Set: 6209 Slave I
Theme: Star Wars (Classic)
Box Artwork: Front & Back
Mini-Figs: 4: Boba Fett, Dengar, IG-88, Bespin Guard, plus carbonite-block Han Solo
Price per Part Ratio: 9 cents a piece
Availability: Mass Retail / LEGO Shop@Home
Boba Fett’s modified Kuat Systems Engineering Firespray-class attack and patrol ship, Slave I, once again prowls the dangerous galactic underworld for bounties in this updated, redesigned version of the original 7144 Slave I released in 2000.
LEGO has produced three versions of Slave I over the last six years: the 7144, 7153, and 6209.
The 7144, with it’s 165 pieces, captured the basic look and feel of the notorious bounty hunter’s pursuit craft. It possessed the recognizable street-lamp design and featured rotating stabilizer fins, rear-mounted twin blaster cannons, a simple cargo hold large enough to store a frozen Han Solo, and a double-hinged canopy opening onto the unusual reverse pilot seating position.
A second version of the famous ship, 7153 Jango Fett’s Slave I, was released in 2002 with the Attack of the Clones product line. The 7153 had 358 pieces, over twice as many as the 7144, and it really made a difference: 7153 was twice as big and much more menacing. The enlarged cockpit held two figures and the entire pilot deck swiveled with the stabilizing fins depending on the ship’s attitude. The main body of this version conceals a vast amount of starfighter-smashing armament: concussion mines deploy from the bottom, quad blaster cannons swivel out from the sides, proton torpedoes "launch" from the top, and the rear twin blaster cannons are much more beefier. A magnetic cargo box attaches under the ship to stow captured bounties while two small tail-mounted cargo compartments store extra gear.
6209, the third and newest incarnation of the ship, borrows heavily from the second version’s architecture and employs similar construction methods; but as you might expect, the new version sports the familiar paint scheme of the ship as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. The 6209 has 179 more pieces than the 7153, so the new version is slightly bigger: the ship’s "footprint" is a few studs longer, the tail section is longer and more robust, and the craft stands taller due to better developed engine cowling/landing gear on the bottom. The cockpit is cozier and the pilot deck again swivels with the stabilizer fins depending on the ship’s attitude. The 6209 stabilizer fins and their hull connection points sport more detail than on the older 7153. The 6209 also dispenses with 7153’s magnetically-attached bottom-mounted bounty "cage." This means that the ‘gaps’ seen in the stabilizer area on the 7153 have a more "filled in" look with this new version. The result is the 6209’s appearance seems more structurally sound and is more pleasing to the eye.
One of the major selling points of the new Slave I is the mini-figs. You get the two standbys: Boba Fett and a carbonite-block Han Solo. However, 6209 also features two new bounty hunters, IG-88 and Dengar, plus a black Bespin Guard. IG-88 is passable: the assassin droid is based on the Battle Droid body with a 1x1 cone and round plates making up his head. Dengar is a good-looking figure as mini-figs go: nice torso detail and a white ninja hood make up his turban or cowl or whatever the heck he wears. A nice addition to the set is the black Bespin Guard, a version which hasn’t been released in figure form since the original Kenner era. I think it’s ironic that LEGO, a company that has long avoided racial divisions in the past by making all of its toy people yellow, was first to release a black Bespin Guard in the modern era.
Though 6209 and it’s predecessor 7153 have a lot in common, however, there are enough aesthetic and building differences in the new version to comfortably say that Boba’s ship is definitely not his father’s Slave I.
Action Features: High. The new Slave I is still armed to the teeth: twin proton torpedoes swivel out from the tail section, a remarkably powerful spring-loaded missile launcher is concealed on the top behind the canopy, tail-mounted twin-blaster cannons rain radiant death upon unfortunate spacers with a price on their heads, and concussion mines deploy from the hull bottom. Cargo storage consists of a rear slot to load the carbonite block, two small compartments are located right behind the stabilizer fin mounting ports, plus there are two tail-mounted holds with larger doors to stow more gear. The spring-loaded missile launcher and carbonite block cargo slot are controlled by inconspicuous external knobs on the ships hull. The cargo slot for the carbonite block hasn’t improved much since the original 7144; it’s still essentially a levered plate that moves down to accommodate the carbonite block and then up to lock it into place.
Decals and Other Dreaded Building Steps: None. No decals or rope strings to tie!
Structural Integrity: High. The original 7144 probably has the best structural integrity of the three versions since it’s nearly a solid mass of bricks. The 7153 is the weakest version, especially in the main body section under the cockpit where the stabilizer fins connect and the bounty cage attaches. 6209 ranks somewhere between the two versions, but I’m giving it high marks for structural strength. The set is a complicated, complex build, but everything locks securely together.
"Zoom" Factor: High. This ship is a marvel of beauty and design. After building it, you’ll want to take it for a test spin around your part of the galaxy! (Or at least your living room).
Leftover Pieces: Low. Some 1x1 round plates, technic connectors, and extra silver IG-88 parts.
Frustration Level of Hunting for that One Piece that Surely Must Be Missing and I Bought an Incomplete Set and Will have to Call LEGO Customer Service for a Replacement Part: Medium. I kept the pieces from the separate polybags in different piles so finding the next brick wasn’t a major chore.
Completist Temptation: High. There are three other Star Wars "Classic" sets from the Original Trilogy that are available now:
6206 TIE Interceptor = $20
6207 A-Wing Fighter = $17
6208 B-Wing Fighter = $35
The TIE Interceptor was originally released as an "Ultimate Collector Series" set but this time around the Imperial fighter is in "System" scale. The other two ships, like Boba Fett’s Slave I, feature redesigns of previously released vehicles.