75185 Tracker I
Results from last year’s first two sets based on LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures were decidedly mixed. Can the LEGO Group hit the mark with 75185 Tracker I?
Price: £64.99 / $69.99 / €69.99 Pieces: 557 Available: Now
The first season of the LEGO Group’s latest foray into original Star Wars content, The Freemaker Adventures, arrived in 2016. Season Two is following the same pattern with the release of two sets – a ship for the good guys and a ship for the bad guys. While 75186 The Arrowhead gives the heroes their ship, 75185 Tracker I brings the new antagonist his vehicle, piloted by – named as a shout-out to the AFOL community – M-OC. Created by Emperor Palpatine himself, this fierce robot has a singular purpose, to capture Rowan Freemaker. Tracker I is equipped to aid the droid in his mission to do just that.
Tracker I is one of the most interesting sets I have built in a very long time. It is a well known fact that the LEGO Group tries to incorporate new pieces into as many sets as possible, thereby defraying the cost of creating new moulds by spreading them across multiple products. While this normally works quite well in the theme for which the piece was intended, it can produce mixed results when making the jump to other product lines.
Fortunately Tracker I, which is built entirely around the new NEXO KNIGHTS Battle Suit shields that facilitate combining NEXO Powers, is a fabulous exception. The Battle Suit shields are unique in that they are essentially triangles – thus allowing a ship with a very distinctive three sided fuselage. While obviously inspired by other ships such as the TIE Defender, immortalised in set 8087 back in 2010, the fuselage construction is a LEGO first. It is a delight to build from start to finish with the only repetition being the identical wings.
Designers have fully utilised the internal space within Tracker I‘s unique fuselage. In keeping with the hunt for Rowan it includes a small jail along with a storage area for lightsabers. Three transparent canopies create a fascinating cockpit from which M-OC conducts his galaxy wide hunt for the young Force user. Because of its three sloped wings the ship must land vertically which is also fairly rare within the LEGO Star Wars universe. All of these features combine to make 75185 both an interesting display model as well as, when combined with the three included minifigures and probe droid, a great play experience.
Despite the positives there are two major criticisms which must be levelled against this set. First, for some reason, designers reverted back to the colour scheme of the original TIE Fighters released in the first decade of LEGO Star Wars, which included heavy doses of blue. This colour scheme never made sense when it was in wide production – the movie designs contain not a trace of blue. Fans breathed a sigh of relief when the ten year anniversary model of Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter ushered in the modern era of exclusively grey and black construction. Why the LEGO Group elected to revert back to the inaccurate colour scheme, which also looks more childish, is a mystery.
The second criticism is value – when all is said and done, this set feels a bit pricey for what you get. Reducing the price by around 20% would land this model in a more palatable place.
Overall, this is a set that I would recommend with a couple of caveats. Firstly, the price is a little high, so you are paying a little more than you may be comfortable with for this build. Secondly, be prepared to do a bit of modification to reduce or eliminate the blue, as the ship becomes much better looking with that change. Despite those drawbacks, this brings some great variety to the LEGO Star Wars theme, with an enjoyable build process and inventive parts use. Tracker I is a fascinating model that definitely belongs in your collection, so be sure not to miss it – but go in cognisant of the set’s downsides.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
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