01 February 2024

LEGO® Icons parts and minifigures review: 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter

Posted by Zachary Hill

The expansive Dune universe has expanded into LEGO® form and to make that happen, new parts must flow as the spice does. 10327 Atreides Royal Ornithopter reaches wide with impressive wings and comes with equally prolific minifigures, each navigating the sands in detailed and newly printed garb. Today we take a look at the new parts and minifigures within.

Products in this article were gifted by The LEGO Group; the author's opinions are their own.
This article contains affiliate links to LEGO.com; we may get a small commission if you purchase.

10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter
US$164.99/ £149.99/ 164.99€/ AU$249.99
1369 parts
Released 1 February 2024

Set 10327 on LEGO.com

As part of the ever-growing LEGO® Icons line, 10327 Atreides Royal Ornithopter naturally wants to position itself as a premium set to catch the eyes of adults. After all, lengthy Dune novels are hardly children's stories, though the most recent film (this set's source material) is rated for teenage viewers. Some could argue a later series with similar wars in stars, intricate political resource conflict, a chosen one, mind powers, hokey religions, and ancient weapons is more kid- and therefore LEGO-friendly, but in the end it's all The Hero's Journey.

Dune's journey just happens to have a really cool form of air transportation, and fans of all ages would surely prefer their LEGO model of said transportation arrive without scratches on prominent pieces.

Protection besides standard bags for bulky pieces is nothing new. The variety here is what struck me: we have a loose 16L Technic link (2637), a soft bag with two stacked windscreens (13252), a long box hosting the eight new wing elements (5240), and an envelope with the familiar DUPLO-sized stud paper punchouts hinting at the two new capes within to put on Baron Harkonnen and ecologist Liet-Kynes. Most of this extra packaging is dedicated to new parts unique to the ornithopter.

New moulds

  • 8x Propeller 1 Blade 40L with 3 Pin Holes in Titanium Metallic/ Pearl Dark Gray (6463040 | 5240)
An enormous blade was necessary to complete the ornithopter at minifigure scale. Generating enough lift to propel a helicopter-sized dragonfly upward would naturally require moving tremendous volumes of air, taken into account by both the source film and this LEGO set. Another consideration for their scale might be the width of a real-life doorway — the finished model has an immense wingspan of 81 cm/ 32", just slightly narrower than a door. Any larger and the model would be truly cumbersome to swoosh around indoors.

Each blade is 40 modules long and 3 modules wide and has a row of 3 Technic pin holes as its connection points. This makes it a purely Technic System part, of which 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter integrates many. Of its 1369 pieces, 583 parts have only Technic connections, and another 75 have a combination of regular LEGO System connections and Technic System connections.

The thin blades don't slide comfortably through 1x2 grille tile (2412) grooves, but they can be forced to fit. They do slide perfectly between human fingers if you want to pretend you're Marvel's Wolverine.

TLG had plans within plans when they put these blades in a box within a box, and surely that plan was to keep the blades straight and undamaged. It works for the most part, but given the extreme dimensions of these thin parts, some warpage is inevitable. 

A little bit of consistent drooping across all the wings would look cohesive, but our review copy had one odd wing out which wants to curve upward. Yes, it's installed in the correct orientation. It's not too noticeable when the wings are flapping or folded, but when they're extended and stationary as above, the effect is less picture-perfect than official product images.

The other new mould is much more rigid.

  • 1x Windscreen 6 x 4 x 1⅔ Wedge Angled in Trans-Black (6463049 | 5241)
The multifaceted, all-glass cockpit of the ornithopter is one of its defining features. To complete the front, this new windshield adds a more polygonal option for medium-sized windshields.

When oriented vertically as at the front of the ornithopter, this part is just slightly taller than a minifigure. That makes it a great option for mech builders who want to give the pilot a premium full-body view.

This windscreen is a perfect fit for 6 x 2 wedges or larger parts with the same angle, like the 12 x 3 wedge plate I've attached a 65° 2 x 2 x 2 slope to. That angle matches the vertical taper of the rearmost section of the new trans-black canopy.

Several 6 x 4 windscreens existed before this, though just one other has both wedged sides and a closed back. That would be Windscreen 6 x 4 x 2 Wedge Curved (41883), popular throughout the 2000s. The ornithopter's new windscreen feels like a gem-cut version of this older rounded one.

Recoloured elements

The Atreides Royal Ornithopter is far from having the highest total quantity of Trans-Black elements (that title goes to 76269 Marvel Avenger's Tower with 315) but it does tie with two other sets for the current highest number of unique elements in this new translucent shade (4).

  • 2x Windscreen 6 x 13 x 2 (6473943 | 13252)
  • 1x Glass for Window 1 x 4 x 6 (6473942 | 35294)
  • 1x Panel 1 x 4 x 3 with Side Supports / Hollow Studs (6467819 | 35323)
These and the new windscreen mould above are used to form the wraparound glass cockpit, giving the pilot maximum visibility as they pilot the computer-less ornithopter. Digital systems are outlawed in the Dune universe, and its many advanced systems rely on human mental power, which is often amplified by spice.

  • 2x Technic, Brick 5 x 5 Right Angle (6477164 | 28973)
  • 10x Slope 10 6 x 1 with 1 x 2 x 1 / 3 Cutout (6470155 | 4569)
Two parts get their first appearances in Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray, in fact in any grey shade. Since their 2001 introduction, the structurally-useful angled Technic bricks are usually Black. The recent 1 module-wide paring down of the over-four-decades-old 10° 6 x 8 slope (4515), first seen in LEGO Icons 10318 Concorde, will be useful for rockwork, city streets, and more in this colour.

  • 8x Technic Pin Connector Perpendicular 3L with 2 Pins (6477712 | 2393)
This useful connector was introduced last year in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray, now it's available in discreet Black. These eight connectors secure the ornithopter's wings, and its tremendous coupling power is otherwise useful for LEGO Technic MOCcers who want a strong chassis, often built all in black.

New prints 

  • 2x Tile 2 x 3 with White Atreides Bird Insignia Pattern in Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray (6476888 | 26603)
Just one part is printed apart from the minifigures. Two copies of this Atreides crest tile emblazon the cockpit doors.

Rare parts 

  • 2x Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Scroll with Hollow Stud in Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray (6388131 | 20310)
  • 4x Bar 1L with Tow Ball in Bright Orange/ Orange (6474196 | 22484)
  • 2x Wedge, Plate 6 x 2 Right in Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray (6448325 | 78444)
  • 2x Wedge, Plate 6 x 2 Left in Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray (6448323 | 78443)
  • 1x Technic, Shock Absorber 6.5L - Hard Spring, Tight Coils at Ends in Black (6414768 | 4255c07)
  • 2x Slope, Inverted 45 2 x 1 with 2/3 Cutout in Black (6465248 | 2310)
  • 1x (+1 extra) Minifigure, Weapon Sword, Roman Gladius with Thick Crossguard in White (6480837 | 18034)
A handful of parts in three or fewer sets are included with the ornithopter, all recent with the earliest introduced in 2021. Some have been plentiful in the few sets they appeared in, however. 72 Dark Bluish Gray scroll bricks came with the giant LEGO Icons 10307 Eiffel Tower, and the white gladius swords serving as crysknives were seen extensively in LEGO® Harry Potter™ 76392 Hogwarts Wizard’s Chess with 20 copies.

Buy set 10327 on LEGO.com

New minifigures 

Nearly two dozen minifigure elements are new in the forms of capes, printed faces and bodies, and armour.

Paul and Lady Jessica Atreides are two of the most prominent characters in Dune, so naturally they stand out from the rest of this set's minifigures in unique colours. Light Nougat heads with dual expressions capture the likenesses of Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson. As the son of Duke Leto Atreides, Paul comes dressed in House Atreides' militaristic formal wear in Earth Green/ Dark Green.

The extravagant gold dress Lady Jessica Atreides wears in Dune: Part One upon arrival to the desert planet Arrakis includes several details which are hard to recreate. Forgone are her sheer face covering and lengthy train, but the outfit is still elegant in LEGO form with gold printing across most of it. Of the details which could translate to minifigure form, her first expression's chain maille covering is exquisite. Her long angular hood is a new colour for the part in Warm Gold/ Pearl Gold (6473094 | 59276), which has only been in browns, black, and dark blue since it was introduced five years ago.

Dr. Liet-Kynes, Duke Leto Atreides, and Chani (portrayed in the 2021 and upcoming films by Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya respectively) all wear Titanium Metallic/ Pearl Dark Gray torsos and legs newly printed with stillsuit patterns. The whole-body moisture-retaining technology is new to Duke Leto and his clan, but it's a second skin to Fremen planetary ecologist Liet-Kynes and her warrior daughter, Chani. Intricate tubing patterns for water re-use crisscross their bodies, faithful to their on-screen appearances.

Only five minifigures in and we're treated to the variety of four different skin tone colours used in this set. Liet-Kynes and Duke Leto use two recently-introduced colours, Medium Brown and Warm Tan, while Chani's head is Medium Nougat. Oscar Isaac and Zendaya have both appeared as minifigures before (Poe Dameron from Star Wars and MJ from Spider-Man), though Isaac is now presented in Warm Tan instead of the longer-running Light Nougat colour.

Besides blue-within-blue eyes, the Fremen characters both feature newly recoloured neckwear. Liet-Kynes wears the first recolour (6478844 | 103435) of Mateo's cape from LEGO®  DREAMZzz™ and Chani sports a long wrapped scarf (6475959 | 25376), both in Sand Yellow/ Dark Tan. They also bear some of the most iconic tools from the Dune universe: Liet-Kynes holds sandworm hooks for riding the behemoths, and Chani holds a crysknife, made from a gargantuan sandworm tooth.

Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho are two of House Atreides' most trusted members. The family's warmaster (portrayed by Josh Brolin) wears bulky armour matching his film appearance, including a newly recoloured and printed chestpiece with shoulder pads in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6478014 | 78643). Several versions of this armour now exist, none of which are unprinted.

Master swordsman Duncan Idaho wears a white shirt seen as he fights his way through Harkonnen troops to depart in an ornithopter, with a utility belt tucked under the back. Duncan's hair is 2023's new short hairstyle with a bun in its first recolour to Dark Brown (6478066 | 3598)—a perfect style for Jason Momoa's luscious locks. Given the short length of the back of the hair, Idaho's beard stubble of his second facial expression shows underneath, but it does work as a taper fade. Similar to Oscar Isaac's character, this figure marks a change from portraying Momoa in Light Nougat to Warm Tan.

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (incorrectly spelled Valdimir in the instructions) is a menacing, calculating, and ruthless villain. He's not above dirty tactics, but he is above walking, as his grotesque body floats aloft on suspensor balls. Given his baldness, this is the only character without a dual-sided head, but his unwavering look of superiority and disdain fit the perpetually-grumpy space tyrant.

The longest minifigure cape ever floats beneath him, with a grim pattern and Trans-Clear stand adding to its gravitas. The cape material is the thinner, paperlike fabric unlike Liet-Kynes' spongey cape above, which gives Baron Harkonnen's outfit a greater chance of being permanently creased. I'll be handling him quite gently to avoid damage. One advantage this material offers is its lightly-coloured underside, which adds contrast to the back portions visible from the front.

Underneath his long robe, a standard unprinted black torso and legs make up Harkonnen's body.

The parts must flow

As a premium set and quite possibly the only Dune set The LEGO Group will produce, it's apparent few compromises were made in putting 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter together. An extensive cast of minifigures (far more than will fit in the ornithopter) ensures most fans' favourite characters are represented. If you had hoped for figures of conflicted Dr. Yueh, Atreides mentat Thufir Hawat, Harkonnen assassin Piter de Vries, or others, you're better off kitbashing your own.

Despite the suitability of the recently-introduced Reddish Orange colour for Dune's all-important substance spice melange, there's none of this colour to be found in the ornithopter. Given the extremely limited interior space of the finished model, or perhaps an aversion from The LEGO Group to including even fictional drugs in their products, it's hard to find any place any released Reddish Orange elements could fit. Still, the potent powdery spice permeates everything on Arrakis and even a Reddish Orange 1 x 2 plate in place of the set's lone filler Lime 1 x 2 plate would have made a nice Easter egg.

The most recognizable element from this set, the lengthy wing blade, has potential for large-scale figure and vehicle builders, and it's exciting to see many more elements appearing in the new Trans-Black. Arguably more innovative are this set's movement functions, which we'll examine soon in New Elementary's upcoming build review of 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter.

Set 10327 on LEGO.com

READ MORE: LEGO® ICONS™ review and interview: 10331 Kingfisher Bird

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  1. You didn't mention that the Gurney figure also marks a change from portraying Brolin in MdLavender to LtNougat.

    1. Ha! The thought did cross my mind.

    2. I have received the set. I love it but 2 of the wing blades were more curved than others and so I have had the same occurence as described here - I suspect it is not a rare occurrence

    3. I wondered if this would be an issue for others. It's unfortunate but I'm glad I mentioned it in case it would be a major disappointment to anyone.

      Personally I can live with it, but I see how it's annoying for a $170 set to have such inconsistencies. Most of the time my 'thopter sits on display with its wings folded which makes the errant curvatures less noticeable, but it's apparent when you take a longer look.

  2. If you look at other reviews on YT they all had the same warped/curved blade issue. Even the box art shows that not all blades are straight. I suspect it's a quality issue attributed to the mold cavity and cooling time of specific blades only. You could check which mold cavity number is molded in on the affected parts and compare these numbers to other reviewers copy.
    All I can say is that the extra long rotor blades of Technic helicopters did not have this issue "out of the box".