LEGO Star Wars Assault on Hoth 75098 Star Wars Toy Review
Plenty of the sets belonging to the Lego Star Wars series are pretty famous for having mixed opinions coming from both fans and critics alike. The amount of beautiful sets coming from the series are just as common as the more disappointing ones.
But there’s no other Lego Star Wars set that has received so much flak, so much negativity, so much hate from critics and fans than the Lego 75098 Assault on Hoth build.
It’s actually not hard to see why his is so. Not only does this build contain a few repetitive models, but the minifigures that come with it are equally unimpressive, while the play value isn’t lessened thanks to the meagre Imperial Forces.
But that aside, it would be completely unfair if we were to dismiss the 75098 as a complete failure of a build, since it does actually contain a few positive elements, believe it or not – Positive elements that this review will acknowledge, although it’s not nearly as common as several people would wish for a size of this pricing and cost.
There aren’t many comments out there that talk about the build’s packaging. But the 75098’s box still warrants a bit of discussion since it contains the Ultimate Collector’s Series labelling on the front side. Some of the more hardcore Lego Star Wars fans out there are a bit biased towards builds that contain the UCS sticker. But there is little doubt that the 75098 isn’t deserving of that particular label – It actually does, but it does serve to become the weakest build out of the UCS sets thus far.
And apart from that, the box’s artwork doesn’t even do the build any favors at all, since both the front and back side of the box look like a total mess, even though the shiny Star Wars logo found in front is an excellent touch.
The 75098 carries a very thick instruction manual, almost 300 pages long. The first eleven pages found here are all occupied with some additional information regarding the Battle of Hoth (for those who aren’t familiar with the Star Wars franchise or have not seen the films), as well as a short interview with the people behind the build. There was a fan who complained after reading the following comments on the booklet:
“Whereas the Slave I is one big model, the Hoth set consists of many smaller models, some of them with functions. It was more like designing several retail sets at once.”
“For Lego Direct, we have the opportunity to make even bigger more challenging models with special attention to accuracy and details.”
“A new AT-AT just came out last year, so you can still replay the whole battle in style,”
“We just assumed every Rebel base had to have lookouts, and we just don’t see them in The Empire Strikes Back.”
These comments alone speak huge volumes regarding the quality of this set. Hans Burkhard, the person behind the 75098, compared the build’s design process as akin to making smaller sets. It was also frustrating having to read a contradiction when it comes to paying close attention to detail, as well as the accuracy of the build. This, according to Lego, is highly important when it comes to builds that belong in the UCS range, so Burkhard’s comment about the lookout tower is technically true. Artistic license is always welcome, but not when it risks the overall appearance of a build – And unfortunately, this just happened to an UCS set.
One of the funniest things about this is the statement which says that nobody will be able to finish the Battle of Hoth without the addition of the Lego 75054 AT-AT. Lego has officially ‘retired’ that set in November 2015, so it’s technically Lego’s fault since they failed to make reprints of the 75098’s instruction manual that carries the correct information. This piece of information is astounding, yet it leads to a great deal of disappointment – Especially since the set was created for small children in particular. There’s also the pressing realization that the set was supposed to be released in 2015, during which the Lego 75054 would still have been available in stores.
However, this is still no excuse for the error that was probably committed thanks to pure carelessness, or as an attempt to dodge the extra costs of reprinting such a thick manual. Both cases are completely unacceptable still, and fans are hoping that Lego ends this error in future builds.
There are eighteen bags included inside the 75054, all numbered one to thirteen. This comes with two plates measuring 6 x 24, as well as two rock elements which are let loose inside the box.
There aren’t any comments regarding the build itself, since the construction process utilizes only a handful of techniques. It definitely feels a tad bit smaller as compared to the other sets which have been built together, much like the Lego 60097 City Square.
Toryn Farr’s minifigure is one of the fifteen new minifigures contained inside the 75054 and hers is probably the most significant out of them all. This is just a testament to how insignificant the other minifigures are in this set. Her legs and torso are both new, with the components carrying some very nice details – Even though the prints on her chest don’t make any attempt to suit the parka that she wears in the film. The design was completely made for at least two of the Rebel Troopers found in the build, and has been re-used here instead.
The second minifigure on our list is Major Bren Derlin. According to the box, Derlin is a generic Rebel Officer. He’s got a head which sports a rather large moustache. The same moustache is seen in his minifigure in the Lego 75131 Resistance Trooper Battle Pack. However, Derlin’s torso is also new and contains a rank indicator, as well as several pouches.
The Rebel Trooper’s helmet looks a bit better especially in its natural white color. Seven figures all wear the same helmet. Its goggles can be positioned right on top of the brim, or fitted over the minifigure’s face, which is a bit on the silly side thanks to its small size. However, it’s still a welcome alternative nonetheless. The figure is equipped with a blaster pistol.
Luke Skywalker, who wears a Rebel Trooper outfit, sports a dark and tanned color scheme, even though his figure wears a belt and contains an extra rank indicator. His head comes with a smile on one side, as well as wounds inflicted by the Wampa on the other side of his head. There’s a brand new design here that seems aesthetically pleasing, despite the fact that the whole thing is completely unnecessary.
And since there’s a Luke Skywalker figure, it’s only right that this build has a Han Solo minifigure as well. this is pretty much the same hooded figure. Han wears a hood instead of a hairpiece. It shows up in the Lego 75138 Hoth Attack, which unfortunately lessens the general appeal of this minifigure. But Han’s leg and torso printing is generally more impressive here, while his head carries printing on both of its sides – Which sport a frown and a grin. It’s also interesting to note that the printing located on the backside of his torso is also exclusive, since it showcases the jacket with its hood folded downwards.
The lack of Imperial Force-themed builds has always frustrated plenty of Lego fans and Lego Star Wars fans. The speeder bike and E-Web blaster cannon completely makes for a paltry assault, while the play value has been greatly lessened. This is despite of the fact that the build’s main features have all been locked in as much as possible.
The speeder bike has been given a rather dismal update, thanks to the addition of a couple of stickers. It still looks excellent as a result, and there’s still enough room for a pilot to grip onto the handlebars.
Meanwhile, the E-Web’s design is just laughable. Keep in mind that it’s been over ten years ever since the cannon made its debut appearance in the Lego 4504 Millennium Falcon build, but the one with the 75098 is absolutely worse. It’s grossly oversized and twice as fragile, plus it’s less accurate compared to the film counterpart, and even wears a nasty stud shooter on top of it. The charge pack is also far too big and its hinges leave a very large gap even while closed – Even though this is still a good method of keeping in some additional studs.
Even though every portion is just filled with plenty of issues, the minifigures that come with the build don’t do much to make up for this issue. It’s very clear that the set doesn’t even deserve the UCS sticker. But the more damaging issue here is that none of the segments look very impressive. Some of them feel unfinished, or lack plenty of detail, and some of the design choices are just bewildering, including the absence of a fourth shield generator module.