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Review 8000: Pit Droid


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#1 Speedy

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:35 AM

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I am doing this review simply to help complete the Star Wars index.

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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.

Set#: 8000
Name: Pit Droid
Theme: Star Wars/Technic
Year: 2000
Pieces: 223
MSP: U.S.$20

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Make quick repairs with a pit droid! When your Podracer needs repairs, better hope you have a pit droid to help out! They're quick and powerful and great for fast fixes. Folds up when not needed.

The booklet
Cover is the same as the box front.  That ol' pit droid, gettin ready to go tune some pod racers with Anakin.  Whoooh!
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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.
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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.
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The Pieces
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.
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The Build
The build makes a Rubix Cube look like a baby toy.  Do the first dozen steps look like this?
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Or this?
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At the halfway point it has legs, and can stand on its own.
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But it folds up into this contortionist nightmare.
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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.
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No idea what his tools are, but he is certainly a skinny fellow.
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A back view for the sake of completion.
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The helmet is about as complicated as it could possibly could be.
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Elastic bands hold the hands tense together.
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As with the legs.  The elastic bands keep them extended.
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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.
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The whole of it is locked through the 'nose'
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When you push it in, it lets the body release.  A clever design!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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This is a very narrow model.  
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It's great in the head shot, isn't it?
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As you can see, it's not so suitable for mini-figs.  This guy looks worse than that ewok did.
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It's probably a good scale for an action figure, but I'm a grown-up, so I don't own any action figures but the only action figure I own is this very dusty 2003 Clone Wars cartoon General Grevious.  I tried putting him on, but his non-detachable cape hindered that scheme, so he settled for posing in front like it was his Harley.  I think a six inch figure would fit nicely though.  
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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.

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#2 Inconspicuous

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:51 AM

Awesome review def.  :thumbup: You've provided a nice insight into the silly little thing. I always found the Technic line to be so weird, and this droid seemed much more unstable to me than it is according to your review. However, it still has something to be desired. On the other hand, I really like the alternate model.  :classic:

Thanks for the review of this uncommon set, it's not very often I get to learn a lot about a set like this.

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#3 prateek

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:55 AM

Awesome review, and a great set. I love the alternate model :thumbup:

#4 Steel Dragon

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:59 AM

I was this close *holds up fingers, half an inch apart* to having this set when it came out, but no! I had to wait and get the Darth Vader (which my brother insisted was cooler  :tongue: ), and even then the Technic Darth is one of maybe 3 models I own but have never built. Such a sad situation :cry_sad: .

But enough sob story: this is a great review for a great set, and a welcome addition to the review archives I'm sure. I never knew about the spring-loaded aspect; very nice!

View PostTereglith, on Jan 26 2010, 09:46 PM, said:

pretty much Steel Dragon made his and then the rest of us said "Hey, that's cool..."

#5 Speedy

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:03 AM

View PostInconspicuous, on Jan 26 2010, 09:51 AM, said:

I always found the Technic line to be so weird, and this droid seemed much more unstable to me than it is according to your review.

This this is incredibly stable, much more than the destroyer droid.  Part of it is that Technic uses so many pins, but part is that it's not very big, so it doesn't buckle under its own weight.  I totally agree that the Technic line was weird, but those first three sets, 8000, 8001, and 8002 all look somewhat normal.

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#6 Inconspicuous

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:09 AM

View Postdef, on Jan 25 2010, 06:03 PM, said:

This this is incredibly stable, much more than the destroyer droid.  Part of it is that Technic uses so many pins, but part is that it's not very big, so it doesn't buckle under its own weight.  I totally agree that the Technic line was weird, but those first three sets, 8000, 8001, and 8002 all look somewhat normal.

By weird I kind of meant 'outcast' from the whole line. The Technic series is so often overlooked simply because it's not System, and all the other sets are, if you get what I mean.

That's interesting, I never thought the reason it is so stable is because it's light. Looking at pictures, I thought it was bound to collapse any second. but I'll take your word for it.

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#7 ILikePi

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:40 AM

Thanks for this detailed review def!

I'm not a fan of Technic sets, mostly because of how complicated they are. They also hurt your fingers when disassembling them! :grin:
However, your review has made this set look very interesting. I just love the push-to-unfold nose, very cool.
And that alternate model speeder bike is amazing! Too bad we don't get alternates anymore (in non-Creator or Technic sets). :sad:

For a 2000 set, this looks awesome!  :thumbup:

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#8 Speedy

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:41 AM

View PostInconspicuous, on Jan 26 2010, 10:09 AM, said:

By weird I kind of meant 'outcast' from the whole line. The Technic series is so often overlooked simply because it's not System, and all the other sets are, if you get what I mean.

Fair enough, I still think they're all weird  :tongue:  Mainly stuff like Technic Darth Vader, which makes no sense to me.

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#9 Tereglith

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 03:02 AM

Ooh! I have this set, and I loved it when I first got it (I was pretty young then). The push-the-nose unfolding is still the most clever thing I've ever seen in a lego set.

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#10 Brickus

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:00 AM

I only recently got this set and for a fair price too (MISB), so that I could complete my Technic collection. It really is a stable set when it has rubber bands, but a couple of years and the set will totally collapse.

Edited by Aussie Tahu Nuva, 26 January 2010 - 10:02 AM.


#11 drdavewatford

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:57 AM

Really nice review, def - great job ! I particularly like the way you also constructed the alternate design. Most people don't usually bother with this, and I had never seen it before. Cool speeder !

The Lego Star Wars Technc sets range from ugly (stormtrooper) to pretty cool (Vader) with this cute one somewhere in the middle. It's an elegant design - stable, readily unidentifyable and it actually works - and that's really not the case for some of the other Star Wars Technic sets. I bought up these sets from eBay last year but have to admit I've not got around to building them yet...... it took me long enough to completely take them apart so I could check that all the pieces were there ! Which they weren't, of course (apart from the 2 sealed sets !)

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#12 pedro

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:19 PM

Really nice, comprehensive review there Def, thanks!

I was never really a huge fan of the technic Star Wars sets so didn't pick any of them up. There's a nice novelty factor about this guy but he wouldn't sit well with the rest of my display. As far as parts go I don't think I'd have great use for most of them, but can appreciate they'd be pretty useful to a Technic builder.

#13 Speedy

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:44 PM

View PostAussie Tahu Nuva, on Jan 26 2010, 05:00 PM, said:

I only recently got this set and for a fair price too (MISB), so that I could complete my Technic collection. It really is a stable set when it has rubber bands, but a couple of years and the set will totally collapse.

True enough. I left my Technic sets built in a box for eight years, and when I 'rediscovered' them the elastics were either stretched out or broken.  They never taught that in science class, did they?

Anyway, the only two Technic sets I got had piles and piles of elastic bands in them.  I probably have 40 unused ones.  Probably that's a rare occurrence, and I was working at Toys R Us at the time and tended to pocket stuff that wasn't sellable when possible, like incomplete merch (is there a confession booth here?).  Anyway, this review all used new elastics that I had stashed away.

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#14 Brickus

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:47 PM

Yeah, I don't use the rubber bands they give you in the set, I just buy a box of rubber bands of relatively same size from the post office.

#15 RileyC

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 02:12 AM

Meh I dont care for the technic line that much. I prefer the alternate model to the pit droid. I don't get why they made the pit droid green and tan though? It seems like an odd combination.
Great review

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#16 Walter Kovacs

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 05:18 AM

Nice review, def.  

This set was one of my more recent acquisitions.  My wife went garage sale hopping, and bought a box of LEGO for $2.  Lo and behold, an almost complete Pit Droid and an equally nearly complete 8001 Battle Droid were in that box!  Plus two other sets that my son got to add to his collection.  

Overall, the set is really very nice.  I avoided these Technic sets when they first came out because I thought they didn't look all that great.  But I've changed my tune.  They are very cleverly constructed, and look pretty accurate considering the lack of system parts.  Now if I could just find large quantities of replacement elastic bands...
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#17 Big Cam

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:11 PM

I've never been much of a fan of the technic sets but they did nail this one.

And your review is more than complimetary tot eh set, so many great detailed pics. :thumbup:



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