R2-D2 — everyone’s favorite droid from the Star Wars movies, unless you’re Anthony Daniels — is getting an updated $200 Lego collector’s set, and it’s the biggest and most accurate Lego model of the astromech droid yet.
The 2021 R2-D2 set is roughly the same in terms of physical size (about a foot tall) and piece count (2,314 pieces on the new model, versus 2,127) as the 2013 model. But Lego has taken the intervening years to polish its craft considerably. The new R2-D2 does away with the exposed studs on the blocky head of the original for a smoother look. Lego also rounded the body of the droid to make the whole thing more cylindrical and improved the detail on R2’s “face” for a more screen-accurate (and friendly) look.
The updated R2-D2 also has more hidden features. While the original model only offers a pop-up scomp link and buzz saw, the 2021 iteration swaps out the saw for a manipulator arm; adds the retractable periscope from Return of the Jedi; and, in what might be my favorite new addition, features a hidden pop-out Lego version of Luke’s green lightsaber (perfect for rescuing your buddies from a giant space slug’s sand barge).
The 2013 R2-D2 set released for $179.99, $20 less than the current one, but it’s been discontinued for years. If you’re a Lego or Star Wars fan who missed out (or, like me, had one that was lost during the course of a move), your only option has been the aftermarket, where prices for the trusty little droid have skyrocketed; new copies of the set often sell for double or even triple its original price. That is why it’s so exciting to see Lego isn’t just bringing the set back, but it’s vastly improved it in the process.
The new and improved R2-D2 model is set to go on sale through Lego’s website on May 4th (of course) for $199.99.