Top Five UCS Phoenix Sets

When the Ultimate Collector’s Series* was debuted in 2000 it was 7181 TIE Interceptor that LEGO chose to release first, and they purposefully selected a very grown-up designed box to do so. Gone were the childish images that showed off the range of colours in the LEGO palette and reminded us LEGO sets were meant to be played with. Instead was a monochrome and minimalist set shot that shouted “DISPLAY ME!”, and the only colour on the packaging sent our thoughts to Pleasantville.

Many UCS sets were instant hits (10221 Super Star Destroyer, 10179 Millennium Falcon, 10212 Imperial Shuttle and 75060 Slave I), others raised a dull meh (10026 Special Edition Naboo Starfighter) from the collecting community, a few were immediately lambasted (75098 Assault on Hoth and 75159 The Death Star) while some sets still cause confusion (10186 General Grievous and 10131 TIE Collection) to this day.

A month ago, when the news that LEGO are re-releasing the Taj Mahal (with a minor makeover) added to the pile of UCS sets that LEGO had already retreaded (X-wing Fighter in 2000 and again in 2013, the (in)famous 2007 and 2017 Millennium Falcon, the Rebel Snowspeeder from 2004 got to see light in 2017 and the 2008/2016 Death Star play set) reached our ears we asked you to submit your thoughts on which old Ultimate Collector’s Series set you wanted to see back on shelves.

And your answers came in droves! No matter what sets you feel deserve to be included in the ultimate list of Ultimate Collector’s Series sets, here are the top five you want to see reborn:

10019 Rebel Blockade Runner

Did you know that this only UCS set to have two names? Initially released in 2001 as Rebel Blockade Runner when it was a LEGO online and brand store exclusive (aka direct to consumer) it had the same plain packaging as 7181 TIE Interceptor. When it hit Target shelves a year later it was renamed Tantive IV and given a packaging make over. Though not without its problems – the stickers were renowned to flake off and the strain on the rubber bands that held the engine pods together caused them to fall apart – the demand for this set was sufficient that LEGO revisited it in 2009 with the minifig-scale 10198 Tantive IV.

10123 Cloud City

The first playset to get offered as part of the UCS line, this build appealed to the child in us all. With a landing pad for the original Slave I, a sumptuous dining room that befitted the only time a Princess Leia minifig has been seen in her Bespin wardrobe, a freeze chamber and a gantry to playout the climactic duel this set had everything! In the last decade or so it is the unique Boba Fett minifig that has raised the demand on this set – but will a revamped city in the clouds create a similar stir?

10030 Imperial Star Destroyer

Though the build had its faults (repetitious, repetitious, repetitious, repeti – you get the idea – and the bow suffered from horizontile dysfunction) and you had to take out an insurance policy to dust it, the big grey (and don’t forget it came in two forms of grey to boot!) triangle displayed remarkably well and found itself the centrepiece of many AFOL living rooms when it came out in 2002. Its popularity has soared since the release of Rogue One and many LEGO MOCers are building mini Hammerhead Corvettes to go with their UCS Star Destroyers. After fifteen years is it ready to be relaunched from the Empire’s shipyards though?

10134 Y-wing Attack Starfighter

Representing the fighter/bombers of Gold Squadron, it’s easy to see why LEGO would reward the ship that took the first shot at the Death Star. By far the most swooshable of UCS sets and greebled to the max, this Rebel starship has come into its own over the years. The initial System version did little justice to its form or function – it didn’t even have a payload! But over the years LEGO has come good on that first foray in 1999 and the most recent rendition, released in the Rogue One line of 2016, was one of the quickest selling sets of the year. Is that an indicator of how popular this set is?

10143 Death Star II

This big, wobbly ball of destruction (in more ways than one) was probably the most intricate of builds in the entire LEGO Star Wars line, if not their entire catalogue. From start to finish it was like building a model ship-in-a-bottle with 10 foot long tweezers. But the result was far more rewarding than the aching knees and sore back would have you believe, and the micro-mini Super Star Destroyer that orbitted it was the icing on the cake. I’m sure that if LEGO had produced a clear acrylic box at the same time they would have sold in equal numbers as 10143 Death Star II. Do you think that LEGO could sufficiently redesign a giant grey orb to reboot it?

Now you have reviewed and reminisced over the community’s pick for top five UCS sets to get remade, why not take part in our latest probe droid poll and cast your vote to help decide which one is the most popular choice?

* To give the Ultimate Collector’s Series a definition that is acceptable to LEGO and all fans is an exercise in futility – we counted three lists that differed slightly – so we decided to accept whatever was submitted.

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