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Disney Droid Factory

Sandcrawler Playset - Droid Factory

Name: Sandcrawler Playset
Collection: Droid Factory
Number: N/A (Disney Parks Exclusive)
Source: A New Hope
Availability: September 2018
License: Disney

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Sandcrawlers are huge treaded fortresses used by Jawas as transportation and shelter. The sandpitted vehicles, many meters in height, are equipped with a magnetic suction tube for sucking droids and scrap into their cargo chambers.

It was teased all the way back at Star Wars Celebration Orlando in April of 2017. Now 18 months have since transpired, and the Sandcrawler Playset has made its way to Disney Parks in the United States of America. This long-awaited vehicle/playset has been on the minds of Star Wars collectors everywhere. We’ve begged Hasbro to no avail to redo the Jawa’s Sandcrawler vehicle, and sadly for years, they’ve all but ignored our pleas. Thankfully, Disney stepped up to the plate and produced a great version of this large vehicle. It may not be as large as we’d hoped, but it is significantly bigger than the Kenner and Hasbro models. What’s more, Disney added a ton of electronics, features, lights and pack-in figures which all work together to make the $99.99 MSRP completely palatable. The Sandcrawler Playset has some issues, but all are easy to overlook and forgive. From issues surrounding the deco, the vehicle’s coloring and the space within its interior, it is impossible to appease all collectors at the same time. It might be best to chew the meat and spit out the bones when it comes to the Sandcrawler Playset. That doesn’t come across as a flattering assessment. But If you pass on this because some of its aesthetics are not up to your level of approval, you’ll miss out on a truly wonderful release that is fair in price and larger than all previous models. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the Sandcrawler Playset so special.

The Sandcrawler Playset comes loaded with features. But we have to face reality and accept we’re not going to get the detail featured in the cross-sections books. (See THIS image.) These include a retractable claw, an opening light-up cockpit, motion activated sounds, light/sound effects (functionality from buttons), a trap door, a furnace that also includes lights and sounds), and a motorized elevator. The retractable claw comes without any electronics, but we love the feature regardless. Once you open the front hatch, you can pull out a bar which has a claw on a string attached to it. What’s more, the claw has a clear plug that lodges into the head of the “Gonk” Droid which creates the effect that the claw is carrying it into the Sandcrawler. There are plenty of lights and sounds included in the Sandcrawler Playset. From Jawa conversation to the grinding gears of the tread, Disney did a fantastic job of accumulating the audible noises from A New Hope that define this vehicle and the creatures that inhabit it. There are some pretty, and bright lights included too. The cockpit has two yellow spotlights, and the furnace inside of the vehicle’s cavity lights up in a pinkish-red color. We’re especially impressed with the motorized elevator. Would you believe there is a separate up button and separate down button to activate it? You can load the “Gonk” Droid onto the elevator floor and take it up into the body of the Sandcrawler. The elevator is supposed to be a vacuum function, but at least we can recreate that effect in slow motion.

The coloring of the Sandcrawler Playset isn’t perfect. Many have already commented that it is too light and has too many white specks or flecks on it. These people aren’t incorrect. There are some issues here for sure. But there are also many things done right as well. The multi-colored panels look completely screen accurate. And another deco giving the Sandcrawler a dirty appearance has been applied very nicely. Let’s talk about the pack-in figures. Included are a Jawa and a “Gonk” Droid. The Jawa is a bit of a disappointment. But this release is not about pack-in figures. It’s about the vehicle. The Jawa only comes with ball-jointed shoulders and swivel wrists. That’s it. Also, the arms cannot lay flatly against its body. It’s a flaw in the figure’s design, and we find it disappointing. He comes with an ionization blaster and a functioning holster. We’re more fond of the “Gonk” Droid. It only has two swivel legs (that don’t have a nice range of movement, sadly), but it does come with a removable lid and once you take it off you can see the droid’s inner workings. Disney did a beautiful job painting detail underneath the covering. The Sandcrawler Playset may not be a completely perfect release, but we feel strongly that what you get for less than $100 is more than a bargain. Plus, we don’t expect Hasbro to give us anything better anytime soon. Consider this a more-than-worthy addition to your collection.

See the Sandcrawler Playset in full action on our YouTube channel HERE.

Collector Notes

Sandcrawler Playset

Assortment Number: N/A

UPC: 400020463531

Retail: $99.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Sandcrawler Playset

Status: Sandcrawler Playset is an all-new vehicle.

Features Count: 7

Feature Details: retractable claw, opening light-up cockpit, motion activated sound, buttons for light/sound effects, trap door, furnace (lights and sounds), motorized elevator

Accessory Details: None

Accessory Details: None

Date Stamp: N/A


Status: Jawa is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 6 points (4 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: ionization blaster

Date Stamp: N/A

"Gonk" Droid

Status: "Gonk" Droid is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 2 points (2 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel left leg (1), swivel right leg (1)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: removable lid

Date Stamp: N/A

Droid Factory

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Added: October 2, 2018
Category: Droid Factory
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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