Ever since Star Wars: The Mandalorian debuted on Disney+ last year, the adorable, nameless alien has set the internet on fire. Simply called “The Child” in the show, fans have dubbed the green toddler Baby Yoda, and to help protect season 1’s plot, Disney didn’t license any toys of the character until this year. Now LEGO is diving into the merchandising, providing fans with three different scales of Baby Yoda in anticipation of season 2. The latest, being officially revealed today (though images have been circulating for awhile), is this 1,073-piece buildable figure. 75318 The Child will retail for US $79.99 | CAN $99.99 | UK £69.99, and will be available for pre-order starting October 21, and will release on October 30 in conjunction with The Mandalorian season 2 debut. We’ll be publishing LEGO’s official press release and images later today, but since we have the set in hand, we wanted to kick it off with a full review instead.
The box and contents:
Following in the footsteps of the previous Star Wars buildable figures from the last few years like 75240 Porg, the set is branded as a standard part of the LEGO Star Wars lineup, unlike Ultimate Collector Series sets like the 75275 A-wing Starfighter or Master Builder Series sets like 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina. Inside you’ll find eight numbered bags along with a loose instruction book and sticker sheet. The sticker sheet holds just a single sticker for the info placard. Unsurprisingly, the pieces are nearly all dark tan and sand green, with just a smattering of brighter colors for the interior, mostly in Bag 1. The only printed pieces are the pair of black 2×2 boat tiles for the Child’s adorably big pupils, which are very subtly printed with a crescent of brown around the edge.
If you’ve built any of the large buildable characters before, the construction process will be familiar. The set is designed with a central column to which four large panels are attached. Detailing on the plates makes the square design less obvious. The central column here is 8×8, made with Technic bricks connected with four vertical 15-long Technic beams. The Technic bricks are covered in blue half-pins, proving the necessary studs to attach the dark tan panels on each side.
The panels that make up the Child’s cloak are just large swaths of dark tan plates. Because they’re monochromatic, you’ll want to be extra careful in placing the pieces, as it’s easy to miss one here or there. On the other hand, chances are good that if you do miss something, no one will ever notice.
The left and right side include a few 2×2 plates with Technic pins, which is where the arms will attach. Unfortunately, this also means that the arms are not poseable. It would be relatively easy to redesign this so that the arms could swing forward, so it’s a shame LEGO didn’t include this minimal functionality to start with.
The joint where the head attaches is a large Constraction ball joint. It’s mounted on a Technic axle that allows it to slide forward and backward in a space two studs long. While that doesn’t seem like much, it turns out this tiny bit of movement contributes considerably to Baby Yoda’s expressions.
Once you’ve got the rock-like column of dark tan constructed, it’s time to switch colors to sand green for Baby Yoda’s head. The head is a jumble of nifty techniques, since it’s got studs facing out in all directions and is an odd-number of studs wide.
The back of Baby Yoda’s head has a some interesting construction to accommodate a double-set of Mixel ball joints for his ears. The ears have a small range of motion up and down, and the subassembly that caps the joints is attached with clips rather than studs.
Once the head is completed, it just clips onto the ball joint in the neck. Then a quick build of the info placard, which is fewer than 20 pieces, completes the model.
The completed model
Baby Yoda stands about 8 inches tall, and is more or less a dark tan blob with a cute head–which isn’t meant as the insult that it sounds like. It’s a fairly accurate sculpture of the Child’s lumpy frock and the studs-out approach gives a nice texture to the cloak.
My initial impression upon seeing the box was that this set fell firmly into uncanny valley, with Baby Yoda’s face seeming more creepy than cute. However, I was pleased to discover that this isn’t the case in person at all. The Child is delightfully adorable with a surprisingly large range of expressions, all achieved with just a few points of motion.
The whole head can turn and wobble around a bit (though it’s pretty limited by the high collar) and it slides back forth a tiny bit. The ears move up and down independently, and the lower lip can open and close. All these combine to easily show the Child’s wonder, interest, fright, or even silent judgment.
Baby Yoda carries his favorite toy, the knob from the Mandalorian’s Razor Crest. The silver sphere is made with the bubble helm pieces, which have never before appeared in a color other than clear.
The info placard doesn’t attach to Baby Yoda, but sits next to it. It has a place for the minifigure scale Baby Yoda, which is also included. That also means this set is now the cheapest way to get a minifigure-scale Baby Yoda, as so far the only other set to include one is The Razor Crest, which retails for $50 more. Naturally, the info placard is pretty sparse on details, since not even the Child’s true name is known at this point, and the name of its species, which it shares with Jedi Master Yoda, has never been revealed.
And speaking of Yoda, last year LEGO released a buildable figure of the wizened Jedi Master in the same style. As far as we know, the two have never met, but they make quite an awesome pair. The scale isn’t quite perfect–Yoda should be twice as tall–but it’s close enough that they won’t look weird together on your shelf.
And since we’re talking about scale, I mentioned earlier that this marks the third LEGO version of Baby Yoda. It follows the minifigure scale version first released in the Razor Crest, and the crazy cute BrickHeadz version. All three are preciously adorable and sure to make you squee.
Finally, we’ve got to compare Baby Yoda next to the paragon of cuteness from the new trilogy, the Porg, which LEGO also released as a buildable figure in 2018. The scale here isn’t even close, since Porgs are much smaller than even the Child, but for a shelf display of your favorite cute characters, it’ll do just fine.
Conclusion and recommendation
If you’re a fan of Baby Yoda, then you’ll definitely want to pick up this set, even if you don’t have other buildable figures. The size is perfect for a display piece in your office, or for silently watching you while you build other LEGO sets at home. If you’re not a fan of Baby Yoda, well then first of all what is wrong with you? But even if you’re looking at the set as a pure parts pack, it’s not a bad deal. At 1,073 pieces for $80, it’s a good bargain, especially for carrying the Star Wars branding. Granted, most of the parts are pretty simple, but if you’re looking to bulk up your dark tan and sand green, it’s actually a pretty economical way to go.
But once you get your hands on the set and see the Child’s expressions in person, you’re going to fall in love. That’s not to say it’s a perfect set, though. One thing could have made it perfect: it needs a bowl of soup and moveable arms to silently sip and judge you. I suspect it won’t be long before we see fan mods of the set to do just this, but it’s a shame it doesn’t include that out of the box.
LEGO Star Wars The Mandalorian 75318 The Child includes 1,073 and will be available for pre-order starting October 21 and purchase starting October 30. It will retail for US $79.99 | CAN $99.99 | UK £69.99. It may also be available from third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.