The LEGO Ideas theme has been a sort of melting pot of all that is good and bad under the LEGO sun for quite some time now. Truth be told, being a fan-based theme also means that not all approved sets will be met with so much enthusiasm and gusto. Case in point: the relatively unpopular LEGO Ideas Adventure Time (21308), and the much criticized Women of NASA 2016 Ideas set which is expected to debut towards the end of this year. Though LEGO Ideas is a fan-based theme where any LEGO set hopefuls are first determined by votes from the participating community, it is actually the designers and reviewers that call the shots if the LEGO Ideas project will eventually qualify to become the next official Ideas set that will be offered to the public. We understand that LEGO holds this prerogative but truth be told, there are occasions where the choice of the designers themselves leave us somehow scratching our heads such as in the case of the sets mentioned above.
However, there are occasions that, thankfully, the LEGO Ideas design team seemed to have the pulse of the fan community right on check. Such as the case of the two biggest, most recent LEGO Ideas sets around: Felix Stiessen (saabfan) and Valérie Roche’s (whatsuptoday) LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V (21309), and Robert Bontenbal’s (RobenAnne) LEGO Ideas Old Fishing Store (21310).
Officially announced last April, and first seen at this year’s first LEGO Inside Tour in Billund, Denmark, the NASA Apollo Saturn V (21309) has already been released since June 1, with LEGO Shop@Home now returning a ‘temporarily out of stock’ message over on its site as of this writing. It goes to show how popular this set is, with LEGO needing to replenish its stocks just after 10 days of its release. In spite of the huge demand for this set, LEGO seems to have given reassurance that the 21309 will be in production until 2018 as reported by The Brick Fan. Noted as the tallest LEGO Ideas set so far, the LEGO NASA Apollo Saturn V comes in at 1,969 pieces and standing at more than 3 feet high (39 inches) and 6 inches in diameter. Here’s the official description from shop.LEGO.com.
LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V (21309)
Build the first rocket to land people on the Moon!
Display and role-play with this majestic meter-high LEGO® brick model of the NASA Apollo Saturn V. Packed with authentic details, it features 3 removable rocket stages, including the S-IVB third stage with the lunar lander and lunar orbiter. The set also includes 3 stands to display the model horizontally, 3 new-for-June-2017 astronaut microfigures for role-play recreations of the Moon landings, plus a booklet about the manned Apollo missions and the fan designers of this educational and inspirational LEGO Ideas set.
- Features a meter-high (approximately 1:110 scale) model of the NASA Apollo Saturn V with a removable S-IC first rocket stage with main rocket engine details, removable S-II second rocket stage with rocket engine details, removable S-IVB third rocket stage with the Apollo spacecraft and rescue rocket at top of the whole spacecraft, plus 3 stands to display the model horizontally.
- The Apollo spacecraft features the lunar lander and the lunar orbiter.
- Also includes 3 new-for-June-2017 astronaut microfigures.
- Great for display and role-playing the manned Apollo Moon missions.
- Includes a booklet about the manned Apollo Moon missions and the fan designers of this set.
- This set includes over 1,900 pieces.
- Measures over 39″ (100cm) high and 6” (17cm) in diameter.
LEGO Ideas Old Fishing Store (21310)
Prepare for the ultimate fishing trip!
Visit the beachside Old Fishing Store, featuring a shop packed with fishing-themed elements, and a connected watchtower with a 360-degree viewing balcony and office on the lower level. Ideal for display and role-play, this model has 2 removable roofs, an opening back wall in the shop for easy access, 4 minifigures, cat and 3 seagull figures, as well as loads of other cool details and elements to fire up the imagination.
- Includes 4 minifigures: a captain, fisherman, fisherwoman and a child, plus cat and 3 seagull figures.
- Old Fishing Store features a detailed exterior, shop and connected lookout tower with office, all standing on a sand-colored LEGO® 32×32 baseplate with rock-style elements.
- Exterior features steps to the front and side doors of the store, railings, a tap with 2 pipes with meters on the back wall, ventilator and assorted elements including: ‘Anton’s Bait Shop’ sign (2×4 tile), opening times sign, ‘gone fishin’’ sign, anchor, barrel, 2 tires with chains, 3 crates with 2 fish and transparent ice-style elements, 4 fish hanging on hooks, 2 life preservers, box of hooks (1×2 tile), and a toolbox with a drill, oil can and wrench.
- Shop features an opening back wall and removable roof with mismatched timber-style elements and decorative stickers, 2 ceiling light elements, 2 opening entrance doors, 2 glass-style windows, green and beige floor tiles, 4 opening windows, shop counter, display racks, plus assorted elements including: cash register, mug, bottle, hook boxes, cash, desktop lamp, 2 oars, fishing gear including rods, harpoons and fishing nets, 3 diving helmets, 3 oxygen tanks, 4 diving flippers, a sextant, decorated map tile, TNT box, plus a spider and spider’s web under the floor.
- Lookout tower lower level features an office with 2 opening windows, boarded-up window with newspaper sticker, desk, chair, lamp and newspaper elements, plus a ladder to the upper level.
- Lookout tower upper level features a removable roof with a weather vane, 2 opening windows, 360-degree viewing balcony, plus assorted elements including a telescope, flag, ship’s wheel, lantern and 2 decorative crabs.
- Great for display or role-play fun.
- Includes a booklet about the fan designer and LEGO® designer of this set.
- This set includes over 2,045 pieces.
- Measures over 12” (32cm) high, 9” (25cm) wide and 9” (25cm) deep.
It looks like LEGO Ideas is back on track, with sets that are proving to be popular among fans for its outstanding play features and price per piece ratio. This is also a very good indicator that LEGO is still very much in tune with its origins of providing an immersive, build experience without getting bogged down into the details of licensing issues which often translates to the burden of additional set costs, and more emphasis on the IP’s name rather than play value.
Currently, the first LEGO Ideas Review Stage for 2017 is currently on-going with 11 qualifying projects vying for the coveted title of being the first approved LEGO Ideas set of this year, while the results of the third LEGO Ideas Review Stage of 2016 is slated to be out in summer.