9516 Jabba's Palace mega-review, part 1
This is such a highly anticipated and sought-after set so it's important that we review it fully. I've therefore enlisted the help of gold-rated reviewer CapnRex101 to help. He has provided the text and I've taken the pictures. The review will probably be in three parts.
Today we will look at the box, the contents, and Jabba the Hutt. Then, we'll cover the minifigs, and finally we'll take a look at the palace itself.
So, here we go...
This set is based on one of the most famous scenes from the entire Star Wars saga and is an ideal representation of the legendary lair of Jabba the Hutt in my opinion. It is the set I was most excited for of all of this summer’s sets and I am far from disappointed. In fact I am delighted with this wonderful model! The set is a huge step up from the previous incarnation of Jabba's Palace, set 4480, Jabba's Palace which was released in 2003. The model of the building is utterly fantastic, but the Minifigures are even better than that, all ten of the minifigures (I am considering Salacious B. Crumb, the carbonite piece and B'omarr Monk minifigures) are superb, especially the excellent new Jabba the Hutt figure and the brand new Boushh which were both highly anticipated.
The box is very nice indeed, being a large set the model warrants a huge box, and it looks superb wherever you look at it. The artwork on the cover shows the palace from the inside, on the left is Jabba's luxurious throne room, and on the right is the vast guard tower which looks out over the Dune Sea of Tatooine. The two components are disconnected from one another and angled in towards one another which shows off all of the detail to best effect.
All but one of the minifigures are visible, Jabba himself is sitting on his gigantic dais, Bib Fortuna is standing just behind him ready to whisper advice to the crime lord and Oola is dancing in front of Jabba for his entertainment. Salacious Crumb is sat on the edge of the throne room as Boushh approaches with the chained Chewbacca in tow. The B'omarr Monk is walking around near the door to the palace and the Gamorrean Guard is standing high up at the top of the guard tower holding his axe and a pair of macrobinoculars to keep an eye on all of Jabba's many enemies. Han Solo in Carbonite is found to the left of Bib Fortuna but the Han Solo Minifigure cannot be seen as he is still encased in Carbonite at this point in the film.
The entire set is displayed on a Tatooine background similar to that on set 9496, Desert Skiff. There are some sandstone rocks and the vast expanse of the Dune Sea is visible behind the palace along with a blue sky with a few clouds and the unique twin suns of Tatooine. The entire design of the image looks excellent in my opinion. On the right side of the cover is the dark blue area of the box on which the minifigures are all displayed and seven of them have the 'new' stamp next to them as they are brand new. The same blue border as usual runs along the top of the box with the lovely shot of Darth Maul in action towards the right end, and the LEGO Star Wars logo on the left.
The back of the box displays the model from the outside of the palace on a similar background to the front. The set is labelled with the numerous features, each of which has a small image which demonstrates the functions. These functions include the opening door to the palace, the swivelling turret above the door, the flick fire missile, Jabba the Hutt's sliding dais, the opening trap door and the removable roof as well as several others. Jabba's Palace is shown from various angles in a blueprint style as well which has been seen on most other sets this year and I am a huge fan of these lovely images. There are also a few pictures of the Minifigures in various situations in the palace, for instance, Han having just been freed from the Carbonite by the disguised Leia, with Bib Fortuna quietly observing them, ready to tell Jabba what he has seen.
The instructions are split into two booklets and they each have the same wonderful artwork as the box on them, I found no mistakes in them and my set had no missing pieces. A comic is included at the back of the second manual showing Leia infiltrating the palace in her Boushh disguise and attempting to free the incarcerated Han Solo, this is a nice touch and could inspire some play for younger Star Wars fans. I really hope they continue this comic strip feature in future instruction manuals.
The set contains 717 pieces and there are vast numbers of superb parts among them such as the swathes of tan and dark tan which make up most of the palace and a huge number of dark grey plates of both the rectangular, square and curved variety which make up the flooring. There are an incredible six brand new moulds in this set! Such a vast number of brand new pieces is almost unheard of in one set, although all of them make up part of a minifigure.
There are ten dark tan rounded corner pieces which make up the roofs of the throne room and tower. Four of these are the larger ten by ten versions, and the others are all six by six, both are incredibly useful for MOCs and in this colour they are totally exclusive to this fantastic set. There are some nice arches in tan which create the spectacular architecture of the palace both inside and out, these could be useful for your own models as well, especially Mos Eisley buildings perhaps. There are five of the fairly new column cylinders in tan, which are reasonably uncommon and could be useful as well. Some pearl gold pieces are also included which are always welcome and there are two green frogs which act as Gorgs for Jabba to snack on. Two printed tiles are included, each of which comes with a spare so you actually get four, but I will discuss those further later on in the review.
Best of all in my opinion are the twenty one dark tan slopes included which mostly form the curved outer wall of Jabba the Hutt's throne room. Although they have appeared in two sets prior to this one, they have previously never been seen in such vast quantities. They could be very desirable components and I am certain will be used very frequently. Overall, this set is an incredible parts pack, especially if you are making a desert or Tatooine related MOC.
Now onto the star attraction..
Jabba the Hutt is a unique figure made up almost entirely of brand new parts. It is a huge step up from the previous Jabba the Hutt figure which appeared in two sets as this one, unlike the older one, is printed all over. It is made of three parts: one large piece that forms his tail and the lower half of his main body, a blue Technic connector and a combined head and arm piece. Each of the components are packed in separate plastic bags in the box as they are presumably made in China, although the quality of the parts still seem very good to me.
The tail and lower body pieces are olive green and have lots of nice printing of wrinkles and folds in his ancient skin which looks excellent. It is a much more accurate mould than previously and Jabba look suitably rotund now as his tail is thicker and his body has a much wider circumference.
His head is much more detailed than the bottom half of the figure and is also cast in olive green. The arms are poseable but cannot be removed. He can hold pretty much anything, from blasters to his Hookah pipe and his right arm is printed with Jabba's unique tattoo, which is fantastic, far more than I could have hoped for with this figure before I got it. Most of the front of his head is printed in tan, with more wrinkles and his corpulent chin prominent. His hefty chin and capacious mouth are both very accurate to the film as are his asymmetrical nostrils and squinting eyes, which are printed orange and black with lots of detail.
The back of this piece has a few more wrinkles like his lower half. I am very pleased that the top half of the figure can be turned so he can be displayed as either slithering forwards, or sitting on his dais in the throne room of his vast palace. Overall this is an incredible figure and one which I really think is a highlight of the entire set. As you can see, it is a vast improvement on the 2003 version.
Tomorrow we will look at the minifigs in detail. Do let us know in the comments whether you appreciate a review of this depth or if you prefer them to be shorter and simpler.