Around Christmas 2011, I was looking around different sites to see if there were sales going on at that time. To my delight, there was a sale on Amazon.com for the LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle. Not really wanting to spend that much on a LEGO set but it was a deal that I couldn’t pass up. The set includes 2503 pieces and retails for $259.99, which is at $0.09/piece. The bricks come in many bags, and when I say many, I mean many! The bags aren’t numbered but are organized very well. I recommend a big table to spread out the pieces when assembling because there will be at least ten different piles. There are four instruction booklets included in a polybag with a cardboard backing so the booklets wouldn’t get wrinkled. The set was released in September 2010.
The set comes with five minifigs which are, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Imperial Pilot, Imperial Officer, and a Stormtrooper.
The Darth Vader is the same version as in the Millennium Falcon set. Luke is in his black Jedi knight attire with a black right hand. The Imperial Pilot is in all black, which I think this is the only set that he appears in with this version. The Imperial Officer is in all gray distinguished by the rank on his uniform. The Stormtrooper is the same as seen in many other sets.
Like I mentioned before, try to build the Imperial Shuttle in an open space as you will be working from many different piles of bricks and you don’t want them to get mixed up. One thing I have to say is there are a lot of Technic pieces for ship. The instructions are pretty clear although it gets pretty repetitive meaning you have to practically build the same things but opposite. The first two instruction booklets guides you through the building of the base of the ship, the cockpit, and the upper stabilizer fin. The one thing that is a bonus for the cockpit is that it’s able to detach as an escape pod. The other two booklets takes guides you through the wings of the shuttle. The wings are pretty easy to build but be prepared to have circle marks on your fingers due to pushing the pins to stabilize the moving pieces. The display stand is also in the last booklet.
There are many pros and cons with the Imperial Shuttle. Let’s start off with the cons just to get them out of the way. First is the darn stickers again. There aren’t many but as an Ultimate Collector’s Series set and the price we pay for it, I feel that the stickers should’ve been printed pieces instead. Secondly, the body of the shuttle is pretty fragile. You may find that some pieces might fall off easily. Because of that, there’s no much playability with the set. The minifigs are decent but nothing spectacular. The cockpit is able to fit four minifigs so someone has to be left out which happens to be the Stormtrooper. He’ll have to guard the landing gear and display stand.
Now to the pros of the shuttle. It looks a lot like the one in the movies and makes an excellent display piece. It’ll definitely be one of the first things to be noticed when you walk into a room. It is certainly my standout set of my collection. There is also some weight to it which makes it much more desirable. One of the fun features is the ability to adjust the wings from flight mode to landing mode using two key handles on the back of the ship, one for each wing. Although there is a landing gear included, the display stand with the description plaque is where you want it sitting on. Other features of the ship is there are a couple of double laser cannons and double blaster cannon near the front.
Overall, I think the Imperial Shuttle is an absolutely great set for any AFOL. It took me a couple of hours to build and it was a fun experience. I would totally recommend it to anyone who is a Star Wars fan if you have the money to shell out for it. It’s worth it!