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Review – The Mandalorian & The Child (75317)

The Mandalorian & The Child is one of the best BrickHeadz sets ever. I have spoken.

If you’re a Star Wars fan or a LEGO Brickheadz fan, it’s been a long wait for “The Mandalorian & The Child”. The set was announced back in February and 5 months later, it’s finally arriving in stores and online. The long wait is somewhat unusual for LEGO, who lately has been dropping surprise announcements like last week’s LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System, with sets being available within a matter of weeks. But the long wait is over and “The Mandalorian & The Child” have finally arrived.

I’ve reviewed a lot of BrickHeadz sets on the BrickGeekz Blog, and built many more. How does “The Mandalorian & The Child” compare to those that came before it? Let’s find out.

The Box

Unfortunately, my box for “The Mandalorian & The Child” was thoroughly destroyed by Amazon and the US Postal System. It uses the “tear-open” style of box so I wasn’t going to save it anyway. But still, after a long 5 month wait to get my hands on this set, it would be nice to have a nicer LEGO box waiting today at my front door.

(As a side note, my daughter has been working at an Amazon warehouse this summer while she’s home from college. If you heard the stories she tells me about how boxes are handled in the warehouse and on the trucks, you’d wonder how anything ever makes it unharmed to your door.)

The front of the box, as shown above, shows The Mandalorian and The Child. The build numbers are actually reversed, with The Child having the lower set number and The Mandalorian having the higher. So I suppose we should call it “The Child & The Mandalorian”, but that”s how it is.

The rear of the box, shown below, provides an alternate angle of The Mandalorian and The Child. It also shows how The Child can be seated in his “floating” hover pod.

The background coloring on both the front and the rear of the box is rather simple but it captures the “earthy” tone of both the television series and the LEGO set. It’s a subtle touch but very well done.

The Instructions

The Mandalorian and The Child” comes with two instructions books. If you go in order, The Child is the first Brickhead to be built, and The Mandalorian is the second. Since this is a double-set with a larger box, my instruction books were not folded in half, which is always a bonus for me.

The Child’s instruction book has a QR code on the cover. It’s something new for me, although maybe not for you. But you can scan this code on your smartphone to download a LEGO instructions app. Ironically, the instructions for “The Mandalorian & The Child” are not yet available in the app, but I’m sure that will be coming soon.

The Parts

The parts come in five bags: two bags are for build 1 (The Child) and three bags are for build 2 (The Mandalorian). There’s a good mix of color in the set with the standard light and dark grays plus tan, dark tan, and reddish brown. And, as always, two pink bricks for the brains.

I don’t normally feature parts when I review LEGO sets, but one part has me particularly excited and I wanted to show it here. BrickHeadz are know for their abundant use of the “1 x 2 x 1 2/3 with four studs on one side” SNOT brick. But “The Mandalorian & The Child” has a new part, which adds two additional studs on either side of the brick, for 8 total SNOT studs on three sides of the brick.

Maybe you’ve seen this part already but it’s definitely new to me. I haven’t seen it in Studio, although I haven’t downloaded the latest update yet. I build a lot of Architecture MOCs when I’m not writing for the blog, working my day job as a writer, and spending time with the family. I have no doubt this new piece will become a favorite part of mine.

The Child

The first part of the build is The Child’s hover pod. This is the first time we’ve seen anything resembling a vehicle in BrickHeadz form and LEGO captures its details extremely well. The egg shape and colors from the television show are represented well here, and I really enjoy how the reverse side of LEGO plates form the rear of the pod interior. The cover does not close, of course, but the handles from the a 1 x 4 plate with handle, along with the round 2 x 2 plates with the yellow and white quarter tiles on either side, give the impression that it could. Two transparent 2 x 2 round bricks mount the hover pod on its display stand, giving the impression that it does indeed float.

If you look a little closer, however, you do see some flaws in the design. It’s subtle but there are exposed openings in several points along the curved Technic parts that form the underside of the pod. It’s not much and it’s mostly hidden when you look down on the hover pod from above, but for me, it was a slight blemish on what otherwise was a fun part of the build.

The second part of the build is The Child (better known as “Baby Yoda” — there I said it). The Child, being, well, a child, is made in the 3 x 3 BrickHeadz style used for smaller characters, such as Hedwig the owl from the Harry Potter BrickHeadz set. It’s the simplest part of the set but still captures The Child’s distinctive look. Two 1 x 2 slopes are used for The Child’s ears, which can be angled upward for when The Child is curious and excited …

… or angled downward for when The Child has been scolded for touching the buttons in The Mandalorian’s ship, the Razor Crest.

The Mandalorian

A few years ago, I didn’t order the Boba Fett BrickHeadz and I’ve been regretting it ever since. So I can’t compare the two, but I can say that The Mandalorian is one of my favorite BrickHeadz to date.

There’s some unique build techniques in use here, such as how the lower half of The Mandalorian’s helmet is made. The parts are shown below. Two 1 x 2 wall panel elements with corners are used as a container to drop in the two helmet assemblies you see below.

The finished look is shown below, with the free-floating parts held snugly in place by a 2 x 3 plate with two 1 x 2 bracket places that goes over top. I’ve built more than 40 BrickHeadz over the last three years and I enjoy that I’m still finding new techniques that I can use in other builds.

The completed Mandalorian is packed full of accessories like his sniper rifle, blaster, and binoculars. The black 1 x 4 arch for his visor is an inspired touch, as is the 1 x 1 “tooth” plate element for the armor on his legs. Unfortunately, my set had a scuffed pre-printed tile that forms the face mask of his helmet. I’ll be contacting LEGO to request a replacement for that part.

The detail on the rear of The Mandalorian is also well-done, with black slope pieces used to form his cape and two light grey grille plates on the rear of his helmet.

Interestingly, The Mandalorian uses a new, slightly altered style for the display stand, with two, 2 x 2 with 2 stud tiles rather than the standard single 1 x 4 with 2 stud tile. This causes The Mandalorian’s legs to come off his body every time you remove him from the base. I’m curious to know what lead to this design decision, as it doesn’t work for me.

The Verdict

After a furious beginning that almost rivaled the Funko Pop! over-saturation (with 44 BrickHeadz releases in 2018), LEGO wisely backed off the BrickHeadz line to holiday-themed sets and select licensed builds. The only licensed sets to be released so far this year are Donald Duck and the Goofy/Pluto combo. At the time of this review, a Monkey King set has been officially announced and a few other BrickHeadz sets are rumored, but it’s almost the end of July and nothing else licensed has been officially released.

Being this selective, “The Mandalorian & The Child” was a great choice for a LEGO BrickHeadz set. Star Wars and LEGO have had a long and prosperous relationship, and it’s becoming more and more clear that the hit Disney Plus television show – not the sequel movies – is the future of the Star Wars franchise. We’ve only seen a few Mandalorian sets so far, which I actually think is a good thing, but that may change as new Star Wars sets are typically released at the beginning of each year.

The Mandalorian & The Child ranks easily in my top BrickHeadz sets. The colors and the style capture the gritty world of the hit Disney Plus television show and its two reluctant heroes. And I like that I can still learn new build techniques even from a BrickHeadz set. A few design choices are unfortunate, such as the exposed openings in the hover pod and the use of a new base style for The Mandalorian. But those are minor issues for what is otherwise a fun, creative build.

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