Monday, February 29, 2016

SY Sheng Yuan | Star Wars Senate Commando Troopers | SY504A

Sheng Yuan's take on Lego's Star Wars Senate Commando Troopers.

Box is almost identical as Lego's. Shows the four minifigs with same equipment and the vehicle included, or turret if you want to be more specific.

The back part of the box showing the features of the set. Great gatling stud shooter, more on that later on. The Senate Commando Troopers have their own stud shooters as well. 

Group photo! Great quality and colors for both the turret and the minifigs. The color combination works well in my opinion. Not really sure where in the show this turret was, but the Senate Commando Troopers were for sure in the Star Wars The Clone Wars TV series from Cartoon Network.

Comes with instruction manual, pretty much complete instructions inside. 

The four minifigures, namely: 1 Senate Commando Captain and 3 Senate Commando (Troopers). Formally, I think they're only known as Senate Commandos, but let's just add the "trooper" because that's the name of the box set anyway. 

Beyond the additional painting and signs on the front part ONLY of Senate Commando Captain (on the left), they're pretty much identical (with the other Commandos as well). Save the Captain's gun which has an extension or a buttstock thing. Nice addition in my opinion!

They have the angry Clone Trooper faces, except for the Captain's not-angry face. From the show, I remember seeing these Senate Commando Troopers as non-clone, well the main guy in the show at least, not sure about his other comrades. So it's a bit strange having them equipped with Clone Trooper faces, but hey, does it really matter especially since you're probably gonna keep the helmets on when displaying or even playing with them? 

Note: The Senate Commando Troopers' helmets have the same mold as Phase 1 Clone Troopers' helmets. In the show, they're more resembling Greek/Roman helmets, imagine the Spartans' helmets in 300 but colored all blue as seen below. Despite that, Lego was able to work with the Clone Trooper helmets looking like those Greek/Roman helmets. Good job, Lego! (And SY!)

The Captain's stud-shooter with the additional buttstock. I really think it looks great even though it's one simple attachment to the stud-shooter. Anyway, about the stud-shooters, I think I'd rather call them stud-droppers as they don't really shoot the studs, and just drop them, like most of SY's stud-shooters. I think this isn't the case for Lego's but hey, I wasn't really a fan of the stud-shooter design as you/kids may easily lose the studs when shot too far + choking hazards haha. The turret's stud-shooters though is a different story. 

Group photo! Only one pilot for the turret, sadly. Though very logical since hey, what do you need another pilot for? Okay, maybe for reloading and other technical stuff, but one pilot is good enough, I guess. The turret rotates, it's attached to a rotating lego piece on four legs that also adjust. You can increase the height or lower the height of the turret to your liking as seen below. Easy to pose + you can save up on space with the legs being able to move! 

Did I mention that the turret can rotate in a circular motion? Yes? Then did I mention that it can also aim up and down? No? Well, it can. Great for displays and playing. Just like real life turrets and not like other toys where a turret is stuck in a stationary position. What, you gonna hope your opponent steps into the line of fire for you? Haha. 

On to the amazing gatling stud-shooter. This thing can shoot as fast as you can turn the gear and pretty far. Not really recommended for children, especially toddlers, so be careful. Anyway, the things shoots well just like the one in the Geonosis Clone Troopers set. This one has a better mechanism in my opinion though, largely due to that black gear piece that makes rotating/triggering the shooter easier. 

As you can see, you can rotate the turret 360 degrees. Really great for creating diorama displays, and even for playing. + Additional photos below. Gear pieces for the legs and the parts that show how great you can pose your turret. 

Overall happy with this set. Just as good as the other 3 Star Wars Army Builder sets. Note, the army builder tag isn't official, I just call them so because of the four minifigs included in the set. But yeah, this set adds variety to the three other sets. Hoping SY makes more copies of Lego's "Army Builders" so that army building for both children and collectors can be cheaper! Haha. 

Check out the other two sets. Last one to come soon, so stay tuned! 

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

SY Sheng Yuan | Star Wars Geonosis Troopers | SY503B

SY's take on Lego's Star Wars Geonosis Troopers.

It's almost exactly like Lego's own set, unlike other SY sets where they changed some parts in their own release.

Comes with a small walker and four clone trooper minifigures. They also come with their blasters that act as stud-shooters.

Group photo! 2 kinds of clone troopers included. If one doesn't know, Geonosis is the planet in Star Wars Episode II where the clones first showed up and got their appearance in the battlefield. Now I know these clones don't look like the ones in the movie, that's because this variant of clones appeared in the Star Wars The Clone Wars TV show instead, I think. At some point, the clones and some Jedi visited Geonosis again and the clones were sporting this kind of armor, though I'm not sure if in the show they had Phase II armor (like in this set and Star Wars Episode III) or Phase I (like in Episode II). 

Comes with generic angry Clone Trooper faces! No back print. No problem really because more often than not, their helmets will be on anyway, right? Assuming you display them or even play with them. Though admittedly, it would have been nice to add personality to some of them like in the show.

I believe this mold for Clone Troopers is the Clone Paratrooper. In the movies, you see them in Utapau, General Grevious' hiding place, though in white/orange. 

The stud shooter blaster. Sadly, it doesn't really shoot as well. The stud merely drops on the ground.. Still looks nice though. Or maybe, I just don't know how to shoot it.. HAHA

The walker. My favorite of the vehicles in all 4 of the "army-builder" sets released by SY. Though the minifigures aren't necessarily my favorite ones. 

Lots of articulation for both the torso/cockpit and the legs. Easy poses, except it only goes up and down or left and right, no 360 action. 

Fits two minifigures! Just like in the movies? I'm not really sure. And in the Star Wars universe, there are lots of walker variants so this may actually be an original Lego design. It also comes with gun holders/equipment storage for the minifigures' gear. Overall it's just really great. The minifigs are great, and are in unison with their vehicle. Quality is top-notch as well. 

Also, amazing gatling-stud-shooter. Unlike the minifig stud shooter, it shoots well: far and fast. I almost lost one of the studs when I first tried it because I didn't aim properly and expected it to not shoot too far because of the minifig stud shooters. Really impressed with this part, and the design adds to the walker's overall look as well. 


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Monday, February 22, 2016

SY Sheng Yuan | Star Wars Shadow Troopers | SY503A

Sheng Yuan's Star Wars Shadow Troopers, which is an imitation of Lego's same named set.
The packaging of Sheng Yuan's: 
As you can see, the packaging is almost identical to Lego's, save the logos and information. Box shows the vehicle, the two Shadow Guards, and the two Shadow Troopers. 

The back of the box shows more of the set's features:
Not much features as I think the main focus of the set are the minifigures. Despite that, the vehicle looks sleek and just right when paired with the Shadow Guards and Shadow Troopers.

The instruction manual:
Instructions weren't that long since it's a pretty small set with minimal building required. Though that doesn't mean the vehicle was crap. It's a simple vehicle, yet it does it job well. It's job being well, the minifigs' vehicle.

The vehicle with its four minifigs:
Vehicle isn't big, pretty small and can actually only accommodate two minifigures, sadly. 

The Shadow Troopers:
Two included in the box. They also come with blasters that are actually stud-shooters. They don't really shoot well and just fall to the floor when you press the mechanism. I think it's actually Sheng Yuan's fault this time as I've seen Lego stud-shooters shoot at longer distances.

If you look closely, Shadow Troopers' helmet isn't single shade of gray. There's a weird lighter gray that's kinda splattered on the helmet's face. Honestly, I hate this design. It would have been better to have a sleek, unified, simpler, and more basic design: one color of grayish silver. This is in fact actually not Sheng Yuan's fault since it's not their design but Lego's, or maybe even Lucas' of Star Wars.

The face of the troopers themselves:
Generic Clone faces. Despite them not being meant without their helmets on, quality of the head is still great. Clear prints and correct displacement of print.

Another view of the helmet and the splattered gray: 
And down below is a view of Lego's, look at that hideous splatter of gray. :(


Now onto the Shadow Guards. Also two come out of the box. They look great to be honest. Not really characters you'd see in the movies, except for their red counterparts. Anyway, great prints and parts, cape included is fine. 

Without the helmet on, they don't have faces and just red blank heads. I guess we won't know if the Shadow Guards are droids, aliens, humans, or even clones. Still, the red makes a very good pair with the open visor of the helmet. 

No back print for the torso. Doesn't matter much anyway since their's a cape included to cover the back, and without the cape the Shadow Guards don't look as great or menacing anyway. 

Side by side with the normal, red Imperial Royal Guard. Shadow Guards have better weapons than Royal Guards, as you can see, the Shadow Guards come equipped with Lightsaber Staffs (?) and Royal Guards come with simple staffs/blades.

The minifigs' equipment:
Staff Lightsaber and Stud-Shooter Blaster. That's how you build the weapons. Note that the staff lightsaber doesn't come with the generic lightsaber hilt piece but instead comes with a telescope looking piece, not sure what it's called.

Now for the vehicle. Great simple design overall. Black - gray - red design is sleek and fitting for the Shadow Guards and Shadow Troopers. It comes with blasters that (should supposedly) shoot and parts that look like blasters but are simple for design. It also comes with two flaps that can move quite well as seen in the second image below. Also, it seats two minifigures. I would have loved a slot for all four minifigs but can't really complain much because at that size, I really doubt it could fit and lift 4 minifigures. 

Now for the shooter on the vehicle. I'm not sure at all how to shoot it. I tried pressing it but it's too hard. I didn't wanna apply too much force anymore because my fingers would start to hurt and I was afraid the parts would break. For a children's toy, that's a pretty bad design since kids wouldn't be able to apply enough force to shoot it.

The vehicle with the minifigs piloting it: 
The minifigs can either sit on the vehicle, or stand on it. Both setups look just as good in my opinion. With the open setup of the vehicle, they can actually point and shoot with their blasters. Good, simple design from Lego!

The final setup! 

Just for extra information: 
Some of the original Star Wars art of the Shadow Troopers and Shadow Guards for reference!

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