LEGO REVIEWS: 30381 IMPERIAL TIE-FIGHTER MINI POLYBAG (AND NOTEBOOK)

Sometimes it calls to you. Sometimes it’s too beautiful, too brilliant, too exciting to ignore. Sometimes it completes a cherished theme, or is too perfect a fit for an incomplete diorama to leave on the shelf.

Aaaaaand sometimes you just happen to be in the post office and buy it because it’s on the shelf right there where you’re lining up to send a package.

Guess which one 30381 Imperial Tie-fighter Mini Polybag was?

One thing you have to admit, even if you love Star Wars (which I don’t), and even if you think Star Wars spaceships are cool and the best part of the whole franchise (which, largely, I do): almost all of the designs are unbelievably dumb.

For a start, there’s simply no visibility. And while that wouldn’t be an issue in an environment in which everything is controlled through cameras and electronics — like, you know, spaceships — George Lucas has no actual vision of his own, so every space battle in every Star Wars outing is handled as if it takes place during the Battle of Britain — they’re all line of sight firing between ships that have sealed, one-directional cockpits, with everyone zooming in and out of the ecliptic as if nobody’s ever realised that they’re fighting within a literally limitless number of angles.

Then there’s the fact that everybody seems to have a sheet of paper between their backs and the giant, red-hot engines. Some have wings like aircraft for no reason, and some don’t for no reason, and neither matter because they all manage to fly in space and atmosphere easily, which in the case of the wingless wonders defies every law of physics known to man.

I could go on.

But the ships look cool. I’ll give them that. And there’s no doubt that tie-fighters look especially cool, even if they are especially dumb. Seriously: how can anybody see anything with those giant fins on each side? And can you imagine the yaw issues? And… anyway, 30381 Imperial Tie-fighter Mini Polybag does a pretty good job of recreating the classic tie-fighter look with a tiny number of parts: there are only 40 or so in this pack. It’s nothing outstanding, but it’s okay.

 

Side

Okay, it’s table-scrapping in a bag. But at least it looks like what it’s supposed to look like.

 

The other part of this pack, and the one that takes up most of the twenty buck price tag, is the notebook. It looks good: it’s got a black-on-white line drawing of the tie-fighter in action on the cover, so it’s all blue-printy and teckonogical; the cover is thick cardstock impersonating a a hardcover; and the pen attaches to the front by virtue of classic Lego studs.

And that’s where things go horribly, horribly wrong. Because — and there’s no polite way to put this — the whole thing is just so nastily cheap. The notebook itself began to fall apart after a couple of weeks’ use. Whatever the manufacturer was using for glue, it clearly wasn’t glue: pages detach from the spine with less pressure than a kitten asking for a cuddle. As for the pen, well, there are a number of shapes that enable a writing instrument to fit comfortably within the hand. Oblong isn’t one of them. Surprisingly, the ink is dark, and even, and the ball glides easily. But that doesn’t matter a damn when you give up after half a page and start looking for that Kilometrico you’ve been using for the last three years.

 

AllDon’t be fooled. “The Rise of Skywalker” looked good, too, and we all know how that ended up.

 

Look, I know this is for kids. It’s obviously for kids. But kids don’t deserve to be ripped off, and they don’t deserve to be lumbered with cheap tat that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, just because they’re kids. This is a rather ordinary $4 buck polybag with $16 worth of shite pinned to it.

It’s simply not worth the money.

 

Rating

Nah. Get the kids something else for Christmas. Maybe a puppy.

Rating Poor

The League Table of Awesomeness

Rating

 4                 4               16               18               8

 

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