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LEGO Star War BB-8 review & modifications

With Star Wars Day coming up on May 4th, we can look forward to some exciting new LEGO sets and promotions just for Star Wars fans. This year, we will get the #75181 LEGO Star Wars Y-Wing Starfighter as the new LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector series set, which will be officially released on May 4th (see press-release here: LEGO Star Wars UCS Y-Wing Coming!). As far as promotions, there will be Double VIP Points on most LEGO Star Wars sets, 20% off sale on select LEGO Star Wars sets, and the adorable #40288 LEGO Star Wars BB-8 will be available for free with LEGO Star Wars purchases of $75 or more. We will be talking more about the new sets and promotions at the beginning of May, and today we will discuss the exclusive LEGO Star Wars BB-8 buildable character in a bit more detail. 🙂

The #40288 LEGO Star Wars BB-8 set comes with 48 pieces to build a larger-than-minifig-scale version of the popular droid. The highlight of the set is the five identical 4×4 dishes and the 4×4 dome piece on top – all beautifully printed with fine details including metallic-silver.

The build itself is easy and straightforward. There is a rectangular core with studs facing the top and the four sides. Four of the dishes are simply attached to the studs on the four sides. The dish at the bottom is connected via a short LEGO Technic axle in yellow going through the assembly of three round plates.

The bobbling head is achieved by a LEGO Technic Universal Joint hiding inside the core, and fixed to the bottom construction via the same yellow LEGO Technic axle. The other side of the LEGO Technic Universal Joint is kept loose, and the dome shaped head is connected to it with a standard LEGO Technic axle pin in tan.

The end result is an cute little droid that can sort of roll around on your desk. I say, sort of, because BB-8 is having some issues. Because there is a stud at the bottom, you can never sit up the droid straight. This is not a problem in itself, as BB-8 is supposed to be roll-y, however, because the head is too big, and it sits too far up over the body, the whole model tends to just topple over. Basically, it’s a drunk version of BB-8.

I tinkered with the model some and came up with a simple solution to remedy some of the problems. Basically, all I did was replace a couple of the parts, and thus allow the head to sit closer to the body, and make the model less top heavy.

If you would like to do the same, you just need to remove the tan LEGO Technic axle pin and the red 2×2 round tile, and replace it with a short LEGO Technic axle (same size as the yellow axle at the bottom – I only had one in light-gray), and a standard LEGO Technic bush. This allows you to push the head as close to the body as possible while still allowing the head to bobble. The result is that the BB-8 is much less likely to roll over and fall on its head.

As a bonus, if you want to make BB-8 stationary and stand up straight, you can use the leftover 2×2 round tile in red and attach it to the bottom stud.

All in all, this version of BB-8 is adorable and a perfect match with the brick-built #30611 LEGO Star Wars R2-D2 from last year. In addition, the printed pieces are excellent, and could be used for adding details to spaceships and futuristic machinery and buildings as radar dishes, vents, doors, wheels, or whatever else you might come up with.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to Star Wars Day? And are you planning to get any new LEGO Star Wars sets? What do you think of BB-8 and the other promotions? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • jabber-baby-wocky April 30, 2018, 11:05 AM

    I will have to see this for myself, but sounds like a good idea.

  • brickmaster April 30, 2018, 11:35 AM

    Thanks for this. Looking forward to trying it out.

  • DavidH April 30, 2018, 12:01 PM

    So, the problem was that BB-8’s neck is too long, and that makes him top heavy and fall over?

    • admin April 30, 2018, 6:42 PM

      Yes, that’s correct. The original LEGO Technic pin doesn’t allow the head to be pushed in any further, making BB-8 very top-heavy. And because he also has a stud at the bottom, not allowing to stand up, he keeps falling on his head. By adjusting the length of the neck, BB-8 will still roll, but he at least won’t fall on his head so easily.

  • Tony April 30, 2018, 12:08 PM

    I really like those printed pieces! Six of them in such a small set is amazing!!!

    • admin April 30, 2018, 6:43 PM

      Yes, the printed pieces are very nice. 😀

  • Sith015 April 30, 2018, 12:49 PM

    I don’t know if I will have the money to shop on Star Wars day, but I so want BB-8!!!! Hope it will be available separately!

    • admin April 30, 2018, 6:43 PM

      You should be able to get him on eBay or BrickLink. I expect the price to be around the same as R2-D2 from last year. So, around $25-ish.

  • Legostuff71 April 30, 2018, 12:56 PM

    Great stuff. So, I did buy the Yoda’s hut set this weekend( at the Lego store) because I talked to customer service and they said that they only had a few of this set in particular. The store had a couple Yoda hut sets as well. So , (no Brainier) I got it. So, my next choices are between Han Solo’s land speeder or the Sand speeder. Any thoughts?

    • Håkan April 30, 2018, 2:10 PM

      Land Speeder or Sand Speeder, tough choice.

      • Håkan April 30, 2018, 2:10 PM

        Which would be the Grand Speeder?

    • admin April 30, 2018, 6:48 PM

      Hm… though choices. Both the Landspeeder and the Sandspeeder have nice designs. I like the Sandspeeder because I’m partial to tans, but then dark-blue is very sleek too. It just depends on how you plan to use the set, I guess. 😀

  • Hippie-Hudson April 30, 2018, 1:49 PM

    Has there been any information regarding any exclusive promotions for black VIP holders? To my understanding the people who bought the UCS Falcon would be getting special deals or something throughout the year… I haven’t seen anything about this yet.

    • admin April 30, 2018, 3:07 PM

      There was one Double VIP Points period in February exclusive to Black Card holders. That was the only promotion so far. For Star Wars Day, they will get a poster with the Y-Wing’s blue print, but that’s about all I heard of.

      • Hippie-Hudson May 1, 2018, 1:58 AM

        Ah ha okay, somehow I missed both of those announcements so I was under the impression nothing had happened yet.
        I haven’t seen the blueprint poster but it sounds like a nice little extra.
        Going back to the buildable BB8 I’m one of the people that would prefer exclusive minifigures instead of these. The R2D2 was great I have to say but BB8 isn’t doing it for me at all. I think a child would like it sure but it doesn’t have the wow factor you’d expect for a may the 4th special.

        • admin May 1, 2018, 2:00 PM

          I didn’t care for BB-8 either, until I built it. Now he is sitting here on my desk and keep marveling how cute it is. But I do agree that a May the 4th special should be something more special. Like we used to have the chromed minifigs, exclusive minifigs… those were nice. 🙂

  • Legostuff71 April 30, 2018, 9:26 PM

    I think I’m leaning towards the sand speeder , because I want to try and make a Rebel base on a Desert planet ( like Jakku). It’s interesting that the Star Wars movies never made a rebel base in the desert. They did snow, forest and used a spaceship as a base , but never the desert. So, will see how that goes.

    • admin May 1, 2018, 1:58 PM

      Hm… good observation. It’s maybe because one famous Jedi hated deserts? 😈

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