Let’s be clear right from the start: the Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid is not a toy for kids. It comes with a suggested age of 18+ because of its complexity, and if you let a child play with it, you’ll quickly find yourself reattaching appendages and straightening arms. And maybe searching for the head, too. This is for collectors who love to see cool Lego sets on display, and that’s reflected in everything from the box and the aesthetic of the model to the way you build it.
Average price: $59/£55
Model number: 75306
Finished item dimensions: 7.5 x 13.9 x 3.5 inches
Another thing to clarify right now is that the Lego Imperial Probe Droid is very, very cool. While not exactly an icon of the Star Wars universe, it’s well known to fans of the original trilogy, and it translates to the Lego format surprisingly well. It’s an enjoyable challenge to put together and, while not a child’s toy, you can create some of the model’s six sections with a younger builder. As ever, we constructed the Probe Droid with our handy five-year-old assistant to see how suitable this is for younger children as well as adults. Yes, it says 18+ on the box, but we like to apply the same testing process to all our kits.
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Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid review: Build
The Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid (model number 75306) comes in six stages and has a small sheet of stickers to apply. You start by building the snowy base, with the little plaque, then the body, the mount, the legs and arms, and finally the head. It all starts off pretty easy, as the base and the body are fairly substantial slabs of Lego. When this reviewer was building this with his son, the boy was able to construct most of these first few items himself (with a little direction).
Once you get into bags four to six, things get way more complicated, as you’re building the arms and legs, and finally the head. These are small, intricate items, and they’re easily broken or detached. They hang down from the body of the Probe Droid, and you can turn them slightly once attached. While they look brilliant, you cannot play with them too much, as they easily separate from the body. While we criticized the Lego X-Wing for being flimsy, here it’s less of an issue, as this is clearly aimed at collectors and not kids, so you should really expect to interact with it too much; it’s more for just poseability.
Each appendage feels distinct, and there are very few repeated processes, which is unusual for a Lego build of this scale. They all slot logically onto the body, and it’s pleasing to see your progress as each bag adds a brand new element to the droid. Finally, the head is pleasingly complex but looks fantastic once finished, and when you slot it onto the body of the droid to finish the build you get a genuine sense of satisfaction and achievement. While this kit is only 683 pieces, which pales in comparison to larger kits like the Star Destroyer, it’s a hugely interesting model to create, and there are no dull phases of the build.
In total it took us about three hours to finish the Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid, although you could probably build it a little faster if you’re on your own. But that isn’t really the point of Lego, is it...
Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid review: Design
In terms of how this Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid compares to the in-movie version, we’d say it’s a great success. It manages to achieve excellent detail with many common Lego pieces, and while a complex figure, it never looks too blocky or artificial. It’s incredibly elegantly designed, and a fantastic piece of Lego to just look at and admire the detail.
The 100-page instruction booklet is clear and easy to follow (we really like how the ‘new pieces’ in every step are now highlighted in red), and the way you build it is logical and never too rushed. There are a few occasional design choices we thought were unusual, around the legs and arms, but it all ties together well in the end.
The Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid sits neatly on its plinth of Lego ice, and really looks like it belongs on the icy wastelands of Hoth. A real Lego success story.
Should you buy the Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid?
We really enjoyed building the Lego Star Wars Imperial Probe Droid. While it isn’t much of a toy, and you won’t be able to share much of the experience with kids, the build itself is varied, challenging, and immensely satisfying. What’s more, at $60, we really feel like this one is good value for money. You get plenty of build time, and a delightfully authentic model at the end to admire. We can’t help but tip our collective hats to the way this was designed.
Anyone looking for a simple, child-friendly Lego model should look elsewhere. Not only is this a tricky construction, with loads of small pieces, but it’s also something that simply won’t withstand being played with. The legs and appendages are delicate and easy to pull off, although the rest is reasonably sturdy. And while this isn’t the hottest collectable in the Star Wars Lego stable, it’s something that fans of the original trilogy will really appreciate.
What other Lego Star Wars can you buy?
The Lego Imperial Probe Droid is very much a display piece, so if you’re looking for more of the same, you can check out some of the existing helmet models. The Darth Vader helmet is pretty cool, if a little lacking in color variety, and it’s roughly the same cost too at $69 suggested retail price. There are other helmets available too, but this one is by far the best known, so would be perfect for collectors.
If you’d rather get another display model, we’d probably go for The Child (from the Mandalorian) in Lego. It’s a cool kit, and one of the hottest sets of 2021, but is more aimed at collectors than younger builders who want to play with their Lego. You’ll pick it up for about $79 at retail, and it comes with 1073 pieces, so it’ll take you a while to finish.