The annual May the 4th “Star Wars Day” merchandising event is coming up next week, with new products becoming available starting May 1st. The recently announced LEGO Star Wars 75308 R2-D2 joins that list, with 2,314 pieces and a price of US $199.99 | CAN $269.99 | UK £179.99. How does this version compare to the first large-scale Artoo (10225) from 2012? Is it worth picking up next week? Read our hands-on review to learn more.
To celebrate Lucasfilm’s 50th Anniversary in 2021, LEGO Star Wars is taking the wraps off the long-anticipated Ultimate Collector Series-style droid with 75308 R2-D2. The large model of one of Star Wars’ most beloved characters stands 12.5 in tall (31cm) and uses 2,314 pieces. The set will include the large model of R2-D2, a UCS-style info placard, a minifigure-scale R2-D2, and a brick printed with the Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary logo. It will retail for US $199.99 | CAN $269.99 | UK £179.99 when it’s available starting May 1, meaning it will be available just in time for this year’s May the Fourth Star Wars Day sales. R2-D2 will be an exclusive limited to LEGO stores and the LEGO website.
In the Star Wars universe, R2 units are super useful droids. They can help navigate hyperspace, handle power routing, and even do spot repairs. That’s all great if you have a starship, but what about us here on Earth? What sort of assistance can we hope for? Well, John Cooper has a possible answer: this LEGO version of R2-D2 is a fully functional gumball machine. There’s a crank in the center of the chest, and opening hatches on the front reveal a hidden coin slot and gum dispenser. A hatch on the back protects the accumulated cash. I love the clear dome panels used for the head – the exposed gumballs remind me of an old Fisher Price Corn Popper toy. Sadly this version lacks that pop-o-matic type function.
Curious to see things in action? Check out the video!
John also shared a few behind-the-scenes tidbits about the build with us:
Originally the gumballs were going to come out a simple hinged door at the front. But when I decided to use the three-leg configuration, that tilted the body back. So I devised the drawer to capture the gumball when it exists the sloped vertical drop.
I have a deep and profound fondness for robots with gumball machines for heads. I can only hope this is just the start of a whole LEGO sub-theme.
LEGO has revealed seven new Star Wars sets based on everything across the galaxy including the films, television shows, a visual dictionary, and even Disney’s theme park land, Galaxy’s Edge. The sets include two brand new ships, multiple desirable minifigures, a few refreshed models, and the 2020 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar. (Spoiler alert: we’ve included photos of the Advent behind the jump at the far end of this article.)
The seven new sets join four other upcoming LEGO Star Wars models already announced earlier this year, including 75288 AT-AT, 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers, 75292 The Razor Crest and 75317 The Mandalorian & The Child BrickHeadz. All these new sets should be available globally starting Sept. 1st.
LEGO has been awarded the Webby Award People’s Voice Winner for the viral video with the LEGO Droid Orchestra video incorporating R2-D2 from 75253 LEGO Boost Droid Commander. The Webby Award is one of the oldest awards on the Internet for recognition of mastery and labelled as the Internet’s highest honour of excellence or the Oscars of the Internet. It’s presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences on an annual basis judged by industry experts and technology innovators honouring the best of the Internet.
The LEGO Store Online has two promotions currently. First up is an exclusive gift with purchase of the LEGO BOOST 75253 Droid Commander set. VIPSs receive a free “mini” version of the droid commander set with a printed Star Wars anniversary tile. The promotion is available through Sept. 15 or while supplies last, so you may want to grab these as soon as you can. 199.99 USD | 269.99 CAD | 179.99 UK.
The droids are starting to work together… to create music! LEGO released a video today showing an incredible amount of droids from 75253 LEGO Boost Droid Commander working in concert to perform the main theme from Star Wars. While John Williams might not approve, the many R2-D2, Gonk, and Mouse droids show off just a few of the things Boost is capable of.
Remember that one annoying thing from the Star Wars prequel movies? No, I don’t mean that. And no, not that either. No, no, not that! I’m thinking about the Pistoeka sabotage droids also known as Buzz Droids. I mean, who would have thunk there could be these bots that can cling to a starship like a parasite and slice the important bits out of it? That is just scary stuff right there! Luckily R2-D2 was a smart little droid with a good solution to a pest control problem. He just zapped them into oblivion! Martin Latta illustrates this point nicely with some stunning photography. The blurred Venator-class Star Destroyers in the distance are an excellent touch.
Something I’ve always wondered is if both BB-8 and R2-D2 converse in the same droid language. As it turns out, based on the Data Files from Star Wars, it seems that BB-8 speaks a 27th-generation droidspeak — I assume a newer form of communication. This means that BB-8 could be spewing out vulgarities at poor old Artoo and he’d be none the wiser. These two builds by Rui Miguel Anacleto of the two famous droids are some of the best-looking LEGO-built droids that I’ve seen at this scale.
Granted, the dome of R2-D2’s headpiece isn’t quite round, but I like how the detailing is captured by utilising printed parts from the official versions in their individual polybags.
LEGO has revealed Star Wars Droid Commander, a 1,100-piece set that lets you build and program three droids from the Star Wars universe including the iconic R2-D2, a Gonk droid and a Mouse droid. The set uses the LEGO Boost platform in combination with a new free app to help learn programming to achieve success in more than 40 pre-loaded missions. The set is expected to retail for US $199.99 | CAN $249.99 | UK £179.99 starting September 1st.
Meet R2-B2, Artoo’s long-lost cousin that didn’t get to play a scene in the Star Wars movie franchise, rebuilt by Luc Byard. It was said in recently recovered interviews that “Betoo” was simply too overwhelming and would overshadow Threepio as his droid buddy. We think George Lucas made a good call on this one, but wish he had a cameo, perhaps as an Easter Egg buried in the background. R2-B2 has never been seen again since then. Some say he’s just been overly depressed from Artoo’s success over the years and went into hiding.
Besides just being a color accurate, it’s nice to see how Luc used all the right elements, designs, and curves to reflect the familiar parts of Artoo’s signature look. I’m still a little concerned about boarding a 3 wheeler bus, so I’m definitely going to question the issue of stability.
Builder DOGOD Brick Design certainly found the droids that we were all looking for. These tiny builds of the robots that we know and love so dearly are cleverly built in a slightly 2D form. The flat designs would sit quite nicely in a frame or stuck on a magnet or even on a Christmas ornament. While the building techniques may be simple-looking, DOGOD certainly brought these characters to life with instant recognition. I wonder if we might see the rest of the characters from the Star Wars movies represented in a similar style sometime in the future.