In a one-horse open Sleigh… – LEGO Santa’s Sleigh (40499)

…or a four-reindeer open sleigh, rather. Yupp, it’s that time of year again where we need to talk about Christmas and prepare for it. Personally I’ve never been much into seasonal decorating and my flat is too small to go all in on it, anyway, but my mom certainly loves to dig out all her precious wood-carved figures, reflective baubles, lights, nutcrackers and all that. From time to time, though, even I can’t resist buying that super-cute polar bear or snowman and ever since taking up LEGO as a hobby it also sometimes is nice to combine these things and have something to build with a seasonal spirit. Santa’s Sleigh (40499) is exactly that.

LEGO, Santa's Sleigh (40499), Box

Pricing and Contents

The main reason I even got this set was that it appealed more to me than this year’s official Christmas village set the Santa’s Visit (10293) house. It’s not bad at all, just a bit too ordinary for my taste and I may rather pick it up next year with a bit of discount once it becomes available more widely just like I did with the Winter Village Station (10259). Of course there will be lots of people who in contrast to myself have less restricted funds and they will simply buy both sets (or even multiple boxes of each) and eat their heart out going crazy with this. Sleighs with eight reindeer are an easy modification and I’ve also already seen MOCs/ MODs merging two of the houses into a bigger one.

The sleigh set itself comes with “only” 343 pieces and costs 36.99 Euro officially. Since it is exclusive to LEGO stores (or their online shop, respectively) there’s no real debate about discounts or any of that. Either you want it and pay or you don’t. However, I’ve observed that people ask crazy prices way above that on Bricklink or marketplaces like Facebook groups and I would warn against that. Unless you really, really have no other option, try to pick it up at your regional LEGO retail store. Even if it may frequently be sold out online, those physical stores often have sufficient supply.

As for the general pricing considerations you in particular have to keep in mind that this comes with four large-ish animals made from two different materials. On their Bricks & Pieces page LEGO themselves are asking 5.85 Euro per reindeer currently. Even if the manufacturing cost may be more like 2 Euro, those four animals still could represent one-third of the overall value of all elements. This makes their inclusion a good value, even more so once you consider that some people have spent a small fortune on buying extra reindeer when last year it was first included in the Elf Club House (10275). I couldn’t help but gloat the tiniest bit about this perhaps not being the best investment they ever made…

LEGO, Santa's Sleigh (40499), Overview

The rest of the set is okay, but just normal stuff you could scrape together from other sets with one exception – the curved hinge panel used in the front of the carriage is an exclusive item and has been recolored Red for the first time. Other than that I was particularly disappointed that not more effort was spent on including some unique gift items, but more on that further down.

So is the price a good deal, after all? That’s a definite “Maybe?!” At the end of the day, despite the points I raised, this feels more like it should have cost around 30 Euro. At the same time the price isn’t so much out of whack it would be ridiculous and considering that you always pay a premium on these store exclusives, it’s really not that bad.

Minifigure and Extras

As you would imagine from a set called Santa’s Sleigh the old man himself is included. There have been several versions of him over the years, of course, but this is actually the first time he got real black boots thanks to the legs being dual molded. The other interesting fact is that they opted for a very old face print from 2013, but it’s surprisingly fitting. There’s a printed tile with a “Nice List” and if you try hard enough you can read the names, but overall this feels a bit lackluster. The fake 3D paper scroll effect just doesn’t work that well and a more conventional tabular list might have been more appealing. That or a custom part for the scroll…

LEGO, Santa's Sleigh (40499), Minifigure

As mentioned earlier, the presents leave a few things to be desired as well. there’s a batch of buildable packets, but for instance there’s not a single round one or for that matter an “original” one using a new part that has come out in the last two years. A repurposed Toad cap from the Super Mario series with a custom bow print on it could have been amazing. On that note, they didn’t even include any of the old 2 x 2 tiles/ inverted with such prints, which really is a bit lame

The minifigure accessory based gifts don’t fare much better as the clearly are just pieced together from existing overflow stock. I could so go for a Dark Red guitar or some blue skis with some snowflakes printed on. Even the teddy bear could have benefited from a new design or color combination. Point in case: To me it’s those little details that breathe the love and while this set sells like hot cakes, anyway, would have made it even more desirable.

The Sleigh

The model is built in the order I present it here, meaning you indeed build the carriage first and then attach the reindeer and their bridles to the finished main vehicle. That’s a welcome deviation from many other sets, where you are asked to assemble minifigures and accessories first and then they float around while you’re dealing with the main item.

LEGO, Santa's Sleigh (40499), Reindeers and Sleigh

The pieces for the sleigh are distributed across two bags, making for two main build segments, respectively. There’s no specific exotic pattern here. You really build from the bottom up, beginning with the plates at the base and then work your way to the top. Most of the curved elements and gold decorations are in the second bag while the first step really focuses on building a solid chassis and box. A few things are a bit finicky since they are built “with air”, i.e. with open areas underneath and studs only left and right. This can make placing the plates and bricks that bridge those areas a bit of an exercise when things are not aligned 100 percent, but it’s nothing you couldn’t manage.

The stowage area consists of an open cargo bed in the top and a slide-in drawer trunk, the latter of which is perfectly flush in its closed position and thus hidden pretty well. not much actual space in it, though, and the carrot and pretzel you’re supposed to put in there are pretty much it or else the drawer can get blocked.

The upper deck has a few extra hollows due to using a few panels and that lofty building style I already mentioned. There’s no real technical reason for it and they could just as well have used regular bricks, so it’s merely a measure to reduce parts count and cost. I find that it doesn’t necessarily help since stuff can get jammed and lost in these crevices when you fill up the cargo area with the gift. The same goes for the floor not being tiled over. Getting a ski stick that’s stuck between two rows of studs out of there is fiddly if you don’t want to just turn over the entire sleigh.

Team Reindeer

As mentioned prominently already and as is visible in the images there are four reindeer. All of them are identical, so if you were hoping for a red-nosed Rudolph those hopes are crushed. It would have been a bit too tacky and obvious, anyway, at least for my taste. The downside to that is of course that everything looks even more static, but developing different prints or even including differently colored creatures would no doubt have been unrealistic and very cost-prohibitive. Therefore the most viable option to add some interest might be to modify and accessorize the “saddle” area and the tow bars like substituting the plain red elements for Dark Red and Dark Green ones and adding a few Pearl Gold 1 x 1 here and there. If you have some spare reindeer you could also try an asymmetrical formation or even without that quite generally re-rigging the tow setup.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s not particularly excitement-inducing to say something is solid, but this set really is in that category. It does a lot of things right and while certainly several things could have been improved or done differently, none of those little things are annoying or make you feel that something is really missing. It would just have been nice if LEGO had stepped up their plate and put a more love in some of the details to make it something truly outstanding.

If you’re feeling even a tiny bit festive or want to get in the mood I would recommend you try this set. It makes for a relaxing evening build and unlike some other Christmas stuff that LEGO has churned out this one doesn’t look too kitschy and will integrate well with more conventional seasonal decorations. The only real showstopper could be that by the time you read this it will already be very hard to find.

Something to be proud of? – LEGO Everyone is Awesome (40516)

As I stated in my recent VIDIYO review/ ponderings, at the end of the day LEGO‘s product choices most of the time are very conventional or even conservative. They like to play it safe and not risk damaging their bottom line by offending anyone. On top of it there are the self-imposed rules about family- and kids-friendliness, which unfortunately are based on dated tropes and stereotypes from a different time and don’t keep up with modern times. That’s why it was extremely surprising to release the Everyone is Awesome (40516) set, which clearly takes a step into a different direction.

LEGO, Everyone is Awesome (40516), Box

Controversy in Rainbow Land

The apparent observation would have to be that this is a set aimed at the LGBTQI+ crowd or for that matter addresses “diversity” in the broadest possible sense. Is it, though? Ultimately it becomes a question of whether the set is catering for those demographics or just pandering to them. Point in case: The deciding question is whether or not LEGO are legit on this subject and their heart is in the right place.

As a gay person and thus a member of one of those groups I have ambiguous feelings about this. Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way: Regardless of the rest, this set has the unfortunate stench of “corporate pride” all over it, i.e. the typical scenario where big companies and organisations pull their rainbow flags from storage once a year, put out some nice ads and sponsor a bunch of events for Pride Month and then the rest of the year not much else happens to foster inclusivity and diversity. This duality in fact could be observed just today when UEFA prohibited illuminating the Munich stadium in rainbow colors for tomorrow’s match during EURO 2020. You know, when it comes to their money and truly sending a message, they get touchy.

LEGO, Everyone is Awesome (40516), Front Left View

Then of course there’s the other side of the equation, the general population and by extension the AFOL crowd. I’m struggling for words, but the craziness even the announcement for this set caused has me baffled. I was seriously shocked about the level of intolerance this brought to light in way too many people. C’mon, folks, it’s 2021! Don’t get me wrong – I’m not waving around rainbow flags all day as I much prefer to be “That normal guy you’d never have thought being queer.”, but isn’t that in itself a point. Shouldn’t we not even need to talk about this?

So as you see, this is indeed more controversial than it may seem at first, but overall I’m glad that this set even exists. Raising awareness is more often than not painful and you can’t make everyone happy, but doing nothing is certainly not an option, either. I just wish LEGO had went about this a bit smarter. They could have released this earlier and collaborated with an LGBTQI+ charity and it would have been the better for it and not come across as such a cheap move to exploit pride month. People still would have bought it and the discussion around it might have been more civil and fruitful.

Pricing and Contents

While the set’s name of course is derived from that “Everything is Awesome!” song from The LEGO Movie, the price really isn’t that awesome. For the time being this is a LEGO exclusive only available at their retail stores and online shop and at 35 Euro for 341 pieces it is definitely a tad on the expensive side. You have to cut them some slack for having to manufacture a few pieces in new colors, including some minifigure parts, that naturally drive up the cost, but overall I feel that the value present here is more in the 25 Euro range.

The point here really is that aside from the arcs and the minifigures you are dealing with basic bricks and tiles, many of which are readily and cheaply available on Bricklink and other sites and as such are also part of LEGO‘s standard supply flow because they are in many other sets. they could have been a bit more generous about that and shaved off at lest 5 Euro. Does this make it a bad deal? The answer to that are actually the minifigures.

As anybody who has tried may know, scraping together monochromatic minifigures can be a major pain. It’s easy enough to find unprinted legs and heads. The latter are occasionally used as decorative elements, lantern inserts or fruit (the notorious orange pumpkin for instance, before LEGO had a special mold for this) whereas most basic Creator or City sets feature figures with plain legs. Things do however get infinitely more difficult for finding print-free torsos, colored hands/ gloves and hair pieces. Some “rare” colors where a specific part has only been done once on a minifigure this can be almost hopeless even.

For this reason any such single-colored figure on its own can already cost you a major fraction of the price for this whole set. Even when sufficient options are available, you may have to buy three or four other figures (or at least parts of them) to bash together a new one. Once you figure that in, this set may almost feel extremely affordable. I would maintain, though, that the set should and could be more affordable.

The Model

There’s a million ways to skin a cat and so are the possibilities for presenting the rainbow theme, but the designer(s) opted for the most basic approach and simply recreated the stripes of the original pride flag and gender identity flag as a presentation stand.

LEGO, Everyone is Awesome (40516), Left View

As it is, there isn’t really much to say about it as building the back wall is a tedious and repetitive task of stacking bricks and tiling over the “stage” area isn’t much more exciting, either. There’s just no technical finesse, no unusual building techniques, no nothing and building drags on, despite a limited number of parts.

LEGO, Everyone is Awesome (40516), Back View

Personally I was most disappointed that the inner corner did not also have a fillet/ curve. That would have added some extra value. Similarly, they could have staggered the stripes in some fashion, both horizontally and vertically and the resulting steps would have added interest and then they could have gone even more crazy by making them “liquid color” with drips and puddles where they melt and blend. There’s so many ideas here. You can do all of that yourself, of course, but it would have been nice to have some more options of of the box.

LEGO, Everyone is Awesome (40516), Front Right View

One of those might also have been rearrangeable stripes that can be reordered and plugged together with pins. This would have allowed to create a bunch of custom flags for some sub-communities and if they had included more colors like Lime Green, Tan, Dark Azure, Medium Nougat and others it would have expanded the options even more. I’m sure some Furries out there would just love to have their flag on the shelf in LEGO form…

LEGO, Everyone is Awesome (40516), Bottom View

Now I don’t want to ruin everyone’s day, but we really have to talk about LEGO‘s quality issues because they are so painfully apparent. Yes, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, the 6 x 16 plate on the left is indeed much more yellowish and that is after tweaking the photo to look nicer. This is only tolerable because the colored elements distract enough, but imagine this was a winter scene with those white parts fully exposed. It would be a nightmare and sadly this is so common these days, that I don’t find it acceptable. A company that claims to be the market leader should not have any such issues even if parts are produced in different factories!

LEGO, Everyone is Awesome (40516), Minifigures

The meat of the set and in fact probably the only reason this set sells outside the queer communities are the monochrome figures for the reasons I explained earlier. The selection is what I would call eclectic, but overall still limited. Most notably and one of the oversights they could have fixed easily is that each figure has only a fixed hair style. Given how much I love pink colors, I certainly wouldn’t have minded having a “male” hair piece in that color. It would also have been nice if they had included a bunch of accessories like headphones, scarfs, beards or even those Ninjago bandanas as mouth coverings. After all, the Corona pandemic is still raging and it would be a nice nod to that.

LEGO, Everyone is Awesome (40516), Minifigures

The shapes of the hair pieces are familiar, but there is exactly one completely new piece on the blue minifigure. This rockabilly style hairdo has many people speculating about a new Stranger Things set as apparently it fits one of the characters there. We shall see once it makes an appearance in a then more traditional hair color.

Concluding Thoughts

One has to be thankful for small things, so as a way of representing diverse communities this set certainly is a start, but a humble one. Unfortunately LEGO have settled on stereotypes and compromised a bit too much as well as simply having been miserly (again) and this just isn’t what it could have been. Combine that with the awful timing and you really can’t shake the thought that their thinking is just still as biased as any other company X. Indeed “corporate pride” that’s only on display when it’s convenient or beneficial for their image.

As a LEGO set in the strictest sense this is more or less a fail if it wasn’t for the figures. It’s the sole reason I immediately got two of these sets just in case I might ever need those monochrome buddies for a project. It’s something I almost never do, but I’m not trusting them to keep this around forever, so if you have even the slightest interest in those minifigs, you should not put off a purchase for too long. Eventually they’re simply going to move on and not produce it anymore, latest when perhaps next year they bring out another pride-themed set.

If none of this matters to you in any way, than this just isn’t for you. You can have enough sets that are much more interesting to build, look more attractive on display and also have equally if not more interesting figures. Come to think of it, some VIDIYO figures would probably be good donors for colorful parts to create a pride parade or design a drag queen…

Honesty Reward!

Sometimes things work out in a weird way and so despite not really having an intention to buy one of the Jurrassic World sets, I still ended up with one of the promotional Velociraptor Play Pen (30382) bags that you would otherwise get if you were to buy products from that range of a certain value. How did I do that? That’s an anecdote so odd, it’s definitely worth telling.

LEGO Promotional, Velociraptor Play Pen (30382), Bag

I was on the road yesterday in the next big city close to where I live, Leipzig, and for a few years now (three or four, I believe), we have our own LEGO store, so I always make it a point to at least stop by and sneak in, looking if I can get something that fits my limited budget, ideally at reduced prices. There wasn’t much in the way of actual sets, but I picked up a bunch of minifigures and shovelled a few hands of loose bricks into a small Pick a Brick cup since it doesn’t happen that often that you get Sand Green 2 x 1 bricks en masse.

I paid my stuff and then left the premises to check out some other shops in the mall and all the while I had this nagging feeling that something was off and I didn’t pay what it should have cost. So when reorganizing the contents of my backpack I took the chance to check the receipts whether I had missed some discount or something like that and there it was – they young lady operating the cash register had missed on checking in my PaB cup and the bill was 10 Euros short.

Since I’d like to think I’m an honest guy, after all, I returned to the LEGO store and in slightly theatrical fashion dug out the unpaid cup and asked, whether I could still keep it even if I hadn’t paid for it. Imagine the stunned looks! After the first moment of surprise had settled, I jokingly said that I would only pay it if I got one of those dino bags. Of course I would have paid either way, but the guys played along and as a reward for my honesty I really got one of the bags, which is great! Now little baby T-Rex from the magazine set has a friend to play with! 😉

LEGO Promotional, Velociraptor Play Pen (30382), Overview

The set itself is simple enough, but what of course stands out are the Dark Blue elements, which LEGO uses throughout the entire Jurassic World series. They also match the little Velociraptor‘s colors since he goes by the name of Blue due to his dark side stripes. Personally I just love those toned down, soothing colors. For my taste the set could have been a bit wider/ have had more depth, but at least judging from photos it seems that even the commercial sets are more built like narrow facades, so this would fit the theme.

In any case, I’m a happy camper and such little funny incidents show that “Life finds a way!”, as Dr. Malcolm always says in the movies. Thanks again to the staff of the store for being game and indulging me!

Little Shop of LEGO – 40305

One of the reasons for my haul in the LEGO online shop besides the H. C. Andersen book freebie was “that other promotional set” one read about so much, the small LEGO Brand Store (40305). For a while it wasn’t clear how it would be available here in Europe at all, as it seemed that several weeks before they decided to make it a paid model, after all, it was given to some customers for free in Asian territories. LEGO‘s policies can be quite confusing when it comes to those things.

LEGO Promotional, LEGO Brand Store (40305), Box

The set comes at a price of around 25 Euros, which is kinda okay, but not exactly cheap. Of course as always part of the game for me is reusability of the elements and since a lot of bricks I have scraped together bit by bit are white, it seemed a natural fit to add this set and benefit from some extra parts. It might only take one or two sets more and I can seriously think about trying to build a custom “big” Modular Building style house using these elements. We’ll have to see.

What also helps is that this model uses other very reusable parts such as the 16 x 8 plates it is built with, the windows or even the large transparent panel as a storefront window. Yummy stuff! Even the many yellow slopes and tiles could come in handy some day. On the other hand the limited selection of colors makes it look a bit boring and lacking in contrast. It wouldn’t have hurt if the second floor had been done in a different color like Medium Blue, Dark Green or any other color that goes well together with yellow (which most of them are, even something weird as Light Lime Green or Light Purple).

LEGO Promotional, LEGO Brand Store (40305), Crumpled Mess

One of the unexpected bummers with this set is that except for the fake computer screen used on the cash register and the ATM machine there are no printed tiles. That’s really lame for a (self-) promotional set from LEGO themselves. As a minimum I would have expected the LEGO sign to be printed and even possibly included more than once, as in real LEGO stores the brand name is also plastered inside the shops.

To me it also would have made sense to have printed 2 x 1 tiles for the faux LEGO brick boxes themselves so they could be stuck onto 2 x 1 plates. This would also have made for a nice gag to sneak them in as wall images, postcards etc. in other sets.

Why am I saying that? Because, as you can see in the above image, my sticker and the instruction booklet had suffered some considerable crumpling. This can be attributed to the box not exactly being packed to the brim and thus allowing too much room for things to move and flop around.

LEGO Promotional, LEGO Brand Store (40305), Front View

Overall construction is pretty straightforward in a very simplistic way – you literally just stack up the walls with bricks and insert the windows. Since the walls are very narrow and often only consist of two units wide elements that don’t overlap/ interlock with other bricks, it’s easy to break them off over and over until you add the final row of plates or bricks spanning them all on top. Only then will it get reasonably stable, though overall this isn’t a masterpiece of engineering and needs to be treated carefully.

That’s also the reasons why all you sleuths that bought the set multiple times to build a bigger model will run into trouble. You simply won’t have the parts to create a stable enough body just using elements from this one. You definitely have to have some extra spares from another model somewhere, be that just a bunch of 6 x 1 bricks for bridging the separate halves. Also note that this set uses the “tilt & click” method employed by current Creator sets to snap in some Windows and the main door. That’s okay while the model stands still, but these parts tend to fall out easily while handling the model.

LEGO Promotional, LEGO Brand Store (40305), Rear View

The interior captures the typical elements of a LEGO store nicely with some assembled showroom models in miniature format, a minifig tower, some bargains trays, a Pick a Brick wall and the boxes on the shelves all crammed into the small area available in a rather “no frills” way. There isn’t even a stair!

While the model overall is rich with hints and clues that reinforce the “LEGO store” theme, the novelty of it wears thin rather quickly in light of the simplicity of the construction. I never had the intention to keep it around assembled, but if I had, I would have grown weary of it quickly and probably disassembled just as well.

It’s not a bad model on its own merits, it just doesn’t fit with my way of thinking nor am I that much of a fanboy that I would put it in a special place and enshrine it in my LEGO showcase. Had it e.g. been built on a 16 x 16 plate for the ground flor like many LEGO Friends models are and been a bit more fleshed out, I’d probably see it differently.

Point in case: As a regular model it would be nice, as a promotional effort it’s a bit of a letdown and doesn’t breathe that “crafted with love” feeling that you would expect from something that is supposed to put a positive spin on the corporate identity. I still can’t get over that LEGO tile not being printed, if you get my meaning…

Plastic Book – 40291

LEGO‘s promotional sets are a weird thing. It’s difficult to keep up where to get what at any given time. Some are only sold at LEGOLand parks, others in their stores (including the online shop) and some you get free when you make purchases of a specific minimum value in their outlets. The ones you have to pay for also tend to be way overpriced.

To make matters even worse, these items are often rolled out at different times in different regions, making it a nightmare to keep up with what is the latest plus when they actually become available, you only have a short window of opportunity and the clock is ticking. Either the eligibility period is very short or there are limited numbers of sets or both.

Lucky for me, most of the time the subjects chosen in the sets is not really relevant to me – What would I do with strange minifigure pods for instance? – so I tend to sit things out and pass over them, but I admit, this time LEGO got me and pushed the right buttons. After the announcement made the rounds on respective news sites, I took a note in my calendar to not miss the date.

With the help of the best mom in the world I scraped together enough Euros to put in an order in the LEGO online store on Monday morning. After much delay (apparently too many people ordering Bugatti Chirons) I was getting worried, but thankfully my package finally arrived and included the Creative Storybook: Hans Christian Andersen (40291) as I had hoped (amongst a few other things you will get to see here soon-ish).

LEGO Promotional, H.C. Andersen (40291), Box

Was it worth spending way too much money and paying LEGO‘s full MSRP on their sets just to get this? I can definitely say yes! With around 300 pieces this a full set that on its own would easily cost around 15 Euros, so you get a good bang for your buck, or in this case free, which, depending on what other sets you bought, balances the bill nicely.

LEGO Promotional, H.C. Andersen (40291), Front View

The build consists to around 70% of building the actual book itself, which is made up of a ton of Tan and Reddish Brown plates and tiles. The yellow parts are actually Bright Light Orange, which takes a bit getting used to. It’s okay, but clearly it shouldn’t have been too difficult to include at least the corner reinforcements in Pearl Gold or something like that, as in reality they would often be made of brass.

Building the book spine and the two halves is straightforward, but a bit repetitive, since in the latter case you of course have to do it twice. Everything is connected with simple clamp-on hinges and for the most part things are stable enough. You have to be careful, though, when handling the model as the pages can act like levers and things can easily come off.

LEGO Promotional, H.C. Andersen (40291), Rear View

The inserts in the pages are simple and quick to build, as you basically only throw on the tiles and a few decorative items. Ironically the instruction booklet shows little vignettes from several of Andersen‘s stories built onto equally sized plates, so it would have been easy to replace the inserts, but none of the parts to re-create ideas are actually included.

That is a bit of a bummer since it would have been super cool and lifted the product to an almost commercially viable one. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not asking that they should have included another ten minifigures, but it should have been easy to e.g. throw in some white and transparent blue parts to recreate that Snow Queen scene or a few golden bits and bobs for the various other royally-themed fairytales. It would certainly have helped people to get creative.

Am I complaining about a free lunch? I hope not, but I still always regret if a cool idea isn’t carried through the way I would imagine it. That is also still true for some more of the color choices. As far as those go, the fluorescent transparent green lamp bulb also sticks out and for the smallness of the simulated pond the bright turquoise pops out a bit too much until you get used to it.

LEGO Promotional, H.C. Andersen (40291), Better Colors, simulated

Getting to a point, I’m also not the biggest fan of those intense brown colors and would have preferred something else. In the above photoshopped image I used Dark Blue, but Dark Red or Dark Green would have been just as fine. In fact even Dark Tan would have worked to pose as plain, uncoated leather as it was often used in the olden days.

I also totally intentionally dialed down the Tan color of the pages. I understand that they were selling this as gilded paper, but say what you will, it’s a bit strong, especially since old paper tends to change color a lot less than most people think. In my youth I was part of an archival project at school and many books printed 200 years ago looked much better than modern ones printed on cheap acidic pulp. In any case, this makes also a good point that LEGO needs to introduce a off-white/ beige/ ivory color, which incidentally would be super useful for buildings as well.

Despite all my complaints making it perhaps sound otherwise, I totally love this little set. If all of LEGO‘s bonus sets had this kind of design effort and level of detail, it would almost be worth to order stuff from their online store more often (assuming it actually worked better and wasn’t such a cramp in the rear). If you hurry up and order something this week you still have a chance to get it as well. Personally I’m hoping we’ll see more like this and perhaps LEGO will even listen and give us that alternate vignettes set for the book I’m dreaming of. The development work has apparently be done already, they only need to produce and package it in sufficient numbers, if you get my drift…