Today I’m a Princess! – Moana’s Boat (43170) and Aurora’s Royal Carriage (43173)

We all have our favorite animated Disney movies and while my most beloved ones have little to do with today’s modern takes on the subject nor in some way the more kitschy older ones I still enjoy even those for what they are when they run on TV or I can snatch them up on a cheap DVD/ Blu-Ray. That being the case I was, odd as it may sound, pleasantly surprised to see that there would be new Moana sets as well as a few others lined up for this year. Let’s begin with Moana’s Boat (43170)

LEGO Disney, Moana's Boat (43170), Box

I have a funny relation to this movie. I loved the original trailer way back then (the one with the flashbacks also used in the film where she’s a toddler), but to this day never got around to actually sit through the movie from beginning to end. I know bits and bobs and some larger sections even, but not the whole story. That’s perhaps one of the reasons why I never had much interest in the original, way larger sets. It’s not that I feel I missed out on something special, but I always wanted the little pig named Pua in my collection. The new release makes this easy enough, with this being a 10 Euro set, often sold for 7 Euro.

LEGO Disney, Moana's Boat (43170), Overview

Given the pricing of course one shouldn’t expect anything miraculous to be included. The buildable components are very simple and just enough to allow to re-play some scenes from the movie, but far from being super-realistic or proportionally accurate. naturally there’s Pua the pig which I was so keen on and then a Moana figure as well. Here in Germany she’s called Vaiana, by the way, due to some other pre-existing registered trademark having foiled Disney‘s marketing plans.

LEGO Disney, Moana's Boat (43170), Island The small island has been reduced to the bare minimum, but to me is still enticing. Not only does it contain the triple leaves element in Lime Green as a new color for this year but also the “poop” swirl 1 x 1 round plate introduced with the Dog Sitter Collectible Minifigure last year, but this time in white. If you know my obsession with LEGO Friends and baking you know that this will make a perfect piece for Sundae swirls or any other similar cake decoration while here in this set of course it stands in as a shell housing.


LEGO Disney, Moana's Boat (43170), Canoe, Front Left ViewThe boat/ canoe is an equally simplistic build, but is sufficient for the smallness of the overall set. I could be critical of the construction, but for the most part it will be just fine for kids. My only serious concern is the lack of an extra axle/ beam to support the auxiliary float, as indeed it’s only connected via the arched slopes. Similar to the island however there is a lot of value here if you are hunting for specific parts.LEGO Disney, Moana's Boat (43170), Canoe, Front Right View 


First, there’s the two inverted curved slopes in Reddish Brown for the first time ever. Yes, one would think that such a mundane part had been done in this color a long time ago, but while I don’t always trust Bricklink 100 percent (they do get information wrong at times despite peer reviews), it seems true. Similarly, the bar used for the mast, an almost 30 year old mold, is premiering in a brown color in this set as well. And finally, there’s the new 2 x 2 x 1 container only introduced in 2019 (under the lid with the flower).

I almost struggle for words to describe how awesome it actually is that they crammed in so many “new” pieces into such a small and affordable set. Buying a second or third of these sets doesn’t seem like the worst idea, especially if the price drops even lower during some special promotion.

LEGO Disney, Aurora's Royal Carriage (43173), Box

Moving on to Aurora’s Royal Carriage (43173) I can barely contain my excitement, either. Initially the only reason I so wanted this set is the owl. Yes, it may seemed stupid, but when i first saw pictures of this little critter and its dumb-founded look I laughed my bum off in the real LMFAO sense. Even now when I look at it I can’t help but grin and giggle. It pushes all my buttons.

LEGO Disney, Aurora's Royal Carriage (43173), Overview

The little side build with the table feels a bit superfluous and doesn’t do much for me. it doesn’t even have a genuine candle and the least they could have done to make this more interesting is to include the new “dripping icing” 2 x 2 plate found in the just released baking-themed LEGO Friends sets. A real wedding cake would have been even better. Other than that the set is again overflowing with pieces in previously non-existent color variants. Those include the bracket used for the seat, the modified plate with a single clip, the slope and there’s also the three to two jumper plate and the stairstep bracket, both of which however were already introduced in these colors for The LEGO Movie 2 last year.

LEGO Disney, Aurora's Royal Carriage (43173), Left View

There could be some debate on the modified tiles with the wall panel, though. New Elementary has a whole article on the subject, but I honestly think they are over-interpreting this and make things way too complicated. Point in case: The only reason why they all get different numbers is because LEGO counts them as special/ custom-produced one-off parts tied to specific sets or series. Other than that it’s presumably always the same coating that just looks different depending onto which base color it is applied. That’s in fact perhaps the most sensible theory to begin with. While nothing speaks against it, I don’t consider it likely that LEGO would try out a ton of different coatings. That would make things way to convoluted for mass production.

LEGO Disney, Aurora's Royal Carriage (43173), Aft Right View

All things considered, I really like these two little sets. They offer great value for little money and just feel useful to me. I even almost like the minidolls. The ones used in Friends have definitely improved in terms of showing different prints and colors, but these two models show how further modifying them with different types of skirts and perhaps a different hair piece can further enhance them.

The models themselves are also robust enough to actually be played with by children. I accidentally dropped the storage box where I keep those things in during the photo shoot and aside from a few pieces that you would expect to come off such as the palm leave on Moana‘s island or some of the golden swirlies on the carriage nothing broke. It should be safe even for three-year-olds. If your kids are into any of the movies, you should definitely consider buying those sets.

Trash Time!

I’m in the process of getting a bit into a) building houses and the landscapes surrounding them and b) trying to learn to create my own building instructions, so it’s not unwelcome when inspiration strikes and I come up with my own little challenges to learn the ropes, as it were.

MOC Euro Dumpster

The first of those is a typical standard large volume (around 450 liters) trash dumpster as you can find them in many European countries and of course in Germany. Each country has its own slight variation on those, but the basic shape is always the same. they uses to be made of zinc-coated metal, but these days most are made of plastic. They come pretty much in any color you can imagine, though the majority seems to be made in dark green and various shades of dark-ish greys up to full black.

The color of the lid indicates its contents. No extra color usually means mundane household trash whereas yellow and blue stand for recyclables, meaning packaging (tin, plastic, TetraPaks etc.) for the yellow one and paper for the blue one. In some regions you can also find other colors like orange for recycling electrical/ electronic devices.

To my surprise I couldn’t find many examples of this particular type on photos of LEGO, so this reaffirmed my intention to build one even further and I spent an evening dabbling around, scraping together elements from my still very limited collection. The biggest hold-up was experimenting with proportions, as I didn’t want it to look too massive, either, and be compatible in size with the standard minifigure scale and in turn thus anything from basic Creator buildings to City and Friends up to the Advanced Modular Buildings.

MOC Euro Dumpster

After I had figured out the structure and that the model could actually be built this way (I prefer to build physically first to avoid any surprises of digital concoctions not working in practice), turning it into a digital building instruction was another matter and say what you will, calling those LEGO “CAD” programs and the tools around them unsophisticated is doing them a kindness. In my line of work I’ve seen and used lots of CAD programs and thought I’d seen it all, but when it comes to LEGO some of those tools are just jarringly atrocious.

I pretty much tried all of them and then opted for LeoCAD, because at least it looks halfway decent and has snappy UI interaction. The same can by no means be said for LPub, the tool for turning your 3D model into a graphical booklet with pages and all that good stuff. Mind you, I’m not saying it doesn’t do what it’s advertised for, but it is slow as hog and not very safe and user-friendly. Turning a big custom Technic model into instructions could be a pretty daunting, time-consuming task. Anyway, I digress and shall save my thoughts on this for a separate article.

If you care to fancy up your little city or just prop um some empty back alley, you can download the instruction using the link below. Keep in mind that the actual colors don’t really matter that much as long as you have enough bricks of a given type to actually build it. If you have suggestions on how to improve the design, in particular making some connections a bit more sturdy, fire away in the comments.

MOC Euro Dumpster, Instructions