Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

LEGO Star Wars – Carbon Freezing Chamber



LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber


There were 2 things from the 2016 LEGO catalogue that made my son jumped when he first viewed it sometime late last year. One was the imminent arrival of Series 15 minifigures and the other was the Star Wars – Empire Strikes Back’s Carbon Freezing Chamber playset. We hardly buy LEGO playsets these days because of its rising costs. My son gets his minifigure fix on a weekly basis but that’s hardly a fraction of what we’re expected to pay for full movie-related playsets these days.

Let’s sidetrack a bit....

I was really tempted to get the LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 re-release but alas it was snapped up as quickly as the new LEGO Ghostbusters Firehouse got cleared off the shelf of the official LEGO store I visited a couple of days ago. Mind you, there was already a line outside of the store way before the store itself opened at 10am. Reports everywhere mentioned the same i.e. long queues outside LEGO stores everywhere as most collectors/(damn dirty) scalpers wanted to get the new RM1800 (USD450) GB Firehouse. I even saw one (supposed scalper) buying three (3) of the darn Firehouse sets under the noses of people who sighed and moaned for not being able to snag ONE for their personal collection. But that’s collecting scene in Malaysia or most parts of the world for you. Economic downturn or not, people seem to still have the dough to splash on expensive LEGO playsets. But I digress; let’s get on with the subject of today’s posting.


Carbon Freezing Chamber....

So with most people going for the Ghostbusters very very limited edition sets, my mind was pretty focused on seeing the new Star Wars LEGO releases. There were many that day. There were a number of ‘buildable characters’ (those odd-looking oversized LEGO figures) and a number of playsets from the new TFA movie (man I do like that Leia transporter and Maz Kanata castle sets me self!). But my sights were locked onto the classic OT Star Wars themed playsets. There were two (God knows if I missed any other aside from the Microfighter sets); one was the Droid Escape set (you know, when Threepio and Artoo escape Tantive IV?) and the other was the Carbon Freezing Chamber set, which is what we’re looking into next.

The packaging/box


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

The packaging is pretty small thus it gives you a good idea of how ‘big’ the playset was going to be when fully assembled. I love the visual of the actual playset itself strewn against an orange-ish lighting in the background akin to the ESB movie.


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

Over at the back of the packaging you’d get a closer look at what you’re getting with the set and the various features that comes with it.


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

Pretty funny to see that once I (carefully slice) open the box, there are two (2) separate clear plastic holding the various LEGO bricks needed to build the set. I say this because the set itself isn’t THAT big to warrant two separate plastic bags to hold the bricks. Whatever right?


15 or 20 minutes later.....


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

There, it’s fully assembled! My son built this halfway and both my wife and I stepped in once it got a bit technical for an 8-year old to proceed. You see, there is a LEGO Technics-like mechanism that you have to build to enable the ‘carbon freezing’ gimmick. More on that later.


Overview


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

No doubt many will get this for the new Ugnaught minifigure. We’ve seen Boba Fetts and countless versions of Han Solo before but the little guy has never been made into LEGO form before. It would have been nice if there’s more than one of the little dude to go around on the playset. Having said that, I really wish that they could have at least included Princess Leia or Lando Calrissian in the playset. How the heck are we supposed to re-create that ‘I love you-I know’ scene now?


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

I love the alternate expression on Han Solo. He has that ‘cringe-worthy’ look as if he’s about to be carbon-freezed (duhhh).

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

The playset itself is only half of the octagonal shaped platform we’ve seen in the ESB movie. Half of the playset ain’t that bad. I’m sure many will buy of this set and attempt to combine the two to form a complete octagon! May take some modifications as I do not see how two sets can be attached so easily to one another.

I love how the clear orange bricks/studs are used to re-create the whole Bespin feel. It does really look like it’s taken off the set of ESB albeit LEGO-rized. Technically the stairs are in a wrong position as the one we’ve seen in ESB goes DOWN (the whole freezing chamber platform was actually at a lower area in the hall) and not upwards. Not a big issue to me as this stand alone set looks great when displayed. That is all that matters to me and my carbonite-Solo obsessed son. Again I foresee many creative builders will attempt to custom build a larger set by incorporating this core playset as the main focus of a much larger Bespin set.


The features


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

Let’s start with the main one first. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the carbon freezing gimmick is done by placing Han Solo at the back of the carbonite block (I’ve got mine facing the wrong way....hahah) and lowering him down via a lever and quickly turning the carbonite block the other way to give the impression that the freezing process is a success!


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber


There’s a lift/elevator for your Ugnaught to travel from the lower level of the playset to get to his control panel. In fact, you place almost anybody on the contraption but I don’t seem to recall anybody else taking the elevator except for the Ugnaughts. Talking about the control panel, I totally dig the design on it. I love the Star Wars-ey characters/runes as it reminds me greatly of the OT films.


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

There is also a ‘slide bed’ at the lower part of the playset. From the packaging we can see that we’re supposed to put Han Solo on it although I am unsure which scene is this referring to. It could be where Leia consoled him after the torture scene but again it defeats the purpose as Leia is not even included here. I am quite sure that this is NOT the torture rack device as it doesn’t even remotely look like it.


LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

“Put Captain Cargo in the Solo hold!

The carbonite block has handles at each end to allow your Stormtroopers to hold it. Thus this will enable you to re-create that iconic scene where Boba Fett oversaw those Stormies carrying the carbonite block into Slave 1 (okay it was rather ‘floating’ in the movie ain’t it? But you get the point!)

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber

Despite the small size of the playset, I was really looking forward to put my son’s other Star Wars minifigures on it. It just seemed incomplete without many. My regret is that there had been no Princess Leia or Lando to go with this otherwise excellent set. Call it what you will...’too small’....or ‘wrongly proportioned’....or ‘this and that’. This is an excellent display piece for any Star Wars fans and I do recommend this playset for its sheer aesthetic. For an OT nut like me, this set is a no-brainer!

LEGO 2016 Star Wars - Carbonite Freezing Chamber



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