Purple Fantasy – LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125)

In these dark times we can all use a little dose of cute every now and then and so it wasn’t much of a stretch to commit to the Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125). I was immediately won over when first images started making the rounds and aside from having to wait a short while for prices to drop I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125), Box

Contents and Pricing

The Creator 3in1 series is all over the place in terms of pricing with some very unattractive and boring sets sometimes being ridiculously overpriced, some equally costly fan service sets like the Medieval Castle (31120) and good, but too expensive sets like the Majestic Tiger (31129) or even worse the Caravan Family Holiday (31108). At the same time there thankfully are enough sets that are surprisingly affordable and good. I’m happy to report that this falls in the latter category and I would even go so far as to call it excellent value for money.

At 15 Euro for 175 pieces this just feels right on so many levels and with the usual discounts pushing that to a mere 10 Euro or even less there’s really not much of an excuse here to at least try this – that is if you can get behind or at least don’t mind the bonkers color scheme. Anyway, I certainly wouldn’t have been able and willing to buy three of these packages and present them here in one swoop if somehow I felt that it wouldn’t be worth it. Now of course there’s always the caveat of what’s in the box vs. actual parts usage on the model, but you’ll find out more on that where it’s relevant for each individual build. For now suffice it to say that it’s okay.

LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125), Overview, All three Models

The Owl

The hero model of this package is of course the owl prominently featured on the box art with her little hedgehog buddy and a book. As you would expect, this very much uses all the parts with no extra bits being left over besides the usual spares.

LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125), Owl, Overview

The hedgehog is a surprisingly cute little fella despite his extremely simple build. The only thing that left me unhappy is the fact that it has an open back with the rock slopes and teeth elements pretty much being an outline around a hollow area. While not a deal breaker it would just have been nice to have an extra plate and slope to fill that area.

LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125), Owl, BookThe book is a simple affair, but reasonably represents a storybook in landscape format. That’s also where the only stickers in this set would come in if you wanted to use them. That in itself is unusual and noteworthy, as 3in1 sets typically don’t have stickers.



The owl itself is a fabulous little creature and has all the right features that make those creatures so distinct and adorable. The building techniques are not particularly advanced and e.g. the head being based on a cube rotated to one of its edges is borrowed from the Buildable Hedwig (75979), but who would argue over that if it “just works”? in fact I might even have preferred if the head was fixed and not mounted on a turntable. Not that I mind too much, but it kinda turns a bit too easily and you have to re-align it every time you touch the model.

A notable effort was made to texture the surface with a mix of exposed studs, differently shaped tiles and in places multiple smaller elements in favor over larger and smoother solid pieces. This is exactly what for me makes the distinction between a good LEGO model and an average one where it’s “tiled over to death” or too many studs exposed. The balance here seems just right and serves the purpose. However, there’s a minor downside to this as well. In particular the many standalone “feathers” need to be meticulously aligned to look good and similar to the head it’s easy to wack them out.

Though you can bend around the wings and the protruding feathers, there’s not much real poseability here. Only a handful arrangements look good and there is no way to e.g. do something interesting with the feet or put the owl into a take-off pose with the upper body turned forward.

The Squirrel

The second model is the little squirrel. This is sort of a 2D-ish build that mostly exploits how the various curved slopes and rounded plates create a silhouette when viewed from the side. On the other hand it looks pretty dead directly from the front, in particular since the eyes cannot be seen straight on.

LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125), Squirrel, Overview

A weak point is the tail. While the yellow wedge pieces sufficiently represent the bushiness and volume of the tail, the curvature could be better. Unfortunately LEGO did not include any extra/ alternate pieces to that effect. Even just adding a second ball joint piece in the middle and flaring it out with some wedge plates might have provided a better transition, not to speak of even more sophisticated methods using arches and curved slopes.

As you would expect, there is a good number of pieces that aren’t used, but overall I think it isn’t as dramatic as e.g. the Majestic Tiger (31129) ‘s build for the Red Panda with its many leftovers. The only thing that has me a bit stumped is that the Dark Purple 3 x 3 corner brick is not used again. It’s exclusive for this set and so they really only included it for the owl. Not that I’m complaining, but this is quite unusual in this series. Not too long ago when this piece didn’t exist yet they would have settled on other, more generic elements to fill this gap.

LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125), Squirrel, Leftover Pieces

The Deer and Bunny

The third model is easily the weakest and allows you to build a deer (or fawn depending on your interpretation) and a bunny.

LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125), Deer and Bunny, Overview

The bunny/ rabbit feels a bit forced, to be honest. It’s like they sat down in a staff meeting and their team leader told them to come up with anything at all so they don’t have even more unused parts. That isn’t to say that the idea behind it isn’t savvy, but without a few more elements, in particular some curved slopes, it doesn’t look that convincing.

The deer looks cute in a very strange way, but actually reminds me more of a scrawny baby donkey. The head is too large and the body too stubby as well while the legs despite their already spindly appearance are still too short. This would also be my biggest gripe here. Since the ball joints aren’t in the main colors and in a way visually “disappear”, everything looks even more skinny than it would otherwise.

The parts usage is on a similar level as the squirrel with teh major difference being that simply other items constitute the leftovers.

LEGO Creator, Fantasy Forest Creatures (31125), Deer and Bunny, Leftover Pieces

Concluding Thoughts

The Creator 3in1 series is shaping up pretty nicely for this release cycle. The tiger was awesome and this set is almost as great, but in a different way. It’s just fun to build and look at the creatures with the only real bummer being that the purple and yellow colors won’t be to everyone’s liking. It would be an interesting exercise to build the models in “natural” colors like Dark Tan, Medium Nougat and Dark Orange, but for the time being there would be serious limitations since not all elements used in this set even exist in one of those colors. That’s really regrettable.

In spite of this I would wholeheartedly recommend this set to literally everyone & their mom. Even if you prefer more serious subject matter like cars or Star Wars, this could be a pleasant diversion. The build is quick and easy and the creatures look good on the shelf. Who could resist an adorable squirrel looking at you from your book shelf or kitchen cabinet? 😉 It’s definitely worth getting at least one of those sets even if you don’t max out at three as I did.

Expensive Squirrels in the Park – LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326)

I don’t buy City sets that often since I don’t want to end up with too many “useless” parts (large panels, wedges and similar stuff or elements in weird colors), but occasionally I take a liking to some of the sets. A lot of that has to do with the animals included or small details that just appeal to me and so I ended up getting the Picnic in the Park (60326), after all.

Pricing and Contents

This particular set is a LEGO store exclusive here in Germany, but it seems it is freely available through regular retail e.g. in the US. The exclusivity in these parts kind of preempts any debate about prices, but there’s always a chance it might become more widely available at some point. At 15 Euro for 147 pieces it follows the crude standard logic of around 10 Cent per element, but is it a good price? Personally I don’t think so, as ultimately this builds into some very small models and the volume of stuff just isn’t there. This definitely feels like 10 or 12 Euro at most. Even when you open the box you already see how little actual content there is and it feels like one of those 10 Euro sets that you pick up for 7 Euro after discounts at the drugstore.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Box

Minifigures and Animals

In relation to the price I’ve seen and heard the argument of the set containing three minifigures, which is one more than the usual two, but no, sir, that’s not really a good point! It’s not like these would be unique or particularly special. Scraping body pieces together from other sets the figures could be recreated with not too much trouble, give or take a few specifics for the prints. This will only get even simpler once LEGO starts re-using the parts in other sets as well, although be it in different combinations.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Minifigures

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Squirrels

The main attractions are of course the two squirrels. They are based on a completely new mold for the City line and are much more realistic than the ones originating in Elves and having been revived only some time ago. The Black one is exclusive to this set, but the one in Dark Orange can be found in some others. There’s also a third variant in Light Bluish Grey which itself is exclusive to the School Day (60329) set. For the time being getting all three is not easy, but I’m pretty confident we’ll see the little bastards in many more sets soon enough.


Having a huge chunky oak tree with the squirrels would have been good enough for me, but apparently this is not how things work and there had to be some vehicles for actual play.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Bicycle

The first is a yellow bicycle with a small cart in tow. The latter is the simplest construction imaginable with the crate piece being used. Not much else to say here. It certainly works and while simplistic, it looks elegant enough.

The second is a small (electrical ?) utility vehicle reminiscent of a Tuk Tuk or similar vehicle originally based on a motorcycle frame. Even one of my first reviews for the Heartlake Pizzeria (41311) came with something along those lines. The details and building techniques change over time, but the design always is pretty much similar. Still, those little cars look the part and are always a nice addition.

Tree and Bench

Squirrels live in trees, that’s a given, and so this set of course needed one. Too bad it turned out rather awful! Yes, as you can see in the photo this is just another of those trees built from stacked arch elements at a ninety degrees angle. sure, it’s simple for kids, but is it any good? Not really! It is especially disappointing now that we have much better pieces such as the curved tube elements from the Bonsai Tree (10281) and other recent additions to the LEGO parts catalog.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Tree, Front View

The small table and bench are just fine, being built from six (!) identical 1 x 3 x 1 arches. the pizza box tile on the other hand… I really don’t understand why they haven’t come up with something better after all those years. They could even do new designs every year so you can date the sets easily even after the fact just by looking at the motif.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Tree, Detail Table

Personally I would have hoped for a fuller, more elaborate canopy with perhaps at least six of the large “leaf” elements. Then they could also have thrown in one of the ladybug tiles or a butterfly. Some more of the acorn tiles also would have been nice. You know, during an autumn storm it sometimes literally “rains” acorns from those oak trees in my area which goes to show how many there actually are. At least two per leaf element would sure have not been too much to ask, methinks.

LEGO City, Picnic in the Park (60326), Tree, Top

Concluding Thoughts

In a funny way this is one of those “Made with irony in Billund” sets, both in the good and bad sense. It’s a negative in that the set definitely is overpriced for the ordinary and very average content. There’s just not enough mass of stuff here and the tree is just *meh*. The squirrels would have deserved a better habitat and presentation.

On the positive side, despite the limitations, this set is still the most cost-effective way to get two squirrels, including the exclusive black one, short of buying some 80 Euro/ 100 Euro sets, ordering the animals from LEGO‘s Bricks & Pieces service or Bricklink. The small car/ cart and bicycle are also nice and give me a positive vibe, minor as their contribution may be.

The bummer really is that if this cost just 10 Euro I’d totally say “Go for it!” with no regrets or reservations. However, those 5 Euro on top really bother me and give me an uncomfortable itch. I just can’t see where that extra money went. There aren’t any special prints, no second bike or any of that which would justify it to me. Therefore I would only recommend this set to people who really want the squirrels and enjoy the overall cutesy-ness.

Squirrel Time – LEGO Friends Magazine, September 2021

Autumn isn’t far away and in fact we have a quite unexpected wave of almost fall-like cold weather here in Germany, so the arrival of the latest LEGO Friends magazine and the subject it covers seems oddly appropriate and timely.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September 2021, Cover

That subject is for all intents and purposes the life of those wonderfully adorable little creatures called squirrels. Their cuteness is almost irresistible and of course the comic plays heavily on that. On the bright side it also makes amends by showing how potentially in danger those little critters are.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September 2021, Comic

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September 2021, Comic

To that end they are even including an info page, which is something rare in the Friends world. It’s only the most superficial facts, though, but something is better than nothing.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September 2021, Info

Continuing the theme is a crafting page where you’re supposed to make use of that good old toilet paper roll. It’s a bit odd in that they expect you to color it with paint while at the same time including pre-printed eyes, hands and a tail. Not only would it have been better to include those on the inner side of the stronger rear cover page, but perhaps it would also have been better had they included a matching body fold & cut pattern then.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September 2021, Crafting

Even though the coloring page picks up the horse riding from the comic, a squirrel is nowhere to be seen here, making this one of the few pages not depicting one of the small rodents.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September 2021, Coloring

Similar to last time, I wish they’d just leave out the tacky renderings of the girls from these types of posters entirely to make them more appealing. I mean they have a group shot of four girls on the front poster, did they really have to do it here?

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September 2021, Poster

As you would expect with the squirrel being front and center in this issue, the buildable extra also has one of them. It’s in itself nothing special, even if the old Elves/ Friends mold only recently has reappeared with new prints after being AWOL for a few release cycles. The small hut is based on the protective “bird house” from the comic and perfectly serviceable. I was pleasantly surprised by the two inverted slopes in Dark Orange, because so far they have only appeared in two other sets and also the flower blossoms in regular Yellow, which are still hugely outnumbered by their Bright Light Orange peers and thus kind of rare-ish. The two acorns and the mushroom are also nice additions.

LEGO Magazine, Friends, September 2021, Extra

Overall this is definitely one of the more pleasing editions of the LEGO Friends magazine, mostly owing to the consistent topic throughout. It’s much more enjoyable than some others which were rather higgledy-piggledy and tried to cram in too much. It’s also noteworthy that there is actually enough “real” activities here to keep your kid busy for some hours, making those 4 Euro a worthwhile investment overall.