Review: 40288 BB-8


A small padded envelope came in the mail the other day and inside were my samples of the next Shop@Home Gift with Purchase set: the buildable BB-8 polybag set, number 40288. According to the promotional text, this set will be free with $75 purchase of LEGO Star Wars sets during the May the 4th Be With You unofficial Star Wars holiday weekend.

Right from the picture on the bag, you can see that the build relies on printed 4×4 dishes on five out of the 6 sides of a cube to achieve the ball look and feel. Save for the top side as that is where BB-8’s head unit goes.

The bottom plate is held on by using an axle to reverse 2×2 round plates with a 4×4 round plate to anchor to the bottom of the cube. Up from that axle is a Technic universal joint with a pin that the head attaches to.

It’s rather brilliant as there is just enough clearance to make the head look wobbly as it tilts and spins about.

The one irksome side effect of having an inverted 4×4 radar dish on the bottom is that the stud makes balancing a tricky affair. BB-8 will have a tendency to lean on one side.

And because of the curvature and the top-heaviness of the model, BB-8 will tip over easily.

But despite that, it’s a nice little model. The proportions are a tad off, but considering the similar buildable R2-D2 from last year also has weird proportions. So when they are next to each other, they look just right.

And also considering LEGO minifigs have odd proportions when you compare them to regular people, these buildable droids could not be more LEGO-like. There’s a certain charm to them that’s cartoony and playful. Just make sure you have one of these around so it can stand properly. I’m gonna give him a solid 5 out of 5 stars. Again, he’s a freebie with a $75 purchase of LEGO Star Wars sets during May the 4th weekend.

Will It Fit In A Ziploc Freezer Bag?

Yes, but that would be overkill. One of those half-sized snack bags would work too.

All Of The Pictures

No Giveaway

Git yer own!

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And for the record, LEGO DID provide a review copy of this set.


  1. I managed to come up with a rather unconventional fix for the leaning problem on the BB8. The 2 internal round green plates can simply be replaced with a metal bolt. I then switched the bottom printed disk with the UCS BB8’s top disk and then dremmel-tooled the bottom stud off of the plain white disk I used on the 40288.
    It works great! The BB8 now rolls around with no issues!

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