The blog on the Star Wars website has published an interview with some of the people who worked on the new model, speaking on how the design has changed since the 2012 iteration of the astromech and more.
It may surprise you to learn that the function of the retractable third leg needed an improvement since it appeared in the original set, and a simple ballpoint pen had the solution the team was looking for.
“We looked for inspiration in the ballpoint pen clicker mechanism; the third leg should be easy to manipulate, so we added a switchable locking mechanism,” said Kurt Kristiansen speaking to StarWars.com. “The switch is connected to both side legs, making it easy to handle the model.”
The interview also revealed that the front of the build was the most challenging to translate, even with the newer LEGO bricks. Kurt commented that many smaller elements all come together to achieve the recognisable look, all whilst packing in plenty of features true to the original droid.
75308 R2-D2 will be available in time for the LEGO Group’s May the Fourth event with a free 40451 Tatooine Homestead on offer alongside it. You can find out more on the set with a full gallery of pictures here.