I am a huge fan of The Mandalorian, so I was excited for the opportunity to build and play with the LEGO Razor Crest model. After having spent about a month with the model in hand, these are my thoughts.
As always with such things, I will review this based on three criteria: How accurate is the ship to the original content (i.e. shelf appeal)? How is the playability? And, most important to a blog for toy photographers, what is its value in front of a toy photographer’s camera?
As you will see this kit has some hits, but a lot of misses. Let’s jump in.
The Razor Crest
The set has an impressive 1,023 pieces, and retails for $129.99 USD. For that you get a decently sized ship (15″ long, 11″ wide), and five minifigures: Mando, The Child, Greef Karga, a scout trooper and IG-11 (LEGO doesn’t count IG-11 as a minifigure in its count, but I do).
The build quality is pretty good. While I didn’t take this model out into the field, I did have to turn it upside down to get one of my shots (see the landing shot below). No parts fell off the ship. It is a rugged design.
This ship is in a smaller scale than the minifigures, but that’s normal for a LEGO model of this size. All of the sides do fold open, which allows easy access to the inside of the ship. The interior details, however, are basically non-existent, so while the access has some definite benefits for playability, it offers nothing in terms of toy photography out of the box. That said, I can see people adding to the inside to improve visual interest for specific shots.
I do like how, despite hating LEGO stickers with a passion, the stickers on the outside really do add to the worn down look of the ship. The engine nacelles also look really good. I love the creative way they made the intake vents. That part is very well done.
The minifigures all look good. I would have liked to see Mando’s helmet be less brown (his helmet is silver-y on the show, not dark bronze), but it’s serviceable. Mando looks good in front of the lens, that’s for sure. The Child looks a little rough, and he has almost no articulation, but I’ll give them a pass given the difficulty of making a figure at this scale (its footprint is a single stud).
I have no idea why they decided to include a scout trooper though, given at no point does one set foot on the Razor Crest. In the show, a scout trooper does come, but on a speeder bike. I would have preferred either to replace that figure with one of Kuiil, or at least given the Scout Trooper a speeder bike. Really though, Kuiil would have been the right decision.
I also would have preferred they included an additional short pistol for Mando to use. Greef gets two, though, so there are enough to go around. It is also a standard issue pistol, so it’s more than likely a proper LEGO fan already has some spares lying around. Mando uses his pistol way more than his rifle, so I think it is an odd choice to deny him his signature weapon.
The landing gear
I would be remiss to not point out the biggest flaw in this model, which is the landing gear. The Razor Crest has landing gear that sweeps out to the side of the ship, and gives it a very sturdy look when grounded—as shown in the below shot by @blksrs.
The LEGO version, however, seems like a total afterthought. Its landing gear is simply three skis, and they are stuck square on the bottom. This makes the ship look like a forgotten boxcar instead of a spacecraft that’s ready to leap into action from the landing pad.
Given the Razor Crest MOCs (My Own Creations) that do have proper-looking gear, I cannot give LEGO the benefit of the doubt on this major design faux-pas. This is nothing short of dropping the ball and it is, in my opinion, the fatal flaw that sinks this model for me in terms of toy photography.
Speaking of which…
I would be derelict in my duties if I didn’t try creating some art with this model, but I found it very hard to get excited about shooting the LEGO Razor Crest. It was super hard to get motivated and put creative energy into a flawed model. I eventually did manage a shot of the Razor Crest landing on a forest planet at night.
Honestly though, the best part of this was just shooting the minifigs, and finally getting to recreate the scene from the first episode when Mando shoots IG-11 to save The Child from assassination. I made it look like the rather epic concept art that rolls during the credits of each show.
Yep, definitely satisfying.
Wrapping it all up
So, after spending some time with this model, with my toy photography hat on, I am reluctantly saying this model is in my “don’t bother” category. The model itself has some fatal flaws with its lackluster landing gear, and its complete lack of interior detail. Because of these glaring issues I can’t even say it would look good on my shelf.
The only saving grace of this model is its immense playability value. I suspect that was the tradeoff LEGO made with this set—sacrificing realism for playability. That is the right decision from a marketing standpoint, but it doesn’t always work for toy photographers. I can see my kids playing with this ship for hours. In fact, shortly after I post this review I am going to make them happy by adding it to their collection of models.
This set doesn’t have a place on my toy shelf. It will likely be played with so much by my kids that it will never even see their shelf. That is my recommendation with LEGO’s Razor Crest. Find a child and give it to him or her. That is where this model was meant to be.