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Review: 75237-1 - TIE Fighter Attack

One of the mistakes LEGO made during their Dark Ages, is thinking children don't want to build, they want to play! So they made all kinds of large, single-use parts to make the build go as fast as possible, resulting is themes like Jack Stone. Many are saying, LEGO is returning to those mistakes with the 4+ (and before the Juniors) themes. Do they have a point?

Contents:

Introduction
The Set
The Box
The Instruction
The Parts
The Build
Conclusion
References

Introduction

Last year LEGO released some 18 sets within their Junior theme, a theme that was introduced on February 14, 2014, as "Easy to Build". Junior sets use larger bricks to make models both realistic and easy to build. For 2019, LEGO has dropped the Junior theme name, and instead, these sets are released within the main themes, with an additional "4+" logo. They still use larger bricks, that sometimes look single-use, specifically designed for the set. This brings back memories to themes from LEGO's Dark Ages, like Jack Stone and 4 Juniors. Is LEGO making the same mistakes again?

The Set

Give your young Imperial pilot the perfect introduction to LEGO Star Wars starship battles with this 75237 TIE Fighter Attack set. With an opening cockpit with space inside for the TIE Fighter Pilot minifigure and special Starter Bricks that let even first-time builders experience the pride of constructing the model, all on their own, LEGO 4+ safe learning sets are specially designed to be fun and easy for preschoolers and youngsters. This TIE Fighter also includes a small Rebel command station and Rebel Fleet Trooper minifigure for endless play fun, while the included simple guide to build and play will also help youngsters understand the purpose of the building steps and grow their imagination and confidence for the perfect start to LEGO brick building in an inspiring Star Wars setting. [1]

Together with 75235-1 - X-Wing Starfighter Trench Run and 75247-1 - Rebel A-Wing Starfighter, this set is the first Star Wars set aimed at the 4+ target audience. Because of this target audience, I've called in the help from a test-audience, consisting of my 3,5yo daughter. This will be the 2nd set she'll build using instructions.

The Box

Unfortunately, the box got destroyed by our test audience before I could take pictures, so I borrowed these from BrickSet.com. The front shows the set in action, along with a close up of the 2 figures that comes with the set, and the 4+ logo. The test-audience was a bit disappointed that the lasers on the box art are not really in the set. The back shows the set again, along with a visual description of the Perfect Start system.

The box measures 5.7 x 35.5 x 19 cm and weighs 240 gram. In the box we find 2 bags of parts, the 2 new plates, a new special brick, and the instructions.

The Instructions

The instructions are 40 pages, with 2 sections. Section 1 is 23 steps, section 2 is 11 steps. The rest of the instructions is filled the usual build advice, an ad for the LEGO LIFE app, and a section of other Star Wars sets to consider.

The pdf can be downloaded here.

The Parts

The set contains 77 parts, and 1 spare, in 15 different colors, and 50 unique part/color combinations.

Main colors are:

Main categories are:

I got the set at discount, marked down from €17,-, coming down 22 cents per part. The BrickLink part out value is €27,01. There are 2 minifigs. The TIE Fighter Pilot is not new, and starts around €2,- on BL. The Rebel Fleet Trooper was new for this set, and later appeared in the the 75244-1 Tantive IV, and goes for €6,-.

There are two parts unique to this set. First the 44666 - Plate Angles Hexogonal 14 X 18, of which there are two. On the backside of the plate is a raised area in the middle, with three pin holes. This part is clearly designed for the 4+ series, since it could also be made out of existing parts, what would made the set more complex and crash-sensitive. Also new is the 44665 - Brick Special 4 x 12 x 4 - Plane Bottom. This also looks specially designed for the 4+ series. I can see this being used in other space/air crafts in the future.

There is one new print. This is the 60581pr0019 - Panel 1 x 4 x 3 [Side Supports / Hollow Studs] with Schematic Blue Print Death Star print. This part is used in the Rebel base.

There are four parts that are marked rare: 973pr4544c01 - Minifig torso Black Jacket, Pockets, Sand Blue Shirt, Belt Buckle has only appeared in 2 sets. With the other one being the 75244-1 - Tantive IV, the 75237-1 is a good cheap set to get this part. The same goes for 3626cpr2777 - Minifig Head Dual Sided Reddish Brown Eyebrows, Straight Mouth, Open Mouth, Angry Black Neckstrap. 18675 Dish 6 x 6 Inverted - No Studs with Handle is only found in 1 other set in DBG, the 75217-1 - Imperial Conveyex Transport. 32083 - Slope 45° 6 x 4 Double [aka Train Roof] only appeared in 2 other sets in LBG: 4855-1 - Spider-Man's Train Rescue from 2004 and 3828-1 - Air Templefrom 2006.

At this part, the target audience said: Hot, BBQ! Funny how children can be creative. They don't have a fixed mindset yet...

The Build

 

The build is, as to be expected, fairly easy. There are no real surprising techniques used. Everything is straightforward. The build steps are small, using a maximum of two different parts per step. In some cases the orientation of the part is also given in a separate window, to make it even more comprehensive. The test audience didn't really have trouble following the steps. The minifigs were a bit tricky, because the parts needs some more pressure to fit, and the blasters need some extra hand coordination.

Bag 1 builds the TIE Fighter. It's a very sturdy build, that can take on the playful hands of the test audience. The wings click in very easy.

Only thing that's not really clear, is the use of the Bricks Special with Clip on the back. The only thing I could come up with is to hang the blaster, since it doesn't fit in the cockpit with the pilot.

Bag 2 builds the Rebel 'base'. This is clearly purely for play reasons added, so the TIE Fighter has something to fight.

Conclusion

If you like Star Wars or LEGO in general, and want to transfer that love onto your children, this is a fun set to do so. It's easy to build, very sturdy, and still looks nice enough to fit in your collection. The total build time was around 30 minutes.

So, is LEGO making the same mistake again with the larger bricks?

Well, it sure feels that way on first glance. But I must say that this set is more complicated and has a larger variety of bricks than the 4 Juniors / Jack Stone themes. The focus seems much more to be on the building experience. This sets uses its larger bricks to create a solid, sturdy model that can survive a 4yo playing with it. That is different from the 4 Juniors philosophy: let's get this build done as fast as possible. The 4+ sets offer enough small parts and details to really make this an interesting build. But not too complicated for 4yos. I’ve build a couple of Junior sets, and in those sets, all the larger part seem to come back in multiple Junior sets, so they are not really single-use. So who knows, maybe the two larger bricks from this set will come back in later sets.

Side-note: newelementary.com recently organized a competition to find more uses for another ‘single-use part’, the 43979 - Wedge Plate Special 12 x 12. How many uses a part has, is only limited by your imagination.

References

[1] - TIE Fighter Attack (LEGOShop)

Disclaimer: Anything said in this post is the opinion of the author and not The LEGO Group.
Parts- and build photographs by TobyMac (© 2019 Rebrickable)

6 COMMENTS

  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago OzToymaker (1319)
    I'm very much in the camp of more standardised bricks, than the large cast creations.  Simple to follow instructions, rather than simple to use bricks.  If the child cannot manage Lego blocks, then there is duplo.
    I have the poly-bag tie fighter, and would prefer to see that than this pre-cast version (yes, I do know some building is involved).  That is also what adults are for - encouraging play, providing advice etc.
    The large castings remind me of the sorts of monstrosities that Mega Bloks/Construx create
  • 4 months, 2 weeks ago biodreamer (21K) MOC Designer PRO
    I would say Fabuland is also an early version of this and imo much better, simple boat,car and plane and buildings.
  • 4 months, 2 weeks ago Lebostein (636)
    Already play "kill people" at the age of 4? Congratulation LEGO.
    What? The laser cannons fire only on the two brown boxes? Ah, then it is OK...
  • 4 months, 2 weeks ago BGaines_064 (178) MOC Designer
    The set descriptions for the Juniors and 4+ themes on the LEGOSHOP website state very clearly, not that the intent is to get children playing sooner, but that the intent is to build their confidence in building with LEGO pieces.  Confidence building, in my mind, is especially important for younger builders who are growing up outside of the golden age of DUPLO.  Note that the minimum recommended age for these sets is 4 years old; when I was 4, I would have enjoyed having a mix of large and small pieces, not because it got the model finished sooner, but because it was a simpler process than assembling a bunch of assorted plates, bricks and 4x4 wedge bricks into an airplane, as in the case of the Outback Airstrip.  That said, I was less than impressed with the Jack Stone sets when those finally came out, but that was mostly due to the size of the minifigs; though, LEGO did redeem themselves somewhat on that front when the Harry Potter sets first came out (Hagrid).  I don't personally agree with how LEGO designed the airplane bases for their Juniors/4+ airport set as far as versatility goes, but they have a place, and besides, the large plates that form the wings of the 4+ TIE Fighter look like they could be easily adapted into larger MOC's.  As for being 'overpriced', well, we AFOL's all remember the days when the Shop at Home catalog had an entire two pages dedicated to sets "All Under $10!", but the fact is, those days are, sadly, long gone, mostly due to a certain mystical energy field - surrounding all of global industry - called 'Inflation'.  Keep in mind, LEGO is a Danish company, not a North American one.
  • 4 months, 2 weeks ago Lenny (2K) MOC Designer
    i know and there so overpriced
  • 4 months, 2 weeks ago TurboRatRods (80K) MOC Designer PRO
    I have noticed in the younger builders that there is a point where they have to play with a partial build, but their mind is still processing the remaining parts.  If left to their own timetable, they will come back and finish the build.  After finishing the build,  many times they have also figured out a use for any leftover parts.  It seems to me LEGO has noticed this and designed this set accordingly.  Build the Base - play.  Build the Tie - play.  Build the Minifigs - play.  Use the wings as a base plate to pose the Minifigs and Base - play.  I doubt this is all coincidence, but if it is, LEGO should consider this concept.  Just my opinion.
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