The LEGO Creator 3in1 product line has been pretty good those last two years, so I couldn’t wait for what they might have in store this year. While it would be extremely difficult to top the Majestic Tiger (31129), I was hoping that some similarly good stuff was coming. LEGO‘s stupid staggered product roll-outs just so they can write some fancy PR statements every month (while the stock is already sitting in the retailers’ store back areas) meant I head to wait for February and March for the packages to actually become available, but now finalyl here we go, starting with the White Rabbit (31133).
Contents and Pricing
Officially the set comes with 258 pieces and is being sold for 20 Euro here in Germany. Arguably this is already a pretty good price to part ratio, but as you know me, I’m always looking for ways to save some money and hunt for discounts. This is easily possible since the set is widely available and apparently the vendors have enough breathing room to really go low. At the time of writing this, you can get the package for as little as 13 Euro and I got mine when it was around 15 Euro. This is more than fair, especially since you get quite a few large elements and once built the volume of stuff feels adequate.
All in One, One for All
Before delving into the individual models allow me to explain my approach to this particular set. In the past I have bought some of those cheaper Creator 3in1 sets a couple of times to a) not only make these articles more efficient but also because b) I genuinely liked them and I wanted to keep the models around for a while and c) they had parts that seemed be useful for later. In this case I couldn’t motivate myself to go down this route.
First there’s the issue of this package really not containing too many special parts. I’m certainly not the craziest LEGO buyer on this planet simply due to my financial restrictions, limited storage space and generally just not jumping at every theme, but even I now have reached a certain saturation in my parts collection where I just don’t need another hundred 1 x 4 plates in Tan or similar, not to speak of elements like the huge dome pieces that one just doesn’t need on too many builds. There are a few desirable pieces in there like the “pancake” slopes or the newer 4 x 1 slopes (not to be confused with their older, longer existing 3 x 1 counterparts), but if I ever needed more of them, I’d rather buy them selectively on Bricklink rather than clogging up my storage.
The second, and for me at least, bigger issue is plain and simply the color. The models would have looked way better in Light Bluish Grey without using any of their cute appeal and coincidentally doing so would have shifted the value of some elements into the “somewhat rare and desirable” category. As you can see from my crooked photos it might also have helped my with shooting them with better contrast, but then again I probably should have been smarter to begin with and dragged out a differently colored background.
All that being the case, I only got myself a single box and then ended up building one model, doing the images, disassembling and building the secondary and tertiary ones.
The main attraction is of course the rabbit itself in its full glory and with Easter not being too far away it may be of particular interest either as a decorative item or a set to be gifted to your kids or someone else.
The build for this model is pretty straightforward and begins with the main body. It’s basically a conventional stack of plates and 2 x bricks, some of which are SNOT elements and to that base block rounded slopes and arches are attached to define the contour. The apparent downside to that, and it’s clearly recognizable in the images, is that it all looks very cookie cutter like and two dimensional. this has been criticized by other reviewers as well and you can see why. It seems that it should not have been too much trouble to add some more volume to the butt section and the legs. Those are built as separate units and then connected via the joints later.
This also goes for the head and ears. It’s all very modular in both the good and bad sense of the word. Building some parts integrally as a solid body would have allowed for some better curvature in some areas and I think it would not have harmed the overall experience. Most people will likely simply would use the cowered pose anyway and outside that the ability to articulate the creature differently is limited despite the joints. That’s mostly owing to the laws of physics as some components will always fall back into a stable position based on their weight and how they make contact with the floor for instance.
Using the clam shell pieces for the furry paws is an interesting solution, but I wish they had included some inverted curved slopes to shim over those open squares from the underside and in particular the front legs’ shins could also have benefited from at least a mundane 1 x 2 curved slope covering the studs. The tongue, BTW, is one of the few new elements and is the 1 x 1 rounded “hinge” plate in Dark Pink for the first time. From this angle and a few others the rabbit looks quite cute, though more in the “fictitious bunny” fairy tale sense. I’m sure there’s a specific breed that would come close to this, but generally the cheeks are perhaps a bit too hamster or Guinea Pig like.
Also included are a carrot of course and a flower, the latter mostly being a sneaky way to accommodate the yellow arches for the cockatoo.
The second model is a much simpler one and is a white cockatoo. The main trunk is constructed on the same principle as the rabbit, meaning it’s just a layered block of standard pieces to which everything else is eventually plugged on. This is done with the small turntables, which makes the whole assembly a bit wobbly. the wings do have stoppers, so they essentially fall into place just by virtue of gravity, but the head swivels around a bit too easily for my taste.
Another real shortcoming are the legs. The bird is basically dependent on using its tail as a support or else it will just topple over because the feet are not stable enough to balance out everything. It would be hard to put him in a stance as if he was traipsing around with his tail up, no matter how much you might want to.
Inevitably there are leftover pieces and in this case this is not so much their sheer number, but that it affects a good chunk of the parts that contribute to the volume of models. It’s not too bad, but illustrates that perhaps designing the rabbit around more smaller pieces might have been beneficial and allowed to use more elements on the alternate builds as well.
The second alternative model is a baby seal. While it’s sort of cute, the proportions are also kinda wonky and wrong. The little tyke is presented in “lazy mode” with its body all flattened out as to represent the blubber following the pull of gravity, but that’s not very correct, either. Those seals are really pretty round and only adult seals have that wobbly feel, in particular males.
The build is similar to that of the cockatoo in terms of complexity, just the approach a bit different. This is more of a horizontal build compared to the vertical ones previously. The way some parts are attached is dubious, to say the least, with the big quarter dome pieces for the shoulders only hanging by two studs for instance.
As a side gag the model also comes with some fish bones/ a fish, but that would not be adequate for an infant that’s still suckling on its mommy, either. Parts usage is similar to the bird overall, just with a few elements being swapped for others.
At the end of the day this is certainly an acceptable Creator 3in1 offering, though as expected it will not get anywhere near the tiger from last year. The individual value will depend a lot of what your favorite animal is. Some will favor the cockatoo, others the seal. For me personally I’d stick with the rabbit. Not necessarily because it’s my favorite animal, but because it’s the most appealing model in strict LEGO terms.
That’s unfortunately also the crux with the package as a whole. Everything is a little too simplistic and not streamlined enough to really provide a satisfying experience. Even when you’re done with the rabbit you feel like you’ve missed something during the assembly process because of that flat cut-out shape thing. I also would reinforce my point about the color. Dang would this have looked cool in grey! This would also have exploded the value for custom builds if and when they had recolored some elements/ included rare elements like the large arches in Light Bluish Grey. People would have bought it as a parts pack for that alone!
With all that said, as an adult this feels more like a 5 or 6 out of 10 than an 8 or 9. There’s just too much room for improvement in the details. on the other hand kids will love it and the more than acceptable price puts everything into perspective, so there’s no reason to skip over it. Indeed it could be the perfect gift for Easter.