I’ll admit that when I first heard about the Trolls World Tour sets I was quick to dismiss them as a cheap marketing ploy based on yet another average animated movie. I make no bones about it, because of course on some level always true. One of the primary reasons for most such movies even existing is to cash in with toys, printed T-shirts and other merchandise. However, despite considering myself mostly resilient to such cheap and obvious schemes, the inclusion of LEGO adds another level and after long pondering I gave in to my own curiosity and bought the Pop Village Celebration (41255) set when it was cheap.
Aside from the trailer I have zero understanding of the movie. Apparently the planned release here in Germany fully coincided with the height of the first Corona virus wave and the ensuing lockdown, so it never got released theatrically. Unlike in the US it also never developed into a secret sleeper hit on streaming services, meaning there’s really little information on it everywhere. And I don’t have Netflix, also, so forgive me if I’m flying a bit blind on this.
The one advantage that the relative obscurity of the movie offers is that the sets themselves are realtively cheap to have because they otherwise would barely even sell. Don’t get me wrong – I think they were seriously overpriced to begin with and might not have sold this great even if the movie had seen its proper marketing push. This particular set isn’t even the worst offender with its suggested price of 50 Euro, but regardless, despite getting a relatively large model out of it, paying 35 Euro or less for what ultimately amounts to a very simplistic build feels much better.
The content of the box is what I would cautiously call adequate, but it’s not great value. true, there are a few larger parts, some printed parts, some very unique figures and the new exclusive bubble pods, but at the end of the day you get limited LEGO value out of it. A lot of these items created exclusively for this series feel more like they belong in the hands of other toy manufacturers. You know, like some of the things LEGO did in the early 2000s and late 1990 where you end up wondering “What? They really did that?”.
The figures in these sets are quite removed from the traditional minifigure designs with especially the Trolls type heads and associated hair pieces sticking out. It would be quite tricky to get them affixed to regular figures. However, I’m pretty sure that in particular some of the hair pieces will make a reappearance in other sets as regular parts for the simple reason that they fit on what equates a 2 x 2 round brick or plate.
The Medium Lavender and White pieces shown in the picture would be fantastic tree stumps or small volcanos when done in other colors and similarly Poppy’s hair (the Magenta one) could serve as a basis for all sorts of plants. Hopefully LEGO realize that potential. Aside from that, some of the figure parts could be interesting for people who are into creating custom figures. Some of the colors used here are extremely rare and hard to find elsewhere.
On that note: Bricklink prices for these figs are insane. It seems not too many people have bought the sets or they are in short supply for other reasons. Should you have a genuine interest in these figures as a collector or your kids bug you about them, seriously consider just buying the sets. It would be a lot cheaper and selling off the parts could rake in some additional cash.
There are two super, super simple extra builds in the set with one being a baking oven and the other a cart/ mobile DJ booth for Tiny Diamond, the baby-sized transparent little dude in from the figures. The latter, like the figures themselves, is decorated with elements from a dedicated set specifically developed for this series. This includes the musical notes, some baking utensils and hair add-ons and comes in different colors across different sets. I’m pretty sure, though, that now that it exists it will be used prominently elsewhere as well.
The main build is some sort of house, which could also be a hollowed out tree stem or plant. Not having seen the movie I honestly can’t say. It comes with two pear-shaped bubble pods that no doubt have some specific role in the film, but otherwise are probably just part of the normal living homes. The first image also exposes one major design flaw right away – the darker pod is drooping way too much and almost falling off its stalk.
The answer to this issue is easily apparent – everything is just attached with a single pin hole which inevitably will cause the dino tail element and the trunk piece to follow the simple laws of physics, meaning the sheer weight of the pod and gravity will exert forces that turn the whole affair in the pin hole and then everything begins to slump. If you are careful you can stop the pod just shy off the end of the trunk part, but it still falls off at the slightest touch.
Funny enough, the issue doesn’t appear on the right-hand side of the model, where a different type of tail piece has been used, which by it’s nature isn’t as prone to rotating on its own even under weight. in any case, I feel that both are still not ideal. They are simply delicate and not ideal for a kids toy. A more conventional construction using e.g. arch elements might have been more robust and less troublesome.
At first I was rather skeptical about the build using those large quarter cylinder pieces in Dark Cyan for the main construction. However, once finished, it’s surprisingly sturdy. Getting there on the other hand is a different story. I found the build extremely tedious and unsatisfying. In their raw state many sections of the model are pretty unstable until you cap them off with plates, arches and long bricks. This in itself is always a challenge as you have to connect the correct studs and exerting too much pressure has the risk of breaking things apart again. It’s definitely not my preferred way of building.
The other thing that makes the assembly process kinda boring is that there is essentially only two types of pieces: Very large ones and then in the opposite, very small ones like the 1 x 1 elements used to decorate the stage or fasten the leaves and ropes/ vines. You never find a good flow. Had I applied the stickers, the interruptions would have bothered me even more.
Thankfully there are at least a few printed elements and those look interesting in their own right with their funny faces and big mouths. I’m just wondering why LEGO didn’t go the full mile and printed everything. This set is aimed at relatively young children and while it’s not labeled as a 4+ model, it sure feels this way. As you know, in that series everything is printed from smallest details to big building walls, so why not do it here? Especially the big “weather wheel” should have been easy enough as a perfectly smooth flat piece. Who knows, had they printed it, they could even have used a more elaborate design?
I’m also puzzled by the odd felt elements. This to me feels neither here nor there. Why introduce a new material when you’re only using it so sparingly? Even just by watching the trailer you realize that those fuzzy and furry materials are used massively in the movie. Point in case: Probably every plant and flower should be made from a textile material or in reverse, not a single one of them and it’s all plastic. To put it bluntly: It feels half-assed.
This is even more the case since it’s cheap industrial synthetic material. There may be safety, hygiene and manufacturing considerations at play here, but using natural wool would at least have had a warmer touch and communicated a different message. And it’s not that this would have made the set unaffordably expensive…
The bubble pods are actually very limited. They look nice, but there’s just not enough to do with them. Originally I thought they were meant as some sort of storage for the kids to take their figures with them on trips, but there’s no specific provision for any of that. You would have to throw out the few details built into them and use the studs on the new 2 x 6 brackets at the bottom to plug your figures on.
One of the pods has a musical jukebox and some accessories whereas the other serves as a sleeping room with a bed for Guy Diamond and the throne-like mini stage for Tiny Diamond. At least that’s what i figured it is supposed to represent.
Since I typically dismantle my models after a short while because I simply don’t have enough room to keep them around forever, I didn’t quite know what to do with the pods. They are bulky and can’t be used for much else, but lucky enough, inspiration struck and I turned one of them into a “glow worm swarm” type of light for my nightstand using a simply battery-based LED light chain as you can find them in many crafting/ home decoration stores. It works quite well and gives just off the right amount of light when you wake up in the middle of the night and need just that bit of light, but not too much to hurt your eyes.
So what’s the overall verdict? If you or your little ones are a fan of the movie, then there is certainly some value in the figures and overall model. As a generic play set for kids who haven’t seen the film I can’t see the value, however. Even the main house is ultimately just another storage option for the creatures and beyond that there is little to play with. It looks nice and is stable, but that’s where it ends.
I’m in fact pretty sure you could get an even better deal from another toy manufacturer who is also a licensee for Trolls at much lower cost. Aside from the special figures there’s just not enough here to warrant an investment. For adults this is even more useless as there is little to gain here in terms of valuable rare parts or any such thing that occasionally might want you to consider some off-beat set.
I satisfied my own curiosity with this set, but there is no reason to take this any further. It’s kind of sad, as I could see the potential for such a colorful, sprawling world and I’d likely love it, but overall it’s pretty lackluster and would need a lot more attention to detail to really turn this into something. Disappointing as it may be, ultimately Trolls World Tour can’t break out of this license dump corner, so my initial fears weren’t entirely unwarranted.