LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery review
LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery is the smallest of the new wave of five Avatar: The Way of Water sets, but it’s also one of the best.
James Cameron’s original 2009 film Avatar was a ground-breaking cinema experience that introduced moviegoers to brand new 3D technology. Heralded as the future of filmmaking, and as pioneering as the technology was at the time, sadly neither 3D cinematography nor the film franchise itself really caught on the way Cameron had hoped – despite it being the most successful movie of all time at the box office.
So it comes as a massive surprise that 13 years later we have a sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. Set some time after the original, the film’s protagonist Jake Sully has embraced his life amongst the Na’vi and has started a family of his own. The trouble begins however when the humans return to Pandora and the Na’vi must flee their treetop homes (the focus of many of the sets in the first LEGO Avatar wave) and find refuge amongst the Metkayina, an amphibious tribe who have mastered a mystical art of breathing underwater for long periods.
Five sets in total have been produced that recreate settings, vehicles and creatures from the film and LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery is the smallest, coming in at just 179 pieces. However, don’t let the diminutive size fool you: this is not only a brilliant entry into the LEGO Avatar theme, but also a fantastic set in its own right.
— LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery set details —
Theme: LEGO Avatar Set name: 75575 Ilu Discovery Release: January 1, 2023
Price: £19.99 / $24.99 / €24.99 Pieces: 179 Minifigures: 2
— Where to buy LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery —
LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery was released with the full wave of the Avatar: The Way of Water sets on January 1, 2023. It’s available worldwide in LEGO Stores, from LEGO.com and through third-party retailers.
— LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery build —
179 vibrant pieces are spread across three bags numbered one and two. The set comes with two minifigures, Tuk (Jake Sully’s biological Na’vi daughter) and Tsireya (daughter of the Metkayina clan’s leaders). As a nice touch throughout the manual there are stills from the film spread amongst the building steps. It’s common to have this kind of production value in much larger sets, but it’s nice to see even in the cheaper sets, aimed at younger fans, that a level of quality has been applied.
The main focus of the set is the titular Ilu water creature. It’s at once a very prehistoric and alien-like creature resembling an ancient plesiosaur. It’s entirely brick-built, with four plastic fins that attach to the main body. There are also two small Pandoran coral reefs to build, which is where the construction process begins.
They are fairly simple to put together, both made from just a handful of pieces, but there’s a nice level of detail with plant leaves, popcorn pieces (recoloured in purple) and even two swimming fish, connected by trans-clear 1×1 plates with clips. The colour scheme of these two small reefs is wonderfully vibrant with a mix of coral pinks, purples, light blues, yellows and greens, offering up a nice selection of smaller parts in rarer colours.
They make for two very colourful side builds which enhance the playability of the set, with younger fans being able to recreate scenes from the film. But the larger of the two also doubles up as a display stand for the Ilu creature to be perched upon, giving the set a decent level of displayability too.
The main focus of the set is the plesiosaur-like creature known as an Ilu. These are intelligent, sociable and easily domesticated sea creatures that serve the Metkayina, like direhorses serve the Na’vi. Their distinctive features include an elongated neck, six flippers, four eyes and whip-like tendrils that extend from its neck – all of which have been faithfully recreated within the set.
The Ilu’s body is built from a variety of slopes, curved slopes and tiles, with the large plastic fins placed over a Technic frame. The front fins and rear fins move independently of one another, allowing for some nice poseability.
The head is built from two new moulded elements, a head and lower jaw, similar to those found within the Jurassic World theme. The printing on the head is particularly well done and flows nicely into the brick-built elements of the main body. The creature’s colour scheme is both vibrant and befitting of the underwater setting, complementing the coral reef setting well and being fairly accurate to its on-screen counterpart. It’s a very straightforward build (as to be expected with an 8+ set) but younger fans will no doubt enjoy constructing the beast nonetheless.
Once completed it looks absolutely fantastic, especially when placed on to the reef display stand. The sense of movement is incredibly well realised with various parts of the body being hinged, allowing for some nice poses – although the neck would have benefited from being placed on a ball and socket joint and not a hinge. When the minifigures are placed around and on top of the Ilu, it further enhances the display aesthetic of the entire set, cleverly recreating a snapshot of an underwater scene from the film.
It’s small enough to fit into almost any space, but thanks to its vibrancy it really pops when on display. It’s a simple yet enjoyable build that yields a brilliant model.
— LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery characters —
The minifigures within the Avatar theme are certainly divisive, with some fans loving the level of detail around the face, while others feel they are a little too much of a departure from a regular minifigure. Both arguments are equally valid as they are a strange hybrid between a classic minifigure and a mini-doll. The Na’vi and Metkayina’s facial features are so distinctive though that perhaps they would look even stranger without the nose and extra detail that has been printed on to the heads.
Regardless of whether you like them or not, they are still very decent minifigures, with incredible printing (perhaps some of the best among the entire LEGO portfolio) extending right the way from the top of the head all the way down the torso and continuing on to the legs. To distinguish between the Na’vi and Metkayina characters they are slightly different shades of blue, with the Na’vi being the darker of the two.
The Way of Water wave also mixes up the sizes of the minifigures’ legs, mirroring the ages and stature of the film’s characters. Tuk is exclusive to this set and has mid-sized legs that incorporate some poseability, and the hair piece is very detailed, capturing the look of the character well. Tsireya (who also appears in 75579 Payakan the Tulkun & Crabsuit) has regular legs that reflect the height of her character, and she comes armed with a very large spear. Both are very good representations of their on-screen counterparts.
— LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery price —
The price point of 75575 Ilu Discovery is another positive, as it’s cheap enough that even the tightest of wallets won’t feel too strained. There are enough features and side builds to make for a great playset, and the integrated display stand means the set also doubles up as a really lovely and colourful display piece too.
— LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery pictures —
— LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery pros and cons —
While 75575 Ilu Discovery isn’t going to win any awards for innovation, it’s certainly still a very fun set to put together – and thanks to the vibrancy of both the Ilu and especially the coral reef elements, it looks excellent and very authentic too.
It’s the cheapest and smallest of the new wave of Avatar sets, offering a more accessible entry point to the theme than any other set before it (beyond the BrickHeadz double-pack). But it still has plenty to offer within that reduced budget in terms of both play and display, which should appeal to both young and old fans alike.
|75575 Ilu Discovery pros||75575 Ilu Discovery cons|
|Beautifully designed models||A very quick and fairly simple build|
|Vibrant colour palette||Not enough range of movement to the final Ilu model|
|Looks great on display|
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
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— LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery?
75575 Ilu Discovery is the smallest of the LEGO Avatar: The Way of Water sets, and as such has a relatively short build time. Experienced builders will have no problem in constructing the whole set in around half an hour, with younger builders perhaps taking slightly longer. Either way though, it is an entertaining model to put together.
How many pieces are in LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery?
As it’s the smallest set, there’s no surprise that 75575 Ilu Discovery also has a small piece count. The two coral reef builds and the Ilu model contain just 179 pieces.
How big is LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery?
The main Ilu model in 75575 Ilu Discovery, not including the reef display stand, measures over 4cm high, 12cm wide and 21cm deep.
How much does LEGO Avatar 75575 Ilu Discovery cost?
75575 Ilu Discovery is available now, and retails for £19.99 in the UK, $24.99 across North America and €24.99 across Europe.