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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Space : Star Wars : Original Trilogy : Imperial AT-ST

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 7127 - Imperial AT-ST

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: Cheap way to get Chewie; a lot better than it looks in catalogs
Cons: Chin guns too high; head doesn't swivel; a little thin
Contents: 107 pieces and 1 mini-wookiee
Price: $9.99
Reviewed: 6-Dec-2000
Reviewed by: Gareth Bowler

7127 Tossing the Imperial pilot aside like a rag doll, the mighty Chewbacca dropped into the Scout Walker's command pod and grabbed the controls. As he did, a little wookiee with pointy red horns and a forked tail appeared on his shoulder, whispering, "Kiiiiiiiill the Ewoks!* Squish 'em! Stomp them into the ground!"
* translated from the original wookiee -Ed
"No!" countered a small, winged wookiee on his other shoulder, "That wouldn't be nice! You should help your friends by destroying that other AT-ST!"
"Don't be a pansy!", cried the horned wookiee, "These fuzzy little appetizers are driving me crazy! I bet they taste GREAT with a little mornay sauce! Come on! The other wookiees will laugh at you if you don't! They'll steal your lunch money!"
Alas, Chewie listened to the winged wookiee. Dammit!

Wahoo! A new 2001 Star Wars set at last! 6 Stars! Okay, okay, the adrenaline has worn off ... *pant* *pant*... I can review it now...

When I first saw this set in the 2001 catalog, disappointed was not the word for the way I felt. The word was... um... okay, I lied, the word was disappointed. "Too small!" I said. "Not big enough!" I said. "Should be larger!" I said. Know what? I should wait a while between building a new set and reviewing it, because I just get giddy and make jokes.

Okay, it's later and I'm ready to be serious. There's a lot that's wrong with this set, but when you step back and think about it, there's not really much Lego could've done to improve it. First, there's the complaint that the AT-ST should have come with the AT-ST pilot instead of, or in addition to Chewbacca. Frankly, Lego's goal here is to sell sets and Lego is not Hasbro. They have to design sets for the biggest possible audience and a lot more people like Chewie than the AT-ST pilot (who is not exactly a major player in the Star Wars saga.) Both Chewie and the pilot might have been nice, but then people would probably complain that the set was too expensive, so Lego erred on the side of selling more sets. If they sell more Star Wars sets, they'll make more Star Wars sets in the future.

Another common fan complaint is that the AT-ST is way to small. Well, to be blunt... no, it isn't. Starwars.com says the AT-ST is 8.6 meters tall. Assuming Chewbacca is 2 meters and a bit, this model's height is perfect since it is exactly four times Chewie's height. As for width, if the height is correct, the width is pretty much correct since six studs at this height would be way too fat. I will admit it is a little skinny. It needs to be about 5 studs wide, maybe not even that. I need to work out a way to mount a plate on each side and still allow the turrets to turn, that would probably make it about perfect. The problem here is not the model, it's the mini-figs, which are roughly twice as wide proportionate to height compared to normal humans. That's why Lego has problems with things like the Falcon's cockpit and this thing.

As far as parts go, there's some nice new and semi-new pieces here: a gray canopy extender, matte gray lightsaber handles, both types of vertical pins, the new ribbed clicking hinges, and some 1x4 L shaped shelf pieces similar to the ones that used to come 1x2. There are two pieces which are square, stud-less, with clips on the back, which are new to me, but might have been shields in some old castle sets. There are two preprinted new 2x2 round tiles and an inverted slope showing an AT-ST in the targets.

Overall the construction is quite clever, but there are a couple quick mods I'd recommend. First, take the hinge piece off the nose and mount it down under the chin. Then replace the exposed black holed 1x2 with a standard gray 1x2. Next, replace the black piece at the base of the head with a 4x4 swivel so the head can turn. Not to toot by own horn, but (*toot*) those simple fixes really improve the look.
This set is good, especially considering how cheap it is, but not great. If you don't own it, just trust me... It's better than you think it is.

88 readers have rated this set as 3.635 out of 5 stars.
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