Will, Gary, and I toured the annual Bricks by the Bay Lego convention yesterday, and while my gallery and recap from that event will come later this week (we saw some really cool MOCs), I wanted to share my impressions of Lego's upcoming Ultimate Collector Series R2D2 kit that was on hand at the show--set number 10225. First, the facts: the Lego-exclusive kit (which means it'll only be on Lego.com and official Lego stores, and not third-party retailers like Amazon) is coming out in May, and will cost $180 in the US. The set consists 2127 pieces, which roughly amounts to two dedicated days of building for one person to complete, based on our very extensive experience with UCS builds.
A Lego community rep had the new model displayed next to Lego's last full R2-D2 design, a motorized Technic set released in 2002 composed of a paltry 242 pieces. This new model has almost ten times the number of pieces (and costs almost ten times as much).
Standing at just over a foot tall, the R2 unit didn't look that big in person, despite the significant number of individual pieces. This looked like a set that more deal for display than for playing around with, and I had to be careful about lifting it off the table. It wasn't that heavy either, but there's no easy way to grip the figure to lift it up aside from holding tightly to the two main legs. It's something that I could easily imagine shattering on the floor from a short fall--not unlike some other UCS kits.
A lever on the back lets you drop down a recessed third leg, which easily locks back into place when you push it back into the droid body. Two front panels can be opened to reveal R2's buzz saw and computer interface tools, both of which are popped out by turning two knobs on the back. I saw a kid accidentally tear off one of the panel doors too, so their connections may be fragile. The coolest part of the kit is the fully rotating dome head, which just sits on top of the main body without any stud connections. Unfortunately, there's no built-in slot for a Lego Lightsaber, but there's plenty of empty space in the dome cavity for someone to mod that in.
And what about that rumored UCS B-Wing that's supposed to come out later this year? Gary asked the Lego community rep directly about it, who responded with a wink that he knew everything but would say absolutely nothing about it. C'mon, dude.
Continue reading for the rest of my photos.