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Today we take a very quick look at the contents of the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series set. 75367 Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser, a large box of 5374 pieces which will be available on the official online store and in the LEGO Stores as an Insiders preview from October 1, 2023 at the public price of €649.99.
I'm not making a drawing for you, this is a stamped product Ultimate Collector Series and this novelty therefore takes up all the usual attributes of the label in question: a high price, a pretty box, a substantial inventory, a rather long assembly process with here around ten hours on the clock, a result with measurements which will require making space on your shelves and obvious exhibition potential. We all already know the exterior appearance of the ship offered here via the official visuals available since the product was put online on the Shop, so we still have to discover what lies beneath the gray and red surface of this Venator.
Unsurprisingly, the designer uses the usual recipe which consists of creating a solid internal structure based on Technic beams and various pines (there are nearly 400 pins in this box) and we can wonder at certain stages of the assembly if LEGO doesn't overdo it with a structure of almost surprising density. We will see later that the whole thing is extremely rigid and that the solution used was perfectly justified.
As is often the case, the internal structure is colored, failing to offer some more accomplished arrangements than the inevitable tangles of beams. It is practical to have some visual cues during assembly and these shimmering colors will fortunately no longer be visible when the vessel is fully assembled.
As you can see in the photos, the set also uses around sixty orange-colored pines. Those who hoped that LEGO would include at least one internal space, even symbolic, will be disappointed because this is not the case. The manufacturer also did not deem it useful to offer us a mechanism for opening the long central red strip to access an internal hangar, as on the ship seen on the screen.
The Venator rests on two relatively simple feet which allow them to be discreet when the model is on display. Difficult to do more sober than these two black constructions which are installed at the end of the assembly of the internal structure to then be able to work comfortably on the rest of the construction, possibly moving it in complete safety between two sessions. On arrival, the Venator is perfectly stable on its supports, there is no risk of it tipping over, and no time is wasted trying to figure out how to attach it to its support after handling it. If you ever want to remove the two legs of the model to, for example, stage it in a space diorama, all you need to do is remove the four upper panels to access the pins that hold them.
The construction process includes some slightly repetitive phases and it is the subject matter that requires that. I still note an effort on certain sequences whose result will be identical or at least mirrored but whose progression is slightly different so as not to create too much weariness.
For the rest, those who are used to assembling ships bearing the label Ultimate Collector Series will be on familiar ground with large panels made up of two layers of plates which clip onto the construction frame. The adjustments are, as is often the case, a little rough in places but we will observe this Venator from a certain distance and the whole thing still looks great.
We will also salute LEGO's effort concerning the finishing of the lower surface of the ship, the manufacturer does not hesitate to highlight this detail on the official visuals as if to show that it has taken into account past criticism, although this Venator deserves better than the third top shelf in your display space. The satisfaction of knowing that this area has not been neglected will be enough to keep most fans happy and that is already very appreciable.
We could also debate the presence of numerous studs visible on the exterior surface of the ship: some will consider that it is a LEGO product and that the studs are the signature of the brand while others will regret that the surfaces are not more smooth. This debate is endless, I am one of those who prefer fewer tenons for a model appearance but tastes and colors are not up for debate.
The weak point of the product is in my opinion on the side of the Venator reactors. The latter use rims and giant wheels which are usually the delight of ranges like Legends of Chima, Ninjago or Monkie Kid connected together by a few pins and the whole thing lacks a little rigidity. Nothing serious for a pure exhibition product, but some of these reactors seem to bend under their own weight and you will have to ensure that you have secured the elements that compose them as best as possible to limit the effect. We will salute the nice contrast between the engines in Pearl Dark Gray and the cabin is always better than tone on tone or shades that are too close. No noticeable difference in color on the different parts in Dark Red, that's always what it takes.
The set does not escape a few stickers and it is frankly disappointing. They are imposing, their background color does not perfectly match that of the pieces on which they are placed and I still cannot understand how in 2023 we can offer this type of aesthetic shortcut on a high-end product at €650.
This model deserved the effort of at least pad printing the two symbols of the fleet Open Circle Present on the sides of the ship at the front, these two stickers are directly exposed to light and dust and their lifespan will be affected.
LEGO had in 2020 in the set 75275 A-Wing Starfighter tried to provide two sheets of stickers for those of these stickers which require a certain dexterity during installation, thus offering the right to make a mistake, for lack of anything better, it would be time to think about also offering the right to extend the lifespan of a product aesthetically.
The support which allows you to display the two figurines provided, the usual plate decorated with a few facts and the pad-printed brick which pays homage to 20 years of the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars is not attached to the feet of the model and it is without frills: we make do with two plates black ones on which we install all this. We have seen LEGO more inspired on this point.
The pad printing of the plate which presents some information about the vessel is well done but as usual it reveals the large injection point placed right in the middle of the element concerned. It will be difficult for LEGO to find a solution to this technical detail, the injection of this type of large part must allow uniform distribution of the material in the mold and the positioning of the injection point is strategic. The solution proposed here is nevertheless still more interesting than the large sticker that is difficult to position correctly and which has been supplied until now and which ages very poorly under the effect of light and heat.
The two new figurines, and undoubtedly exclusive to this box, are well executed, with Captain Rex on one side and Admiral Wullf Yularen in his younger years on the other. The pad prints are correctly applied, I do not note any major technical faults on these figurines. At the risk of getting booed, I would have preferred LEGO to develop a plastic shoulder pad for Rex rather than the usual piece of dust-collecting cloth. The manufacturer knew how to do this for the Batman and Doctor Strange capes, there must be a way to create an element adapted to these Clones.
This is obviously not a matter of trying to convince you or dissuade you from investing €650 in this plastic vessel weighing around ten kilos, this type of high-end product cannot be described as "good deal” or “must-have product”. It is aimed at a clientele of fans who can afford this category of sets and in my opinion they will get their money's worth if the subject fascinates them.
This Venator is indeed a pretty model with an accomplished aesthetic, and with a little patience it will be possible to find it for much less expensive than at LEGO as is the case every year for references of the same type. Think about it, check whether you really need a 109 cm long Venator in your home and take your time.
Note: The product shown here, provided by LEGO, is as usual involved. Deadline fixed at September 25, 2023 next at 23:59 p.m. Simply post a comment below the article to participate. Your participation is taken into account regardless of your opinion. Avoid “I’m participating” or “I’m trying my luck”, we suspect that this is the case.
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