There are some things I never thought I’d see captured in LEGO form in my life. Zombies are one of them. That notion was shattered last year when LEGO released the awesome Zombie mini-figure in their Series 1 Mini-Figure Blind Bags, and it instantly became the most sought-after of all the blind-bagged mini-figures. So it was only a matter of time until zombies invaded a LEGO galaxy far, far away–and that time is now. As part of the early 2012 wave of Star Wars sets, LEGO has released the Geonosian Cannon (Set 9491) including a Zombie Geonosian and three other figures. I was anxious to find out if it was worth building a Star Wars-themed LEGO army of the undead, so this was the first 2012 LEGO set I picked up to review…
The biggest component of this set is, of course, the Geonosian Cannon, so let me talk about that first. The Geonosian Cannon is an extremely simplistic build that can be completed within half an hour. I had no difficulties whatsoever with the assembly of the cannon, as the instructions were totally clear. The Geonosian Cannon itself is a decent size and looks appropriately scaled to the mini-figures. In addition, it really does give the impression of an imposing weapon capable of taking down Jedi Starfighters and Republic Gunships. The cannon can lay flat pointing forward, or can tilt upwards to fire at a 45-degree angle. The Geonosian Cannon is sturdy, well-designed, and in no danger whatsoever of falling apart during play.
The big excitement for many LEGO Star Wars collectors, however, is the mini-figures. This set contains four mini-figures (including two brand-new characters): Barriss Offee, Commander Gree, a Geonosian Warrior, and a Zombie Geonosian. I won’t insult anybody by detailing the articulation on these LEGO mini-figures–suffice it to say, it’s exactly the same as what you’re expecting.
The Barriss Offee figure was originally included with the Republic Swamp Speeder 8091 exclusive set back in 2010. Barriss is my favorite Jedi by a mile, so if I’m going to have an extra I’m glad it’s her. Logically, there’s really no Jedi that hasn’t already been released that appeared in the Geonosis arc of Clone Wars and would have made sense to include in this set. Barriss comes with her cape and lightsaber, and I think her LEGO figure captures her disciplined charm very well.
I was shocked when I realized that Commander Gree is an all-new clone in the LEGO Star Wars line. I’ve seen so many clones released in so many forms over the years that I just assumed Gree had already been made as a LEGO mini-figure, if not in the Clone Wars line than during the Revenge of the Sith era. Gree is dressed in his Clone Wars attire, which is very different from the outfit he wears on Kashyyyk in ROTS, so he’s not really suitable for putting with ROTS dioramas. He comes with a blaster and a removable helmet with generic clone head underneath. I’m not a huge Commander Gree fan as he never gets to do much in Clone Wars or the movies, but I’m glad to have him nonetheless.
The Geonosian Warrior is pretty generic and nothing special (at least not to me). We just got a Geonosian Warrior last year in the Geonosian Starfighter 7959 set, although that was only one individual in a $29.99 set. This Geonosian Warrior comes with a two-piece blaster and a pair of wings you pop out of a thin plastic sheet. The wings are very difficult to damage, but not necessarily made of the same material. I don’t really mind having another plain Geonosian, though I’d have much preferred to get an extra of the following figure instead…
The aspect of this set I was most excited about by far (as if you couldn’t tell) was the Zombie Geonosian. We got a regular figures in the Hasbro Clone Wars 4″ line back in 2010, but something about an undead LEGO Geonosian really appeals to me. I am not at all disappointed in him. He has pupil-less blank eyes and a sickly, decaying flesh color to his skin that’s a stark contrast from the Geonosian Warrior. It makes for a really fun figure that I’m pretty excited about and would love to do some army-building of (funds permitting). The Zombie Geonosian has a pair of matching wings made out of the same plastic as the Geonosian Warrior (but with tatters in them as if they’ve been destroyed!), as well as having the same two-part blaster.
I think this set would have been much better served having a smaller cannon and being released as part of the more affordable Battle Packs. The vast, vast majority of collectors who want multiple Zombie Geonosians are not going to want to buy a bunch of $20 sets and end up with extra cannons, specific Jedi, and specific Clones for each Zombie Geonosian they get. On ebay, Zombie Geonosians are selling for about $9-$10 after shipping, which is around half the cost of this whole set. One way or the other, army-building these zombies will be expensive, which is really too bad since this is probably the coolest Star Wars army-builder LEGO’s released in years.
Also, call me crazy, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any cannon ever in the history of any form of media has fired little missiles out from right underneath its giant mega-turret. It’s bizarre and tacky. I realize LEGO probably wanted to add more play-value to this set and didn’t have a lot of good options for integrating gimmicks, but this struck me as really over-the-top.
Finally, LEGO Star Wars prices are getting expensive, and this set is no exception. For just 132 pieces, $19.99 is a pretty high price-point. For 20 dollars, there just is not that much in the box. I always used to say that $0.10 per piece was my sweet-spot for LEGOs, so this set is way over that at an average of over $0.15 per piece.
If you want to find a deal on any LEGO set or only buy specific mini-figures like the Zombie Geonosians or other pieces from the set, the best and largest marketplace on the internet for that is unquestionably ebay. You can check out all of the current listings for the parts, figures, or complete sets of the Geonosian Cannon directly by clicking here. Or, I imagine there are going to be a lot of people like myself who just want the Geonosian Zombies, so you can check the direct listings for Geonosian Zombie mini-figures by clicking here.
As far as traditional online stores go:
The Geonosis Cannon is currently in-stock and available from many sellers on Amazon for retail prices, and free shipping is available from some sellers.
Overall: The 9491 Geonosian Cannon is a cute little LEGO Star Wars set that offers some coveted mini-figures and a nice cannon. The Geonosian Cannon is an easy build that looks powerful and has a swiveling function that works fantastic. The star in this set for me is the mini-figures, however. The Zombie Geonosian is seriously my favorite Star Wars mini-figure in years, and looks horrific and terrific. Commander Gree is a worthwhile choice to add to the ranks of the Clone Army, and I hope Commanders Bacara and Neyo round out the set in the near-future. Barriss was only released in an exclusive set so you may still need her, and the Geonosis Warrior is worth having another of for displays. Where the set stumbles is its high price-per-piece and the fact that it includes only one of each of two army builders for $19.99. For what you get here, I just don’t believe the set is worth $19.99, and that’s unfortunate since I want multiples of one of the mini-figures contained within. Despite the high price-point, this is a fun set that earns a solid recommendation.