Is the LEGO Star Wars Republic Fighter Tank (75342) a Good Investment Set?
16th March 2023
This set depicts the TX-130 Saber-class fighter tank, which has been visited twice previously by LEGO. At 262 pieces, it's the middle-sized variant, being larger than the Republic Fighter Tank (75182) and smaller than the Republic Fighter Tank (7679).
Due to its proportions, there is limited space inside for minifigures, with the central canopy having just enough room for two troopers and the top hatch having room for another.
Being a lower priced set, it also suffers from the use of stickers, which are used extensively to capture the riveted surfaces and other external detail. The details elsewhere on the vehicle are a bit hit and miss, with the flanks having received more attention than the main canopy. However, I think the build gets the shape and colours of the tank right.
In summary, there are some significant shortcomings in the set's design and it lacks a polished finish. Although it's one of the lower priced Star Wars sets, and intended for play rather than display, the main build disappoints somewhat.
Value for Money
The Fighter Tank has an RRP of £39.99 / $39.99 / €44.99, leading to a price per piece of 15.3p / 15.3c / 17.2c. Smaller sets typically have a higher price per piece than larger sets, but even when you consider that you're getting six minifigures, this set feels a tad too expensive.
The Republic Fighter Tank contains six minifigures, which is a lot for a set of this size and price. Although, strictly speaking, it should be noted that the Battle Droids aren't technically minifigures, they're still useful for their army building credentials.
However, Clone Troopers are much more highly prized in this regard, and they're likely to be the main reason this set grows in value after it retires. The printing on them is good and they depict an unusual legion that's actually based on a Hasbro battle pack.
Currently, the price of buying the three troopers separately is not much less than the cost of the whole set, so people are likely to opt for purchasing the set, which is good news for the set's investment prospects.
To illustrate the demand for Clone Troopers, the recently retired 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers has already started to rise in value and is only likely to go upwards from here.
Star Wars is one of the most popular LEGO themes and Clone Trooper minifigures are always highly sought after, as they form the foundation of many AFOLs' army. Arguably, you can never have too many Clone Troopers, so it's likely that collectors are going to want multiple copies of this set, which will further add to the demand.
Although the main build isn't the best thing LEGO have ever put out, it's not likely to hurt it's investment potential, as the minifigures are what people will really be after.
Furthermore, the set will have had a short shelf life of less than two years when it retires, meaning there's less opportunity for people to buy it. There were also some stock issues with this set when it was first released, which made it difficult to get hold of, particularly in Europe.
Investment opportunity: GREAT
This set meets many of the criteria for a strong investment set. It has a great selection of minifigures, it's from one of LEGO's most popular themes, and it has a short shelf life. While the set is a smidge overpriced, even if you can't get it at a discount, I would still expect some good profit to be had.
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