In the part one of “15 Years of LEGO Star Wars“, I looked at the introduction of the mashup franchise through to the end of 2005 and the release of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge on the Sith. Part two of this retrospective looks at the period between 2006 and 2010 which includes the 10th anniversary of LEGO Star Wars and the introduction of the first sets from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. By the end of 2005 we’d seen 124 sets released which included over 125 different minifigures.
2006 was a relatively quiet year with only 11 sets released from Episode III and the original trilogy excluding two bonus/value sets which saw LEGO bundling sets together for a reduced price in either a new box or wrapped together in cellophane. Highlights included Jabba’s Sail Barge (#6210) which included a Skiff and the mouth of the mighty Sarlacc along with eight minifigures (Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian Skiff Guard, Gamorrean Guard, R2-D2 with serving tray, and Jabba the Hutt), the Imperial Star Destroyer (#6211) which was the largest set released in 2006 (with 1,367 pieces) also with eight minifigures (2 x Stormtrooper, 2 x Royal Guard, Darth Vader, Imperial Officer, Grand Moff Tarkin, R2-D5 and a Mouse Droid), and a brand new version of the X-wing Fighter (#6212) which included six minifigures including Wedge Antilles for the first time (as well as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and R2-D2); what was unique about this set was that it included extra parts enabling you to customize the X-wing as either Luke’s “Red Five” or Wedge’s “Red Two.” Included in the tally of products for 2006 were two Ultimate Collectors Series (UCS) sets of the Imperial AT-ST (#10174) and Vader’s TIE Fighter (#10175).
2007 saw the introduction of LEGO Star Wars maquettes. Initially released by StarWarsShop.com, these featured characters including Darth Vader, Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker X-wing Pilot, and the Blackhole Stormtrooper (released as a Japanese exclusive at the Blister Show in June and limited to just 500 pieces), and were all actually sculpted by Gentle Giant Ltd. Darth Vader and Stormtrooper were both limited to 1,000 of each and the first 100 of each came with an extra chase head of Anakin Skywalker and Han Solo respectively. Boba Fett was limited to 1,500 pieces whilst Luke Skywalker was the only widely released version available at Toys ‘R’ Us stores in the US as part of a bundle with the X-wing Fighter (#6212); Luke Skywalker remains the easiest of these maquettes to buy. There were no more of these maquettes produced after Luke Skywalker.
There were 15 regular sets released in 2007 which included the introduction of the Battle Pack with two sets from Episode III. The Battle Packs were available for under $10 and included at least 4 minifigures and a vehicle or two, the sets from 2007 included a Droids set (#7654) with four battle droids and three Super Battle Droids and a Clone Troopers pack (#7655) with four clone troopers. This was an attempt at giving LEGO Star Wars fans multiple minifigures at a lower price point and it proved a huge success and Battle Packs are still on sale today (albeit a few dollars more).
Other notable releases in 2007 included the Jedi Starfighter with Hyperdrive Booster Ring (#7661) which came with Obi-Wan Kenobi & Kit Fisto minifigures, an expanded universe TIE Crawler (#7664) with two Shadow (Blackhole) Troopers, and the Republic Cruiser (#7665) from Episode I which came with five minifigures (Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Republic Captain, Republic Pilot, and R2-R7).
Two UCS sets were released including a motorized AT-AT Walker (#10178) which came with four minifigures (Luke Skywalker Snowspeeder Pilot, Snowtrooper, AT-AT Driver, and General Veers) and the largest commercially available LEGO Star Wars set to date (it still remains the largest today) the Millennium Falcon (#10179). The Millennium Falcon UCS set featured 5,195 pieces and was built in scale to the LEGO minifigure and measured 33” long, 22” wide and stood 8” high. It included five minifigures of Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. This set was made as a limited edition run with only 20,000 units being made worldwide — the first 5,000 being released as a special “Collector’s Edition” with a numbered and signed “Certificate of Authenticity.” This was one of the most complicated builds ever but once completed it looked amazing.
Two exclusives were released in 2007 — a gold chrome plated C-3PO was randomly inserted into 2007 sets, and at Star Wars Celebration IV in Los Angeles, a special set featuring five minifigures (Darth Vader, 2 x Royal Guard and 2 x Stormtrooper) in a plastic box was made available to people who won a raffle for $50 (only 500 sets were made).
There were many key rings and magnet sets released in 2007 as well as three brand new Bag Charms which included the Millennium Falcon, Y-wing and Vader’s TIE Fighter. 2007 also saw the release of the sequel to the very popular LEGO Star Wars game, which featured the original trilogy and was imaginatively called LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and was released on multiple platforms to high acclaim.
2008 was a busy year for LEGO Star Wars which saw a total of 22 sets released which included two exclusives, eleven sets from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and one set from The Force Unleashed video game, Rouge Shadow (#7672) with three minifigures (Battle Damaged Darth Vader, Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice and Juno Eclipse).
Highlights from The Clone Wars products included Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter (#7669) with two minifigures of Anakin Skywalker and R2-D2, The Twilight (#7680) with four minifigures (Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Rotta the Hutt, and R2-D2) and the Republic Attack Gunship (#7676) with five minifigures (Clone Commander Cody, Clone Trooper, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Plo Koon, and Asajj Ventress).
Four polybags were released which included the TIE fighter (#8028), Snowspeeder (#8029), V-19 Torrent (#8031) from The Clone Wars and Clone Turbo Tank (#20006) which was only released in the US as part of the BrickMaster subscription. Following the trend of previous years two UCS sets were released — General Grievous (#10186) and the Death Star (#10188). The Death Star was most impressive with 3,803 pieces and allowing you to recreate all the scenes from both Death Stars and coming with twenty four minifigures (the largest number to date) including C-3PO, Protocol Droid, R2-D2, R2-Q5, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Luke Skywalker Stormtrooper, Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight, Han Solo, Han Solo Stormtrooper, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Grand Moff Tarkin, 2 x Stormtrooper, 2 x Imperial Trooper, 2 x Royal Guard, Assassin Droid, Interrogation Droid, and Mouse Droid. This is one of my favorite sets.
The exclusives for 2008 included the Han Solo to Indiana Jones Transformation set which was limited to just 100 pieces and was given away to guests at the LEGO Collectors Party at New York Toy Fair and The Clone Wars San Diego Comic Con Exclusive which featured two previously released sets (Hailfire Droid & Spider Droid [#7670] and Droids Battle Pack [#7654]) packaged together with Captain Rex, 4 x Clone Troopers and a poster all in a special box and limited to 1,200 sets. 2008 saw the release of three final Bag Charms which included Landspeeder, Slave I, and Jedi Starfighter.
2009 saw LEGO Star Wars celebrate its 10th anniversary using the slogan “DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE FORCE OF THE BRICK.” To celebrate the anniversary, Dorling Kindersley released LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary which went on to sell over 2 million copies. The book came with an exclusive minifigure of Luke Skywalker with Medal of Yavin.
Thiry-five sets were released in 2009, almost half of which were from The Clone Wars and also included nine exclusive sets (eight of which were only available at San Diego Comic-Con). To celebrate the 10th anniversary LEGO brought out Darth Vader’s TIE fighter (#8017) which featured Darth Vader with a light up lightsaber. Other notable sets included Home One Mon Calimari Star Cruiser (#7754) with A-wing and six minifigures (Rebel Pilot A-wing, Admiral Ackbar, Mon Calamari Officer, Mon Mothma, Crix Madine, and Lando Calrissian), Midi-scale Millennium Falcon (#7778), The Battle of Endor (#8038) featuring the Endor Bunker & AT-ST with 12 minifigures (Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, R2-D2, Rebel Commando Frown, Rebel Commando Beard, Wicket, Paploo, Chief Chirpa, 2 x Scout Trooper and Imperial Trooper), Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser (#8039) from The Clone Wars with 5 minifigures (Chancellor Palpatine, 2 x Senate Commando, Clone Pilot and Clone Gunner), and the two UCS sets Tantive IV (#10198) with five minifigures (Princess Leia, R2-D2, C-3PO, Rebel Scout Trooper, and Captain Antilles) and Republic Dropship with AT-OT Walker (#10195) with eight minifigures (2 x Clone Pilot and 6 x Clone Trooper).
There were eight polybags released in 2009. Three of them were exclusive to the US as part of the BrickMaster subscription — Republic Attack Cruiser (#20007), AT-TE Walker (#20009), and Republic Gunship (#20010). Four others were commercially available and included General Grievous’ Starfighter (#8033), Battle Droid on STAO (#30005), Imperial Speeder Bike with Stormtrooper (#30005), and Clone Walker with Clone (#30006). The final polybag was Chrome Darth Vader which was released especially to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of LEGO Star Wars. There were only 10,000 of these special figures produced and they were randomly inserted into 2009 LEGO Star Wars sets. Also to celebrate the anniversary, LEGO released a Chrome Stormtrooper minifigure and magnet set on card, a special T-shirt featuring the 10th anniversary logo along with the usual array of magnet 3-packs, key rings, watches and pen sets.
At San Diego Comic-Con there were six individually numbered sets of three different minifigures (there were 300 of five of the six sets available and 1,250 of the final one which included a Clone Trooper and Clone Wars versions of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker). In addition to these six sets there was also a Mini Republic Dropship Mini AT-TW BrickMaster Pack available that was limited to 500 pieces and a Holo-Brick Archives exclusive too.
If you’re keeping up, that takes us from the end of 2005 to the end of 2009 and the 10th anniversary of LEGO Star Wars. Join us for the next part of this look back at LEGO Star Wars where we take a look at the sets released between 2010 and 2014 and bring the story right up-to-date with the 15th anniversary of LEGO Star Wars — it’s bricktastic!