I am doing this review simply to help complete the Star Wars index.
My first review for this fine website was 8002, the Technic Destroyer Droid, which was a marvelous, complicated thing. The Pit Droid on the other hand, was the cheapest of the three sets available. The Pit Droid itself, in the movie, was debatably the least cool droid in The Phantom Menace, in a hard contest with the ever-useless Battle Droids. Of course, a Lego set isn't a popularity contest, and the company has been known to make fantastic lemonade out of lemons, so lets see how it fares.
Name: Pit Droid
Theme: Star Wars/Technic
Cover is the same as the box front. That ol' pit droid, gettin ready to go tune some pod racers with Anakin. Whoooh!
I really like the instructions of this iteration of Lego. Really clear to understand, simple line drawings of how to build the set. I actually rate this above how things are done now, which are slicker, but sometimes a bit hard to make out.
The instructions also show the actions with human hands, which I haven't seen recently (though I don't have any current Technic sets). The hands look a little quaint, but it does the trick.
Your regular assortment of Technic parts. I have to say, it's a nice colour scheme, the tan and green. But I'm not a Technic connoisseur, so I can't objectively judge the rarity of anything here.
The build makes a Rubix Cube look like a baby toy. Do the first dozen steps look like this?
At the halfway point it has legs, and can stand on its own.
But it folds up into this contortionist nightmare.
Twenty minutes later, we come to
The Finished Product
This looks pretty good, and is darn near close to the movie version, save the open helmet. The helmet gets the contours, but a plate would have done the job.
No idea what his tools are, but he is certainly a skinny fellow.
A back view for the sake of completion.
The helmet is about as complicated as it could possibly could be.
Elastic bands hold the hands tense together.
As with the legs. The elastic bands keep them extended.
When tucked together, along with maintaining a unique boxiness, the elastic bands are kept in a rare state of tension. A centimeter of movement would descend the legs.
The whole of it is locked through the 'nose'
When you push it in, it lets the body release. A clever design!
The Finished Product: part 2
The second build, and oh, how I love that there is a second build, leaves this mishmash remaining, so I think it's a pretty good use of parts.
It's a speeder bike. Pretty awesome. In the hierarchy of lovable Star Wars creations, speeder bikes are up there with Boba Fett and Darth Vader's breathing. And this set recreates the bike fairly accurately, right down to the back flaps. It's a great balance for the set. The fairly cool Destroyer Droid Technic set came with a decent AAT as an alternate model, so it's nice to see the dorky pit droid get complemented by the coolest vehicle from the original trilogy.
There is an elastic band between the legs and the tail. Naturally they stay open, which at the same time opens the flaps at the back. This is just brilliant. If you recall them in the film, when sitting, the flaps are closed, and when the driver pushes the legs, the flaps open. This model replicates it perfectly. Pick it up and the legs drop, and the flaps open. This is very, very impressive.
This is a very narrow model.
It's great in the head shot, isn't it?
As you can see, it's not so suitable for mini-figs. This guy looks worse than that ewok did.
It's probably a good scale for an action figure,
The Final Verdict
Design: 10/10 Two models that, at a glance, really capture the movie counterparts to scale. The designs are complicated in a way that goes far over my head.
Build: 8/10 It's a good build. Most of the time I don't know what I'm making, which end is up, etc, until it comes together at the end. But it is complicated in a way that I don't learn anything from it.
Playability: 9/10 The second build makes a lot of the points for this one. Once built, the pit droid works fine, but I can just imagine a kid pretending to make the droid repair a pod racer. The speeder bike, though, fits in your hand great, and would work well with other toy lines.
Price: 8/10 $20 today would be great for a set like this, and is a fair price for it back then too.
Overall: 8/10 This is a solid, if underwhelming set. Since the last Technic set I built was the super complicated destroyer droid, this was a cakewalk to put together; not much time, not much stress. I can't recommend you track it down unless you are a big Technic fan though.
Why Lego chose to make robots, and later characters, out of Technic rather than vehicles is beyond me. The later Stormtrooper and other sets were plain ugly. Instead, they could have made speeders or A-Wings. Within the series though, the first line up, of the destroyer droid, battle droid and pit droid looked the most correct. An interesting part of early Lego Star Wars memorabilia.