The appearance of “The Child” (immediately nicknamed Baby Yoda) at the end of the first episode of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+ last November caught the whole world by surprise, including merchandise and toy licensees like LEGO, who had to scramble to produce products based on the show. First revealed in February, right before Toy Fair in New York, where we got hands on with both LEGO Star Wars The Mandalorian sets, preorders for the 295-piece LEGO BrickHeadz 75317 The Mandalorian & the Child immediately went on back-order from the LEGO Shop (US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99), but has begun showing up “in the wild” ahead of its August 1st release date.
The packaging & special parts
Like previous LEGO BrickHeadz sets that have included multiple characters, the parts for each character are packaged in their own bags — in this case, two sets of bags to separate the parts for Mando and Baby Yoda. Each one also gets their own instruction booklet.
The box itself is nothing particularly special, with the two characters on the front surrounding by a bunch of branding, while the back shows that Baby Yoda can be removed from his hover-pram. Notable here is the fact that these two characters are numbered #113 and #114 in the LEGO BrickHeadz sequence, although LEGO stopped including number tiles in sets quite a while ago.
Opening the parts bags reveals a handful of unique printed parts, showing just how much of the detail in this set is brick-built rather than printed. Printed parts are often welcome, but we respect the LEGO BrickHeadz design team’s ability to create such detail on such a small scale using fewer printed pieces.
With separate bags and instructions, you could certainly build the characters in any order, but the two bags labeled 1 include the parts for Baby Yoda and his floating bassinet. The build begins with the egg-shaped bassinet, which is built with some interesting studs-out techniques that lay the sides of bricks against the tops of studs, which is not a connection (or lack thereof) that we see especially often.
The bassinet comes together with some additional studs-on-four-sides bricks that attach pieces to complete the baby carrier’s curves.
Like his 900-year-old cousin from 41627 Luke Skywalker & Yoda BrickHeadz released in 2018, the Child is built on the smaller 3×3 base first introduced with Hedwig the owl in 41615 Harry Potter & Hedwig. However, you build the neck area of Baby Yoda’s robe before adding the parts for his head, and then finally adding his body and hands. The character’s tiny but powerful brain is represented with a single 1×1 pink brick.
The larger Mandalorian figure is naturally a more complex build. This is the third BrickHeadz character who wears a Mandalorian helmet, following the NY Comic-Con exclusive 41498 Boba Fett & Han Solo in Carbonite (2017) and stand-alone 41627 Boba Fett (2018). The Mandalorian’s helmet follows the second Boba Fett’s approach, with a brick-built nose piece sandwiched between sub-assemblies.
The faceplate sub-assemblies come together and drop into 1×2 corner panel pieces.
These are then held in place with blue bracket pieces, after which the rest of the head comes together around the pink “brain” brick.
The finished characters
Side by side, it becomes clear why this set is sold at the $20 price point rather than the “main character plus buddy” price point of $15. Despite Baby Yoda’s tiny size, he’s carried around in a large hover-pram that makes up a good chunk of the set’s parts.
The Child sits (or rather stands, since all BrickHeadz characters lack articulation) comfortably toward the front of his bassinet, but can be removed easily due to the two-stud connection that keeps him in place. The hover-pram’s “floating” effect is accomplished by two 2×2 round trans-clear bricks.
On the Disney+ show, the sides of the bassinet (and by the way, prams are what you push around and bassinets have hoods, so I keep alternating between the terms, in case you’re wondering) are basically featureless, and the overall shape is oblong. The compression and exaggeration inherent to the BrickHeadz aesthetic mean that the hood’s hinges are enlarged while the pod is shortened a bit. The bassinet is the weakest part of the set, but we’re not buying it for the perfect baby carrier, are we?
By the second episode, after the shock of the first episode’s big reveal had worn off, the mysterious, miniature creature who was clearly the same species as beloved Jedi Master Yoda had won the hearts of the world and spawned a thousand memes, with thousands more to come. Given that the set was most likely designed after the full run of the series (with the high secrecy surrounding the show’s production), it’s a little disappointing that the BrickHeadz set doesn’t include some little nods to those favorite moments, like the Child’s encounter with a frog. The set doesn’t include this frog piece, which remains in production in many other current sets.
Similarly, the “soup scene” became an immediate fan favorite, so a brown mug would have fit perfectly as just one additional accessory. Unfortunately, LEGO has never made a brown mug, so our example here is Photoshopped.
The back of the figure doesn’t have too much detail, with two 1×3 tiles on the back of the Child’s head, perhaps showing a bit of skin texture we wouldn’t get with a single 2×3 tile.
As fun as playing with Baby Yoda outside his pram is — especially if you find some extra accessories from your own collection — he looks extra adorable surrounded by his pod, with the white color providing a backdrop that contrasts with his green skin and brown robe.
The Child may be the big draw of this set for some collectors, but the level of detail and complex techniques of the Mandalorian himself provides a much more satisfying build. He’s instantly recognizable as the titular character, with his helmet (forged from beskar, or Mandalorian steel) in dark and light gray LEGO bricks and body armor in colors reminiscent of Spaghetti Western gunslingers from the 60’s and 70’s.
He’s fully detailed all round. The Mandalorian carries extra ammunition attached to his right leg and belt (recreated in LEGO with lightsaber handles and binoculars), with a printed 1×2 cheese slope for his right shoulder pauldron, and he wears a ragged black cape over which he’s slung his Amban phase-pulse blaster.
Recommendation & philosophical musings…
If you’re interested enough to read this far into our review, we suspect you’ve been as excited about 75317 The Mandalorian & the Child as we’ve been since it was announced, and whether to buy it isn’t really a question. The fact that you’re getting a really fun build with nearly 300 parts for $20 (many admittedly small, to be sure) in the form of two highly anticipated characters all adds to the set’s appeal.
As much as I respect LEGO builders who say “Oh, I don’t build sets anymore, I just buy them for the parts to build my own creations,” or even “I don’t even buy sets anymore — I just buy the pieces I need on BrickLink,” that’s not something I can do as a reviewer on behalf of readers who expect us to actually build the sets we review. As a result, I spend an inordinate amount of my limited LEGO time (we all contribute to TBB in our spare time) building and writing about sets that I don’t always enjoy, while trying to be fair for readers who might not have the opportunity to build as many sets as I do. I’ll always be honest about how I feel about a set, as I have been recently with the disappointing 75284 Knights of Ren Transport.
Perhaps I’m jaded after collecting LEGO sets for over 40 years and writing about it almost daily for over 15 years here on The Brothers Brick, but I’ve begun distinguishing the sets that bring me personal joy from those that I think will bring others joy (and of course being clear about ones we agree as a team aren’t great for anybody, like the universally reviled 75201 First Order AT-ST). Modular buildings like 10246 Detective’s Office (2015) and this year’s 10270 Bookshop bring me joy as I build them, whether I’m building to review or building for pleasure. I’ve also deeply enjoyed many of LEGO’s large adult-focused sets, like the utterly fantastic 75060 UCS Slave I.
I want to be objective about these BrickHeadz characters, for all of you reading this with your arms crossed who haven’t decided yet whether to buy the set, but I honestly can’t. I just love this LEGO set too much. Take the adorable Baby Yoda and apply the adorable BrickHeadz aesthetic to the little guy, and then give him a heavily armed protector in equally cute form, and I’m just done for. And then you flip his ears around and tweak his eyes a bit to make him sad. I can’t even, as the kids say.
Even if all you want to do is rip a set apart and sort everything so you can create your next interstellar starfighter, there’s value in pausing now and then to enjoy a good build (designed by someone else) that results in a great model. Are these BrickHeadz characters the most incredibly complex build? No, I probably had them finished in twenty or thirty minutes. But those were blissful minutes I spent grinning from ear to ear.
In wave after endless wave of LEGO sets, fight that urge to buy everything (if that’s even possible), to build it all (if there’s even time). Figure out what actually makes you happy. Find your joy.
LEGO Star Wars 75317 The Mandalorian & the Child BrickHeadz will be released on August 1st from the LEGO Shop (US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99), Amazon.com, and is likely already from third-party sellers on eBay and elsewhere.
The Brothers Brick purchased its copies of this upcoming LEGO set from a local retailer.