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Lego Star Wars R2-D2 review

This Lego Star Wars R2-D2 is definitely the droid you’re looking for.

Lego Star Wars R2-D2 75308 (21 by 9 hero image)
(Image: © Future)

Space Verdict

Every Star Wars fan is going to want this. The Lego Star Wars R2-D2 is a pretty good size with some really cool features. At times it’s a challenging build, but fun overall with fantastic results that you can’t wait to display and show off.

Pros

  • +

    Great size – the perfect little companion

  • +

    Fun little hidden compartments

  • +

    Includes minifigure

Cons

  • -

    Not for beginners

  • -

    More display than play as can be a bit wobbly

  • -

    No lights or sounds (not really a standard Lego thing, but would be cool)

Essential info:

Price: $199.99/£174.99

Model number: 75308

Number of pieces: 2,314

Dimensions: 13 x 8 x 6 in / 31 x 19 x 15 cm

Recommended age: 18+

If you’ve ever wanted your own astromech droid, starship mechanic, rebel hero, and just all around fun little buddy, then the Lego Star Wars R2-D2 is for you. From his twirling dome right down to his mobile treads the detail is just stunning and true to life (screen?). Plus, there are a few hidden compartments that we just love, and so will any Star Wars fan.

It’s been a while since Lego released an R2-D2 set (since 2014 to be exact) and we think you’ll want to get your hands on this one as it’s the biggest Lego Star Wars R2-D2 yet. Sadly, he’s not quite life-size, but this R2-D2 fits perfectly within a Kallax shelving unit from Ikea (tried and tested).

This set was released on May 1, 2021 to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of Lucasfilm Ltd. and even includes a special Lucasfilm 50th anniversary Lego brick to celebrate the occasion – a good excuse to watch all the Star Wars movies in chronological order if you haven’t already done so (warning, article contains spoilers).

Lego Star Wars R2-D2 75308_Close up of plaque and minifig

(Image credit: Future)

Alas, R2-D2 doesn’t come with his tell-tale lights or sounds, but if you’re especially smart you’ll be able to rig this up like the rather skilled Shazza113 did (opens in new tab). In the meantime, you’ll just have to make the noises yourself as you spin round his little domed head.

Love this and want more? Then check out our round-up of the best Lego Star Wars sets in the galaxy (at least we like to think so).

Related: Lego Star Wars deals

Lego Star Wars R2-D2 review: Build

Lego Star Wars R2-D2 75308_Box and bags inside

(Image credit: Future)
  • Challenging Technic build at the start
  • Zen-like building in the middle
  • Bit fiddly towards the end

You’ll start your droid building adventure with a pile of bags labelled 1 to 13 (16 bags in total). Alongside this you’ll also receive a beautiful instruction book, which includes a lovely foreword from the Creative Director and showcases some great photos and fun facts about everyone’s favorite droid (keep rolling BB-8, R2 was here first).

As it’s part of Lego’s Ultimate Collector Series, the Lego Star Wars R2-D2 is recommended for those 18+, but younger children aged 10 and up can still enjoy this build with some supervision. However, novice builders of any age may struggle a bit as this can be a challenging build at times (we’ll elaborate on this later). It took us seasoned Lego builders around 8 hours to build over several sessions, although some customer reviews online stated it took them anywhere from 6 to 10 hours to complete.

You’ll begin by building the chassis of the main body using some Lego Technic pieces. Placement of these bits need to be precise to make sure the leg sliding mechanics work properly. Next you build the sides of R2-D2 (bag 4). In this section you'll build one panel then have to go back and build the other panel. While it does make it clear you'll need to build this certain section twice, it would be nice to have an indication of what page to go back to (this is a minor nitpick though). However, it’s all color coded (red and green) so you can differentiate between the two sides and know which one the instruction is referring to. Once again, these steps are crucial to get right as this will be the mechanism that deploys the third leg giving R2-D2 his signature gangsta lean.

As you reach the later bags when you’re building R2-D2’s head the pieces do get quite small and fiddly, so you need to be really careful when placing them as it’s extremely difficult to get them off again. They do help to create that detailed domed look, so it’s worth it though.

We found we were missing a piece – thankfully it was right at the end for just one of the legs for the display board. Several other Lego customers reviews commented that they too were missing a piece or two. Thankfully, Lego will send you the replacement parts (opens in new tab) free of charge once you’ve filled out the online form, which is pretty straightforward to do.

Lego Star Wars R2-D2 review: Design

  • Screen accurate looks
  • Authentic detail
  • Lots of hidden compartments with fun surprises, although some are hard to get into

You really do get your own little droid buddy. The Lego Star Wars R2-D2 is a detailed replica of the real deal, just in miniature. This design is also a lot sleeker than its 2014 predecessor.

Fans of the Star Wars franchise will really appreciate all the cool front panels on the front that flip open to reveal R2-D2’s arsenal. As cool as the hidden compartments are, there are some issues. The front panels and extendable front hatches open up easily enough, but it’s a bit fiddly getting the blasters to come out and requires little fingers.

Lego Star Wars R2-D2 75308_Close up of internal components

(Image credit: Future)

The domed head sort of sits on top of the body and isn’t attached to anything so you can freely spin it around 360 degrees both ways. The included rising periscope is cool, but doesn’t stay propped up by itself (we guess so that it smoothly fits back into the head).

A fun, extra little Easter egg is that, just like in the movie, there’s a secret compartment with Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber hidden inside. You’ll need to ‘unstick’ some bricks to get at it which we guess it more authentic, but annoying when you want to show off this feature.

Lego Star Wars R2-D2 75308_Close up of head secret compartment

(Image credit: Future)

Although we have had a little moan about some of these features, they are all truly fantastic touches that make this a more personal model to Star Wars fans. They’re fun to have a play around with, but as the Lego Star Wars R2-D2 is more for display than a toy, for the majority of the time he’ll be in a stationary pose.

Speaking of poses, be gentle and don’t force his legs when you deploy R2-D2 into ‘gangsta lean’ mode because if you push too hard pieces will come flying off.

Our other only gripe would be that wheels would have been nice to make R2-D2 move smoothly, but as this is designed more as a ‘stay in place and show off’ model, we’ll let this one slide.

Should you buy Lego Star Wars R2-D2?

Obviously, yes. R2-D2 is one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe and this Lego set really does him justice. At $199.99/£174.99 the Lego Star Wars R2-D2 is on the pricier side though, but fans will appreciate this model very much. Just don’t jostle him about too much.

Other Lego Star Wars sets to consider

Hardcore Star Wars fans will find it hard to resist the Lego Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina. Yes, it’s expensive, but it is so full of detail and includes a whopping 21 minifigures, so worth every penny.

Otherwise, for those looking to expand their fleet on a budget, you can’t go wrong with classics like the Lego Star Wars X-Wing and Lego Star Wars TIE Fighter. They’re fun, easy builds that won’t cost and arm and a leg… or a hand.

If you’re after another icon of the Star Wars universe, then you’ll love the Lego Star Wars Darth Vader Helmet or Lego Star Wars Boba Fett Helmet – they’re both about the third of the price of R2-D2 and make great display pieces.

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Christina Hughes
Freelance writer and editor

Christina is a freelance writer and editor based in the U.K. who covers everything from tech to Lego kits. She has a degree in English Language & Literature and a Masters in Publishing. She's also a huge sci-fi nerd and a massive Sailor Moon fan. You can also find her writing over at one of our sister sites, TopTenReviews, where she covers ergonomic office equipment.