Lego Celebrate Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary with New R2-D2 Droid Figure

We’ve talked a lot about what Hasbro is doing to celebrate Lucasfilm’s 50th Anniversary (with Expanded Universe Figures, Clone Wars Figures, Kenner Deco Figures, Vintage Collection and Phantom Menace Cardback figures).

LEGO want’s in on the action, too now. Available for pre-order now, and releasing on May 1, 2021 (just in time for Star Wars day!), LEGO have produced an all new, re-tooled, and re-designed Artoo figure (R2-D2 75308) with rotating head dome, retractable middle leg, lightsaber head compartment, and all sorts of tools popping out of his body compartments!

You can order this new R2 here:

Although LEGO produced an R2-D2 figure in 2012, they wanted to go back to the drawing board and R2 made sense for a re-release for the 50th Anniversary of Lucasfilm:

“R2-D2 was the obvious choice….Not only has he appeared in all episodes of the Star Wars saga, but he’s been a key character in animation from the early Droids cartoons to The Clone Wars and [Star Wars] Rebels, and most recently has made one of the most amazing cameos ever in Season 2 of The Mandalorian. Add in numerous games, books, comics, and even a key role in Star Tours, and I don’t think any character personifies 50 years of great storytelling quite like Artoo.”

From LEGO:

R2-D2-$199-May 1, 2021

Relive classic Star Wars™ moments as you build this exceptionally detailed R2-D2 LEGO® droid figure. The brilliant new-for-May-2021 design is packed with authentic details, including a retractable mid-leg, rotating head, opening and extendable front hatches, a periscope that can be pulled up and turned, and Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber hidden in a compartment in the head.

Build and display
This cool construction model comes with a buildable display stand, featuring an information plaque, R2-D2 LEGO droid figure and an exclusive Lucasfilm 50th anniversary LEGO brick, to complete an awesome centerpiece for your home or workplace.

Special gift
Part of a premium-quality collection of LEGO Star Wars building kits for adults, this set would make a wonderful gift for yourself, Star Wars fans and advanced LEGO builders.

  • Build and display this fantastically detailed, new-for-May-2021, LEGO® brick model of an iconic character from the Star Wars™ saga: R2-D2 (75308).
  • Authentic features include a retractable mid-leg, rotating head, opening and extendable front hatches and adjustable periscope, plus a lightsaber hidden in a compartment in the head.
  • Includes a buildable display stand with an information plaque, LEGO® Star Wars™ R2-D2 LEGO droid figure and a special Lucasfilm 50th anniversary LEGO brick.
  • This premium-quality set is part of a series of collectible LEGO® Star Wars™ build-to-display models.
  • Offering a challenging and rewarding build, this 2,315-piece set makes an awesome birthday present, holiday gift or surprise treat for any Star Wars™ connoisseur and LEGO® Star Wars lover.
  • Measuring over 12.5 in. (31 cm) high, 7.5 in. (20 cm) wide and 6 in. (15 cm) deep, this collectible, brick-built R2-D2 model makes an impressive centerpiece in a home or workplace.
  • Thinking of buying this set for a Star Wars™ memorabilia collector who is new to LEGO® building? Don’t worry. It comes with clear instructions so they can tackle this complex build with confidence.
  • Collectible LEGO® Star Wars™ sets for adults are designed for discerning hobbyists who enjoy DIY projects to disconnect from their day-to-day lives in a mindful, creative and fun way.
  • LEGO® components meet rigorous industry standards to ensure compatibility and a simple, secure connection every time.
  • LEGO® bricks and pieces are tested in almost every way imaginable to make sure that they satisfy stringent global safety standards.

“5 BEHIND-THE-BRICKS SECRETS OF THE LEGO GROUP’S AMAZING NEW R2-D2 “– STARWARS.COM EXCLUSIVE”

StarWars.com took some time to sit down with the design team behind this new Artoo and give us some factoids about the new Astromech!

1. The design team wanted to build a better Artoo.

The LEGO Group released an R2-D2 model in 2012, but designers were determined to take advantage of the new tools at their disposal to upgrade the iconic astromech. “We deliberately wanted this model to be different,” says Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, creative lead of LEGO Star Wars. “We have a lot of new building elements that allowed us to make a more accurate-looking model than the 2012 version. We also talked about what new features and functions we could create for this release — like the lightsaber hilt and compartment for it.” We’re sure Artoo aficionados will be pleased with the results.

2. The biggest design hurdle might surprise you.

R2-D2 has a rotating dome, retractable middle leg, and extendable tools and gadgets. But nothing proved more challenging than the little guy’s detail-heavy body when adapting Artoo to LEGO brick form. “The front side of R2-D2 is a design puzzle,” says Kurt Kristiansen, LEGO Star Wars design master. “We spent a lot of time making it look as close as possible to the original R2-D2. There are many small but important elements that contribute to the overall look.”

3. Artoo needed some extra storage.

Finding space for all of Artoo’s compartments and secret gadgetry wasn’t easy. “The main challenge was to make sure that we included the most recognizable tools and compartments in the body of the model, but that was really hard because the middle leg function required a lot of space,” Kristiansen says. “The same went for the head, which still had to turn around the middle leg frame. So, getting room for the periscope and the small compartment for the lightsaber was difficult.”

4. A household item inspired a design improvement.

Kristiansen wasn’t pleased with the middle leg’s functionality in the 2012 version of Artoo. He took this opportunity to address its shortcomings, and found a solution in a surprising source. “The function in the new version is much simpler to operate,” he says. “We looked for inspiration in the ballpoint pen clicker mechanism; the third leg should be easy to manipulate, so we added a switchable locking mechanism. The switch is connected to both side legs, making it easy to handle the model. The basic principle of the mechanism was settled quite early in the development process, but there was a lot of tweaking and testing before ending up with the solution.”

5. Why Artoo?

With all of Star Wars’ beloved characters to choose from to celebrate Lucasfilm’s 50th anniversary, the LEGO Group and Lucasfilm could’ve gone in any number of directions. So why did they pick this plucky astromech? Turns out, it was something of a no-brainer. “We were looking for a character that not only made a great building experience, but could best represent all aspects of Lucasfilm’s incredible history of storytelling — and really, R2-D2 was the obvious choice,” says Chris Gollaher, director of product design at Lucasfilm. “Not only has he appeared in all episodes of the Star Wars saga, but he’s been a key character in animation from the early Droids cartoons to The Clone Wars and [Star Wars] Rebels, and most recently has made one of the most amazing cameos ever in Season 2 of The Mandalorian. Add in numerous games, books, comics, and even a key role in Star Tours, and I don’t think any character personifies 50 years of great storytelling quite like Artoo.”

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