Mini Steps: The Evolution Of The Droideka

Although LEGO does not count droids or brick-built characters as minifigures, Bricklink, Brickset, and many collectors do. With our previous R2-D2 Mini Steps we covered a droid character, and now it is time to cover the brick-built Droideka.

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The first Destroyer Droid was released in 2002 and was built out of twenty-six elements. It is the only Droideka to be created with old brown parts. The build relied on several battle droid arms, clips, and handles to obtain the overall look. Upside down revolvers snapped into binoculars comprise the twin blaster cannons. This first version appeared in two sets – 7203 Jedi Defense I and 7163 Republic Gunship.

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It would be four years before the next iteration would come out with the 7662 Trade Federation MTT. This is the only version to come with a non-brown color but instead opted for copper. The two curved bricks that make up the head portion of the destroyer were exclusive to the set making this the most expensive Droideka to piece together.

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Another four years passes before 7877 Naboo Starfighter is released and a new Destroyer Droid is revealed. This version would be the first to use an octagonal bar frame element that would become the standard for most of the Droidekas to come. Of all the designs, this one is perhaps the flimsiest of all.

With the release of 75000 Clone Troopers vs. Droidekas came a new version of this brick-built droid. Featuring a more compact body than the previous iterations, this droid maintained several aspects of the prior version but strengthened the body connections. The following year an almost identical version was released with 75045 Republic AV-7 Anti-Vehicle Cannon but came with flat silver arms instead of the pearl dark gray of the previous one. Honestly, without them side-by-side many collectors would have a difficult time discerning the two.

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That wasn’t all for 2013 though because the first specialized Destroyer Droid was released with 75002 AT-RT. This version – referred to as a Sniper Droid – had a long barrel projecting from the front. The rounded appearance of this droid makes it the most accurate in terms of appearance to what fans see in The Phantom Menace. Perhaps it’s the whopping 42 pieces that make it so accurate!

With only a few changes to a prior design, the Droideka released in 75092 Naboo Starfighter is the only one to feature stickers. Unlike any of the prior versions, this one came with two triangle clips that then had stickers applied to them. Although you probably wouldn’t have noticed them, the Destroyer Droids shown on screen do in fact have metal plates that project from the sides which these triangles are meant to represent.

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Comprised of the smallest part count is the Destroyer included with the October 2018 issue of the LEGO Star Wars magazine. This is without a doubt the worst of all the brick-built designs for this droid. It is also the only Droideka to use dark brown pieces.

A total of eight different versions of this droid is impressive considering how many other minifigures have received even fewer updates. No one design has fully captured the look which leaves room for improvement. A regular production set hasn’t come with a Destroyer Droid since 2015 which means we could be due anytime. Perhaps the next one will finally incorporate a deflector shield!

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