General Grievous’ Wheel Bike is my second set within the Lego Star Wars series and fourth set overall.
Official Page: Lego Store
Brick Instructions: Link
Pieces: 261, 75 unique & 13 rare
Age group: 7 – 12
Date assembled: 1 February 2015
Assembly duration: 1 hour
Main steps: 50
Total steps (includes repetitions & sub-components): 124
Selection & Theme
The selection of this Lego set came very shortly after the previous set just a day earlier. This time, in returning to my first interest, I was after another Lego Star Wars set to add to The Ghost. Technically, my choice in selecting General Grievous’ Wheel Bike meant that I was not sticking to the one sub-theme within the wider Star Wars genre – this newest set belongs to the Episode III sub-theme, whereas The Ghost is part of the newer Rebels sub-theme. The smaller set size was also intentional since the last two sets had been of higher complexity and scale. The “rare” parts statistics introduced as of this article is a reflection of the definition at rebrickable.com, whereby a part is deemed rare if it exists as part of 3 or less sets.
Characters & Vehicles
Reflecting the smaller set size and simplicity, two mini figures come with the set – General Grievous and an Episode III version of Obiwan Kenobi. General Grievous’ Wheel Bike is, as the sets namesake, the main feature vehicle. Whilst General Grievous is armed with four lightsabers, two each of blue and green, Obiwan has a gun or the mace/wand with pink jewel facets. The Wheel Bike is a redesign of an earlier set and is apparently more detailed in this design.
The wheel bike itself is quite versatile in the way that the four legs can be pivoted to create different standing positions. Along with the end points that could double up as “feet”, it gives the vehicle a robotic look and feel consistent with the whole concept of General Grievous himself as part cyborg/robot.
A single instruction booklet is split into three bags as follows:
The first bag assembles Obiwan and the main wheel. Over five main steps, the core wheel plastic part (trans-clear version of part #88517) is dressed up with the “tire” (step 4) and the axle. The “tire” at step 4 is assembled in three parts, with the unit blocks consisting of 12 mudguard parts, joined by a series of thick u-clips + side handle closed ends.
The second bag introduces General Grievous and the two main structures that attach to the main wheel, forming the core wheel bike. General Grievous is assembled over five steps. Over 18 steps, the left-hand component is assembled and then attached to the main wheel axle. The next 8 steps form the basis of the right-hand component, with a final seven-part assembly creating the top section with a short rear axle. A further four steps add the side plating on to the right-hand compartment to the wheel bike. Three steps see a “torch/gun” added to the body, whilst a double-turret extended gun finishes the right-side module, before being attached to the main wheel. In the final step for this bag, a gun is added and Obiwan’s weapon in the mace/wand is assembled.
The final third bag provides the remaining parts that are the four legs and the final “glue” in the rear assembly component. Over 7.4 parts (the seventh part containing 4 minor steps – or 11 steps in total), the rear component of the wheel bike is assembled, with two L-shaped technic beams (part #32140) connecting into the left & right short axles. The four “legs” of the vehicle are two sets of identical assemblies; each built in a seven-step sequence. The mirror designs see the same design pattern form front-left & rear-right legs, mirroring a symmetrical design for the front-right and rear-left legs. Thus in Step #41, the default position for the final assembled wheel bike is for the legs to be positioned perpendicular to raise the wheel bike to its highest position.
The critical design factor in the flexibility of the legs is in the short 1×2 technic beam with ball-jointed angle (part #50923) coupled with the technic axle connector with ball socket (part #93571). In the final pages of the instruction booklet, the legs are shown to be realigned such that they are tucked into the body so as to allow the main wheel to be in direct contact with the ground, and thus the wheel bike can be easily played in a mobile fashion.
With 74 additional steps including the repetitions (24 for the wheel tire alone), this marks a 148% increase on the 50 main steps. Statistically, this reflects a simpler design compared to the 223% increase documented in Super Cycle Chase.
As part of writing up this article, my research and exploration further into the world of Lego has led me to two new websites:
Both websites are related to each other in that you can link accounts between the two and thus, manage sets owned in the one website. These websites offer a greater depth and wealth of information on parts, instructions and further functions based on set valuation as well as purchasing and browsing the Lego set. Rebrickable even has a set comparison function, whereby I can quickly see that between my two Star Wars sets, both are highly unique and only 20 parts are common and shared between the two.
In this way, Lego not only taps into my love of creativity and design, but the parts inventory and statistical analysis are bonus outcomes that I never have thought about until this deeper analysis and appreciation of my Lego sets. These websites are clearly designed to cater to fans like myself; adults who appreciate the statistical depth as part of forming collections of Lego sets.
View my public Brickset.com profile.