About LEGO Star Wars
LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander 75253 Overview
LEGO Boost Droid Commander turns coding into a Star Wars mission. The best is to get a major update and a high dose of Star Wars magic. Released on September 1 at $199 US, the Lego Boost Droid Commander package has all the tools your child (or yourself) needs to create an R2-D2, a Gonk Droid and a Mouse Droid while learning a lot about programming.
The 17101 Lego Boost Creative Toolbox (#ad), launched in 2017, remains the favorite toy for budding engineers and developers under the age of 12, combining the pleasure of building LEGO with the best companion application I’ve ever seen. Unlike many other robot programming applications that offer children a giant toolbox of block-based code, with limited instructions and no goals, LEGO Boost software optimizes the learning experience by requiring children to complete a series of sequential challenges to unlock new features.
With the Boost application, children are never stuck, as the program always provides them with advice on how to complete each task, while giving them enough flexibility to write their own programs. The Boost coding language is entirely block-based, with icons on each block to show you its function. Because there is no reading to do, even illiterate children can learn.
LEGO Boost Droid Commander features an application that increases the gamification rank to 11. The app, which is available for iOS, Android and Amazon Fire, will certainly be part of an exciting interactive experience. Star Wars Story.
You start on the planet Tatooine, where different characters, including Luke Skywalker, entrust you with coding missions. There are different missions for each droid. You will need R2-D2 for some challenges and Gonk Droid or Mouse Droid for others. During a demonstration, I took part in a mission during which Luke asked the R2 to help him map Beggar Canyon.
As you progress, you go to the Millenium Falcon, where you travel to different places, each with its own missions and characters. Places include Bespin, the Death Star and (incredibly) Alderaan. Yes, you can travel to Alderaan – the planet where, in Star Wars: Episode IV – The New Hope, the Black Star explodes – and do programming missions there.
At one point in the game’s history, you can also be involved in the Battle of Yavin. There is a coding challenge involving R2-D2, and you will also get the chance to lead an X-Wing fighter in the application. In one of the plots in the story involves the Empire that is organizing a birthday party for Grand Moff Tarkin. There are 43 missions in total.
Unlike the original Lego Boost, which requires you to break up each of its five robots to create the next one, the 1,177 parts of the Droid Commander kit give you enough elements to build all three Droids at the same time. However, as with the original Boost, there is only one electronic component: the Bluetooth Move Hub, which has the controller and a motor, a color/distance sensor and an external motor. Each Droid opens to allow you to exchange electronic components, without destroying it.
The Boost Droid Commander kit also comes with a multitude of Lego elements that help you create accessories for different missions. For instance, the Gonk Droid has different removable arms that you can activate or deactivate, and R2-D2 has computer terminals (non-electronic) to which it can connect.
Robots move in different ways. While R2-D2 and the Mouse Droid roll on wheels, the Gonk Droid walks on feet. If you simply want to move one of these robots around the living room without writing a program, the application has a driving mode with a joystick and on-screen buttons. You can even write custom programs to attach to each of its six buttons.
If you have completed all the programming challenges or simply want to work from a blank canvas, you can create your own custom programs by going to the Jawa sandcrawler. There, you have access to all the blocks, which you can use to control one of the three droids or a robot of your own design.
Lego Boost Droid Commander will definitely become the most popular STEM toy of the 2019 holiday season. Lego targets children 8 years and older (Original Boost is labeled 7-12), but since there is only a minimum amount of text in the application (planet names are labeled as help screens), younger children should benefit. My son mastered the original Lego Boost at the age of five and a half.
At $199.99, the Boost Droid Commander package costs about $40 more than the original Boost package. However, you get about 400 extra bricks and a Star Wars game, which should make it worth the bonus.