build is quite small, the simple design really captured the essence of the scene from the movie quite aptly. I secretly wished that they had a Princess Leia included to complete the trio of heroes. Heck, Chewbacca would also need to be included if you ask me, he was with them all the way!
This is actually the spot where they all first meet together for the very first time in the Star Wars universe. Surely it must signify some weight and still, it could have been a nice gesture as a tribute to the late Carrie Fisher.
Before we end, as always, there's (almost) always a bonus when you read my posts - here's why my box was filled to the brim! Even with Quality Control checks, it seems that these boxes were packed quite hurriedly and I ended up with WAY more parts than was needed. Exclusive sets usually contain NO spares at all, but I got more than a few duplicates.
In summary, I’m glad LEGO didn’t use any exclusive elements here as it gives everyone a chance to own this very simply yet nicely designed diorama. A quick build and a nice table top display to add to all LEGO Star Wars fans out there. There is very little playability to this set, but nevertheless it's one to display in a quaint corner of your ABS brick filled home with Star Wars goodness!