137 pieces for the Lego RRP of twenty pounds isn't exactly an earth-shattering deal, but in tandem with TLG's clever product line, this is a very easy way to get four good minifigures and two small models.
And that is likely the way TLG consider products such as this; the build[s] within the set are not as important as the minifigures, which are what many die-hard fans want. As such, if it's playability that you're thinking of, then put your money towards something else, because there's little to get excited about in 9490. Both the Escape Pod and the Sandspeeder are excellent little models, but it's difficult to maintain a story when the Escape Pod (A) had such little screen-time, and (B) has no significance other than to be buried in sand or to be propelled into orbit. The interior of the pod would seem to exist purely to build up the value of the product, because it has little relation to the Escape Pod from the movie. Obviously I can understand the design hurdles that would need to be overcome, but it's good to see that the engines/funnels are so well thought-out.
The Sandspeeder is a nice mini-build, but again, just looks out of place without a creative solution for the sand dunes. In fact, this Sandspeeder wasn't even in the original movie. I won't complain too much as it's actually a good looking bike, and was most likely based on original production artwork/concept drawings. Either way, it definitely fits into the Star Wars universe.
But it's the minifigures really steal the show. R2-D2 has cropped up numerous times and this is still the cheapest way to get him in a Lego set, while C-3PO, although following a similar trend, now sports a new print on his torso. It contains the wiring around his 'belly' and as such looks a lot more authentic. In addition, his eyes now have yellow iris spots so that they glow similarly to how they do in the movies.
Our two 'Sandtroopers' are unique to this product; they have sand stuck to their helmets and body. Great! They also have the backpacks, weapons, and one has a metallic artefact that represents the "Look, droids!" line from the movie. A nice little touch.
In all, for Amazon's price this product is worthy of a purchase when you consider the saving involved - it has four excellent minifigures and a really nice 'looking' Escape Pod that is most likely suited to display rather than play. The build requires six stickers, but these enhance the look of the pod greatly.