I have a lot of bigger sets in my back log that I want to pick up, but I just can’t help myself when the new battle packs come out! Kits set for the March 1st release date started showing up just a bit early in my area, so I picked up a couple to get started with. Any army builder will benefit from these packs without a doubt.
The Rebel Trooper Battle Pack (75164) features two small builds alongside its four Rebel soldiers. First is this gun emplacement – a heavy-looking blaster turret tucked into a small fortification. These pieces are primarily a tan-nougat color with dark grey and green accents. The blaster turret is on a technic piece that allows it to aim side-to-side and up and down. There are a lot of nice pieces here in a small space here. A cheese slope on the back of the gun is a nice touch, adding a small viewscreen-like effect to the blaster turret. One small complaint is that maybe there could have been something leafy or earthy – a plant, something rocky, etc. to sell the effect of an emplacement more. But as it stands, I can’t complain because both builds in this kit are good, and it’s easy to add this plain turret into an earthy MOC environment.
The pack’s second build is this forest green speeder bike. There are two clips in the back for storing gear, gas pump handles used for the bike controls, and big intake vents that make the bike look built for high-speed encounters. There are some newer pieces in this build, including 1×2 inverted slopes in the back and 1×2 angled plates making the control veins in front. It fits perfectly with just about anything – Rebels trekking through a forest, bounty hunters on the prowl, or just about any scoundrel or citizen from across the galaxy. The bike is plain but not in a bad way – it fits in just right.
But hands down, the highlight of this battle pack is the great variety in the troopers. There are four – just like any battle back – but they look almost entirely different from one another. In fact the only piece they share is a pair of pants; the default build for the light-skinned trooper (no beard) and the dark skinned trooper (also no beard, coincidentally) share a pair of printed grey cargo pants. The default build of the reddish-bearded trooper shares the same print of pants but in brown, and the other bearded soldier has tan pants detailing a continuation of his longer jacket. All four troops have unique torsos with a variety of belts, pouches, rank badges, and a great-looking olive green ammo bag (that might be my favorite printing, and it also continues onto his back – all of these figures have back printing as well.) There are also three variations on helmets, two orange and dark grey helmets as specifically in Rogue One and two Hoth-style caps with goggles – one in standard nougat and the other in new dark grey. Our troopers are armed with the battle pack standard stud-shooter blasters, two with tap pieces at the back to give the impression of the butt of a rifle and two standard blasters. As usual, you get a handful of extra 1×1 trans red studs for extra ammo.
This battle pack gets a 10/10 from me. I know I’ll be buying a couple for two main reasons. Number one, there are tons of combinations of Rebel troops to make out of the wide variety of faces and, torsos, and legs provided here. Second, as a purist custom figure builder, I can’t resist a kit that has four different faces in it at such a reasonable price. For example, if I didn’t already have a good face for it, I’d be using the dark-bearded face for my custom Kyle Katarn. And I’m interested in another one-sided dark-skinned face to make a custom John Diggle from the TV show Arrow – and he can be bald without having to wear a hat or have a face on the back of his head!
Next up is the battle pack dedicated to our boys in white (and black in this case,) the Imperial Trooper Battle Pack (75165)
The build for this kit is an AT-ST or AT-RT style walker, which is heavily armed and has an open cockpit. The build is dense for the number of pieces, and has to be posed just so to avoid tipping forward. Really that’s the only problem with Star Wars walkers in Lego form – they wind up being top-heavy and aren’t as mobile as their film counterparts. However, it’s a fun little build with nice detailing for the scale. I especially like the use of ratcheted hinge pieces as the ‘toes’ on its feet. They add a little texture to the build and give it the look of being able to trek through just about anything.
The long gun barrels and fixed stud shooters (you don’t have to put your soldiers’ guns on this build the way you do with some previous kits – the mech gets its own weapons) remind me somewhat of an anti-aircraft turret. This walker, with its open cockpit, might be ideal for sending up flak to shoot down fighters. There is also a clip at the back to store the pilot’s weapon for travel.
Last but certainly not least, the troopers. Stocking up on Stormtroopers is a personal goal of mine – I don’t know about you, but I can never have enough between army-building and customizing. There are two standard Imperial Stormtroopers (not the slightly more cartoony Rebels version) and two standard Death Troopers. The men in black are slightly different from the ones included with Director Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle – those feature some extra printing as well as the pauldrons. I appreciate that the variants are in a cheaper set, that way fans can get both variations of the trooper without spending an arm and a leg – maybe just an arm or a leg. The printing looks great on both trooper types, and the new helmet mold for the Death Trooper is fantastic. It features the tinted green goggles and vents as well as the different configuration of vents and such on the helmet. I would have liked to have seen some more exciting weapons for the Death Troopers in this pack, though I understand that the stud blasters have become the standard for these army building kits.
Giving this set a score is arbitrary because I know I’ll probably buy five more anyway, but I would rank it just below the Rebel pack. The build wasn’t as exciting (or for me, as practical to my tastes) as the two builds included in the other packs. And I also would have liked to see the variety matched somehow, either by getting four different Stormtroopers or including at least three types. I would have loved to see cheaper Shore Troopers or the ground control trooper pop up again. But I love Stormtroopers. This has Stormtroopers. And I will probably buy five more. I think I may have a problem. Regardless, I recommend this kit to anybody who needs Stormtroopers, enjoyed Rogue One, or any fan in general.
Are you building an army, or a glorious Empire? Share your thoughts and comments here or on Facebook, and as always, thanks for reading!