The Mandalorian’s irresistibly adorable alien baby is prime material for the relentless Star Wars merchandising machine, with The Child appearing on everything including headphones, lip balm and even coolers. Here at New Elementary, we prefer the galaxy’s cutest 50-year-old in LEGO® form. More than just googly-eyed goodness awaits fans in 75318 The Child, with a handful of newly recoloured pieces and a pile of rare bits included to build “Baby Yoda”.
This set has got a lot of SNOT – not the kind that comes from baby noses thankfully. The technique mimics the assembly of 2019’s 75255 Yoda: a rectangular lattice interior is built and covered with a smartly sculpted exterior composed of plates, bricks, slopes, and a few tiles. The detail this approach offers is a welcome improvement over the cold stare projected by 2002’s 7194 Ultimate Collector Series Yoda. I’ll take that as another reason why modern LEGO sets are better than when I was a child.
Eight numbered bags make up the pint-sized co-pilot: the first creates the interior, the next four make up the robe, bag six adds arms and the last couple form his head. I don’t mind the lack of an interior and even applaud it for being strong and lightweight. The yellow highlights inside aid in orienting the build, much like its sand green partner LEGO Architecture 21042 Statue of Liberty, while dozens of Technic half-pins plug Technic bricks to make custom SNOT attachment points. Similar techniques on a smaller scale are used to construct the head and arms, with some extra bars, clips and towballs incorporated for motion. The deep collar of the babe’s swaddling cloth requires the neck joint to
be set inside a surrounding wall of bricks. As a creature which mostly communicates with head tilts and ear wiggles, this bobble-headed baby’s neck needs free motion.
To alleviate neck pains the ball socket is attached to a forwards-and-backwards sliding Technic axle. This extra direction of movement allows the head to net about 10 more degrees of endearing upward gazing.
The finished model has presence and its round, glossy eyes capture the essence of the doe-eyed streaming sensation. In addition to the neck swivelling, the ears and mouth hinge up and down, both magical hands rotate and all fingers bend – which means you can recreate the Force ability this tiny telekinetic tot uses in The Mandalorian. This amount of articulation is more than enough to give the set personality and convey a range of emotions from happy to pouty. For more play value I would add arm rotation, but this could put gaps in the snuggly bundle making up The Child’s signature look which wouldn’t suit a model intended for display.
Much of this set’s personal appeal will depend on your opinion of the colours Sand Yellow/ Dark Tan and Sand Green. The vast majority of the 1073 included pieces are these two colours, and the new or rare colour variations follow suit. With dark tan and sand green ranking high on the LEGO Group’s list of Fan Favourites, chances are I’m not the only one pleased by this parts palette. Many segments of this set are built with smaller pieces where a larger would fit, which ensures the included pieces are as versatile as possible. Those sand green additions open up more possibilities for small builds (such as Peter Reid’s already-impressive turtle army) while dark tan plates are useful for building up uneven terrain. Perhaps the LEGO Group are looking to aid builders seeking to shore up shorelines or maximize mountains.
Unique recoloured parts
- 6x Plate, Modified 1 x 3 with 2 Studs in Sand Green (6335230 | 34103) – a first in any shade of green since the mould’s release in 2017, which Chris McVeigh covered in 70620 NINJAGO City.
- 2x Slope, Curved 4 x 1 Inverted in Sand Green (6335243 | 13547)
- 1x Slope, Curved 1 x 1 Double in Sand Green (6335233 | 49307). Only one is included to form The Child’s nose, though it would be nice to have an extra due to its small size and large importance in the build.
- 6x Slope 45 2 x 1 with Cutout without Stud in Dark Tan (6335228 | 28192). Released in 2017 and showcased in New E’s first live workshop, the anti-slipper’s colour pool grows with Dark Tan – six are included.
- 2x Cylinder Hemisphere 2 x 2 with Cutout in Cool Silver Drum Lacquered/ Metallic Silver (6336243 | 61287)
Unique printed parts
- Plate, Round 2 x 2 with Rounded Bottom with Reddish Brown Crescent Pattern in Black (6335379)
Much woe has been expressed surrounding the LEGO Group’s modern printing especially on dark parts. This set’s only printed parts do have some mild faintness but it’s not all bad here since those big baby eyes only need subtle detail to bring them to life. Rounded-bottom 2x2 plates – boat studs, if you prefer – come printed frequently and this one gives the LEGO sculptors among you a fresh look for eyes. I’m excited to use these to build the dark puppy-dog eyes of my pet Dachshund.
Interesting minifigures are something I love to see in sets. For those interested in 75292 The Razor Crest for its impossibly small The Child minifig, 75318 The Child will soon offer this figure at a US$50 lower price.
Much like a real baby, The Child has a soft cranium. Unlike a real baby, it’s okay to give this one a gentle squish. The latest Master Yoda minifigures also feature rubber heads but this pliability serves The Child better. Something about wiggling those floppy ears is more enjoyable on a tiny baby than an ancient Jedi master.
Minifigs are great but what we really want to know about are the parts you can build with. Along with a healthy dose of new parts, The Child’s chubby cheeks just wouldn’t look their chubbiest without the help of several newer Sand Green elements and one returning from a long hiatus.
- 6x Brick, Arch 1 x 3 x 2 Curved Top (6258337 | 6005). Just two sets have used this arch in the past few years: The LEGO Movie 2 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg and Frozen II 41167 Arendelle Castle Village.
- 2x Tile, Round Corner 2 x 2 Macaroni (6299637 | 27925). Two new-for-2020 2 x 2 macaroni tiles fittingly only appear in the Mandalorian helmet of 75277 Boba Fett.
- 2x Brick, Modified 2 x 2 Curved Top with 2 Top Studs (6335232 | 30165). These two curved bricks return from a 17-year hiatus after only being used in 2003’s theme-topping Adventurers: Orient Expedition 7419 Dragon Fortress. As a child I admired Johnny Thunder’s biggest Eastern adventure so I warmly welcome this memento into my collection.
- 6x Plate, Modified 1 x 1 Rounded with Handle (6278550 | 26047). Lastly, the rounded plates with handles are available only in 2019’s 75255 Yoda. I expected to see more overlap in rare sand green parts between these two sets but appreciate the variety The Child brings.
Sand yellow/ dark tan
2020 is a good year… for fans of dark tan. Common and useful parts are being introduced en masse for this neutral colour which is equally at home in the rocky desert of Tatooine, dense forest of Endor, or urban sprawl of Coruscant. It’s worth noting 75255 Yoda contains 65% more elements for just US$20 more but none of them are dark tan; Master Yoda’s robes are comprised of Brick Yellow/ Tan and Reddish Brown.
- 9x Brick, Modified 1 x 2 with Studs on 1 Side (6310835 | 11211). 1 x 2 SNOT bricks are new for this year, appearing in 10275 Elf Club House, 21323 Grand Piano, and BrickHeadz 75317 The Mandalorian & The Child.
- 9x Brick 2 x 2 Corner (6310830 | 2357). The 2 x 2 corners are also new and found in 10275 Elf Club House and Harry Potter 75978 Diagon Alley.
- 1x Plate 2 x 12 (6322219 | 2445). This long plate returns for 2020 in Super Mario 71377 King Boo and the Haunted Yard after a 15-year break, only seen before in Knights Kingdom 8877 Vladek’s Dark Fortress.
- 1x Tile 2 x 3 (6328307 | 26603). The 2 x 3 tile is another rare part shared with BrickHeadz 75317 The Mandalorian & The Child.
- 1x Slope, Curved 3 x 1 (6232148 | 50950). Available only in 71043 Hogwarts Castle and 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage before now.
- 1x Slope, Curved 3 x 2 (6212139 | 24309). This wider POOP of its neighbour is limited to this set, 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage, 75533 Boba Fett and 43183 Moana’s Island Home.
- 2x Brick, Modified 1 x 2 x 1 2/3 with Studs on 3 Sides (6308883 | 67329)
A part I call the super-SNOT is new for 2020 and already loved by builders. These were first introduced in the plethora of new moulds for the Super Mario theme. Most inclusions have been Dark Stone Grey/ Dark Bluish Gray to date while black is found in two Mario sets and in Disney 43179 Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. I expect to see many more sets include this part due to its usefulness.
I’m not immune to the delicate charm of “Baby Yoda” nor to new pieces being added to the LEGO System. No single recoloured part in this set is groundbreaking on its own but the sizable quantity of fan-favourite colours is sure to draw the attention of most LEGO enthusiasts. The finished build makes for a delightful decoration with lots of expression and some playability. Best of all, there’s no bounty on this brick baby’s head.
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