LEGO Avatar 75579 – Payakan the Tulkun & Crabsuit [Review]

With the recent theatrical release of Avatar: The Way of Water, fans of the franchise are returning to Pandora. And with the recently announced wave of sets from the sequel, LEGO fans can return to Pandora as well, but in brick form. The LEGO Avatar sets are full of colorful plant and animal parts, as well as plenty of new molds for the creature heads. It’s a perfect blend of sci-fi and fantasy. The biggest creature set of the wave is LEGO Avatar 75579: Payakan the Tulkun & Crabsuit, which features a whale-like creature and a very cool crab-inspired submersible. The set includes 761 pieces and will be available on January 1, 2023 for US $99.99 | CAN $129.99 | UK £89.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Unboxing the parts and instructions

The set comes in a large thumb-punch box with the same Avatar brand as the rest of the sets as well as the underwater flora that distinguishes the sequel from the original film. The set has a 10+ age suggestion. The front of the box shows the elements of the set in an underwater scene, presumably from the movie, showing the 2 rocky structures detached from the whale and sub in a more realistic scene. There is a line-up of the included minifigs in the lower left corner.

On the back of the box, the whale creature is shown on its stand, while the crab sub walks on the sea floor. There are four insets showing the Navi holding on to the fin of the creature, the crab sub legs unfolding, the propeller spinning, and the creature and sub attaching to their respective stands.

Inside the box are 8 numbered bags covering 5 building stages. One of the bags, for the large mouth parts of the creature, presumably a Tulkun, comes in the paper bag. This is the first time I have come across paper packaging since LEGO announced they were transitioning away from plastic bags.

There is also an instruction booklet, which, like all of the sets in this wave, includes full-color photographic stills from the movie at various intervals.

The build

We start out with the crab sub, which looks heavily inspired by the Maschinen Kreiger movement of kit-bashing model building. The first part of the sub is pretty simple, stacking bricks and plates, with a few outward-facing studs for adding panels. The sub also features a single propeller that swivels up and down slightly to aid in maneuvering.

Next, we add two horizontal sloped fins that also include a pair of new stud shooters on the underside. Flipping the crab sub over, we then add an interesting attachment point for the four legs. The crab arms swing forward and back to fold up while driving.

With the legs built, the sub is done, and the instructions show how to fold the arms and legs for optimum drag while the sub is in swim-mode. We also build the rocky plant-covered stand.

Moving on to the Tulkun, the build starts with the central body section, which features several stud-out brackets. The middle has a sloped piece that will allow the tail section to swivel up and down a limited amount.

A similarly constructed tail section is next, with more brackets and side-stud bricks, and a pair of Technic beam hinges to support the weight of the tail.

The two segments connect and more brackets are added, which will allow the curved sides to attach around the anchor points for two smaller flippers below the main ones. These will be attached later.

Next, we get curved and straight sloped structures that give the body and tail a natural look. The attachment points for the head are also added, along with hinges for the larger flippers.

The head consists of four parts, 3 custom molds for the top of the head and the two outer sides of the hinged jaw, and a more common inverted curved slope being the only standard part here.

The last part of the Tulkun build is the four flippers and two long tendrils on either side, along with the rear tail fluke. The finished creature sits on top of a small stand via two axle attachment points.

The Minifigs

The set includes 3 minifigs: two Navi and one human. All include front and back torso printing, and front leg printing.

First up are Lo’ak (a blue-tinted Navi) and Tsireya (colored teal), both with standard-length arms and legs. Tsireya is the only duplicated minifig in this wave of 5 sets. The human crab suit driver wears a knit hat.

The finished model

Like the other sets in this wave, the two parts of the finished model sit on their own stands, which are built into rock structures teeming with Pandoran sealife. The Tulkun has multiple places to attach the Navi to, and even has one lower flipper that is shorter, as if it had suffered an injury which is probably explained in the movie.

Conclusions and recommendations

This set was a very fun build, with a few interesting techniques used on both the sub and the Tulkun. There are many ways to arrange the figures, and the two stands being separate also increases the flexibility for both play and display. If you are an Avatar fan, or interested in getting colorful parts and a lot of brackets of various sizes, then I would recommend this set. I have not seen the movie yet so I can’t speak to the accuracy of the models, but based on the photos in the instruction booklet they look pretty accurate to me. LEGO Avatar 75579 Payakan the Tulkun & Crabsuit includes 761 pieces and will be available on January 1, 2023 for US $99.99 | CAN $129.99 | UK £89.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

1 comment on “LEGO Avatar 75579 – Payakan the Tulkun & Crabsuit [Review]

  1. Michael Wolf

    I kind of want that whale because I feel like there’s a beautiful kaiju that needs that head, but I don’t know if I’d ever end up using it.

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