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Holy new release, we have another Batmobile to add to our collection! For this blogger, this new model represents the second best version of the Dark Knight’s mode of transport: the first being Anton Furst’s sleek vehicle from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman.

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When it first premiered in 1966, a colourful television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the Caped Crusaders, made its appearance during prime time on the ABC network in the United States and, at that time, was considered to be the most faithful adaptation of a bona fide superhero ever seen on the screen. Now regarded as something of a camp classic, the sixties TV version of the Batman has been overshadowed by the darker, crunchier versions of the Gotham legend, starting with Tim Burton’s gothic vision of the franchise, taken down a more realistic path by Christopher Nolan and more recently given murky heft by Zack Snyder who controversially broke Batman’s cardinal rule by letting the Caped Crusader actually kill his arch-villains in the process of protecting Gotham’s citizens.

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The sixties’ television show was a perfect blend of the Saturday matinee movie serials, with its episodic same-time-next-week plotting and the comic books of the time. It became famous for a series of catch-phrases, used mainly by the Robin The Boy Wonder AKA Bruce Wayne’s ward Dick Grayson, who ran the alphabetic gamut with 352 ‘holy phrases’ from ‘Holy Agility’ to ‘Holy Zorro’. Its camp style, intentionally humorous yet simplistic morality and catchy upbeat theme music have all earned the show its cult place within popular culture.

A revolving coterie of iconic villains populated the show, many of whom played by actors getting their first big break in Hollywood: the main four were Cesar Romero as The Joker, Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin and Julie Newmar as Catwoman.

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Another beloved staple of the show was its use of unique onomatopoeic word overlays that sprang up on screen, with pop art sound effect graphics, to punctuate the Dynamic Duo’s fight sequences: ‘Zzzzzwap!’, ‘Boff!’ and ‘Pow!’ were just a few of the 88 terms used to visually mark the moments when Batman or Robin dished justice out to one of Gotham’s deserving bad guys.

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The Batmobile of the television series was a customised 1955 Lincoln Futura which had been previously used in ‘It Started With A Kiss’ (1959). According to custom car builder George Barris, five Batmobiles were made during the series.

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But how does Lego’s latest addition to Bruce Wayne’s garage of vehicles measure up?

The fact that this model is stamped with an age guidance aimed at 7+ and comes in at 345 pieces should moderate one’s expectations for this set, especially those of us lucky enough to be the proud owner of the 1989 Batmobile (76139). At first glance, the LEGO® Store display nearly had me re-holstering my wallet, for this Batmobile seemed a bit of a disappointment up close but, spurned on by the VIP points burning a hole in my pocket, I plonked down my card ready to make the purchase.

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Holy rip-off, what’s with the US/UK price differential? Stateside, this will set you back US $29.99 but in the UK £34.99 seems like daylight robbery, but hey the box sure is pop art snazzy, feels weighty enough and by the time I had gotten it back home to my own Bat cave, my eagerness to crack it open had all but banished any second thoughts I had indulged earlier. As Batman himself would say: ‘Quick, to the Batmobile!’

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Cue spinning Bat insignia icon (actually Bat-fans, it’s a rotating image of the start button on the Batmobile’s instrument console!)

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For a set of such meagre size and low brick-count, comprised mainly of standard components, it is quite astonishing just how successfully the designers have replicated the original look of this iconic vehicle in such an easy, no-fuss build.

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Once you have carefully applied the 8 stickers, marvel at the sheer economy of brick design, the cantilevered, angled Batwing-tips and printed red Bat-insignia hubcaps. The iconic, striking delineation between red and black is what ultimately sells this Batmobile and will have you, if you’re of a certain age that is, reliving memories of Sunday morning TV and humming that theme tune: ‘Nana-nana-nana-nana-nana-nana-nana-nana Batman!’ whilst imitating the oft-repeated sped-up footage of Batman tearing out of the Batcave.

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This Batmobile measures over 2.5” (6cm) high, 7.5” (20cm) long and 2.5” (7cm) wide and combines easily with other LEGO® DC Batman set, especially the aforementioned 89 Batmobile. Basically, this model upgrades the Batmobile from 2016 Classic Batcave set (76052) as a stand-alone display piece with an overall sleeker aesthetic which hews closer to the look of the vehicle from the television series.

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Bat-Details:

The large red Bat-phone famous from the TV series, iconic exhaust and ridged back panel have all been included, as have the Bat-screen (represented here simply as a tan venting brick), the red flashlight and rocket-launchers.

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The original 1966 Batmobile didn’t feature any shooters, therefore extra bricks have been added as have alternate build pages, to this set so the car’s hood can easily be rebuilt to more closely resemble the design form the TV show.

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The Mini-Figures

This blogger has read comments on social media LEGO® groups charging that the mini-figure supplied here does not, even in the slightest, resemble the Adam West incarnation of the Caped Crusader form the sixties television show! Au contraire say I, for not only have they gotten the cowl just right, with its blend of black and blue colouring, with tiny ears and distinctive lining to denote a Bat-scowl; they have also nailed the torso printing, where they have even added subtle ‘man boobs’ and ‘fat rolls’ to depict the actor’s ever-so-out-of-shape condition for his super heroic role. The light grey and blue tights are spot on but unfortunately, Batman’s legs have not been dual-moulded. Crucially, the Bat-insignia adorning the torso is accurate to Adam West’s depiction.

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Cesar Romero’s Joker is just as distinctive as Jack Nicholson’s, Heath Ledger’s and Joaquin Phoenix’s memorable portrayals of the clown-faced villain, he was the first to essay the role and, in many ways, his performance still casts a long shadow indeed over every other actor’s attempts to take on the role. Apart from developing that Joker laugh, one of Romero’s uncanny contributions to the Joker’s look was the actor’s steadfast refusal to shave off his luxuriant moustache, given that the role was a recurring one at best and not a steady week-in week-out job. Once you know this particular piece of trivia, you will never be able to unsee Romero’s upper lip hair follicles again, barely masked by the white clown make-up. This alone distinguishes him from other jokers in the pack, for there have been many in the pantheon of LEGO® mini-figures.

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The Joker mini-figure here goes that extra mile and nails this geeky titbit for discerning Bat-fans. Ditto also the Joker’s garish green mane of hair and shocking pink with zoot suit striping running down the legs.

But where is The Boy Wonder I hear you cry? Robin’s absence here is riddle-me-this lunacy as Batman looks a trifle lonely without his trusty catch-phrase spouting sidekick. Perhaps, The Riddler had something to do with it, that fiend!

The turntable with accompanying plaque (fun Bat-fact: the Batmobile runs on ‘Batfuel’ of course!) is a nifty addition and marks this nostalgic model as a neat companion piece to the ’89 Batmobile. My only quibble is that we didn’t get any of those exclamatory word overlays to position on stands behind this fun addition to Lego’s fleet of Batmobiles:

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‘Holy Missed Opportunity, Batman!’ – perhaps, but otherwise Bat-perfect…

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(Here is a photo of yours truly running a signing for Adam West’s Back to the Batcave memoir at London’s Forbidden Planet circa 1995. Fun fact: this was taken moments after your humble blogger had damn near blown off Mr West’s toupee with a fan borrowed from their mail order dept. but that’s another blog Batfans!)

Share this on social media and let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

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Table of Contents

‘The Looney Dozen’

Lego Collectors all over the world will be all-too-familiar with that childish adrenaline rush one gets from opening one of those foil packets masking a new mini figure within, especially if it is from a series that has only just hit the shelves. Which one is inside and more importantly, have you got it already?

Maybe you didn’t have chance to surreptitiously feel the packet under the beady glare of the shop assistant, or have the funds to place the smart money on a bulk order and save yourself the hassle of a blind purchase? Some of the LEGO® Stores are happy to identify the packet’s insides for you.

The box distribution is comprised of 36 packets per container, so place your bets my fellow collectors before they start going for more than the retail price of £3.50 a packet on eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

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Rumours sprang up on social media that the codes marked on the foil packets actually identified the figures within, but unfortunately that proved to be nothing more than an unfounded conspiracy theory.

‘What’s Up Doc?’

Introduced in the 1930s by Warner Bros, The Looney Tunes established an edgier counterpoint to Disney’s short-film product which featured the likes of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and rivalled their enduring success for nearly forty years with an impressive roster of characters that spilled over into a sister series – The Merrie Melodies.

Their content was wackier than Disney’s overall sweetness of tone and this was borne out in the more freewheeling house style of animation as evidenced by the likes of Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and Fritz Freleng who all went on to become cartooning legends in the process.

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The chief issue facing Lego’s designers and fabricators in taking any animated character and morphing it into mini-figure form is that the unique physiognomy of such characters doesn’t always lend itself to a satisfying mini-figure representation.

Such critical flak had been levelled at their Disney ranges (71012 & 71024) and The Flintstones set (21316. So far the general consensus is that there are two examples in the Looney Tunes range which don’t quite cut the mini-figure mustard.

Bugs and Lola Bunny

Bugs Bunny is the undisputed champ in the fame stakes within the Looney Tunes pantheon of animated characters. Voiced by Looney Tunes legend Mel Blanc, Bugs Bunny has arguably the most recognizable catchphrase of any animated character, let alone ones from this particular stable.

“Er, what’s up Doc” perfectly encapsulates the flippant, cynical nature of this insouciant personality with a drawl straight out of Brooklyn. He is charismatic, funny and always smarter than whoever he shares the screen with.

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Bugs Bunny’s expression is way too cheerful for this blogger and doesn’t exactly cut the cynical wise-cracker figure familiar from the cartoons but the ears are spot on as is the rest of head sculpt.

Bugs’ characteristic front teeth, whiskers and elongated ears accurately replicate the animated source material, quite splendidly. The shape of the head piece benefits from dual-moulding as does the colouring which neatly separates the light bluish grey and white fur. His ears strike shapes accurate to his TV incarnation.

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In the cartoon, Bugs is always seen chomping on a carrot and he gets one here but unfortunately it is a standard-issue accessory comprised of familiar elements and not a unique item. A carrot is a carrot one might argue but one adhering to more cartoonish proportions might have been more apt.

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Undoubtedly the most unheard of character of the bunch is Lola Bunny, first introduced in the 1996 film ‘Space Jam’, a Roger Rabbit-like blend of live action and animation, soon to be revamped in the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy.

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Here she wears dual-moulded trainers and sports very colourful basketball attire in yellow and lavender. Lola’s expression is pixie-like, in keeping with her exuberant, animated depiction and the figure features her blonde hair with ears tied back. The head is an outstanding design and has been expertly moulded. The figure comes with a disappointing orange component that is meant to represent a basketball but lacks any printed markings or hand grip, making display thereof rather cumbersome. A unique element here was called for. This blogger went for a transparent clear hand grip element to fix this oversight. It’s also a crying shame that neither of the two bunnies has been given a separate bunny tail piece and all we get are printed tufts of white fur which is a tad sloppy.

Daffy Duck

Along with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck is one of the more recognizable characters in the roster, having been introduced as far back as 1937 and has often been positioned as a rival to Bugs, although the rabbit’s attitude to this conflict is more irreverent. 

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His look here is impressive, right down to immaculately-shaped curved bill and indented nostrils. The unique head element here is an exquisite sculpt and sets the bar high for the other characters in the range.

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Arguably, flippers might have been employed for the feet to perfect the overall look of the character. Daffy’s ‘Rabbit Hunting Season’ placard is a nifty accessory that looks fantastic but draws attention, for this blogger at least, to the absence of Elmer Fudd in this series. One can only hope that there will be a Series 2 as with The Simpsons and Disney ranges before it.

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Porky and Petunia Pig

Porky Pig is another stalwart of the Looney Tunes pantheon, familiar to viewers from the cartoon’s signature sign-off of “That’s All Folks!” which he stutters before disappearing into the house logo and, in reference to which, we get another placard accessory for the figure to hold.

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The resemblance here is extremely screen-accurate and great care has been taken with this sculpt, especially with the moulded ears and snout. Porky’s cherubic cheeks sit well with his beaming expression.

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Lesser known is Porky’s partner, Petunia who made her debut in 1937. However, despite her relative obscurity, the same care and attention to detail have been afforded to the character in rendering her into a three dimensional form. Her torso and skirt authentically reflect the source material (the white bloomers are a nice touch). As with Porky, she sports a pair of trotters.

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Petunia comes with a teapot and teacup as accessories, which boosts the sheer value-for-money quotient of the item.

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Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner

The Road Runner character as drawn is an inherently tricky one to transpose into mini-figure form and LEGO® has achieved only partial success here.

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In particular, the legs, which follow the standard mini-figure form just simply do not do justice to the source material and mark this character as a major disappointment in this guise. No wonder MOCers have taken to fashioning their own, spindlier versions of the quirky bird’s legs using alternate LEGO® pieces. Neither has the character’s stem-like neck been replicated here nor does the standard torso element resemble the source material, which is decidedly more bird-like.

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However, it’s not all bad news for Road Runner: the textured wings are visually striking and the unique head and tail components are very impressive. Furthermore, the character’s crest is a detachable element which makes up for some of its other flaws. The faithful colour-schemed combination of blue and medium azure also go a long way to not making this figure a total disaster. His bowl-of-feed accessory is neat though.

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His erstwhile nemesis however, is a completely different story and represents possibly the best-realised Looney Tunes character in mini-figure form. In particular, the proportions of Wile E. Coyote’s head sculpt are spot on, with perfectly executed pronounced features such as the elongated snout and vulpine ears. The look, especially his fiercely determined expression exactly matches his appearance from the cartoons.

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His anvil accessory is a big letdown though: where it should have been oversized tool of destruction with a big fat ACME logo stamped on its side, instead we get a puny appendage here modelled here in four standard components that when assembled are hardly impressive. If ever there was call for a unique sculpt for an accessory, it was here. This thing doesn’t look like it would do much damage to the Road Runner, even if Wile E.’s aim were to get any better. If I were him, I’d be calling the ACME company for a refund!

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Tweety and Sylvester the Cat:

Many have complained that the Tweety figure is not to scale with his feline counterpart, which is true: in mini-figure form, Tweety looks like he could go toe to toe with Sylvester but this blogger is certain that had LEGO® made this figure scale-accurate and gone for a model like the tiny Grogu that adorns the name plaque for The Child set(75318); then the outcry would have significantly dwarfed the chorus of disapproval which met Tweety’s arrival.

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Still, had they gone down that route, it would have been the easiest figure to blindly identify through packet molestation. I appear to be in the minority with my opinion of Tweety (just ask my partner) and feel that it is one of the better figures in the range. The head (which follows the Porky mould) is accurately proportioned to the rest of the figure and possesses the same prominent cheeks, eyelashes and pointed beak as he does in the cartoons.

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At least Tweety’s brick-built mallet, comprised of a 2×2 round brick with Technic pin-holes making its debut here in dark brown, maintains an impressive true-to-life scale with the colourful little chick. The yellow colouring of the figure is just perfect and visually pops out from the other when displayed side by side. The lack of a separate tail element is a drawback though.

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“I Taught I Taw a Puddy Cat!”

No such complaints registered with Sylvester however, for he is one of the jewels in this collection, featuring as he does exquisite detailing, most evident in the fur texturing around the sides of his head to denote whiskers. The two tone colouring is nicely delineated and achieves an authentic look true to the original designs of the character, with the printing runs on both sides. A separate tail element, tipped in white fits between the legs and torso. He has been armed with a sturdy baseball bat with which to do battle.

Marvin the Martian

Marvin the Martian is one of the more visually-striking mini-figures in this range and this is down to its fidelity to the animated source material. The big green helmet is modelled on Roman uniforms albeit with a striking crest that resembles a brush detached from its broom handle (too bad this element isn’t a detachable one).

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This figure has the cartoon’s distinctive black head with vertically-elongated eyes and is modelled here as a unique item but it should have been disproportionately large compared to the rest of Marvin’s body to be fully recognizable from the Looney Tunes shorts. His laser gun is in lime green, which is a first for this component; and the fabric piece that imitates a Spartan skirt both contribute to the unmistakeable look of the character. The white trainers complete Marvin’s unusual style and he remains a highlight within the range.

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Tasmanian Devil

The Tasmanian Devil or Taz possibly represents the apotheosis of Looney Tunes house style and wacky philosophy.

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Great effort has been taken here to render this popular character whose raving appetite turns him into a whirling dervish of cartoonish energy, as represented here by a unique vortex disc element that practically turns into a spinner when the blue base disc reinforcement 2×2 slider brick is attached underneath. Incidentally, the disc component had been introduced before (with the Ultimate Batmobile 70917) but the swirling whirlwind pattern distinguishes it from that here.

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The head is the main attraction here, the design of which perfectly captures Taz’s maniacal expression right down to his demonic eyes and ravenous, not to mention, cavernous grin. The unusual contours of his head have been expertly attended to, for this is one of the best mini-figure head pieces ever produced in the opinion of this blogger.

The dimensions are perfectly realised with the fusion of an oversized unique head component fitting over the standard torso and leg elements, showing that exaggerated animated forms can be successfully turned into mini figure characters.

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The chicken drumstick and cream pie accessories are fun accoutrements but again, sorely lacking hand grip elements for display purposes.

More recycling of elements is present here with the exact same tail component for Wile E. Coyote also employed for the Tasmanian Devil. It had also been used for Rocket Racoon previous to this set.

Speedy Gonzales

The main thing one notices about Speedy’s mini-figure is the impressive head piece that has been designed especially for him. Featuring his trademark massive sombrero and fine detailing in his tuft of black hair sticking out from underneath, the head accurately captures his on screen appearance, even if the mouth could have benefitted from some printing. But the ears, printed whiskers and red bandana are all true to his on screen look.

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The figure follows suit with the dual-moulding technique for the legs and the unique tail piece is visually striking rodent’s tail that looks all too realistic. Three wedges of cheese have been supplied with this figure, complete with Swiss-holes, but again are lacking any hand-grip pieces to aid with display. Lego, take note!

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Contenders for The Next Looney Dozen?

The characters that immediately spring to the mind of this blogger are Elmer Fudd (“I’ll kill that kwazy wabbit”), Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn and pungent paramour Pepe Le Pew.

At the more obscure end of the roster for a potential Series 2 are: Michigan J. Frog, Witch Hazel, Bosco, Cecil Turtle, Miss Prissy, Melissa Duck, Henery Hawk, Claude Cat, Slowpoke Rodriguez, Colonel Shuffle, Cool Cat and Barnyard Dawg.

Contenders for The Next Looney Dozen?

The characters that immediately spring to the mind of this blogger are Elmer Fudd (“I’ll kill that kwazy wabbit”), Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn and pungent paramour Pepe Le Pew.

At the more obscure end of the roster for a potential Series 2 are: Michigan J. Frog, Witch Hazel, Bosco, Cecil Turtle, Miss Prissy, Melissa Duck, Henery Hawk, Claude Cat, Slowpoke Rodriguez, Colonel Shuffle, Cool Cat and Barnyard Dawg.

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This blogger and avowed Looney Tunes aficionado, for one, cannot wait to see which characters LEGO® might select for another series in this range, but given their largely successful stab at Warner Bros.’ wild and wacky coterie of animated character, albeit with varying degrees of accomplishment, that prospect seems as certain as an anvil being dropped, from a great height, on the Road Runner’s head. Meep meep!

That’s All Folks!

Want to pick up your own Looney Tunes character or even the whole set? Click here to get yours today!

Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

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“But, of course, it isn’t really Good-bye, because The Forest will always be there…and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it.”

So says Winnie The Pooh to Christopher Robin in A.A. Milne’s ‘The House at Pooh Corner’, an ode to the bittersweet rites of passage of leaving childish things behind and dealing with the harsh realities of having to grow up.

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Of course, nobody really ever has to grow up, not where there is LEGO® involved. And so, we return to 100 Acres Wood with the arrival of this childhood rush of nostalgia from their LEGO® Ideas range, aimed somewhat controversially at ages 18 and upwards: the reasoning behind which is something of a mystery to this blogger, for his seven year old nephew would no doubt delight at this colourful build with its faithful depictions of Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit and Eeyore of course (but no Owl, a source of more controversy!). Neither would he find the set’s cornucopia of Easter Eggs, to be discovered within its seven packs of bricks, any great stretch

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Twelve carefully-designed stickers have been included and several printed elements which include: Mr Sanders House, four honey pots and two log stumps plus a swarm of buzzy bees.

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I’m sure today’s generation of children know all about 100 Acre Wood so the age mandate does seem a tad ill-conceived.

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The box follows suit in terms of colouring with the other entries in the Adult Collector theme, but its hinge-topped construction neatly distinguishes it from other packaging.

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However, the perfect-bound booklet thankfully abandons the dark design aesthetic of their Sesame Street instructions and opts for a more ‘children’s book’ approach, thus further confounding the odd age recommendation.

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One of the manual’s opening passages even draws attention to the fact that Owl has not been included with this model which is either a careless piece of copy or a cunning carrot-dangle for a future Pooh-themed set: a honey-sweetener for an Owl’s House (with rocking chair) or Pooh Sticks Bridge perhaps?

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The Mini-figures have been exquisitely crafted in unique sculpts that ring authentic to the original illustrations from the collection of books that give this set its inspiration.

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Pooh and Piglet strike their iconic forms with honey pot and balloon accessories for the former and can be positioned on the log around a campfire element.

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Tigger, in particular, with his distinctive tiger print stripe printing, cuts a very accurate figure which nicely conveys his energetic, mischievous character.

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Eeyore is a standout, though: with his forlorn expression, demeanour and body language, along with the fine detailing of his mane of hair and pink heart bow attachment that adorns his tail, they couldn’t have done a better job at rendering this depressive character.

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Eeyore is a standout, though: with his forlorn expression, demeanour and body language, along with the fine detailing of his mane of hair and pink heart bow attachment that adorns his tail, they couldn’t have done a better job at rendering this depressive character.

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The tree elements, for example are less fiddly not to mention, less fragile, than their forebears in the Bonsai Tree set (10281). This time, LEGO® have gone with sturdier ball and socket joints rather than with clip components which affords more user friendly stability and in turn, versatility in dressing the limbs with the foliage elements.

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Display options are optimized with the house splitting open via a simple hinge mechanism to reveal the immaculately appointed interior where many fan favourite details, like the map of 100 Acre Wood and Christopher Robin’s box off Pooh sticks stored up in the attic space, may be discovered. The fact that the house can easily be restored by clicking the two halves back together again, sealing the rustic roof sections shut is a welcome bonus.

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The printed bee bricks can orbit the bee-hive courtesy of a vortex-like rotation, which is highly effective given the simplicity of it conception and dynamically offset the foliage.

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For my money, this set offers more value for money than other nostalgia-fests such as Sesame Street (21324) or The Flintstones (21316), and well done to LEGO® for inspiring other LEGO® Ideas, I have already been mining my own childhood memories for their set-potential but I shall be keeping those to myself for the time being.

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“Goodbye…? Oh no, please. Can’t we go back to page one and do it all over again?’ said Christopher Robin to Pooh Bear, and with this exquisitely-fashioned nostalgic model, you’ll be trotting back to this 100 Acre Wood time and time again.

If you would like buy this set it is available to purchase from:

LEGO UK
Amazon UK

Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

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Released alongside the Flower Bouquet set (10280) on 1st January 2021, as part of the LEGO® Botanical Collection, was this Creator Expert Bonsai Tree model for adults (18+): a celebration of the ancient art of bonsai, a Japanese term which literally translates to ‘planted in a container’. The art originated in China over 2,000 years ago but was since copied and adapted by the Japanese into their culture.

If you would like buy this set it is available to purchase from:

LEGO UK
LEGO US
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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The ultimate aim of the bonsai is to create a miniaturized but realistic representation of nature in the form of a tree achieved through a combination of Asian horticultural and aesthetic traditions of dwarfing and shaping the growth of natural elements.

With this expertly devised, botanical construction and display kit, the builder can custom arrange the LEGO® elements (in a two-for-the-price-of-one deal) to suit their own whim, by either opting for pink cherry blossom or light green leaves (with darker, emerald shoots for budding growths)to crown the network of brown tree limbs below. With the pink option, you get the quirky inclusion of tiny pink frogs (with one brown frog resting atop the tree limbs), nesting amidst the blossom.

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‘One Tree, Two Varieties’…

So proclaims an opening passage in the instructions booklet as you are invited to create a realistic and unique bonsai that can be remodelled and tended to much in the same way as you would a real bonsai, only here you don’t need to wait for the seasons to change to swap your arrangement from luscious green to shocking pink.

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The booklet also makes tongue-in-cheek mention how this bonsai kit will thrive and long outlive real trees if you take care of it by nurturing and pruning its growth. It doesn’t say anything about watering it though!

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It is currently priced £44.99/$54.99 and at the time of writing, remains Out Of Stock on Lego’s website. For the sake of this blogger’s sense of calm (not to mention safety), it is a good job he procured one of these fine items in time for his partner’s 50th birthday.

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Currently, the oldest known bonsai tree is over a thousand years old. If properly pampered with constant care and maintenance, real life bonsais can typically outlive, by twenty five percent, a tree of the same species in nature.

This set was designed by Nicholas Vas who continues the LEGO® tradition of including unusual pieces within culturally-diverse sets that represent something else: see the Spring Chinese Lantern Festival (80107) with its six protruding blue bananas that apex the gazebo.

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He is well known for using frogs in his set, but possibly employs them here as a Feng Shui totem, with the belief that they attract prosperity and protect the owner against misfortune. The frog remains a good luck symbol in many cultures that depend on rain for rich and bountiful crops, and its inclusion here constitutes a neat Easter Egg to be discovered amongst the kit’s 878 pieces. The set’s dimensions are 7.5”/20cm wide by 7”/18cm.

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The container for this LEGO® bonsai is a shiny black rectangular pot paced over a traditionally-slatted wood-effect stand. The two complement each other perfectly and together create a beautiful display piece that will fit any location.

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Once those sections are in place, you can then get stuck into modelling the tree elements which look deceptively simple to assemble but, thanks to complex brick design, with elements fitting together like a three-dimensional jigsaw in which each component depends on the adjoining ones for the stability of the whole, it can be a pernickety obstacle to overcome.

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However, once properly constructed, the trunk and its branches should provide a sturdy enough foundation upon which you can dress with the fauna and foliage elements. And that’s where the fun begins for the more discerning LEGO® builder, allowing them to marvel at their own fluid creations, and make adjustments for seasonal climates.

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The leaf pieces have been made from a plant-based plastic produced using sustainably sourced sugarcane. The joy with this set is the choice to express one’s creativity with the freedom to model limbs and apply the greenery or cherry blossom in different ways.

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Excellent display value here neatly complements the interactive aspects of the piece with its multiple creative options: either one can work in conjunction with other models as surrounding foliage to further maximise display potential.

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However, be wary that whatever creations you achieve might prove fragile and vulnerable to the slightest wayward touch. Just between us, but I did have to rescue my partner’s build more than a couple of times upon hearing her cries of frustration with some of the more fiddly aspects of construction.

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For that reason, this blogger recommends that you add the loose pebble bricks (supplied in two separate bags) at the end of your build as opposed to midway through construction (as the booklet advises) lest you wish to sacrifice any sense of harmony, peace and tranquillity achieved which was surely the ultimate goal of this bonsai building kit in the first place. Hopefully, the pink frogs will keep any trouble at bay!

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Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

hedwig-lego-harry-potter-wizarding-world-75979

Further to Harry Potter’s return in 2018 to Lego’s pantheon of ongoing themes with The Great Hall (75954), LEGO® have pushed the envelope (no pun intended) beyond their range of castles with this kinetic model of Harry’s beloved snowy owl Hedwig, gifted to him on his 11th birthday by Hagrid and icon for the franchise itself.

If you would like have your very own Hedwig this set is available to purchase from:

LEGO US
LEGO UK
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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John Williams’ memorable main cue for his Harry Potter soundtracks is, in fact, called Hedwig’s Theme, bestowing upon the owl an irreplaceable stature within popular culture in general

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Aimed at ages 10+ and priced £34.99/$39.99, the main draw of this model is that it sports beautifully-designed and realised wings that not only look authentic but actually move courtesy of their mechanical construction, and operated by a handle which engages the gear mechanism housed within the stand on which the owl is supported.

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This is no mere display piece, although, with its striking design and articulated joints, it does serve that aspect quite impressively. Overall, the construction is surprisingly complex with the most taxing phase of the build being the base shaft, comprised of Technic components that forge the gear mechanism which gives Hedwig’s wings their superbly graceful motion.

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This part would test any child’s problem-solving skills and those of this middle-aged blogger in particular. Intense patience is called for here, which is not only to be rewarded later but absolutely essential in making the build work: if you get this bit wrong, then you’ll be kicking yourself down the line when you find the flow of mechanisms turgid and unwieldy.

The colour scheme of the base with its autumnal brown bordering a concentric, lighter tone gives this feature a hand-crafted wooden look, nicely offset by red and yellow translucent bricks underneath which make it an eye-catching piece.

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The intersection of the key gears and levers is tricky indeed to align and marry but once the elements are correctly in place, you should achieve a smooth 360 degree motion of the handle to set the gears in motion.

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The body of the owl is a robust construct, added to which Technic elements cleverly attach to the wings to give them a remarkably lifelike movement, far surpassing what you might have come to expect.

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The design of the wings is extraordinary, with a neatly-textured plumage consisting of black and white curved tile pieces in an alternating pattern along with jointed-feathers that allow for some subtle yet surprisingly nimble expression.

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The wingspan is an impressive 15”/35cm and is in proportion with the rest of the model which stands as an impressive display piece, from beak to tail, at 7.8”/20cm.

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Similarly, the tail feathers fan out on clip-joints that can be angled to depict a variety of striking looks and measure 6.7”/17cm.

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The head is surprisingly complicated for such a small piece and fits onto the main body of the owl with a ball and socket attachment that allows for the heat to pivot and tilt quite nicely.

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The eyes are printed bricks, not stickered, and give Hedwig her owlish character and are surrounded by three white curved quarter tiles, a sloped 1×2 tile and a single curved corner tile. A single black pointed brick gives Hedwig her beak.

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Hedwig’s chief role in the Harry Potter universe of dispatching the Owl Post is simply conveyed here with her claws angled on hinge joints just above a stickered-envelope bearing the Hogwarts’ seal that attaches to the front on the pillar.

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The Mini-figure of Harry Potter sits below this, with Harry in his Gryffindor scarf, blue gloves and some nice printing on the back of the torso. Next to him, you get a miniature Hedwig, wings fanned perched upon a golden telescope piece. Together, they strike an iconic image familiar from the first film when Hedwig first alights upon young Harry’s arm.

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The mini figures come with a detachable base that when added to the main stand, continue its colour scheme.

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The base is adorned with a classy, stickered name plaque for Hedwig, gold on black, in the Harry Potter font.

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Lego have triumphed here with this addition to their drop of releases during the second half of 2020 and one can only wonder what other innovative models they might have up their sleeves in the future. The kinetic nature of this set marks it out as an unusual delight and what it may lack in playability is more than made up for with the engineered options of its display ability, if you will. This model flies.

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Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

Amelia Earhart was a globe-trotting pioneer, author and feminist icon whose disappearance, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in July 1937, during her around-the-world flight attempt, immortalized this trend-setting aviator for generations to come and spawned legion conspiracy theories regarding the mystery of her vanishing

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One of these theories speculated that Earhart was a Navy spy, in the 1943 film, Flight for Freedom, where she was portrayed by Rosalind Russell, a major star at the time, who surely cemented, along with Earhart’s versatile accomplishments, the female pilot’s enduring legendary status which continues to this day.

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Amelia Earhart bought her beloved scarlet red Lockheed 5B Vega in 1930 and nicknamed the aircraft her ‘Little Red Bus’. Earhart set two of her numerous aviation records in this aeroplane: in 1932, she made a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, from Canada to Londonderry, Northern Ireland, for fifteen hours and flew it nonstop across the United States for 2,026 miles later. Both were not only records in their own right but also firsts for a woman. Therefore it seems fitting that LEGO® chose to launch this tribute to her on the 16th March, two days prior to International Woman’s Day.

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The plane now resides in The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Washington DC. However, there’s no need to take a trans-Atlantic flight to pay homage: not that is, if you were wise enough to secure this magnificent freebie (along with the Lego Dots Mini Frame 30556) by placing a £100 or more order prior to 14th March 2021.

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This incentive proved so popular with LEGO® buyers that news of its imminent disappearance (like that of AE herself which prompted over 1,950,000 websites rife with conspiratorial crackpot theories) spread like wildfire on quite a few social media discussion groups. LEGO® listened and extended the offer by three days. Now you have to shell out £17.99 for the privilege.

Apparently, it’s still available as a free gift-with-purchase in the US but who knows how long that will last. In the UK, these tribute sets have already begun popping up on eBay and Facebook groups, at inflated rates, triggering much price-shaming annoyance.

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Lego Designer Melody Caddick follows up her similarly-popular Charles Dickens Tribute (40410) with this beautifully-conceived and executed tribute set (40450) which, like its predecessor, comes in a dense, weighty box (this one has 203 pieces) that feels far too good to be a free gift. What’s that old saying about nothing in life ever comes for free? Turns out, it does: assuming you place your orders in a timely fashion, that is!

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There are five bags of elements inside, two loose elements and one loose sheet of stickers, comprising of ten stickers. Once you get stuck in, you will be delighted with the speed of your progress as the JB Vega materialises with a simple yet fun building experience with nothing too complicated if you are novice builder.

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Firstly, the aesthetics of the piece are spot-on: the eye-catching simplicity of its red and yellow colour scheme with its neat, narrow stripes and elegant lines, making for an exceedingly attractive display item that, with its handsome black base mounting component, more closely resembles a display ornament to adorn one’s mantelpiece than a children’s toy (it is aimed at 8+).

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Master builders will no doubt marvel at the inclusion of an exclusive piece – 2 x Equipment Oar Paddle End making its debut in light bluish grey – used for the propellers; and of the rare Wedged Curves in bright red which appear in only 4 other sets. One could also mention the 4 x Plate Special and 1×2 with handles on ends in red plus 4 x tile 2×2 curved Macaroni in red that were only available since last year now appear in 3 sets.

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This is a neat little build, employing an economy of parts to render convincing, authoritative forms that ring true of the sturdy and streamlined 5B Vega: especially the realistic, cantilevered wings on top of the fuselage and the springy float components of the aircraft’s landing gear which hang beneath. Sadly, there is no cockpit included, which emphasizes the model’s ornamental function.

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The base has drawn some criticism as an unnecessary feature that wastes a good portion of the set’s brick tally, but this blogger would argue that it makes for a classy addition to the piece and transcends its brick origins to forge an attractive display ornament.

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The coolest aspect is that the model’s stand or pillar is topped with a hinge element that attaches to the base of the plane whereby you can convey the illusion of flight. To cap it off, the base is adorned with a sticker proclaiming ‘Amelia Earhart – Aviation Pioneer’, sealing the item’s prestige.

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The Mini Figure

The ubiquitous aviator hat and goggles, found in a number of recent mini-figure ranges, have understandably been included here. There are new prints for element 6338706/3626 and the double-sided torso with neckerchief with leather flying jacket in chestnut brown captures the distinctive likeness of the legendary aviator from famous photos, as does the head piece’s singular facial expression, right down to her enigmatic smile.

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But, when you take off her hat and goggles, the lack of an alternate hairpiece to the one provided is a bit of a misfire: eschewing Earhart’s iconic cropped bob, she looks more Bake Off than Chocks Away with her sculpted hair do. The creamy colour of the hand elements may seem a weird choice also but are intended to resemble aviator gloves, I’m sure.

Finally, we get a map tile, stickered not printed unfortunately, depicting the path of her record-breaking transatlantic flight which neatly encompasses the pioneering spirit of this tribute itself, coming at a time where the need for feminist icons has never been more relevant.

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A tantalising lead, recently announced, that part of the aircraft from Amelia Earhart’s final flight had been found near a remote atoll off an obscure Pacific island nation, sadly proved to be unfounded, but if anything it revitalised interest in the mystery of her disappearance and stoked the furnace of her legendary status, ensuring its longevity for generations to come.

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Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

If you would like to get your own Sesame Street (21324) LEGO® Ideas set check out the below links!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

‘Come and Play, Everything’s A – Okay!’

Everybody remembers Jim Henson’s Sesame Street, I’m sure (if you don’t, I pity your childhood). From its catchy theme tune to its colourful street characters, led by the iconic Big Bird, this US hit programme from PBS (it has been on the air for 50 years), with its emphasis on blending early education with fun games, animation and songs, quickly became a staple of many children’s home learning. Back before that was even a thing.

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With its serious-looking box artwork, one might assume that this Lego Ideas set (21324), concocted by fan designer Ivan Guerrero, is aimed squarely at adults searching for yet another trinket to remind them of their wonder years, but I would argue that this nostalgic model can be a fun family experience too. It comes in at 1,368 pieces and priced £109.99/$119.99 with an age recommendation of 18+.

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‘Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street?’

Most of the build is pretty straight forward, nothing particularly challenging, as you move from the pavement (or sidewalk) to the exteriors of the building and on to constructing the interiors of Elmo’s bedroom and Bert & Ernie’s apartment that features the famous wall portrait of the iconic duo and Ernie’s bath (with rubber duck).

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Then there is the Sesame Street corner which includes Hooper’s Store (but no Hooper sadly), Big Bird’s nest, and Oscar the Grouch’s trash can too. The steps leading up to the brownstone building of 123 Sesame Street could have been a little chunkier if you ask this blogger. The rooftop, featuring Bert’s bird house is just one of many authentic details to be enjoyed.

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It is only when you get to plant those Easter Eggs, which rely heavily on stickers incidentally, that the set turns into the nostalgia-fest one had hoped for and the play and display possibilities come into focus for the builder.

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In fact, the set contains over 50 Easter Eggs: Alistair Cookie’s chair (Alistair being Cookie Monster’s original red smoking jacket-wearing alter ego that was dropped in the early nineties), and the 12345 clock found in Bert and Ernie’s apartment, a totem for that ear-worm of a song that helped teach generations to count.

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Mr Hooper’s portrait can be found in Big Bird’s nest, and alludes to that heartbreaking episode back in 1982 in which Big Bird has to face the bereavement of a loved one after the actor playing Mr H had passed away. The producers had decided not to recast the role: instead using the tragic event to help teach its young audience how to cope with such a loss.

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‘Friendly Neighbours… Where The Air Is Sweet’

This was the first LEGO® Ideas Set to take the unprecedented step of not using existing moulds for the heads of its characters, opting instead for the sculpted tailor-made approach (as with The Simpsons mini figures range) that might have benefitted The Flintstones set (21316) and has been thankfully continued with the upcoming Winnie The Pooh model (21326).

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We get the aforementioned Big Bird (standing at 249cm for 8’2” tall) in bright yellow and with existing wings previously used for Chicken Suit Guys.

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Then there is Elmo, Cookie Monster (with cookie pieces), Bert and Ernie mini figures.

Also included are Slimey the Worm, Dorothy the Goldfish, Radar the Teddy Bear and Rubber Ducky figures. Elmo and the Cookie Monster appear to share the exact same moulds, if not die jobs, which is a bit sloppy and I know Ernie is meant to be shorter than Bert but you can’t bend his legs for positioning on the bed, his armchair or in his bath.

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No Count or Mr Hooper which is a crying shame (ask my partner – I’ve literally lost count of the amount of times she mentions for former’s absence!).

We only get a stickered-portrait featuring The Count on Cookie Monster’s wall but given what happened to Mr Hooper, his presence here as a picture in Big Bird’s nest is appropriately tasteful. But I do still miss him.

‘You’d Be A Grouch Too, If You Lived In A Trash Can!’

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Oscar the Grouch does resemble his TV counterpart in terms of features and expression but, seeing as the other characters have been moulded so accurately, it remains a glaring flaw in this set that Oscar’s face has merely been printed onto a green sphere without any added texture.

More care and attention should have been taken here by the designers. This thing looks more like a sick Space Hopper than a garbage-dwelling grouchy monster! Check out @littlejohn_brickbuilt on Instagram whose MOC of Oscar sure rings the right dustbin (okay, trashcan) lid for me.

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On that note, and given the hefty price tag, surely they could have afforded us a Mr Snuffleupaguss instead of yet another sticker tribute? The street looks a little empty without him and could easily pass for Yet Another LEGO® Street Building to sit alongside its Police Station (10278) and Book Shop (10270) were it not for the bunch of Muppets hanging around.

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As with most of the LEGO® Ideas that get taken up and put on the shelves, the fun is in the details but I wouldn’t want to spoil anybody’s fun of discovery, which is surely what these nostalgic pieces are all about.

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‘Every Door Will Open Wide… To Happy People Like You’

One might argue, however, that, with the show’s message of bridging many educational and cultural gaps, some efforts might have been taken to at least broach the idea of representation with actual examples of the multiethnic society it depicted back in the seventies if not nowadays; to populate the street with more than just a bunch of furry creatures, but that approach may well have drawn accusations of stereotyping and of trying to pander to the Woke Generation.

But I do feel that something is amiss with this set: without the human element, what are these creatures doing there? one might wonder. I mean, just who is manning Mr Hooper’s store?

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Nevertheless, and in keeping with Sesame Street’s positive vibe, this blogger is keen to point out that this remains a fun addition to the nostalgic line of sets within the LEGO® Ideas range: it is a robust piece of display structure that could have possibly done with some stabilising disc elements underneath to hold the plates together more securely.

Yet the key attraction with this model is the dazzling array of splendidly observed authentic details to be found within its many nooks and crannies, my favourites being the VHS video tapes in Cookie’s apartment, Guy Smiley on Cookie Monster’s TV set   and bowl containing Elmo’s pet fish Dorothy, not to mention the miniature train track that surrounds his bed.

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The street does indeed look fantastic as a display item, standing at over 9.4” (24cm) high, 14.2” (36.2cm) wide and 8.2” (21cm) deep. The fact that it has so many mini sections where the collector can focus their play on is just one of this model’s many USPs. Even at nearly double the price of The Flintstones set, 123 Sesame Street offers considerably more value for money.

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It’s versatility is matched by the sheer depth of its imaginative, colourful trivia gems and reference titbits; making for a fun and vibrant build throughout with the added benefit of lots of LEGO® learning: in short, a winning combination in keeping with the spirit and ethos of Sesame Street itself and more than a fitting tribute to the show’s creator, Jim Henson.

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Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

If you would like to get your own Sesame Street (21324) LEGO® Ideas set check out the below links!

LEGO US
LEGO UK
LEGO Canada
Amazon UK
Amazon US

We are all accustomed to the dangers of late-night window shopping on the likes of eBay and Facebook Marketplace, I’m sure. The latter, in particular, is home to many buy, swap and sell groups devoted to all things Lego, where people from all walks of life get to help each other out by identifying obscure components from long-retired sets; and failing that, mercilessly price-shaming them if they deem the asking price too high. Facebook forbid!

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Sometimes, purely for my own entertainment I just check in to see what pesky arguments are occurring.

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Not unlike Dante’s decent into Hell, I have hereby outlined, based on this blogger’s recent experience, the various stages one might commonly experience with such searches. 

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter…”

Through The Gates of Hell

Scouring Facebook Marketplace for deals can easily become a bit of an addiction, with members of myriad groups {too numerous to mention all of them here} feeding their own
habits and encouraging others with desperate pleas for that one elusive,
valuable part (a Velma from a Scooby Doo set perhaps or a Michael Keaton ’89 Batman
mini-figure, both securing a £50 on eBay, and as rare as rocking horse doo-doo)
they’d be willing to trade one of their own body parts for, or one of their
friend’s.

Impulse Buy

My partner quickly took the bait with one listing, without dilly dally, accepted the online offer of £15 only nanoseconds after seeing the post lest it get plucked by another beady-eyed LEGO® vulture. As the seller was willing to drop it off (Covid compliance-friendly of course) this scored us a bonus, with my partner proudly, not to mention smugly, proclaiming that: “the LEGO® box alone will make u
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Be Careful What You Wish For

Upon its delivery to us, and given just a cursory glance, we immediately confirmed that the box wasn’t what we had expected!

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The advertised attraction of a ‘Lego box’ was nothing of the sort, it turned out, and adorned with mere wallpaper (and not very attractive wallpaper at that) instead of actual Lego. Not a problem thought we, for this optimistic pair knows all too well that everything which glitters is not gold, so our bounty inside will undoubtedly contain veritable treasures within, a phoenix from the flames.  

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Pre-Emptive Euphoria

The pickings held within this Pandora’s Box were a decidedly mixed affair, but as we began to sift our pan for LEGO® gold, our eagle eyes deciphered a couple of half-built sets that might be recovered and, with more than a little diligence and hard work on our (well, let us be crystal clear & honest here: my) part, we had recovered two promising LEGO® carcasses.

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Let the reconstruction operation get underway and who knows, we might be on our way to reclaiming our investment, knowing now that the box itself was a dud.

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Time it was for us to get our jeweller’s loops out to identify bona fide LEGO® pieces and separates them mere imposter elements. By imposter elements I don’t just mean Lego-compatible, I’m talking hair (human & dog), half chewed sweets and pebbles etc. The seller had said that the box contained mostly Lego??? I don’t think so! Who knew what other horrors this box contained? I suspected that my partner was already plotting what she was going to say to the seller later on but she used me for a dress rehearsal. The twin results of this pesky Lockdown plus advancing middle age, have rendered both of our eyesight in a steady state of deterioration. Which may have added to our collective crankiness?

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Talk of any profit generated with this latest enterprise turned to that of investing in a giant magnifying glass instead. We dug deeper, separating parts along the way into different categories.

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Buyer’s Remorse

During Lockdown, floor space has become a prized commodity in our two bedroom terraced house: what with numerous LEGO® builds, presents for my partner’s niece piling up plus hordes of other stuff (anybody interested buying some Wallace & Gromit merchandise?) brought down from the loft that still needs to be photographed, listed and sold. 

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Space has now become so limited that one needs Mission Impossible-dexterity to manoeuvre around the house.

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Once we had tipped the box over and let its colourful insides vomit themselves all over our ever diminishing floor space, things went from bad to worse, much worse in fact. Divorce worse!

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Perhaps I should (as had been suggested) have taken the neighbour’s dog back after taking him for a walk instead of inviting the little fella back to navigate this miniature obstacle course and witness a potential domestic.

Competitive Streaks

Looking back I probably shouldn’t have said “I told you so” as I witnessed my partner switch into a manic, super sort-out mode, in her endeavour to prove me wrong and that this, huge mound of carnage was indeed a wise purchase. Competition quickly developed as I too joined in the frenzy of who could salvage the most re-sellable (let alone buildable) items in this alleged Box of Delights.

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Diamonds In The Rough

Two sets emerged from the rubble, intact just enough to be identified: Imperial Hover Tank (75152) from Star Wars and Aragog’s Lair(75950) from Harry Potter. The argument that had been brewing was postponed, for now at least.

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Read The Instructions

PDFs downloaded and now the race was on to see if all the pieces were there: on your markers! Partner vs. partner.

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Communication Issues

One of the main issues that I’ve always had when sharing LEGO® builds is the lack of universally-adopted LEGO® terminology. In fact, I have always thought that there should be an Official Proficiency Test for LEGO® builders, like the theory test that cyclist must pass before getting their Proficiency Certificate. My improvised Glossary of Terms for LEGO® pieces – “Darling, hand me the light grey double-headed crank shaft please?” – didn’t in any way correlate, it turned out, with my partner’s inner list of names for elements.

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There were some tense, confusing and seemingly everlasting moments there, I cannot lie. Even our co-ordinated attempt at coding became abbreviated to such an extent, potential eavesdroppers might have mistaken our babble for some obscure Orwellian code. The debates over differentiating the numerous tones of grey, beige and tan became surreal, but in the end – kind of hilarious too.

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All the pieces were there for the Harry Potter spider but alas, the rest of that set, made up of a tree with spider-webbing and greenery, was missing the lion’s share of its constituent parts. Of the mini-figures, we could only construct a Harry Potter, but with no candle and the wrong trousers (see Wallace & Gromit reference earlier). Sadly, Ron Weasley remains missing-in-action, somewhere on the grounds at Hogwarts presumably. The Hover Tank was a far more fruitful venture and with a couple of minor adjustments, diligently catalogued by my partner, looks pretty faithful to its box image, although lacking a set of guns from its right flank and has none of the orange pieces whatsoever. Also, no mini-figures sadly. But fireable red laser elements? Check.

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I ransacked the box for compatible pieces of an alternative colour but couldn’t even cobble together a multi-coloured version but I did manage to build a version of the missing guns. There were no salvageable mini-figures at all in the rubble of the set, perhaps Sid from Toy Story was its previous owner. I’m still unsure about Harry’s hair though.

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Was It Worth the Bother?

After 18 hours of solid graft on this project, my partner became the answer to somebody’s lost-Lego-piece prayers on a ‘wanted’ site by cherry-picking several genuine LEGO® elements into a goodie bag worth a total of £3. She also separated out all of the non-Lego components into another bag which sold for £8. £11 for 18 hours’ work equates to 61 pence an hour. Let that sink in.

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Still, we remained hopeful that my Frankenstein’s Hover Tank and Homeless Aragog would make up the shortfall as we submitted photos to a few of the Facebook groups, continuing the circle of LEGO® life, perpetuating the never-ending collector’s cycle.

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We have no takers yet on the spider but one guy still has to get back to us on the Hover Tank. Personally, I believe the photo of  my customised guns might tip the balance and win him over but unfortunately I cannot connect to the Wi-Fi from the dog house out here.

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Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

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‘A hug is always the right size’
Recent LEGO® Ideas have proven to be a fertile ground for harvesting pop culture nostalgia: both The Flintstones (21316) and Sesame Street (21324) sets have turned childhood memories into LEGO® gold, and now we have another model coming out 1st April that has the potential to eclipse those two achievements and might well reduce grown men and women to baby tears in the process – Winnie The Pooh (21326), priced £89.99/$99.99 and aimed at 18 years and above.

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Using the fictional abode of A.A.Milne’s beloved creation, 100 Acre Wood, as the inspiration for his proposal, builder Ben Alder (aka benlouisa) presented a design with a large oak tree as its main focal point, with Winnie The Pooh’s hidden tree house built under its shade that opens up into two halves (and clips back together again), unveiling a cutely-detailed interior, chockfull with endearing and authentic touches.

The design was taken up by Lego’s Ilia Gotlib and Aswin Visser and eventually presented as a set comprised of 1,265 pieces.

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I have been impressed with the Bedrock-build of The Flintstones’ home and am currently pleased with the ongoing construction of Sesame Street, but I am really looking forward to this release. To be honest, Winnie the Pooh had never really captured my imagination as a child but a couple of recent movies, ‘Christopher Robin’ (2018) and ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ (2017) have piqued my interest in the imaginary play Milne’s son had with his toys and how it inspired a whole range of children’s stories. Judging by the advance photos and YouTube reviews by those lucky enough to have already laid their hands on a set, it appears once again that LEGO® have done immaculate justice to yet another mainstay of popular culture, featuring as it does a whole host of Easter eggs, which even to the casual Pooh enthusiast, like this blogger, will have them heading back to the source material not only to assess how faithful the design team has been, but also to reacquaint themselves with the original text and illustrations by E.H.Shepard.

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It looks to be a fastidious build indeed with a lovely, multi-shaded tiled roof and 6 sections of green foliage promising to be the most repetitive phases of the build.

However, there looks much fun to be had along the way as you assemble a whole treasure trove of elements that includes Pooh’s blue armchair (with matching curtains) and built-up bed, a stove which leads into a wonderfully-conceived chimney and beehive, replete with a swarm of bees around it.

There’s an umbrella stand (with brolly naturally), a bee photo, honey pots, a mirror, a box of ‘pooh sticks’ emblazoned with Christopher Robin’s initials (nice touch!) and Tigger’s golden heart locket too.

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The wonderful thing about its mini-figures is that their figures are wonderful things, save for the absence of The Old Wise Owl, but the sculpting thereof is of a highly accurate standard as with the Sesame Street inhabitants (save for Oscar perhaps) and The Simpson mini figure range before that. Animated fare seems to lend itself to this approach unlike what LEGO® did with The Flintstones characters.

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Great care has been taken to fashion this warm hug of nostalgia, for this set looks like a highly versatile display item which invites children of all ages to immerse themselves in an intricate world of make believe and that, surely, is what Christopher Robin would have wanted, I know I do.

Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

‘Attack of the Clones’ the second instalment in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy, features a moment many franchise-fans had been waiting a long time for: when the diminutive “space frog” actually brandishes his Jedi weapon, an emerald green lightsaber to kick some serious Sith ass, in the form of Count Dooku (played by Christopher Lee).


That is the inspiration behind this set (75255), rendered in 1,771 pieces and aimed at ten years and above (as with the latter set), for a rather painstaking (some might say boring) build as you construct a simple armature or base frame out of Technic components to which later, more detailed aspects are added onto much in the same way the Brick Headz models are put together.

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This latter stage, in particular, has drawn the ire of many Lego-Heads.

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Whilst this might not win any awards for being the sexiest build ever, the designers have, in my book achieved an impressive look, through a steady and patience-testing accumulation of standard pieces to emulate this Jedi master’s flowing robes and hooded cloak.

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Much like viewing a painting by Monet, this build looks better from afar. Yet dedicated builders will be rewarded with a finished model that does resemble the original Stuart Freeborn design for the character based upon Ralph McQuarry’s initial concept art.

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Just make sure to keep reviewing your build against the instruction manual and box photos for, as this blogger surely discovered, to find you that have made a mistake (especially with the clothing) only to then puzzle over  the dizzyingly complex structure of brick design is a Sisyphean recipe for frustration and a sure-fire ticket to the opticians!

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Yoda’s head, in particular, is a marvel of LEGO® engineering: with its cranial bumps and simulated, scattered tufts of hair; not to mention the articulated eyelids that grant myriad expressions, it is a tricky but well-conceived piece of assembly. Nearly 800 years there are in those eyes.

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I don’t understand those critics who bemoan that, in LEGO® brick form, Yoda looks like an ‘alien’: from where do these people think he comes? Forced to ponder, I am.

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To be fair, the packet photos do not do Yoda’s eyes justice as in reality they actually look superbly splendid when built. The ears are expertly crafted, through a combined wall of regular, slanted and curved green bricks. But the ears remain static, which is a shame.

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However, you can position the fingers, with its claws, around the cleverly-realised lightsaber but the posability is somewhat limited due to the overall immobile nature of the piece, mainly due to the fixed arms.

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The toes, which, like the fingers, have articulated joints are useful for display purposes. What you are left with is a surprisingly accurate rendition of the Jedi Master that stands 16”/41cm and answers the question: “Yoda, you seek Yoda!”

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Many light-years beyond AOTC, a renewed appetite for all-things-Star Wars gave us the Disney Plus streaming sensation: ‘The Mandalorian’ which featured an infant descendent of Yoda’s species, otherwise known as Baby Yoda or ‘The Child’ (later to be fully named ‘Grogu’ in the second season). ‘The Child’ quickly became a fan favourite for all genders and key narrative force (geddit?) for the show. Now here he is, taking up 1,073 bricks to capture his essence (set 75318).

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The build is, of course, extremely similar to the one outlined above, but due to the smaller size of the character and hence lower brick (not to mention price) count, the detailing on the cloak and head isn’t as intricate here. The same Technic base frame upon which four sides to the character are built up separately and subsequently attached, must be erected first.

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However, to paraphrase Han Solo, LEGO® have made some “special modifications themselves” to the earlier model, and we now get moveable ears that are facilitated by ball and socket joints that grant up-and-down movement.

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Best of all, a great deal of expression, courtesy of a simple but surprisingly effective hinge-and-cradle mouth piece is a winning feature.

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As you might assume, The Child’s hands are considerably smaller than Yoda’s and are therefore less easy to manoeuvre but have the same ball-jointed wrists with three clip-and-bar fingers that allow for some key poses:

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You can make Grogu hold his much coveted gearshift knob accessory (just don’t tell Mando!) or give him that Force power gesture familiar to all Force-sensitive types.

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The same fluid, subtle motion of the neck is afforded, and indeed improved upon here, as with Yoda and it is amazing just how much expressivity you can achieve through the simplest adjustment of The Child’s ears in conjunction with his mouth’s minute movements.

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It is all about the eyes though, which despite not having the adjustable eyelids of the bigger model, perfectly capture, through their opaque design, that utterly adorable and cute characteristic of The Child’s screen incarnation that made him such an enduring hit with audience’s worldwide.

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This model of The Child, however, does not come with the feet that gave the Yoda set recognisable design elements:

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But as with Grogu’s depiction in the show, we never actually saw his feet so their omission here is apt. His cloak fans out to enclose a solid foundation of tiles.

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Standing over 7.5”(19cm), 8.5”(21cm) wide and 5”(13cm) deep, he’s far easier to carry around than Yoda is anyway.

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As with Yoda, the overall lack of interaction and playability might prove to be a drawback to some, but The Child continues to demonstrate Lego’s commitment to high quality depictions of pop culture favourites. Eager to capitalise on the growing success of ‘The Mandalorian’ and The Child’s almost universal adoration with audiences across the globe, LEGO® cleverly released this model in October of 2020, just in time for Christmas.

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Both sets come with information plaques, adorned with scaled-down mini-figures. The Child’s head is made from rubber and manages to, even at this scale, convey an accuracy of expression. Just on the cuteness factor alone, this one wins over the Yoda mini-figure although that does come with a tiny lightsaber so what you gain on the swings you lose on the roundabouts, to coin a phrase.

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You could play Top Trumps with these sets all day (“You can’t open Yoda’s mouth” vs. “The Child has no eye lids”) but one thing cannot be denied: they look great together, they surely do. Which model has the Force for you?

Where can you get Yoda?

Get yours from LEGO® US 
Get yours from LEGO® UK
Get yours from LEGO® Australia
Get yours from LEGO® Canada 

Where can you get The Child / Grogu?

Get yours from LEGO® US 
Get yours from LEGO® UK
Get yours from LEGO® Australia
Get yours from LEGO® Canada 

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Let us know what you think by dropping a comment below!

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