As a kid of the 80s, I was born towards the tail end of the original Star Wars trilogy. Despite two films being released before I was born, my toy collection as a kid was dominated by Star Wars. I never had the Palitoy Millennium Falcon or that odd cardboard Death Star but I did have an AT-AT. Fueled by the moment these huge walking things appeared on the icy world of Hoth, that toy was my pride and joy. A few years ago I added the LEGO version to my collection but that pales in comparison to what I’ll be reviewing today. The Empire’s All Terrain Armoured Transport has finally been given the UCS treatment and it will be the showpiece set for Black Friday. But how does it compare to smaller Imperial walkers and other Ultimate Collector Edition sets? I’ve had the great privilege of being able to build the set ahead of its release and here are my thoughts.
This is the AT-AT (75313) that every LEGO® Star Wars™ fan has been waiting for. This epic Ultimate Collector Series build-and-display model features posable legs and head, cannons with a realistic recoil action, rotating cannons, bomb-drop hatch and a hook to attach to Luke Skywalker’s line, just like in the Battle of Hoth.
Room for an Imperial army
The AT-AT measures over 24.5 in. (62 cm) high and is easily opened to view the detailed interior. The main body has space for 40 LEGO minifigures (General Veers and Luke Skywalker are among 9 in this set), 4 speeder bikes (2 included) and the included E-Web heavy repeating blaster. The head/cockpit seats 2 LEGO minifigures and has space for 1 more. An information plaque completes a magnificent display piece.
- Set Name: AT-AT
- Set Number: 75313
- Theme: Star Wars
- Pieces: 6785
- Minifigures: General Veers, AT-AT Drivers x2, Snowtrooper Commando, Snowtroopers x 4, Luke Skywalker
- RRP: £749.99/$799.99/799.99€
- Measurements: Measures 62cm high, 69cm long & 24cm wide
- Availability: LEGO.com, & LEGO Stores
The Empire has an amazing arsenal of vehicular weaponry but one of the most unique is the AT-AT. These imposing quadrupedal transporters stomped into Star Wars lore during the Battle of Hoth. As Rebel forces lay in wait in their icy trenches, off in distance these walking beasts are picked up on long-range macrobinoculars. Later in the battle, Rogue Squadron led an aerial assault on the advancing Imperial Forces. The battle is one of my favourite Star Wars moments largely due to these mechanical animal-like walkers. They have become a central part of the Imperial fleet, inspiring similar crafts in later films, animated series and video games. So it’s amazing to think that over 20 years of LEGO Star Wars sets haven’t garnered an Ultimate Collector Series version of this iconic vehicle.
I’ve had the pleasure of building a few of the UCS sets over the years including the most recent UCS Millennium Falcon. At the time of its release, that set was an important milestone for LEGO sets, with a massive piece count and impressive scale, making it the largest LEGO set ever. Of course, it’s since been eclipsed by sets such as the Titanic and Colosseum. There’s also the issue of many Star Wars ships and vehicles being a mass of a single colour, most often grey. So regardless of size, they can look imposing but also a little boring. A notion that can also translate to the build experience. As it stands the UCS AT-AT has a lot stacked against it, but then you start to build it.
The set’s construction is split across four boxes. Each box has its own instruction booklet, which I much prefer than having a singular, thick and heavy booklet for the entire build. Each booklet has the usual additional content, which includes an insight into the creation of the set from the LEGO Star Wars Design Team. The third and fourth booklets are particularly interesting as they offer a look at the history of previous LEGO AT-AT sets and content from the original films. The overall design of the packaging feels special as well. Something you’d expect from a high priced product. So the outer box follows the new Adults Welcome aesthetics, with the inner boxes featuring an image of an AT-AT from Empire Strikes Back, split across the ends of the boxes. With each box highlighting the sections you’ll be building. These boxes also act as a clever blueprint for how the legs are best posed. With the AT-ATs footprint graphics on the box, offering the best position to pose each leg.
The build begins with the upper platform of the legs section. This is built separate from the body and acts as a very important part of the overall build. Most smaller versions of the AT-AT have relied on click joints for the articulated sections of the legs. Not only allowing you to pose them but also to create some stability. Things are done a little differently here. The legs can still be posed but are done so via a Technic axle rod hidden within the legs. It can be adjusted with an additional tool. This may seem fiddly but works really well and allows the legs to have some much-needed reinforcement without the need to incorporate a different means of articulation. Each leg has two adjustment points, one in the ‘knee’ area and one at the upper section.
Building the feet alone felt like building a mid-sized LEGO set, there are so many elements hidden within each foot, it’s crazy. This obviously means they are quite weighty and they need to be in order to provide a stable point for the walker to stand safely and to support the heaviness of the body as well.
Once the four legs and a base section is complete the body of the AT-AT is built independently. This has allowed the designer to capture the unique angles of the body section, without being compromised by a means to have the legs directly built into the overall structure of the AT-AT. This core interior area is largely constructed with System bricks, framed with Technic beams. The outer shell comprises various plates, which are connected in different ways. For example, the sides of the AT-AT are three pieces connected together with clips and then added to the AT-AT via a couple of Technic axles pins. Whereas the covering above each leg is a plate attached with Technic connector pegs.
Very often the USC sets focus on the outer appearance of the build and rightly so as they are primarily used as a display piece. That’s not the case here. In fact, great efforts have gone into applying a full interior to the AT-AT. The UCS Millennium Falcon is a mighty impressive set. Its scale is immense and its detailing is incredible. But the AT-AT completely blows it out of the water, in my opinion. Not only that this is a Minifigure-scale build. They haven’t been shoehorned into the set; it’s perfectly sized to fit them. When I skimmed the press release, it mentioned the AT-AT could hold 40 troopers, which I assume was an interesting fact about the ‘real’ walker. Nope, the set has enough space and even seating to accommodate an entire garrison of Snowtroopers. Not only that, but it can also carry speeder bikes and other armaments.
Minifigures are often an afterthought in UCS sets, but the ones featured in this set are certainly warranted. Not only through their connection to the moment in the film but also their integration into the AT-AT. General Veers leads the Imperial assault on the power generator on Hoth. The version here is almost identical to the one included in the 2020 AT-AT, the only difference is the use of dual-moulded legs, which really finishes off the look of the fearless Imperial general. The same can be said for the two AT-AT Drivers, they are almost identical to the ones included in set 75288. The only difference is the black part on the centre of the helmet seems to have little better printing.
There are four Snowtrooper each matching their appearance in the aforementioned AT-AT set, they are joined by a Commander, who looks very much the same but has a different rank badge. I would say they are the best version of the Snowtrooper as they lack the material kama and backpack. But I guess the lack of these makes it easier to seat them in the AT-AT. All of the Imperial troopers feature different heads, which are a mix of male and female. Finally, it’s not all Imperial fun to be had with the AT-AT, Luke Skywalker is on hand to put a spanner in the works or should that be a thermal detonator. As with the other Minifigures in this set, he’s another which is very much the same as the version in the most recent smaller AT-AT.
It’s not just the Minifigures that have an air of familiarity to them, the speeder bikes are very much the same as those featured in set 75288, there is a slight difference to the rear of them, with the addition of two thrush flaps. The E-Web heavy repeating blaster gun mount has also been basically lifted from the 2020 AT-AT, but to be fair, both that and the Speeder Bikes are didn’t really need to be messed around with too much as they are decent enough as they are. There’s also the usual UCS info plate, which also acts as a stand for the included leg adjusting tool.
This balance between the exterior and interior detail is perfect. Neither one feels as if it’s had to make a compromise in order to accommodate the other. It’s not a playset, but it includes elements of a playset nor is it merely a display piece although it’s one of the most impressive Star Wars to look at. I’ve often thought the UCS sets to be quite a serious take on the Star Wars universe, especially those based on vehicles. You wouldn’t expect to find a whacky Easter Egg on a sticker or something similar. So imagine my delight when I was building the fuel cells, only to find they are Octan Energy cells. Yes, the Empire uses the premier source of energy in the LEGO universe as well. Those instantly recognisable white, red and green barrels are hidden away but I found their inclusion to be genuinely amazing.
I really cannot express how much this set has impressed me. The build experience is outstanding, although a little iffy in places due to not being able to judge the placement of some sections. There are also a few places in which sections are attached in quite a perilous way, thankfully this issue is as bad as the Gunship, which merely needed you to look at it for a section to detach. The set as a whole is by far the best USC set, including the Falcon. Saying that it does carry an eye-watering price tag, one which is far greater than the Falcon, despite the lower piece count. This is most likely due to the use of larger plate elements, which push up the price in all sets. But £100 more for a set with fewer pieces than a similar UCS set is a little tricky to justify. Is it worth it? In terms of the build experience and the end result, most definitely.
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This set was provided by the LEGO Group for purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are that of BricksFanz and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group or Disney. Providing the set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.