When Lego released the Mini Hero Collection of Star Wars figures I doubt they could have ever fathomed how widely popular they would become. Released in 2000, the four sets started out with a suggested retail price of $3.99 per boxed set. Now you are lucky to find them for less than $75.00. Oh sure, you can race over to eBay to see if you can find any of them dirt cheap but you won’t. Why? Well, there are several reasons. If you do see a set selling for less than $50.00 to $75.00 chances are you won’t be getting an authentic, boxed, mint set. Chances are you are going to end up with figures that were built from stock elements, converted key chains or pieces with heavy marring. That comes with the territory when buying sets like this, there’s no point in grumbling about it. Outside of the Ninja assortment in the Mini Hero Collection (sets 3344, 3345 and 3346) no other boxed set of figures have fetched such prices on the open market.
What makes them collectible? Firstly, they were not a limited edition. Again, resellers are going to throw terms like that at you but the reality of it is simple. The demand for the sets vastly and grossly exceeded the supply of them. If these sets were released today, you can bet that they wouldn’t be selling for $3.99. There is an excellent assortment of figures in the set and for once the designers got the pick of the litter. My motto, in regards to Star Wars mini figures, is boring at best. You can never have too many Storm Troopers or Driods. Never. The same thing goes with skeletons, there can never be too many in a collection.
Is there a single figure that stands out from the rest? That’s like asking a mother which of her offspring she loves the most. It is impossible to answer. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are basic but necessary figures for any Star Wars collection; likewise the Dark Side is well represented with Darth Maul, Lord Vader and Palpatine. There were some major characters that were omitted from the line up; Yoda, Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 are just a few that were snubbed when this mini collection was being created. Why? I don’t work for Lego but if I did you can bet that there would have been more than four sets of these.
The Bike Scouts / Scout Troopers are easy to customize but as I have mentioned in other Star Wars and Lego reviews, if you are planning on entering any creations into a Lego sanctioned competition you could be disqualified for customization. The helmets and stenciled body parts of the Scouts sweet and because you are dealing with an almost completely white figure (the hands and torso separator are black) there are a lot of ways that you can go if you want to create your own fantasy mini figures or do mock ups of various Troopers that didn’t make the cross over into Lego format.
Chewbacca remains one of my all time favorite Star Wars Lego mini figures for many reasons. In this collection he comes with a black crossbow. Other mini figure assortments as well as the Star Wars Magnet Sets have him with a gray crossbow. Personally, the black one looks a lot better than the gray one. Vader and Maul are exact copies of the figures in the first generation of building sets. Boba Fett is featured with the Manalorian Armor (the jetpack) in this set up and I think it looks better than the basic Fett figure. I had to fight off the urge to say that Fett was an exact clone of the figure in the Lego Star Wars set.
The Star Wars Mini Hero Collection consists of the following four sets:
Set 3340: Emperor Palpatine, Darth Maul and Darth Vader
Set 3341: Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett
Set 3342: Chewbacca And Two Bike Scouts
Set 3343: Two Battle Droids, Battle Droid Commander
All four of the sets contained three Star Wars Lego mini figures, three plastic display bases and three background cards. The accessories / weapons varied depending on the character but because they are standard Lego size you could swap out the light sabers, loud hailers and other accessories to completely customize them but without changing their authenticity. Because these are no longer in production it is almost impossible to give a solid price quote on them. I have seen them for as little as ten dollars at The Con (San Diego) and for as much as $150.00 at online toy stores. If you are dead set on getting one or all of the sets you would be a wise padawan to shop around for the best price. Read the details of the item and never, ever rely on the photo. I have fallen victim to scams at online auction sites when I saw a photo of a set that I had to have only to get it in the mail and have it missing half the elements.
Set Name: Star Wars Mini Heroes Collection
Family Set: Star Wars
Lego Set: 3340, 3341, 3342, 3343
Age Recommendation: 5 and up
Ease of Assembly: Easy