Whether you’ve been watching The Mandalorian on Disney + or are a long-time Star Wars fan, the idea of adding a Mandalorian Starfighter to your LEGO collection might fill you with joy. 2012’s LEGO 9525 Pre Vizla’s Mandalorian Fighter was previously the only option, now fetching a pretty penny on sites like eBay if brand new and sealed, but much more affordable if you don’t mind one being used.
A new Mandalorian Starfighter is now available, however, that consists of more parts and is available at a fairly affordable price. But is LEGO 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter a better set overall?
LEGO Star Wars 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter
- RRP: £49.99
- Number of pieces: 544 pieces
- Release date: August 2021
- Age rating: 9+
- Time to build: ~2 hours
What’s in the box?
Inside the smallish box are four bags of bricks numbered one through four. There’s also a sticker sheet with six stickers to attach, and a 96-page instruction manual. Unfortunately it’s a bog-standard manual that just gets straight into the building of the model rather than providing any information or context, but that’s to be expected.
The set contains three minifigures: Gar Saxon, Bo-Katan Kryze, and a Mandalorian Loyalist. All are new for this set, which will no doubt make it an appealing buy, even for those who have the old Mandalorian Fighter.
When it comes to building LEGO Star Wars 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter, the back of the main body is built first. It’s a solid construction which employs a tiny bit of Technic and just one sticker for decoration. At the rear is a rotatable gun – ideal for defending against pursuers.
After building the back of the central part of the craft, the front is then built separately. It’s nice and aggressive looking – there are two blasters to back up that imposing presence, too. It’s just a shame that the cockpit, decorated with three stickers, doesn’t sit flush with the bodywork, leaving a small gap on either side. Once the front of the starfighter is complete, it is attached to the rear via a ballpoint. That means it can be rotated for effect. Nice.
With the body of the starfighter complete, it’s time to build the wings. Like most wings for craft, they can seem rather flimsy initially. Layering is used to provide additional detail and structural integrity, however. When you’re done, you have two beautiful looking, though rather large, wings. They’re attached to the main body via lugs to rotating brackets on either side. That means you can angle the wings upwards. You might want to for display, too, thanks to numerous issues we’ll get to later.
The three minifigs included in the set are built as you make your way through the bags. First up is Bo-Katan Kryze, with her colourful helmet. Fans will appreciate her dual-printed head and printed legs, which allow for great detail. She also has an optional hair piece if you’d rather her not wear her helmet. Next up is the Mandalorian Loyalist, which is a decent minifigure, though it simply has a plain black head. Then you have the evil-looking Gar Saxon. While he has a printed head, he unfortunately doesn’t have a hair piece. In any case, his helmet looks so good that you probably won’t want to take it off anyway.
Play or display?
LEGO Star Wars 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter is primarily aimed as a play piece. It has great swooshability, and features such as firing blasters, rotatable wings and a front cockpit make it dynamic.
Some may want it for display, however, though there are a couple of things to consider. For example, while LEGO 9525 has a landing gear you can retract and put away as necessary, this new model doesn’t. It simply has some bricks placed underneath it that act like a stand, but it gives the model an aggressive, angled stance that doesn’t quite look right. Still, with a little modification made to the underside of the model, this new starfighter can be made very presentable indeed.
Value for money?
If you’re a long-time LEGO Star Wars fan and already have a Mandalorian Starfighter thanks to LEGO 9525 Pre Vizla’s Mandalorian Fighter, you might want to think twice before buying LEGO Star Wars 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter. It’s a little more detailed in places, but the old model has some advantages that aren’t to be sniffed at.
It’s the minifig selection that’s the real winner here, though: Bo-Katan Kryze and Gar Saxon are truly great, and any LEGO Star Wars fan will surely want them in their collection. Overall, there’s some room for improvement, but LEGO Star Wars 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter offers decent value for money. Most might want to wait until it’s on offer before they take the plunge, though.