The Mandalorian, season 2 premieres this week on Disney +. In preperation, we were rewatching season 1. Towards the end of the first episode, but before the big reveal, Miss 18 speaks up: “It’s Alright, I guess, but I don’t get the hype about Baby…” and the hood pops up on the ‘pram’, revealing the child within ,”Oh my goodness, it’s so freaking gorgeous, I get it now.”
It was a masterstroke of Disney Merchandising, last year: there was no merchandise featuring The Child, who appears to be, more or less, a baby of the same species as Jedi Master Yoda. We never saw it coming, there were no spoilers on the toy shelves, and before we know it, we were going weak at the knees with adoration.
The Minifigure was introduced with the Spaceship ‘Razor Crest’ set earlier this year, based on the torso for the LEGO baby.
The set is due for release through LEGO any day now, but one of my local retailers had some stock on the shelves a day or two ahead of time. I picked up a set, handed made a contactfree credit card purchase, brought it home, and started bingewatching the rest of season one. Costing $AUD119.99, with 1073 pieces, the set is designed for builders of 10 and older.
In contrast to some of the other sets I have been buiding this year, there are only 8 bags – bags 2-5 look like a dark tan microscale landscape pack, and bags 8-8 are pretty heavy on the sand green elements, with a mix of slopes, wedge plates and curved slopes.
Looking at the finished model, we can see the set appears to consit of a body, built around a square based, central core. There are panels for front and back then left and right. These are built up for texture, followed by the left and right arms. We follow this up with the head, and a stand.
Bag 1: The Core
Bag 1 however, is a relatively colourful affair, with a mixture of primary colours, black and white. Infact, we build up a frame, with a large collection of outward facing studs:
Two ‘t’ frame keep the bertical beams steady, while each of the vertical faces looks ready to have a plate secured onto the side. There are a few dark tan bricks waround the neck region, and a ‘ball joint; to form part of the neck. Of interest, the yellow and black Technic bricks orient the builder to the front and back respectively.
Of course, the highlight of this bag is the included minifigure of the child. It’s really small, and quite gorgeous: guaranteed to reduce a teenager to cries of ‘OMG, it’s so cute’ the torso is a similar design to the other LEGO Minigifure babies featured over the last few years, while the head is a moulded rubber.
Bags 2&3: Getting To Know Him, Front And Back.
In these steps, we put together the from of the Child’s robes – front and back. Essentially plates covered in plates, bricks and curves, you can see the form of wrinkeld material appear within the structure, the collar is finished nicely on the front with a could of wedge plates, as well as a few tiles down the middle. they are certainly not very colourful, with ony a little grey, tan and black included as hidden parts. both panels ted to flare out wat the top, and more so at the bottom.
One of the things that struck me as I build these panels up, was that they bear more than a passing resemblance to a brick-build landscape.
Bags 4&5: The Sides.
Continuing our construction, the side panels are slightly narrower than the front and back. There are some plates with technic pegs as well, which attach to Technic Bricks in the arms. the bottom of these panels expands out, giving the impression of the child wearing a gown that is a little too big for him!
These four panels snap onto the colourful core which we build back in Bag 1.
Bag 6: The Arms
The next bag sees us put together the arms: we build up a core of SNOT elements: bricks with studs on the side, incorporating some technic bricks that will make up the shoulder. there is also the socket for a small ball joint at the wrist. On the left, it is at the end, on the right it is on the side. The SNOT core is then covered in plates and slopes, to build up the baggy sleeves.
The Child’s Hands are green, and feature tan sloped elements as fingernails. The hands each have two fingers, plus a thumb. They feature a slight degree of flexibility, but this is limited.
Bags 7&8: the head.
So. Much. Sand. Green!
Again, SNOT cores are called for to mack up the structure of the head. At the base, we have a technic ball joint – which weill plug into the socket on the neck. A variety of curved slopes are used to captuee the curves of the Child’s face. the eyes consist of 2 inverted 2×2 rounded tiles, and feature the slightest amount of printing, to capture the shape of the Child’s pupils.
We also plug in the ears, onto a double small ball joint…
Finally, we put the back and top of the head on. It is really about trying to match the curves of the shape, with the elements available.
It is just so gorgeous.
Finally, we build the knob from the Razor Crest’s shifter lever: a two part, pearl silver globe in two parts, over a dome and stud connection.
This allows the ball to be easily held in the Child’s hand. It makes him Happy!
The completed model comes with a plaque (sticker: blecch!), with a place for the minifigure.
The Many Faces of the Child
I was duly impressed by the emotional range that could be achieved by tilting the head, moving the mouth and manipulating the ears.
The shape of the Child, as well as his robe does give him a remarkably organic appearance. I took him out into the garden. I was tempted to give him a hat and a fishing pole..
A journey of self discovery
The Mandalorian is essentially a Western. Our hero has A Mysterious Past, and likewise our adorable side kick also comes with a Mystery. Each week, we learn a little more about each character: what they eat, how they react to given problems, maybe uncover a little of the mystery. All while on the run from surviving Imperials, and the Bounty Hunters’ Guild. It’s a journey of discovery.
I found myself thinking about how the folds of his robe looked a bit like a microscale landscape. As such, I sent the Child Minifigure off on a journey of self-discovery.
The sculpture of The Child follows on from recent versions of Yoda and the Porg, as sculptures of Star Wars Characters, aimed at a younger audience, while Boba fett, TIE Fighter Pilot and Storm Trooper helmets have been aimed at the 18+ audience this year.
While others might bring a degree of satisfaction, this one has actually brought me joy. It took a couple of hours to build, but the final result is delightful. The only thing that would make it more complete for me would be a minifigure of the Mandalorian himself, but in real life, that is not really necessary ( I just didn’t want to have to purchase the Razor Crest to get him) I enjoyed the build: it demonstrates the advantage of a simple technic core, to cover with decorated/sculptured plates. There are a number of SNOT (Studs not on top) techniques demonstrated here as well. The build is not too challenging, but requires focus to ensure you are placing the right type of dark tan plate in the correct location. Overall, I give this build 4 out of 5 Arbitrary Praise Units.
With the second season of The Mandalorian starting to stream this weekend, I think this will be a popular set in the run up to Christmas: If you see it on the shelves, and have the slightest interest, I would pick it up, before sombebody else does. It will bring you, and your loved ones joy. If the final subject matter doesnt appeal to you, I would not feel to perturbed: there have been some other great builds around this year, that you might enjoy more. They just wont be as cute.
What do you think of this set? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time…