Since my Lego building involves making MOCs (My Own Creation), I don’t usually buy the really big sets unless they’re on deep clearance, or unless it’s something really nice. I tend to stick to smaller and medium-sized sets. But I couldn’t resist this big boy, the Jawa Sandcrawler from Star Wars.
There were a few things that influenced my purchasing decision:
1) I’ve always loved the Sandcrawler, thought I don’t know why. It’s just a big brown box on treads, but something about it was cool to me. I guess the idea of riding around in a big brown box on treads finding wandering robots?
2) It came with a LOT of brown pieces, which is aces! And not just brown pieces, but really basic ones, bricks, tiles, and panels. If you’re buying for parts, as I often am, it’s a gold mine, since brown isn’t one of the more common brick colors.
3) Jawa minifigs! Sure, there’s not much to them, but I love me some Jawas.
4) Other great pieces: a ton of treads, some interesting gears, nice big plates.
5) The price: Amazon has it for $99 (it’s regularly $139) and I had a $25 Amazon gift certificate from my birthday, so I got all this for $75.
So really, I couldn’t afford NOT to buy it!
It took me two evenings to build, but I finally got it together. So what’s the verdict?
First off, it’s a strangely stubby Sandcrawler, kind of wide and short. I’m not crazy about all the mottled brickwork. I know what they were going for there, but it doesn’t completely work for me. The instructions were pretty clear to follow, though with such a large set it’s often difficult to see everything in each step.
The minifigs are great. I love the Jawas, of course. There are seven droids included that are very nifty, though it’s odd that R5-D4 has a blank head. I thought my piece was misprinted, but nope, it’s supposed to be blank. I guess this simulates the aneurysm he has? Fan-fave Gonk makes another appearance, which is great. Uncle Owen is a bit generic looking, but then again, Uncle Owen WAS a bit generic looking. Anyway, the Jawas are the stars of this show, and they’re great.
The build is very sturdy, especially the wedge-shaped front. Previous large sets with odd angles (the AT-AT and the AT-TE) used hinged and angled plates which were pretty fragile. This is all brickwork, and it looks great and is very solid. The only oddball is a hinge on the top (where the “cockpit” is) that is one of those toothed hinges. Opening and closing it usually winds up pulling the whole hinge off, as the connection to the brick below it is weaker than the hinge itself.
There are a lot of action features, the most impressive being the steerable back treads. A knob in the back turns them left and right and the Sandcrawler really does move on those treads well. There are all sorts of panels that open: the front, two on the top, and the cockpit hatch all open. A crane platform is stored in the front that can be placed on top to pick up droids (no R2 vacuum, unfortunately). Also the entire middle section can lift out to reveal the “control room” and, I guess, droid repair shop.
For a huge set the sticker sheet is very small: two control panels and some windows for the cockpit.
Although there are some nitpicky things I would have liked, I really cannot complain at all. It’s a great set both as a completed model and as a collection of parts. And the price was certainly right.
Okay, enough typing. I gotta go chase Gonk through the desert!