Review: 40288 BB-8

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View image at flickr

40288 BB-8 is the latest in a series of exclusive Star Wars polybags which have been produced to celebrate the May the Fourth weekend every year since 2011. 30611 R2-D2 divided opinion in 2017 and I expect this set to be similarly divisive as there are many LEGO fans who would prefer an exclusive minifigure over a small model.

Excellent though a brand new minifigure might be, I enjoyed 30611 R2-D2 when it was released last year so have been eagerly awaiting its successor, 40288 BB-8. This adorable Astromech droid is an exceptionally popular character and I think it looks marvellous in official images.

The Completed Model

BB-8's most distinctive feature is undoubtedly his spherical body which is replicated with remarkable accuracy on this model. Five dishes are fitted around a core with studs on each side and they line up perfectly, forming a reasonably consistent sphere. It is therefore difficult to stand the figure up straight which is problematic for display, although I actually think BB-8 looks pretty good when leaning over, as though he is moving. Alternatively, you can attach a 2x2 round tile with a hole in the centre underneath, as shown in the image above.

View image at flickr

The head is too large in relation to the body but still looks tremendous in my opinion, featuring intricate printed detail all the way around the dome. I love the metallic silver bands, the holoprojector and the red highlight in BB-8's eye, all of which are accurate to the movie. Unfortunately, the droid's receiver and transmitter antennas are not included. They would have been a welcome detail but are not a necessity for such a small model.

View image at flickr

A light bluish grey universal joint connects BB-8's head to his body, allowing it to move back and forth in any direction. This is perfect for creating dynamic poses and offers some play value, although I can imagine that not everyone will appreciate its tendency to rock. The printed dishes, on the other hand, look fantastic and I like the light bluish 1x1 round plates and 1x1 quarter circle tiles that represent tool bay discs.

View image at flickr

This model measures just under 7cm in height so is not designed in perfect scale with 30611 R2-D2. However, I think the two Astromech droids look alright when displayed together, due in part perhaps to Artoo's unusual proportions. It waits to be seen whether a matching C-3PO polybag will be released for the May the Fourth weekend next year, thereby completing the famous droid triumvirate!

View image at flickr

Overall

BB-8 is one of my favourite characters from the Sequel Trilogy and this is a superb rendition of the Astromech droid. His body looks tremendous when compared with the films, featuring detailed printed designs on every surface as well as a surprisingly accurate spherical shape. The shape does result in a stability issue but that is easily rectified with the addition of a single 2x2 round tile to the base.

View image at flickr

The head is decorated with similar detail and this figure looks great beside 30611 R2-D2, even though the two models are not quite in scale with one another. I would therefore recommend 40288 BB-8, especially to those who already own last year's May the Fourth polybag.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

 

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28 comments on this article

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By in Norway,

Nice model. too bad the other promotions this year were so mediocre

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By in United States,

The oversized head just makes it look a little cartoony, which is fine in my opinion.

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By in Netherlands,

Awkward scale, this just doesn't work for me.

I'd rather have had a nice exclusive minifig rather than not-R2-D2. Zuckuss, anyone? Half brick-built Ephant Mon? Now those would have been desirable!

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By in Ireland,

I think the minifig-scale BB-8 is ruined by that stud sticking out of his head. Along with the one sticking out of his, ahem, base.

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By in United Kingdom,

What about a chewie and the Porgs polybag? Thanks to Brick News for the idea!

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By in United Kingdom,

I wonder if the oversized head could be used with a Lowell sphere to moc a BB-8 who is correctly scaled for the constraction range.

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By in United Kingdom,

No interest in a brick-built 3PO. Would prefer a different colour R2 unit if we really can't get any more exclusive minifigs.

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By in Jordan,

Looks a lot better than R2 IMO!

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By in Canada,

Can we hope for a K-2SO next year ?

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By in United States,

K2 or 3P0 would be cool but let us hope they return to the minifigures, aside from BB-8 there was nothing to beat last year offers.

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By in United Kingdom,

Obviously opinion is divided but for me if im spending £50+ (£65 this year) Id rather have 48 pieces of something than one figure. I also happen to have the Giant BB-8 and even the TRU built one so its great for me. And I'm sure ive picked up exclusive figures at other shops months later in the past.

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By in United States,

I think this is cute and I prefer it over some exclusive minifig. A minifig would probably just be another character we already have with stripes on his shirt going the opposite direction or some such.

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By in France,

I like it. But not for 65 euros

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By in United States,

As far as I can tell, I’m the US, it’s still available. Really tempted to hit the “Add To Cart” button for the Kessel Run Millennium Falcon and get that awesome Droid. Only reason I hesitate is because of all the other wonderful sets currently out that aren’t Star Wars sets, plus rumored sets for the future.

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By in France,

It's cute. And as I had R2 last year I would really like to get it. But not convinced nor interested by sets on sale, or as I already have them, I 'll wait a little and catch it on BrickLink I think. Thanks for the review which convinced me to get it.

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By in United States,

Looks pretty cool, but the May the Fourth minifigure would be a far better option. Why on earth did they stop offering it?! Hopefully next year we'll get a Darth Jar Jar, Boss Nass, incomplete Threepio, or Shmi Skywalker for the 20th anniversary of TPM...

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By in United Kingdom,

I’m just glad I got double VIP points on the UCS MilF....

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By in United States,

I have last years but don’t have 75$ only 40 and used it all on the sets for the stream yesterday.

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By in United Kingdom,

Still think R2 makes for a better display as it's more "accurate".

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By in United Kingdom,

Nice use of "triumvirate"...do androids dream of electric threesomes?!?

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By in United Kingdom,

I love this guy, he will look great on my desk at work next to R2 :)

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By in France,

I ordered the Y-Wing and the BB-8 comes "free" with the order. I'd like to build this first prior to making a decision on how good it is. At least it'll be more bricks in the spares box and the printed pieces look interesting for a potential MOC.

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By in United States,

Meiocre model, good parts pack with printed dishes and universal joint.

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By in United States,

I'm with BB-9E.

Interested to see your review for the new Imperial Tie Fighter (75211). This inception looks that they made some improvements to the boxy cockpit however the wing linkages seem to be a step backward. I'll know better when it arrives.

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By in Canada,

I love the design, it's a great model. I won't be picking it up as I dislike the character and the sequel films, though.

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By in Australia,

Considering very few if any of these end up in Australia..meh.

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By in United States,

just like the UCS R2 D2, of course he has a lil' cousin

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By in United Kingdom,

This might be the only SW Lego set I ever buy.

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