LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine review

The villainous RDA stars in LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine, a set that offers great play value – but a model that’s not entirely accurate to its source material.

The sequel that no-one ever expected is here. After a 13-year hiatus, the Avatar franchise is back with a brand new adventure titled The Way of Water. The RDA are once again battling the Na’vi, and this time the fight is taken to the seas, both above and below, and a new amphibious clan the Metkayina join the battle to save Pandora. 

Five sets in total make up this latest wave, featuring creatures, locations and vehicles from the new film. LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine puts the spotlight on the evil RDA, recreating one of their powerful and dangerous attack subs. 

It’s a set that offers great playability, with representations from both the heroic Na’vi and the unscrupulous RDA, but will that alone be enough to warrant adding this to your collection?  

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— LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine set details —

Theme: LEGO Avatar Set name: 75577 Mako Submarine Release: January 1, 2023

Price: £49.99 / $59.99 / €54.99 Pieces: 553 Minifigures: 4

LEGO: Available now

— Where to buy LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine —

LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine launched on January 1, 2023, alongside the four other sets that make up the full Avatar: The Way of Water wave. It’s available worldwide in LEGO Stores and from LEGO.com, and through third-party retailers such as Zavvi.

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— LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine build —

A total of 553 pieces are spread across six bags numbered one through four in 75577 Mako Submarine. Four exclusive minifigures are included: the Na’vi character Neteyam, Ao’Nung the Metkayina, RDA Quaritch and a rare human character for the theme, the orphaned Spider.

The main model for the set is of course the Mako Submarine, an impressive and sizeable vessel that’s accompanied by three smaller Pandoran reef side builds – one of which disappointingly uses quite an ugly BURP (big ugly rock piece). Also included is an alien stingray creature. 

The build begins by constructing the smaller reef side builds. While they are simple to put together, they contain a wealth of vibrant parts that add a lot of colour to the final model. They look highly authentic and offer parts collectors a range of recoloured unusual parts, such as dark turquoise bananas, glow in the dark crowns, purple carrots and pink tentacles to name a few. The Avatar: The Way of Water theme is somewhat reminiscent of LEGO Friends with such a mix of vibrant and unusual colours.

There are two of the small reef builds, both of which are enjoyable if not particularly time-consuming to construct. The final seabed build is an underwater cave that uses arches and a BURP to create the opening. It’s nice to have more variety than just another small reef build, and although the preference would be to have smaller parts doing the job of the BURP, it’s actually well disguised and utilised well. Clever parts usage creates the look of a vibrant underwater scene bursting with all manner of Pandoran sea life – the aforementioned carrots, bananas and crowns are all put to great use and the final look feels nicely authentic.

Each build also doubles up as a display stand for either the Mako sub or the included minifigures. It’s a common motif used throughout the entire Avatar theme, both this wave and the previous wave, and it really adds so much to the sets, allowing for both display and play.

The main model of the set is the Mako Submarine. In universe this is a small attack sub used by the RDA to launch underwater strikes. The front is made up of a glass canopy, similar to that of a fighter jet, and there are four foldable wings that allow for better hydrodynamics. There is room for a pilot and a gunner, and it comes armed with four torpedoes and a front cannon. Not all of these elements have been faithfully recreated, though the designers obviously had to contend with limited source material given the film wasn’t finished yet.

It’s a pretty classic build, constructed using parts such as 4×4 triple inverted wedges and inverted 4×4 double slopes (pieces commonly used on LEGO City planes and boats). There are a handful of clever techniques thrown in to keep the build interesting: 1×2 brackets allow for parts to be placed on top and along the sides, which is a common technique in sets aimed at older fans, so it’s nice to see it being employed in a set geared towards younger fans too. The second half of the build bulks up the submarine, adding more detail to the fuselage, as well as connecting three rotor blades to the back and three transparent cockpit pieces to the front.

The majority of the detail comes from brick-built elements, such as the torpedos on either side, with a few stickers here and there adding extra detail, namely the sides of the engines, the CET-OPS livery and the cockpit controls. The predominantly sand green colour scheme is not only authentic to the on-screen craft, but also complements the coral reef builds really well, adding even more display potential to the set.

If there’s one complaint to make, it’s in the cockpit: huge gaps probably aren’t conducive to a vehicle designed to go underwater, and indeed the canopy is completely closed off in the movie. The four wings at the side don’t fold either like they do in the film, and the front cannon has been replaced by two stud launchers on either side. It’s not the most accurate of models, but as an approximation of the on-screen submarine, it’s a pretty decent model.

— LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine characters —

Four exclusive minifigures are included in 75577 Mako Submarine: Jake Sully’s eldest son Neteyam, his adopted son and human orphan Spider, the Metkayina clan leader’s son Aonung, and a rare representation of the RDA amongst the Way of Water sets in RDA Quaritch, Jake Sully’s nemesis.

As is the case with the entire Avatar theme, the minifigures are all beautifully detailed with exceptional printing on all components. Some of the Na’vi have shorter legs this time, accurately representing their on-screen counterparts, with only Quaritch having the somewhat strange elongated legs that were reintroduced in the first Avatar wave (having first shown up in LEGO Toy Story). 

Spider borrows his hair piece from Bro Thor (included in 76200 Bro Thor’s New Asgard), but it is a suitable choice as it reflects his character well. His face mask used for breathing in Pandora’s air (and water) is also well recreated with some stylish printing. 

— LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine price —

Sets with IPs such as LEGO Star Wars or LEGO Jurassic World tend to have a higher cost to cover the licence agreement, with fans often feeling a little cheated with how much content they’re actually getting for their money. Considering the Avatar IP is owned by Disney, you would expect to also see inflated prices. 

However, that’s not the case within the Avatar theme, or at least not the Way of Water sets. Each one includes a number of interesting and vibrantly-designed side builds, exclusive minifigures and decent main models, and 75577 Mako Submarine is no exception. When comparing the price of this set to (for example) LEGO City sets at the same price, you can see that we’re actually getting a pretty good deal with the Avatar theme. 

The blend of play and display potential incorporated into the set offer an even better feeling of money well spent, no matter where you fall in the LEGO Group’s target demos.

— LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine pictures —

— LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine pros and cons —

75577 Mako Submarine is a great set, and probably one of the only sets in this current wave (the other being 75579 Payakan and the Tulkan & Crabsuit) that features both the heroes and villains of The Way of Water, allowing for a more complete play experience. As with the other sets in the theme, the submarine can also be smartly displayed on top of one of the coral reef side builds. 

The build itself is enjoyable and at certain stages pretty engaging. The Mako Submarine is not completely accurate to the craft featured in the film, such as the cockpit being open rather than fully enclosed, but these are easily explained away when considering the size of the final model and the targeted age range of the set as a whole.  

It’s good value for money and offers something a little different in a theme dominated by strange creatures and alien landscapes. 

75577 Mako Submarine pros 75577 Mako Submarine cons
A decently-sized final model, and a manta ray! BURP pieces used for the underwater cave
Good selection of minifiguresIt’s not entirely accurate to its on-screen counterpart.
Excellent accompanying side builds

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

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— LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine?

Experienced builders will probably take between one and a half to two hours to complete 75577 Mako Submarine. Younger fans will take longer as there are some involved sections of the build. However long it takes, it will be an enjoyable experience.

How many pieces are in LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine?

553 pieces are included in 75577 Mako Submarine, which are used to construct the Mako Submarine as well as an underwater cave and two smaller coral reef side builds.

How big is LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine?

The eponymous craft in 75577 Mako Submarine – not including the reef side builds – measures over 7cm high, 29cm long and 14cm wide.

How much does  LEGO Avatar 75577 Mako Submarine cost?

75577 Mako Submarine is available from January 1, 2023 and retails for £49.99 in the UK, $59.99 across North America and €54.99 in Europe. 

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