So recently Lego release the amazing UCS BB-8 set (review coming soon) and much to my surprise, I come to find out that they also did an R2-D2 a few years ago.
How I missed that is still a mystery as I usually keep a finger on the pulse of Lego, but alas, it did not even appear as a blip on my radar.
So when I went to see if I could get my hands on one, sadly I come to find the typical Million % mark up on discontinued Lego sets.
After hearing about this company called Lepin, I did some research and found that they make all kinds of “Star Plan” sets, primarily all the old discontinued and a few MOC sets for a fraction of the cost of Lego.
So as my first toe in the pool of fake Lego bricks, I decided to snag a R2-D2 and see if it was worth it.
I was extremely skeptical to begin with, as I am not a huge fan of products from China, especially blatant knock-off like Lepin. So I found a cheap online seller through AliExpress (H & H was the company) and figured nothing ventured, nothing gained.
After a rather short wait (about 14 days) my brand new block-off R2-D2 arrived.
All Lepin sets come in original boxes, but 99% of the sellers out there just send the bags from the set and the instruction, to lower the shipping cost, if you search around you can find seller who have the original box too, but I hardly think the added expense is worth it.
Now one of the downsides in a sense is that the Lepin bags are not marked like the Lego counterparts, they are all just plain clear bags, so you are going to have to do a lot more searching for bricks, very much like the old days of Lego.
Some will love this (like myself) and other will hate this, especially on the bigger sets like the republic Cruiser (review coming soon)
All in all the set was very well constructed, the blocks fit almost exactly as Lego does, you may find the occasional brick that is looser than normal Lego, but this is usually an anomaly.
The colors are near identical as well from what I can tell.
The build itself is 100% identical to the Lego counterpart, pretty sure the instructions are ripped directly from their manual to be honest, and that is fine, let Lego perfect the design.
The R2 unit is very well build, the internal framework is solid, and he even has a cool mechanism to completely hid his middle leg.
Only complaint I have is around his “neck”, the blue flip out components do not sit right in the slots. Now I am not sure if this is a Lepin thing, or just simply an oversight on Lego’s part. But I had to slide a small piece of paper in the slits to make them even.
That was the only flaw I can recall, and ultimately, he is fine without a tweak, but if you are a little anal retentive like I am, then you may want to add the shim.
The last thing that is different is the sticker you get for the display plate.
As this is a Lepin set, they title they stuff accordingly and instead of the Star Wars label, you are given a sticker with Star Plan on it.
This did not sit well with me as I want these sets to look as if they are real Lego.
So I was able to track down a great company located here:
They are fantastic and able to provide “real” UCS stickers for pretty much any set out there.
Price is reasonable too and I snagged a whole pile from sets I intend to buy later on.
So now with R2-D2 complete I can safely assure you, Lepin is the real deal, they are not some cheap crap you will regret buying, they are the the closest thing you can get to Lego for 1/10th the cost of discontinued sets.
If you are looking to back fill your collection, give them a shot, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
A solid 9/10.