Theme: Botanical Collection
Nos: 10309; 10311
Release Year: 2022
Cost: US $49.99 / DE €49.99 / UK £44.99 / AU $89.99
Pieces: 771; 608
I’m a huge fan of the Botanicals sets. I’ve got all of them so far, so it was a huge surprise and so exciting for me to receive an offer to review the two new ones – 10311 Orchid and 10309 Succulents. Succulents was one that a lot of people were hoping would come next, and I was really hoping for another larger plant in a pot. These two are easy wins in my book, without even opening them to build. Let’s take a look one by one.
There’s nine small pots in the set, each including a different succulent. It’s a really nice mix of varieties and colours, and all the vases clip smoothly together using small red Technic axles. There’s also obvious clever SNOT techniques to hold it all together, and plenty of eggs in light fluorescent green! They’re obviously not the only great re-coloured parts. There’s a lot, plus a good inclusion of existing parts put to clever use. Pistols in the large dark red leafed cactus is a particularly clever one!
My favourite elements are without a doubt the Robin Hood hats used in the small cactus, which also doubles as an axle holder! Lift up the cactus itself to find a hidden compartment underneath to store extra axles. It’s a brilliant little detail. There’s a fantastic mix of colours and techniques, from the simplicity of the small Ball cactus to the overlapping curls of the lavender echeveria, using recoloured shoulder guards.
I’m really impressed with this set. It’s really calming piecing the different plants together, and they work so well together. LEGO has done really well with this one.
Of all the Botanical Collection sets, the Bird of Paradise is an easy favourite. It’s perfect for displaying in a home, with it’s own vase, and an have to say to so many people who see it from a distance “Yep, it’s LEGO.” Their response is usually amazement at what can be built with LEGO these days, and they’re right! It truly is amazing and I’m so excited to see what comes up in the future.
The orchid is the second plant in a vase for LEGO, and I honestly think it’s another step up again. From a distance, it’s another set that is beyond belief that it’s LEGO.
The vase is simple but detailed, using sand blue roof capping bricks clipped on to a Technic cylinder core. It’s strong and is very cleverly built. Repetitive, but clever. I’ll say this now – if you hate repetitiveness in LEGO, this is not the set for you, but I wholeheartedly believe it’s worth it for the end result.
Once the vase is complete, the large stems and reinforcing axles are added, with the smaller curved stems creating the required shape of the plant. Then comes the leaves. These are pretty quick to add. I particularly appreciate the two leaves curling over the edge of the pot, for a bit of variety. Once done, it’s time to focus on the flowers, starting with the new buds and smaller blooms. It was brilliant to see the Demogorgon head in a new colour and print being used to excellent effect here! It’s a perfect use for the part, and I’m hoping to see more flowers from this part in the future.
Lastly, there’s the six large blooms. These take a bit of piecing together, but they use some really unique parts. The shields I recognise from the Pirates Islanders theme, as well as others, and one crucial part to piece it all together are white minifigure forks! Adding a clip with bar hole and these are added to the flower. The flowers are complex and bold. Perfectly suited to represent the real deal.
The soil, like the Bird of Paradise, is comprised of loose brown and dark brown elements, but this time it’s not studs,but larger elements that work well as a sort of faux mulch.
I am in awe of this set and it’s designer, the extremely talented Mike Psiaki. Mike was the designer of the Downtown Diner, Mustang, Harley Davidson Fat Boy, the Titanic and many more iconic sets. It’s a set that I will proudly put on display and will most definitely be on my top sets list for 2022. I somehow don’t think I’ll be alone in that thought. It’s one of the most incredible sets to come out ever.
A special thank you to LEGO for sending me a copy to review. All thoughts on this set are my own and are not influenced in any way, shape or form. The provision of sets for review does not guarantee a favourable review.