Hunt the Rebellion on Hoth with the Imperial Probe Droid [75306 Hands On Review]

The Empire Strikes Back is regarded by many to be one of the best Star Wars movie ever made. The ominous, speechless opening of the movie as the Empire searches out any hidden enclaves of Rebellion, around the Galaxy, sets the tone as to which team is on the offensive: A New Hope started off with the rebellion on the front foot—smuggling the hidden plans of the Death Star to those who might be able to best exploit any weaknesses. The Empire Stikes Back sees the Imperial Forces taking the initiative with the Probe Droids being dispatched across the galaxy. We see one crashing onto the barren world of Hoth, rising out of the snowdrift like a malevolent cybernetic jellyfish before setting out to scan the landscape. Appearing before a cross to Luke Skywalker on his Tauntaun, in all its stop motion animated glory, make the Imperial Viper Probe Droid the first character to appear in the film.

As such, it is high time to see this droid receive a more detailed treatment than the minifigure scaled brick built versions we have seen across various Hoth playsets, Advent calendars and magazine covers, over the years.

The 75306 Imperial Probe Droid will be released on 25th of April, along with the 75304 Darth Vader and 75305 Scout Trooper Helmets. It has 683 pieces and will cost: $59.99 USD/ €69.99 EUR/ £59.99 GBP / 119.99 AUD / 79.99 CAD.

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Keeping It Simple with the Troops: 75305 Scout Trooper Helmet [Hands On Review]

Sometimes, its not about being in charge, or having all of the action. Sometimes its just about hanging around, waiting for something to happen, or to be sent off on some errand. At least, that’s how it sometimes appears to bewhen you are living the life of a Scout Trooper, the subject of the latest LEGO® Star Wars Helmet.

I recently took a look at the forthcoming 73504 Darth Vader Helmet sculpture, the latest from the LEGO Star Wars team. With over 840 pieces, that set has the highest part count of any of the helmets currently available. The LEGO Star Wars helmet other set due for release in April, 73505 Scout Trooper with 471 parts, has the current lowest.

Thanks to the AFOL Engagement team, I received a prerelease copy of this set for review purposes – it will be hard to avoid comparisions with the Vader helmet.

The set comes in the ‘standard’ helmet box, with its instruction manual, 5 bags of elements and a sticker sheet. As we already mentioned, the set has significantly fewer elements than Vader’s helmet, and as such the instruction manual is almost half as thick.

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Building the Dark Side: 75304 Darth Vader Helmet [Hands On Review]

The Darth Vader Helmet Box and instructions, with a minifigure (not included) for scale.

The LEGO Group have recently announced the LEGO® Star Wars Helmet sculptures for 2021: 75304 Darth Vader and 75305 Scout Trooper, as well as 75306 Imperial probe Droid (not an actual helmet).

Today, I would like to look at the 75304 Darth Vader Helmet .Couretsy of the AFOL Engagement team at the LEGO Group, I have been fortunate to receive a prerelease copy to build prior to its release on April 25. The set has 834 parts and has a recommended retail price of: $69.99 USD/ €69.99 EUR/ £59.99 GBP/ 89.99 AUD / 99.99 CAD. It should be available for pre order now, in some markets (unfortunately, not Australia).

Darth Vader was the first character from the Empire that we met, within the opening minutes of Star Wars/ Episode IV/ A New Hope – and we never see his face until the closing minutes of Return of the Jedi. In the mean time, all of his characterisations can be attributed to his posture, camera angles, and the voice of James Earl Jones, added in Post Production. As such, his helmet is an integral part of his character.

Let’s take a look at what’s involved in putting it together…

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New 18+ Star Wars Helmets and Imperial Probe Droid Announced

Last year, we were introduced to LEGO® Star Wars Helmets – the first sets to be labelled 18+, introducing a new subtheme of LEGO Star Wars Sets. Today, we get our first official look the new LEGO Sculptures for 2021, aimed at the adult market: Two helmets – And a droid.

We have 75304 Darth Vader, 75305 Scout Trooper and 75306 Imperial Probe Droid. These sets will be available to pre-order in some markets from today, and are due for a general release on April 25, 2021.

Along with a number of other Recognised LEGO Fan Media, I took part in a roundtable discussion with some of the LEGO Star Wars Design team – , including Jens Kronvold Frederiksen – the Creative Driector of LEGO Star Wars. We covered a range of topics – which included discussion of the new helmets, and the Probe Droid.

There were a number of interesting things to learn about these models:

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This is the Way: 75318 The Child [Review]

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.

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Build the Child: Preorder today

Images have leaked over the last few weeks, but today, you can preorder the latest LEGO Star Wars Scultpure: The Child. Unless you are in Australia, where preordering doesnt really work. This set will become available globally on Mando Monday…October 30th, just in time for series 2 of The Mandalorian to start screening on Disney+.

Read on for more details…

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Never Before Have We Seen Such A Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy: 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina Announcement

Over the last couple of years, we have started to see two different lines developing in ‘Things that used to be called Ultimate collector Series’ – Direct to Consumer, highly detailed, Star Wars sets, with lots of detail: True UCS sets – such as the Millennium Falcon, Imperial Star Destroyer, Awing Fighter and so forth, and the Master Builder Series: Essentially a large, detailed playset – First seen last year with Betrayal at Cloud City, with origins a few years earlier in the Attack on Hoth, this year we move to Tatooine, and that first wretched Hive of scum and villainy: Mos Eisley, and more importantly, the Cantina.

With 3187 pieces, a jaw dropping 21 minifigures, and a recommended retail price of $AUD529.99/ £319.99/€349.99/$USD349.99 this is the most detailed version of the iconic location seen to date.

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Swoosh-Swoosh, Pew-Pew: Child’s Play on May the Fourth

Last year, we saw the LEGO® sets aimed at younger builders shift from the the ‘Juniors‘ branding, to their respective themes, but with the added labelling of 4+. These sets feature the nifty aspects of the Junior sets: easy to build, no stickers, some cool minifigures, but with out the stigma of build specifically aimed at ‘Junior Builders.’ Now you can be 8 years old, and confident in the idea that these sets are OK for you to get: 8 is still on the plus side of 4. Previously, these sets had been limited to LEGO’s in-house ranges (City, Friends, Ninjago), as well as Disney Princess, Marvel Superheroes, and DC Superheroes. With this change in labelling, we have also seen LEGO Star Wars enter the fray, with a range of spaceships labelled 4+. Quick to assemble, and easy to start playing around with, these sets feature some large elements, which might be described as POOP: Pieces that could/should be made Out of Other Pieces.

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UCS A-Wing 75275 Announced In Time for May the Fourth

Around the turn of the century, a new type of LEGO® set was released. Star Wars starfighter kits, designed for the AFOL to display, rather than to swoosh around the room. There were two released that year: 7181, TIE Interceptor, with 703 parts and the one we had all been waiting for: the 7191 X-Wing Starfighter was the largest Star Wars Set to have been released at the time.

Twenty years have gone by and almost every major starfighter from the Rebellion and Empire has been represented.

Almost.

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Star Wars Helmets: Delve Into the Dark Side 18+ [Announcement]

It’s mid March. Over recent years, sometime around now, we hear about the new LEGO Star Wars release, normally an Ultimate Collector Series set, that gets released in April, in preparation for Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You). This year its a little different. A little more… Adult.

Breaking a tradition of spaceships, and bases, this year we see the first ever ‘Build to Display’ Helmets, aimed to provide a more adult audience with an 18+ age recommendation.

Promising a more challenging building experience, these models, based on some of the more malicious characters in the Star Wars movies. Depicting a Stormtrooper, Bounty Hunter Boba Fett and a TIE Fighter Pilot, there models set out to provide an interesting brick building experience.

These sets will be available to pre-order later today, with general availability from April 19 2020.

Read on, for more images…