Theme: LEGO Ideas
Release Year: 2017
Cost: AU $249.99
It’s been too long since I’ve written a review, so let’s get into it! LEGO Ideas releases always have an extra level of excitement, and this one was no exception. 21310 Old Fishing Store by Robert Bontenbal aka RobenAnne is the biggest LEGO Ideas set to be released, with 2049 pieces, and has an incredible amount of detail. Not only this, but it didn’t take long to get to the coveted 10,000 supporter votes, achieving this in just over 40 days. Now there’s three more designs from Robert that have reached the 10K mark, and look just as good as this one. It’d be amazing to see all of his designs be approved – I’d certainly buy them all!
I was able to snap up a copy of 21310 Old Fishing Store and spent a lazy Saturday building it with my little cousin. It was a great day building a set that I have been looking forward to for a while. The box is, as LEGO Ideas boxes always are, beautifully presented, with green wood panelling as the background and fishing related items adorning the front and back.
Included in the box are 16 numbered bags, a tan 32×32 baseplate, a sticker sheet with 11 stickers (relatively uncommon for a LEGO Ideas set), and the beautifully bound instruction booklet. As with all LEGO Ideas sets, the instruction booklet includes more information about the set and it’s designers, both fan designer and LEGO designer.
ELEMENTS AND MINIFIGURES: 19/20
There are four minifigures included in this set – the Captain, fisherman, fisherwoman, and a young kid. All three of the adult minifigures have new torsos, and two have new legs. All have printing on the back too.
First up is the Captain. He’s wearing a fantastic knitted jumper, has a grey-bearded face and is wearing a fine looking captain’s hat. The fisherman (I personally think he is an employee) is wearing a pair of olive green overalls which look excellent, and has some black gumboots on, with a beanie. The dual colour printing on the legs (and on the legs of the fisherwoman) are great inclusions. The fisherwoman has, aside from the dual colour legs, a white t-shirt on with a fishing jacket, which is yet another new torso.
The torsos on each of the adults are beautifully printed. So much detail! The kid has a blue hoodie on over a green striped t-shirt, grey pants and a white cap. We’ve seen these before, so the kid isn’t a new addition. All in all, these are some excellent minifigure inclusions.
The rest of the parts are just as good. There are a fair few elements that are brand new and unique to this set. I’m very surprised that this first one hasn’t appeared before – a lifebuoy in bright red. You’d think that these would be needed more. There’s a good swathe of masonry bricks in olive green and fences and of course there’s all those sand green tiles. This is a beautiful colour and now I really want more! There are seriously so many elements in here that are either unique to this set or incredibly rare, I’d be here forever listing them all. Instead I’ll pick up on a few more during the build stage.
There are also a sheet of 11 stickers included, all of which are half decent. There’s wood and metal textures, a newspaper window covering and a couple of door signs. They’re quite versatile and look quite clean. While I’m usually happy to apply stickers purely for a few little details, this is one sticker sheet I’m thinking of getting more!
Like the Modular series, to me, this set is one of those that isn’t marketed as playable like much of the LEGO product range. This being said though, the set has plenty of options for play – it’s a LEGO set after all! It’s marketed towards the older end of the scale, but you can certainly have fun playing out different scenes within the Old Fishing Store.
There are loads of elements inside the shop, which is visible after swinging open the double door at the back. The entire wall folds out, as well as the roof of the shop, the tower roof and the tower itself being able to be removed. You could spend all day getting the minifigures to buy and sell stock and you’d not run out of options! The shop is chock full.
This build was a lot of fun. It’s excellent seeing the details appear as the building rises off the baseplate, and there’s very little repetition. It all starts, after the minifigures are built, with the foundation of the building.
For me, it was quite surprising to find out how much space there was underneath the building. The main shop section is split over two levels, so there’s a bit of a crawl space. It’s unseen from the exterior, but there’s actually a spiderweb and little spider hidden under the building. At this stage, there’s some exciting elements that appear. The olive green masonry bricks are added, as well as a bunch of reddish brown fences that have only been seen in one other set – 10241 Maersk Line Triple E.
Now, I’ve realised that the Brickset listing has it as a different element number, so it appears it’s unique. I don’t know what’s changed! There’s nothing different at all. If someone knows, please tell me! Anyway, if there’s any repetitive sections of this build, it’s the sections with the fences. It’s very minimal repetition, though, and it looks amazing. Sitting on top of this section will eventually be the tower and the wrap around balcony.
The next stage is a spot of tiling. The flooring goes down and tiles are added. Not only the tiles are placed, but the aged wooden steps are added. These look fantastic, especially with the planks that are sticking out over the edge. I am really glad there were so many of the printed wooden planks with nails – there’s a whopping 30 of them, and that’s just the 1×4 tiles! There’s also a stack of 1×3 tiles with a similar print. A bunch of them are used at this point. To me, these should have been included in the LEGO repertoire before 2016. They seem so versatile! There’s a few more wall pieces that enter the build process too.
The third section of the build is quite exciting. It brings on the start of the beautiful walls with the olive green tiled cladding. There’s also a few interior details that appear, such as the counter in the store, and the little desk that is housed at the bottom of the tower. By this stage, there’s also the bottom door/back wall, and the side wall with the exit door. It looks like someone has had a bit of luck too, as there’s four fish hanging on the front wall too! There’s some detailing added to the back door as well, including a pearl gold mixer tap.
The next section includes the walls around the whole bottom floor. The counter gets decked out with a cash register, a cute little light and a couple of Post-It notes, some cash and a few other items lying around too. The 1×1 Post-It note tiles are relatively rare, having only been seen in a handful of Friends sets since 2016. Windows are added, along with the front door and fish over the door.
Up next is a bit of a different pace. The building is put aside to create the different accessories for around the set, and there is an absolute bucket load of them. Crates full of the catch of the day, tools, dynamite, fishing hooks, TNT (how do these guys go fishing?!) and a big anchor which only appears in two other sets. Once they’re built and placed if required, the shop is decked out with it’s goods.
There is so much that gets stuffed into this set! Some things come in a single mould, others are built and end up looking perfect. It’s a little fiddly at times, especially with big fingers, but it’s worth it. There’s a plethora of new parts included in here. I highly recommend taking your time and enjoying it!
After the shop fit out, the outer structure for supporting the roof is added to the main building, the cladding is finished off and the orange cat comes along! This little kitty is quite rare, having only been seen in five other sets, three of which are quite expensive and rare. I’m sure it’ll have fun chasing those brilliant soft plastic seagulls! I’ve only got one of these, from the CMF Series 10 Sea Captain, so having another three in this set is a very exciting addition.
The roof is built and added separately, looking fantastic in it’s rather neglected design, as well as a smaller awning over the door, complete with the printed sign for Anton’s Bait Shop.
The last step is the tower. It’s a very quick process, with even more cladding, a balcony and telescope, and a very nice looking roof, complete with a stone grey chicken weather vane. The stone chook has only been seen in one other set – 2016’s 41126 Heartlake Riding Club, and is used in a similar fashion, although that one is a much more elaborate weather vane.
How can you not like the design of this set? Wood verandahs and balustrades, that beautiful sand green cladding, a perfect ramshackle roof, and more little intricate details than you can poke a stick at!
I can definitely see this building in a little coastal town, and it’s the smallest details for me that are the best. The haphazard roof structure and mismatched verandah boards and the little bits of crooked cladding show that some extra thought went into this set. Even the stickers are beautifully designed and well thought out. I know I’m not the only LEGO fan that hopes the rest of Robert Bontenbal’s designs in LEGO Ideas get approved!
The way the set opens up to be played with is clever. There’s very little room inside if the only option is access from through the roof, so having the whole rear wall opening up on a hinge is ingenious. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know why it’s a split door, but I don’t mind.
There is one minor problem though. The roof can be removed totally fine, it’s getting it back on which is the problem. I don’t know if it’s because the tower is partially in the way, but in order to get the roof back on properly, the tower should be removed. It’s a shame, and I’d love to fix it, but I don’t know what is causing the issue. It could be because the underside of the roof has to sit inside the walls, and maybe they’re a fraction too tight. I’ve got to investigate it more, but again, it’s a minor thing.
VALUE FOR MONEY: 9/10
This set is about the same price as a modular. For $250, the price per element is at around 12c. I realise that this measurement doesn’t really mean a lot, but as an average, for this set it is not bad, considering that there are a lot of new or highly rare parts. You also pay for the build experience, and let me tell you – it’s a ton of fun to build. You get a superbly detailed set for display, with a great build experience. Sure, it may not be as large as a modular, but it’ll be a set you’ll be proud to own nonetheless.
LEGO Ideas sets always fetch a higher level of collectibility for me, as it’s my favourite theme. This one in particular I feel is going to be higher up than normal, as it fits quite well in a City theme, as well as a Modular layout, as well as being so darn nice to look at! There are some excellent parts included (have I mentioned all that sand green yet?), and plenty of rare or exclusive parts. If you want something that will be a standout piece in your collection, you need this. It’s been one of the most popular sets of last year, and it’s only growing in popularity.
That’s it! It’s great to be back in reviewing mode. I’ve got some cracker sets coming up review, including some of the bigger sets from The LEGO Ninjago Movie, 21312 Women of NASA, as well as the new modular, 10260 Downtown Diner! I know I’m looking forward to them!