LEGO Star Wars | Imperial Probe Droid [REVIEW]
Theme: LEGO Star Wars
Name: Imperial Probe Droid (75306)
Price: €69.99 | $59.99
The 8th set in the subtheme of Brick-built Star Wars characters is the Imperial Probe droid. This set released in late April 2021 as part of the May the Fourth wave of 18+ sets. Of the 8, this is the tied cheapest brick-built character to date at €69.99, alongside the Porg set from 2018.
The set doesn’t have any minifigures, so the Minifigure Selection and Production sections will be left out of this review.
The first thing that stood out to me about this set was how much smaller the box was than I expected. Its actually the exact same size as the Helmet Collection boxes and follows the exact same style of boxart. With the same all black background, fancy title, and glow behind the picture of the model.
It was clearly designed with the helmet collection sets in mind, as the instructions follow the exact same format too. 2 pages of preamble, one of which is just a picture, the other is a very small amount of information with a quote in the top right. I understand why they wanted uniformity across the Helmet collection sets, but I do find it weird that they lumped the brick built character in with them. It strikes me as almost lazy, if I’m being really harsh. It does work really well for the set, I just think some variety would’ve been nice to set it apart from the Helmets.
The set has no minifigures so those sections wont be included in the review. I will say that there should have been a brick-built probe droid that’s minifigure scale in this set. It would’ve cost LEGO pretty much nothing and for the sake of uniformity with the other brick-built characters, I think it should’ve been done. Even the Porg got a brick-built version of itself.
I really enjoyed the build experience of this set for the most part. It was definitely more interesting than the Scout Trooper Helmet I built a few weeks ago. Its also arguably better than the Darth Vader Helmet last week, which I’ll be comparing this set with more later.
The Snowy Base
You start off by building the snowy terrain/base of the set. I really like building these terrain sections with slopes that face different ways and all that. Its nothing unique or new, but the end result is so effective. You are left with a few spare pieces, so I added them to the snowy section aswell just to build it up a little bit more.
I loved how you build the body of the set, specifically the circular ‘torso’ section. There were some cool techniques used in there to achieve its circular shape that were really fun to put together. Seeing how it builds up and out as you put it together was immensely satisfying aswell.
Building the legs, on the other hand, wasn’t enjoyable in the slightest. They attach very loosely and the legs themselves feel more fragile than I expected. Once I had them attached, I would try to turn them for the sake of angling them better and I had the leg snap off on multiple occasions, which was fairly frustrating.
The legs themselves are built the exact same way for the most part, with the exception being the leg with the “hydraulic” system on it. That was at least something different and came in about halfway through the legs build to break the repetition. I cant say with any degree of honesty that the legs were a fun build by any stretch.
The 'Head' Section
The build does finish off strongly though, with the head piece being probably the highlight of the build. Some techniques used to build the ‘torso’ were replicated here on a smaller scale, but somehow made more complex. The whole head came together fairly fast, but it was a satisfying and varied section that was a pleasure to put together.
The Transparent Stand
One thing I didn’t expect was that the probe droid isn’t actually attached to the base in any way. The long transparent stand that runs up the middle is built in the exact same way as the Lightsaber blade from the buildable Yoda set from 2019 but it has a 2×2 brick at the base that just slides into a hole to keep it balanced and secure. It’s an interesting way to do it and allows you to pose and transport it much easier.
The build uses only 5 stickers throughout which was a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. One of these stickers is for the UCS-style plaque, while the remaining four are the same(ish) grey square sticker with some orange squares within. I see no way they could’ve included these orange accents with bricks, so no complaints with the stickers here. Absolutely ideal sticker usage, in my opinion.
One thing I found interesting was the spare pieces that came with this set. It wasn’t only your regular selection of random pieces. Instead, it came with a curated selection of metallic pieces you could use for MOCs or to replace drill bits at the end of the legs. It’s a nice touch, and I’m sure many will find a use for them.
The most ‘controversial’ design decision made with this set is the decision to colour it dark grey instead of black. I don’t see the issue with this. Especially when looking at the source material I think it definitely works best represented in dark grey. Looking at Fallen Order, where you can inspect the models up close, the probe droid is clearly grey. Even the funko pop is grey. The only question I have is why LEGO has been presenting it as black for all these years.
I love the snowy base for this. It follows in the footsteps of the sandy base they built for the buildable D-O set last year, but they expanded it and it is far better off for it. If it was a decision between including this snowy base or a brick-built probe droid minifigure, I’m very glad they went with this because it looks incredible in person
The model itself is actually considerably smaller than I expected. For whatever reason, I pictured it dwarfing the Porg set at least. In reality its only slightly taller than it, which was surprising. It isn’t a huge deal, and I definitely don’t feel ripped off by any means. The model works incredibly well at this scale and upsizing it would only increase cost for no added detail, I feel.
However, as mentioned in the ‘Build experience’ section of this review, the legs are more fragile than you’d expect. Each joint connects via a single clip piece, so if you accidentally try to angle it a little bit beyond its intended axis, it just snaps off. This is probably my only real criticism of the set to be honest. I find the rest to be done as well as is reasonable to expect.
Detailing and Pose-ability
The model itself looks beautiful in person. If you pose the dangly-legs properly, the whole thing looks amazing. I love the specks of dark grey amidst the snow to give the illusion of rockwork and blend it into the model a bit. I also appreciate the orange accent pieces to add just a tiny bit of colour into the Droid itself.
LEGO did a great job capturing the details of the model with this set, in my opinion. The positioning of the ‘eyes’ and features of the legs are very accurate looking at this picture. they even alluded to the tiny gun-shaped thing on the torso. Its extremely well done, and I can’t imagine them doing a better job overall,
In terms of features, it doesn’t have any ‘play’ features per say, but it does have a lot of pose-ability. You can turn the head 360 degrees with no issues whatsoever, and all the dangling legs have lots of articulation, as each joint is on a hinge of some description. You can also swivel the legs from their connection points to the body, so you really have 100% flexibility in terms of how you want to display the model.
I also feel its worth noting that pictures don’t really do justice to this set. I think having it in hand and seeing it in person allows you to appreciate the set a lot more. As I look at it now, sitting on my shelf, I think it’s among the most beautiful LEGO Star Wars sets in my collection.
The set retails for €69.99 and contains 683 pieces, so anyone who cares about price-per piece should be reasonable happy. The set uses a lot of smaller pieces though, namely 1×1 studs and 1×2 hinge plates. So, I don’t think price-per-piece is an accurate metric for the volume of stuff you get with this set.
For €69.99, this set does have a fair amount of competition, so ill limit my comparisons to display-sets within the Star Wars theme. Here, its main competition would be the Darth Vader helmet and D-O buildable character sets. You could class D-O as its main competitor as they are both Brick-built droids with a terrain-stand and a UCS plaque at the same price, but I definitely think the Darth Vader Helmet will be in the discussion for many.
In my eyes, this set is infinitely better than the D-O set. Of course my opinion is slightly biased given my deep, deep hatred for the Star Wars sequels, but I also feel like D-O just isn’t a very recognisable character or even that good a model. The sandy base looks like an afterthought for it, and it has 150 less pieces than the probe droid. If you’re debating between D-O and the Probe Droid, I don’t think there’s any competition in reality. The Probe Droid is far superior, in my eyes.
Darth Vader’s Helmet is interesting in that it works better than other helmets as a standalone display piece. Normally with Helmets, my recommendation would be “only get this helmet if you already have a collection of them”, but not here. I think Darth Vader’s helmet is iconic enough to justify itself as a solo display piece. This makes it a solid competitor to this Probe Droid set.
Between the three sets, I think your best option ultimately comes down to what you already have.
- If you already have some Brick-Built characters, I’d definitely recommend the Probe Droid
- Should you already have some Helmet sets (and like them), I think Vader is a better choice
- If you have no Helmets or Brick-built characters, and you just want the better set, I think the Probe Droid is better overall.
- If you have every single Brick-built character/Helmet to date and just can’t stand having that €70 in your wallet. You can probably get D-O then, if you really want it. I personally aren’t touching the sequel trilogy with a ten-foot-pole from here on out, but I’m not your boss.
With those suggestions in mind, I think its worth mentioning that the Vader Helmet and this Probe Droid are both great sets. If you want a LEGO Star Wars display-set, you will be happy out with either of them. If you prefer one over the other, then by all means go for it. I think both offer similar experiences in terms of building and displaying, so you can’t go wrong. With my money though, collections aside, I’d go for the Probe Droid.
This is an absolutely beautiful, highly detailed display piece, with tonnes of pose-ability and an interesting build. A fine addition to any collection, if you can stomach the leg builds.
Brick-Built Character Rank
Within the Brick-Built Character subtheme, I’m going to rank it 1st out of 6 sets. I think it’s display value and varied build easily puts it above The Child.
Star Wars Rank
Compared to every Star Wars set I own, the question is do I rank it above or below the Helmets. For now, Im going to say above, and rank this 9th out of 44 sets. I think that snowy base and interesting colour scheme makes it display slightly better than the Helmets.
All Sets Rank
Relative to my entire collection, the story is the same. I’m sandwiching it above the Helmets and below the Clone Turbo Tank and ranking it 25th out of 101 sets.
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