LEGO has been celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back all year, and earlier this month its latest commemorative creation was released. Debuting as the most recent brick-built version of the iconic AT-AT Walker, this creation packs six minifigures and assembles the third-largest Star Wars set of the year. And now for our latest review, we’re taking a closer look at how the new LEGO AT-AT stacks up. So be sure to head below for all the details.
Hands-on with LEGO’s new 1,200-piece AT-AT
Throughout 2020, we’ve gotten plenty of sets that look to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, but none have been quite as large as the recent LEGO AT-AT. From the brick-built helmets we saw earlier in the summer to the limited-edition Bespin Duel kit, this set clocks in with the largest part count of them all, and the third-best for any Star Wars set this year. And while it’s not quite an Ultimate Collectors Series set, its high part count and the included minifigures give it much of the same appeal.
In that same vein, this is easily the best version of the LEGO AT-AT to date. We’ve seen quite a few since the Star Wars theme was introduced over 20-years ago, with the most recent model before this launching back in 2014. So with plenty of time since the last version, how does the most recent attempt to bring the vehicle to life stack up? Let’s dive into our review of the new LEGO AT-AT.
Assembling the most detailed AT-AT yet
Like we typically see with sets of this size, the new LEGO AT-AT is assembled around an inner frame with panels to accomplish the overall design. Despite being one of the lankier vehicles from the Star Wars universe, the build itself is pretty sturdy here and should hold up to play fairly well. It puts all 1,267 of the included bricks to good use and manages to employ some pretty novel techniques to pull off the final design.
Assembly is straightforward for as large of a set as this, with the legs being a bit tedious at times as you’re essentially crafting the same build four times in a row. But the entire process pays off, as you’re getting a very solid model.
On top of the AT-AT itself, LEGO is also including a speeder bike build and a version of the E-Web heavy repeating blaster. Both of these are side builds, but definitely add a little more playability into the mix.
A closer look at some of the highlights
As the most screen-accurate LEGO AT-AT to date, there are plenty of details worth highlighting here. It really nails the overall design and looks as close to its onscreen counterpart as we’ve seen from LEGO to date. The legs are movable, so you can get various walking poses. Not to mention, the scale with other minifigure-sized creations is about as spot-on as you can hope for.
There’s also plenty of interior room here, which is definitely a plus. On top of having a dedicated spot to store the included speeder bike in the back, the entire body section opens up to reveal seats for placing your brick-built Imperial army – but more on the included minifigures in a bit. The head can also fit three figures, which is a nice touch that gives it even more accuracy to the film. And on the subject of staying true to The Empire Strikes Back, there’s an included winch that allows you to have Luke recreate the iconic scene from the film.
Alongside the AT-AT itself, LEGO is also including a pretty respectable selection of minifigures here. In total, you’re getting six figures headlined by Luke Skywalker in his Rebel Pilot ensemble, as well as General Veers, two AT-AT Drivers, and a pair of Snowtroopers. Even though the latter four characters are doubles, it’s great to see on a set like this. Across the board, printing on all six of the minifigures is spot on. These are some of the more detailed releases we’ve seen from LEGO, and really round out the AT-AT.
In the past, LEGO has failed to include multiple Stormtroopers on transport ships and vehicles. So the fact that we’re getting some figures to actually haul around and pilot the AT-AT is a win in my book.
The not so great aspects
Despite it being a pretty solid set all-around, there are still some areas where it doesn’t quite live up to the commemorative nature that we’ve come to expect from LEGO this year. After being touted as a 40th anniversary Empire Strikes Back set, I went in hoping for the same attention to detail that we found with the other creations in the line. While it’s not anything too drastic, there are some improvements LEGO could have made here on the AT-AT.
Throughout the build, you’ll find various Technic pins and other multi-colored bricks that make up the AT-AT’s internal frame. Some of these stand out more than others, but it definitely bumps the display-worthiness down a notch compared to some of the newer 18+ kits from LEGO. Another small omission is the lack of a power cell on the E-Web heavy repeating blaster like we’ve seen before from past Hoth-focused builds.
So while none of that is really a deal-breaker, it’s worth noting that even though the price, part count, and branding may make this seem like an adult-focused set, it isn’t entirely there yet.
Is it worth the cash?
At $160, the AT-AT is a tougher sell compared to many of the other LEGO Star Wars kits on the market right now. Its included 1,267-pieces and six minifigures are enough to justify the price in my book, so the value is certainly there if you’re looking to bring the vehicle to your collection or just love Episode IV.
But if you’re hoping to assemble the best Star Wars build for you cash, there are better kits to consider. We just did a review on the latest Mandalorian kit, the Razor Crest, and that offers a better overall value if you’re just looking at Star Wars builds than the LEGO AT-AT.
At end of the day, the new LEGO AT-AT is still the best version of the iconic Star Wars vehicle that we’ve seen to date, flaws and all. While there are some little things that could have been done to turn a great set into an amazing one, there’s still plenty to like here. Not only is it the first chance in years for fans to score the AT-AT, but the new selection of minifigures and attention to detail make it an easy recommendation for fans of The Empire Strikes Back.
But at the price, there are plenty of other models in LEGO’s collection right now that will look better on display, or are just better overall values. So if you’re just looking to pick up a new Star Wars build and get the best kit for your cash, check out some of our past reviews down below.
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