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LEGO Jabba’s Sail Barge (75020)

June 21, 2013

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Long-time readers of Mighty Jabba’s Collection may recall that when I was in Japan last year, I was able to get the new Jabba’s Palace (9516) and Desert Skiff (9496) sets  a couple of months before their release in the US. As it turned out, I was able to do the same thing with the Sail Barge this year, so I am going to do a little review of it. The set was released just a few days ago in Japan, but I got it from Amazon Japan for a pretty nice discount — it ended up being just slightly more than I would’ve paid in the US (and almost certainly less than Toys R Us will be selling it for…) As soon as my schedule allowed, I got to work building it, even though I’ll have to largely take it apart to get it back home. It’s all for you, gentle reader. 🙂 (And also because I couldn’t wait to see what it would look like in person.)

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Since I’m at my in-laws house in Japan, I decided to borrow their garden for the photo shoot. It’s not quite the Dune Sea, but it’ll have to do. Overall, I’d say that the barge looks really nice. It even has wheels on the bottom, allowing it to roll!

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Since this is the second version of the Sail Barge that LEGO has made, there will inevitably be comparisons made between the two. My first impression was that it reminded me a lot of the previous version in terms of the overall feel, and even some of the parts used. But this is a smaller, sleeker version of the barge. I don’t have the original one with me to compare them side by side, but my feeling is that it’s noticeably longer than this one. Some people were concerned about the shape being off, but it looks much more accurate to the actual vehicle than old one. The longer nose portion helps with this quite a bit, but that does mean that you have less room “on deck” for figures than you did on the old barge, and the inside is pretty darned cramped. (And of course it’s not even close in size to the BaronSat custom I built a few months ago.)

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The sails were a cloth material on the old barge, but now they are made of plastic sheeting. I’m not sure if it’s an improvement, since they’re rather shiny now, but otherwise they’re fine. I really like how they made the stabilizer fins (or whatever they are) on the sides fold in. On the old one they were on posts and seemed to come off all the time. Since the side panels that they are attached to now fold down, making them fold in was probably a necessity.

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The old barge opened up to allow access to the inside, but this one seems to take it to the next level. The top lifts completely off for easy access to the inside, and there are four fold-down side panels (one of which I forgot to fold down in the photo above). Three pieces in the rear fold down to expose Max Rebo and his piano.

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Of course there is a space for Jabba and Leia.

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Plus, there’s a kitchen area and a little jail cell.

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There is also a hidden cannon in the nose of the ship. While this didn’t appear in the film, it certainly makes sense that Jabba’s ship would be armed.

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Like the previous version, there are “shutters” that you can move up and down. I like how they put two of them just in the right place for Jabba to look out.

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The set comes with several new minifigures. The first version of Slave Leia that LEGO produced was a yellow-skinned one that came with the original Jabba’s Palace set. They then redesigned her to have caucasian-looking skin for the old Sail Barge set (you can see that version here). This figure is the third version they have produced, and it’s easily the best. More attractive, and better details. You can’t see it, but she has a nice long ponytail, plus she also has an “angry” face on the other side of her head.new_lego_sail_barge18

The figure that people seem to be most excited about is Max Rebo. He’s pretty cute, although it’s a bit of shame we don’t have the whole band. His head is a unique piece made of a rubbery material.

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We also get Ree Yees, also with a rubbery head.

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The last totally new figure is the Weequay guard, who is more of a traditional minifigure.

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Of course we also get an R2-D2, but as far as I can tell, he’s just the normal R2 minifigure with a few cups and a 2×4 plate added in between his head and body.

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And finally, we get another Jabba. It seems to be the same one that came in the Palace, but it’s still a very nice figure.

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The box advertises that you get a poster inside, and it’s actually fairly large. I don’t have any way to measure it, but I would guess it’s around 3 feet by 4 feet. On one side are pictures of some recent Star Wars mini-figures. On the other is a “painting” of a scene involving the sail barge. I think it’s actually a photo that they embellished to look like a painting, but it’s still pretty cool. Sorry for the poor photo.

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The Sail Barge will retail for $120, which is a bit on the high side, but I’m quite happy with the set. Used in conjunction with the new skiff and sarlacc set (9496), it will look fantastic and have a lot of play value as well.

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