Top positive review
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"Someone was in the pod. Look sir, droids!"
on February 1, 2012
This is Lego's second set featuring the escape pod from Star Wars IV, the first being #7106 from 2001. Introduced in January of 2012, set #9490 is certainly an improved design, the escape pod featuring a conical shape (rather than cylindrical as in the earlier set) along with nice thruster detailing at both ends of the pod. The shell of the pod lifts off to reveal seating areas for the droids and a control panel. Stickers decorate the side of the pod. There is also a little speeder bike included in the set, though a dewback would have been nice.
The main reason to purchase the set is for the mini-figures; it includes four: R2-D2, C-3PO, and two Sandtroopers. C-3PO sports a new torso that allows one to see his mechanical/electrical innards at the abdominal opening; he also has printed eyes on his head. The Troopers have sand marks on them, giving them a nice weathered look, and they also have printing on their legs. Dressed in different colored pauldrons, I think these troopers are some of the best Lego has made.
In terms of playability, this is a good set. Escape pods are single-use vehicles and are not given to dogfights or flitting about the galaxy. So the limited plot-line of the movie means kids have to be extra inventive. But the set makes up for this in plenty of mini-figures and just a nifty pod design. Given the assortment of fairly useful parts (curves and conical sections), this is a good value set. And since Lego only seems to offer an escape pod once every decade, well, here's your chance to get away with one.