Most helpful positive review
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A fine addition to the Republic assault fleet
on August 27, 2011
I bought this toy for our play collection since I figured it would be the closest Hasbro would ever give us to the emperor's shuttle at the close of Episode III. I do think Hasbro did a good job on this vehicle overall. The styling is good and blends in very well with the republic ships from the episode 2-3 lines. The wings do dip down below the body of the ship to give the proper angle for an imperial/republic shuttle's wing configuration, though the pictures tend not to display this. The landing gear will not fall out when you sneeze, as is the case with the oversized Millennium Falcon. :) As an attack vehicle, the shuttle sports two firing missiles from the sides of the cockpit and a cannon that can be pulled out from the top of the body (where the third wing would be on an "imperial" shuttle).
As an assault playset, the vehicle was really quite cleverly designed. It is important to read the instructions on this one, since the transformation REQUIRES pulling a release switch rather than the use of force. Two cannons (which Clone Troopers can mount) literally pop up into attack-ready position from two side compartments alongside the central body, and the roof transforms into a multi-story attack tower. The dorsal gun becomes a cannon within this tower, and there are multiple stations for troopers on the tower and within the body of the ship. The wings open up to become stations from which troopers can fire in relative safety from the advancing droid hoards.
The electronic features are also quite good. There are 40-some clone trooper phrases and 10 (or so) droid phrases, but if you're really going to be playing out a scenario of your own with your sons or friends, these features are fairly useless. The vehicle sounds change depending on the placement of the wings. When the shuttle is closed and the wings are in the lowest position, you can access engine hums, large laser cannon sounds, and the like. When the shuttle is opened in ground assault mode, then the vehicle sounds are more like troops disembarking, the alarm claxon, and so forth. I am a bit disappointed that the engines do not light up (this is the FIRST thing I would put in place if I were designing an electronic toy). There are light-up alarms (two red lights in the interior cabin) and firing sounds for the two pop-up cannons, which I could see using in play. The electronic features are generally in keeping with the range and versatility of the recent AT-AT, BMF, and AT-TE.
I found the toy easy enough to assemble, though I can understand why the first reviewer had some difficulties. The wing attachment requires more force than one would expect -- or wish, at first, to apply to so expensive a toy! Nevertheless, they are correctly engineered and do lock into place just fine. The locking mechanism keeping the two side-cannons in for "flight mode" is not strong, and one of them tends to pop open on its own. This is, however, the only design issue I can see. It will have to be used with some care if it is to last, however.
All-in-all, I think this is a well-developed toy, and its dual modes very much expand its potential for encouraging play.