Tuesday 11 December 2012

"They're for sale if you want them"

As discussed last week, my quest for a 100% complete (as defined by moi, of course....) LEGO Star Wars collection is all well and good, but it's not the whole story. There are also those "ancilliary items" which I alluded to - those rare, exotic trinkets which we curse LEGO for producing, unless of course we're fortunate enough to manage to get them for ourselves..... Despite my focus on the Star Wars retail sets, I do have to confess to keeping an eye out for some of the harder-to-find exotica, and when such items do occasionally present themselves I'm not averse to adding them to the collection if the price isn't too exhorbitant.

One such item which I was recently lucky enough to get hold of without having to remortgage the house or sell my family into slavery for is Set COMCON024 Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder. This is one of those infernal LEGO exclusives which you can only get if you attend a particular event, in this case the 2012 New York Comic Con (NYCC), or know someone who's attending and willing to get up early and stand in a queue. Even after all that, attendees didn't get them for free - they had to cough up $40 for the privilege. Ouch.

You can see some pictures of the sealed set below (click pictures to enlarge). Unusually, it comes in a metal tin with a twist-off lid. The lid is secured with a couple of tape seals and festooned with a nice cartoony representation of Luke Skywalker's face; there's also text around the circumference confirming that the set is indeed a NYCC exclusive. The side of the tin is covered all the way round with a large sticker showing a representation of the set contents against a backdrop of what looks like Mos Eisley spaceport. Overall, the packaging is really rather nice - slick and desirable, and certainly not the kind of half-hearted effort that you might perhaps have expected LEGO to cobble together given that this set is a one-off.

Per the close-up shot below, only 1,000 of these sets were made, of which mine is number 777. I guess that makes them moderately rare in the great scheme of LEGO collectables; to put this number into perspective, there are 10,000 of the much coveted chrome gold C-3PO minifigures in circulation.

When I looked closely I realised that the black section of the seals was in fact perforated; I carefully cut along the perforations and twisted off the lid in order to inspect the contents, which you can see laid out in the picture below (click to enlarge).

The instruction booklet (pictures below - click to enlarge) is surprisingly sturdy. I was half expecting to find a photocopied sheet of A4 inside the tin, but I really couldn't have been more wrong. The pages actually feel thicker than those you'd find inside a regular retail instruction booklet, and the printing is absolutely top notch. The booklet is made up of a total of 34 pages not including the front and back covers, all of which are taken up by the building instructions apart from the last two which show an inventory of parts. The building instructions themselves are extremely clear and easy to follow, with no colour discrimination issues evident.

All 110 parts are contained in a single bag. The bag isn't sealed; instead it's closed by way of a sticky flap along one side which can be non-destructively pulled open, and indeed subsequently re-closed if desired. You can see a few of the more interesting parts below. Pride of place goes to the dark red mud guard-type piece which I've never seen before; at time of writing the draft Bricklink set inventory, which is pending approval, doesn't even show this piece, and I'm betting it's brand new. This is obviously a bit of a blow if you're planning on Bricklinking the parts rather than shelling out for the set. The set also contains, amongst other things, 7 light bluish grey 1 x 2 masonry bricks which are as yet only available in this and 4 other sets, and 14 tan 1 x 2 x 2/3 slopes (a.k.a. double cheese slopes) which is more than you'll find in any other set. Unusually, there are no extra parts.

The set contains one minifigure, described by Bricklink as Luke Skywalker (Tatooine, Smiling). To my great surprise, it appears that this version of Luke Skywalker has never appeared elsewhere and is unique to this set. His tousled blonde hair has certainly appeared previously, for instance in the minifigure version of Luke Skywalker included in Set 7965 Millennium Falcon, as has his torso and rather nice printed legs. The minifigure head is however unique, meaning that for the time being this figure can't be recreated 100% accurately from parts obtained from other sets. Neither his torso nor his legs feature any back-printing, and the head isn't reversible (unless entirely blank flesh-coloured minifig heads are your thing) but the figure is nevertheless a nice representation of Tatooine Luke and I guess potentially destined to be somewhat in demand among minifigure collecting completists.

The landspeeder build itself is extremely quick and simple, and the finished model can be seen below. In general, 1 x 2 masonry bricks have predictably been employed to represent brickwork in official sets where they've appeared to date; here however the 'back' of the brick is exposed instead of the 'front' in order to approximate a horizontal line running around the side of the landspeeder. Spoked wheels form the front of the engines, and metallic silver 1 x 1  round plates and 1 x 2 tiles modified with grille are used to provide some subtle detailing. Although it's not clear from the photographs, the landspeeder appears to 'float' thanks to the use of six transparent boat studs attached to the underside of the model. At the back, printed round 2 x 2 tiles form the back of the engines - no stickers in this set - and if you look closely you can see the new dark red mud-guard piece wrapped round the support structure for the central upper engine.

While the model is immediately recognisable as a landspeeder, it'd be an uphill battle to try and argue that it's in any way an accurate representation of the source material - it's far too short and stubby. It'll also only hold one minifigure, making any recreation of the iconic scene below something of a challenge....

"These aren't the droids you're looking for" (from Tumblr)
If you're not a fan of the chibi stylings of this set and would prefer something a little more movie-accurate, LEGO has previously produced three other landspeeders, not including the glued 2008 Landspeeder Bag Charm. Set 7110 Landspeeder holds a special place in my heart as it's the first LEGO Star Wars set I ever owned, bought for me as a present back in 1999 when I was well and truly lost in my Dark Ages; it would be almost a decade before I'd rediscover the joys of LEGO and embark upon my Star Wars collecting spree. Set 8092 Luke's Landspeeder can still be found at retail and is probably my favourite of all the landspeeders; as well as being a fairly decent rendition of the subject matter, it also comes with a prodigious number of minifigures for such a relatively small set. The landspeeder found in Set 4501 Mos Eisley Cantina is arguably the most 'realistic' by virtue of it's unusual sand red colour, although it's also by far the most expensive at current prices thanks to the presence of four rare and exclusive minifigures in the set including Greedo.

Set 7110 Landspeeder (1999)

Set 4501 Mos Eisley Cantina (2004)
Set 8092 Luke's Landspeeder (2010)

If I'm being completely honest, nobody except dyed-in-the-wool collectors really need bother with the NYCC Landspeeder. Sure, it's undoubtedly cute, and yes it contains an exclusive minifigure, but it's hardly worth the £80+ / $129+ that people are asking for it on Bricklink..... I was lucky and managed to pick mine up for less, but even I would have found it hard to justify coughing up Bricklink prices for this one.


  1. Anonymous11/12/12

    My first Star Wars set contained a landspeeder as well, though it was the Mos Eisley one. It' the only part of the set still intact and possibly my favorite model I own (even more then the giant castle chess set).

  2. Anonymous13/12/12


    Thanks for this article. I wanted to point out that the dark red mudguard piece is also available in the just released Flatbed Truck (www.brickset.com/detail/?set=60017-1). It's used in the hood of the convertible.

  3. Unfortunately, Anonymous poster, that set wasn't available until very recently, not a few months ago at NYCC. As I was about the 30th person to get the set, and undoubtedly the first one to open it (just a step outside the NYCC Lego Store =-) I can tell you that as of that time it was a unique piece but my LUGmate Brian (bmwlego/notenoughbricks) recognized it from the early 2013 City set pictures).

    Glad to see you like it Doc! It's a fun little kit, I still need to get the SDCC Sith Infiltrator to go with it and the SWCVI Slave I

  4. I have this model #0654. I found it on ebay. However the model that the instructions show you to build is NOT the same as the pic on the tin, nor the pic on the instruction booklet. Anyone else agree? :-)