Comparing LEGO Icons 10327 Dune Ornithopter to its movie counterpart

How does LEGO Icons 10327 Dune Ornithopter compare to its on-screen counterpart, one of the more memorable visuals in 2021’s Dune?

The LEGO Group officially revealed 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter yesterday, with the 1,369-piece LEGO Icons model launching February 1, 2024, priced at £149.99 / $164.99 / €164.99. The distinctive craft is based on the dynamic dragonfly-inspired Imperium vehicle featured in Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film, Dune, and is one of the stand-out visuals in the movie.

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To create the Ornithopters, the filmmakers used a combination of practical effects and CG elements to deliver a unique fantasy vehicle, one that also remained grounded in reality. In total, the movie’s VFX crew built two 12 ton Ornithopters for the cast to interact with, although only a fraction of the full-size craft was ever realised at 1:1 scale.

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In a 2021 interview with IGN, director Denis Villeneuve discussed the creation of Dune’s Ornithopters, specifically mentioning that one practical version of the craft was designed like ‘a LEGO piece,’ allowing for some sections to be removed for close-up shots of the cast.

From the official images we’ve seen so far (and a viewing at a recent LEGO Fan Media Day), 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter certainly appears to match the look of its big screen cousin quite closely. The vehicle’s unique cockpit has been recreated using a trio of windshield pieces (one of which is a new element), with two opening up to allow minifigures to sit inside.

Likewise, a lowering rear access ramp has also been included, along with four deployable landing gear that mirror the movie craft’s own functionality, albeit at a smaller scale than the on-screen versions. However, it’s the fold-out and flappable wings of 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter that are easily the stand-out feature of the upcoming LEGO Icons set.

These new wing elements are deployed via a mechanism at the top rear of the vehicle and simulate the ship’s distinctive insect-like flight and landing modes. Designer Mike Psiaki himself demonstrated this feature at the LEGO Media Fan Day, wooshing and swooshing the model around, much to the amusement of those in attendance.

At this stage, the only notable deviation from the vehicles seen in Dune appear to be the lack of any firing (or flick) missiles, but we’re speculating that specific functionality might not have been a consideration when taking into account the LEGO Icons set’s target audience.

10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter will be released on February 1, 2024, for £149.99 / $164.99 / €164.99 and the LEGO Icons set can be pre-ordered right now.

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Author Profile

Matt Yeo
From video game journalism to kids’ publishing, I’ve been there, seen it, done it and worn the T-shirt. I was also the editor of the first-ever official LEGO magazine way back when, LEGO Adventures. I have a passion for movies, comic books, tech and video games, with a wallet that’s struggling to keep up with my LEGO set wish list.

Matt Yeo

From video game journalism to kids’ publishing, I’ve been there, seen it, done it and worn the T-shirt. I was also the editor of the first-ever official LEGO magazine way back when, LEGO Adventures. I have a passion for movies, comic books, tech and video games, with a wallet that’s struggling to keep up with my LEGO set wish list.

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