In 2003 LEGO released the Cloud City set 10123. For 13 years, there was no representation of the last third of the Empire Strikes Back. People have been asking for new Cloud City sets in the decade since. When information leaked about the Carbon Freezing Chamber, there was a lot of hope, a lot of speculation, and a lot of fans quivering with excitement. When we saw the pictures of 75137, there was an enormous outcry. How could they take an amazingly iconic set of scenes and chop it down to a half of a set with a goofy action feature?
Well, I was one of the disappointed masses when I saw this set. No Bespin Luke, Leia or Lando. No gantry for a duel. There's not even a torture chamber or a lift arm for the freeze chamber. So, in my review, I'd like to set aside all of my frustrations and disappointments. I'd like to start fresh and view it with eyes unclouded. Let's take a look.
REVIEW: SET DETAILS
Set #: 75137
Name: Carbon-Freezing Chamber
Theme: Star Wars
I recently gave up on the price per piece calculations. You're all smart enough to figure out a rough valuation based on that. I will say that 3 minifigures seems to be pretty standard for this price range. I'll discuss them later.
Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 2 numbered baggies and an instruction book.
BUILD AND EXECUTION:
It's hard to tell at first what you are building. this is a guide for the main play feature of this set. Note the tiles that allow it to slide properly.
The play feature takes shape with a hinged axle. This allows for a different axis of movement.
You build up the wall to support the rest of the structure and complete the entire play feature here. when you pull on the pin, it rotates down, and you can turn the axle to allow it to rotate. At the end of the review, I'll show it in action.
We begin to create the greater structure. Throwing up walls to hide the armature and other structures of the play feature.
Here, you begin to create a deck platform to hold your characters.
Here, you are creating a play feature. It's supposed to be a prison bed that you can put Han on. At least I think so. It might be a place to hide a minifigure.
You snap the hide-a-bed onto the hinge on the left and cover it up with a wall panel.
You add a bunch of decoration here. It's actually starting to come together fairly successfully.
You add one more partial segment to the right side and throw some tiles on to clean up the edges.
Here you can see that the outer part of the structure is fairly plain, but obviously better than the inside. The problem is, to utilize the play feature of the raising and lowering bed, you have to look at this side. Without more of a jail cell, I can't imagine utilizing the bed though.
You start by making a lift. The lift pops into the slot on the pre-existing structure.
You build around the armature so that you can have a track to raise and lower the lift. The armature even has a swinging arm with ball to "lock" it into place. Notice in the background that there is also a control panel.
The next thing that you build is a rather impressive looking staircase. You utilize 2 stair pieces and a bunch of tiles. My biggest problem with it is that it's inaccurate. As far as I can recall, there weren't any stairs leading down from the deck, they all went up.
The last thing that you build is a mounting bracket for the Carbonite block. It's not really anything special, just a way to keep it upright. It snaps onto the pivoting table.
So, I am not a fan of play features in general. This one in specific takes up far too much space since it has to go out as well as down. The action is smooth, but it's not nearly as discreet as it should be. If it were me, I'd make an elevator with a turntable.
I actually wound up liking this set better than I expected to. It was a fun little build. I'm actually not overly impressed with the character selection. I've already got Boba Fett and Carbonite Han. I can understand why they used Boba, and this was one of the most dramatic and visually interesting parts of the film. I'd love to try to figure out for myself how to MOD it into a playset that I actually want to display. I don't care about the action features, even though I again understand the need to make it playable for all of the kids that want a playset based on a 35 year old movie.
The minifigures are interesting. Boba and Han are pretty similar to but not quite the same as 75060 UCS Slave I Boba's torso is new and Han has dark brown instead of reddish brown pants. The Ugnaught is the only fully unique character in the set. We've never gotten an Ugnaught in LEGO form before. He really does tie together any Bespin Freeze Chamber scene. I don't knowwhy they spent the effort to print Boba's back with all the stuff he wears. It does look pretty good though.
The Ugnaught is excellent. He's probably not going to be worth a ton, but like the Jawa and the Ewoks (until they got released in more sets) he'll have value. People will be making MODs of this set or MOCs for years to come and want more than one. I just wish we could get a little variation.
Small sets with hero figures seem to be popular. Playsets seem to be less popular. This set will be dependent on a few things. Ugnaught is the first thing to take into consideration. He's a new character that collectors would need multiples of if hey are making a larger scene. The species has been used in the Rebels cartoon, so may see a refresh in a later set. Boba Fett is enduringly popular and Han Solo as a main will attract attention. However I feel like this is the least popular version of Han. 9496 was another small, cheap set with Boba Fett and another main character. Since its retirement, it has done reasonably. People who bought it at retail experienced an increase of about 80% and many bought it for less than retail.
This set will see sales. It is inevitable that we'll see it for at least 19.99 for a segment of its life. I fear that more Boba Fett sets will come along causing the main impetus for this set to diminish. So, we'll be banking on a disappointing Bespin set and an Ugnaught to drive future sales of this set. If another Bespin set comes along that can be paired with this one, we'll see a lot of aftermarket demand. I doubt that will happen though. Modest gains will probably be made, but not as much as a vehicle.
You get an entire bag of extra viewfinders. I wonder why LEGO decides to do a baggie full for one figure, but it's standard.