Just as April was ending, we reported on a most uncommon limited edition LEGO set in Singapore. A LEGO build of the Istana presidential palace was commissioned by the country’s president to celebrate the complex’s 150th anniversary. The set was launched at Istana’s open-house this May 1, with its limited numbers snapped up by collectors.
Visitors to the Singapore Istana this Wednesday could avail of the LEGO-brick version by donating $70 to the President’s Challenge community outreach. But there were only 500 sets prepared, in small plastic bags with inserted building instructions. They were gone in two hours. That’s that.
Or at least, that’s how it should’ve been as a one-day special tie-in. But some of those who bought the LEGO Istana mini-set were simply interested in reselling them online. Several listings of the special-edition set on eBay and Carousell have mind-boggling prizes of $100-300.
There have been attempts by other LEGO fans to simply replicate the official Istana build on their own. Builders on Facebook such as Artisan Bricks and the SG AFOL Brick Marketplace have put forth their interpretations of Singapore’s presidential residence. In case of the latter, they’ve sold complete sets of their version for S$42, lesser than the official set price. Their sets used bricks sourced from Bricklink and Brickfinder; they sold out quite fast too.
As expected, the design for the limited-edition LEGO Istana commissioned by the Office of Singapore President Halimah Yacob was developed by a LEGO Certified Professional. In her speech during the set’s unveiling this May 1 she said, “The Istana is an iconic landmark in Singapore, having been an important part of our history and national identity. I hope Singaporeans will appreciate this special and unique keepsake, and through it, look back to our journey together as a nation with pride.”