This is a review of the LEGO 9490 Droid Escape released in 2012. This set captured the scene after C-3PO and R2-D2, who escaped in an emergency escape pod, landed in the deserts of Tatooine. They are holding on to the secret plans to the Death Star, and must avoid capture and hand over the plans to the rebels in hope of finding a weakness in the Death Star so that it can be destroyed more easily. Searching for them, were desert-weathered Imperial Sand Troopers on foot as well as on swoop bikes. Hence, in this set, you will be able to find a newly designed escape pod, a smaller than normal swoop bike, C-3PO, R2-D2 and 2 sand covered Imperial Sand Troopers.
The front of the box of the LEGO 9490 Droid Escape shows not only the assembled scene but also the four Minifigures included in this set. On the other hand, the rear of the box shows more details of the escape pod and also the swoop bike included. You can also see here the cover of the escape pod can be removed and how easily it can be done.
Opening up the LEGO 9490 Droid Escape , there are 2 packs of parts, a small instruction booklet, a sheet of sticker and 2 special parts that formed the body of the escape pod. Those who have read my previous reviews will know how I don’t see eye to eye with stickers. In this set, the stickers are used on the body of the escape pod, showing the designs and components on the outside of the pod. In my opinion, LEGO could have just printed these details directly on the 2 special pieces of this set instead of using the stickers. But LEGO has taken the simpler route of stickers and lowering the production cost.
The assembly of this set took less than 20 minutes with the complexity at the flimsy head and tail end portions of the escape pod. The cover of the pod can be opened with ease to reveal the two droids sitting inside the pod. There isn’t much details put into the interior design of the escape pod. There is only a very simple control panel from which C-3PO may be able to control the escape pod, with R2-D2 behind him.
At the front and rear of the escape pod, are navigation boosters that allow the escape pod to be navigated. In this set, the designer used simple 1×1 plate with a clip to hold the boosters to the body of the escape pod. This method of attachment is actually quite flimsy and prone to breaking up with slightly rough handling of the escape pod. This is something that could have been done better. Also, you can also see the places where the stickers are placed on the escape pod. Since these areas are actually quite large and accessible, printing onto these locations should not be that difficult.
For the swoop bike, the version included in the LEGO 9490 Droid Escape is actually a smaller and shorter version than those previously released. The two Imperial Sand Troopers, on the other hand, came with newly designed outfit. They now are covered with sand and dirt and have different coloured pauldron to show the ranks of a sergeant and a squad leader. They also have a booster back pack and, if you looked even more closely, printed legs instead of just simple white ones in previous releases.
See the details from head to toes of the new Imperial Sand Trooper? These are what we are paying our bucks for!
You may not have noticed it too, but for the C-3PO in this set, it actually has a new torso compared to the same in the older sets. I should have taken the older C-3PO and place them side by side for a photo shoot but some how, I too, noticed the change, during the writing of this article. For R2-D2, it’s still the same old trustworthy little droid. 🙂
Overall, the LEGO 9490 Droid Escape would get a 7 out of 10 from me. The big sheet of sticker included and the flimsy design were the killers and would have made it a 5 or 6. Luckily, the details of the new Imperial Sand Troopers and C-3PO helped to save the day.