Review: Official Set 75294 - Bespin™ Duel
I have to admit I was extremely excited for this one. Recently I’ve really been focusing on MOCs, and this is actually the first official set that I’ve gotten to build in quite some time.
As of now, it seems like The LEGO® Group is bringing it back, but a few weeks ago this set was rather controversial. It released as an online exclusive for North America, which of course became a problem for international customers who essentially were blocked off from even a chance at getting the set. Luckily, I was online when the set dropped a few minutes before midnight and was able to secure two copies of The Bespin™ Duel. The set sold out just a few minutes after that, and a lot of fans were very frustrated that scalpers made up a large percentage of buyers. Thankfully The LEGO® Group is doing the right thing and re-releasing the set, which is really a double win because now the scalpers are stuck with boxes that just took a severe drop in value now that they’re back on sale.
Alright let’s jump into the review now.
The box follows along the current trend of sets marked 18+ by LEGO®. I understand that for the larger sets, but for this set I have no clue why they made it 18+. I guess because it’s intended to be a display model rather than a playset? Still though, I feel bad for the kids who are advertised to think this $40 set isn’t for them, when in reality it’s a very simple build.
Inside the box there’s a total of three numbered bags, a single sticker, and the instruction manual. The instructions follow a format very similar to the recent Ultimate Collector’s Series sets in that the first few pages give a brief history of the scene, the model, and the designer. I was surprised by how bulky the instructions are for a set that only contains 295 pieces. Although the page size is pretty small, so only a step or two is shown on each page.
The build as expected was easy and I had no issues with it. The only part I had trouble with was attaching the hoses and clips with trans-orange studs. It was tough to get it bent perfectly to match the shape of the platform, and it’s rather fragile once it is attached, but it’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things.
I was pleasantly surprised by the stability elsewhere in the model. I figured that the piping where Luke hangs off of would be fragile, but it’s rock solid. It’s connected to the walkway via two technic hinge plates, and all of the vertical pipes have rods running through the center to reinforce the structures.
Looking at the minifigs obviously Darth Vader is the main attraction here. The minifig has arm printing, and to date this is now the least expensive set that you can buy in order to get your hands on that minifig. The torso, back, and leg printing are all very well done. Some people are saying the minifigure has a slightly different cape than the Darth Vader included with the Death Star Final Duel set, but I can’t verify that as I don’t have that set. Either way I’m not crazy concerned with the cape, I think it’s fine. This is the first time that I’ve gotten to see the two-piece Vader helmet, and I have to say I’m very impressed. Not only is it accurate to the movies, but it’s a big improvement to this character minifig.
As for Luke Skywalker, I think this minifig is almost identical to the one included in the recent Master Builder Series set, Betrayal at Cloud City. I think there’s some slight differences but for the most part he looks exactly the same. His head has two prints on it: one with a stern look and another with a shocked face meant to depict the moment after Vader announces that he is Luke’s father. I wish that his lightsaber hilt as well as Vader’s were both chrome rather than the flat silver we got in this set. $40 for a 295-piece set is a bit of a markup and if it’s an 18+ display set then I feel like we should be getting not only premium minifigs but also premium accessories where applicable. In this case that would mean a chrome lightsaber hilt.
Overall, I really, really like this set. The build experience was great, the minifigs are (nearly) top-notch, and it is in fact a wonderful display piece of a scene that is incredibly recognizable. While the box or instructions doesn’t show the display of the scene exactly right, you can make it exactly like the original scene by removing the right hand and lightsaber from Luke and positioning him hanging off by only his left hand.
If you’re able to order this set, I would make it a priority. Nobody knows how long it’s going to be for sale, and it’s definitely a great addition to a collection as well as a great gift for Star Wars fans.