Theme: LEGO Ideas
Release Year: 2019
Cost: AU $99.99
As you will probably know by now, I’m a big fan of LEGO Ideas. It’s a theme that includes some of my all time favourite sets, with interesting build techniques and concepts that would not normally come with a standard LEGO set. Does 21316 The Flintstones rate with the big ones? Read on to find out.
Firstly, there’s the original submission on LEGO Ideas. The submission, by Andrew Clark, had a brilliant amount of detail, including some serious shaping on the house, and some different internal details. There was also a driveway section, a Welcome to Bedrock sign, and most importantly, the kids – Pebbles and Bamm Bamm. There was a lot to like about this submission, and after a year and a bit it was approved. A blazingly fast four months later, it hit shelves.
Inside the box (a beautiful flip-top lidded box, standard to LEGO Ideas sets), you’ll find six numbered bags and an instruction manual. As is also common to LEGO Ideas sets, the instructions also include information about the classic cartoon, and bios on Andrew, and the designers – Ricardo Silva and Crystal Fontan.
There’s four minifigures included – Fred and Wilma Flintstone, and Barney and Betty Rubble. The printing on the minifigures is beautiful, and in the case of Fred and Barney, very clever. LEGO minifigures famously don’t have noses, and this is still the case with Fred and Barney, but there’s the illusion of noses, thanks to the outline of their stubble. The one omission is that Barney has full size legs, and not the new 3/4 length, which would have been perfect for him.
Wilma and Betty also look the part, with their iconic dresses and shaped hairpieces. These are excellent inclusions. Both ladies have double sided face prints, both with happy prints on one side, and a concerned look for Wilma, and a laugh for Betty on the reverse.
There’s a few nice element inclusions here, but nothing that’s brand new and unique to the set, aside from the cloth roof covering of the car. I think this is a big improvement from the LEGO Ideas submission, and while it lacks a roof rack, it looks much cleaner and more appropriate. There’s also a few rarities, like the cloud plate with 4 studs, previously seen as the minifigure base for the UniKitty! collectible series, and the tan half-cylinders used in the wheels of the car. There’s a few nice printed elements as well as the lavender triple leaf studs, to name a few.
By itself, the car is a beauty. Yes, there’s a few little colour issues in the wheels, but it’s cute and is unmistakable. It’s also a very simple build, coming together rather quickly. The roof is added very neatly and I was very excited to get more wood grain round tiles. It’s also a big bonus that all four minifigures can fit in the car at the same time, and is as easy as tilting the roof back. The added detail of the brontosaurus ribs as well as the purple plate just like the show’s original intro was awesome.
On to the house. To be honest, I was underwhelmed. It all begins on some green baseplates, with a tan interior section. The walls (all completely flat in light bluish grey) start to rise, and it’s not very exciting.
The right hand side of the house has a chimney with some round tiles to make it appear like it’s built out of small rocks, but even this is repetitive, building the same panel three times and inverting one before attaching to a SNOT column.
There’s rounded sides on the left and right as well. I like the open-able sections at the back, but the sections of light bluish grey tile in amongst the tan plates are odd.
The interior is (thankfully) much more exciting. With curtains, a sink (I think), a couch, TV, coffee table, lamp, bowling pin set and telephone, as well as the all important door, the inside doesn’t look that bad. There’s not a lot of room, but it’s still good fun.
The couch isn’t overly exciting, but the TV, complete with a news image of a missing Dino (he still made it), and the coffee table in particular is nicely designed. I initially had no idea what the phone was meant to be. It’s not as obvious as the other elements, although the use of the croissant in white is very clever.
The curtains are very simple and look good from the front, but from the back they’re a bit strange. The door looks great, but I don’t know why they only went with one central clip on the wall instead of two. There’s a slight wiggle.
The palm tree is very well done, but is strange that it’s growing out of a rock. The coconuts using minifigure heads are a nice touch.
Lastly is the roof. With slopes, plates and tiles, with a bit of SNOT work at the front and a gap at the side for the chimney, it sits loose, but clips in at the same time. There are SNOT plates next to the chimney that hook around a plate, with the opposite on the other side. It’s clever and very effective.
The final detail is the letterbox. It’s slightly irritating that it’s not attached to the house. Having tiny satellite builds separate is a little frustrating for display purposes. It tends to get lost. It would have been reasonably simple to attach it.
Overall, it’s really just the front facade that fails this for me. There was so much more realism in the project submission, thanks to the rounded edges at the front.
While it’s not as pretty to look at as the original submission, it’s a bit of fun to play with. Re-enacting classic Flintstones scenes will be pretty easy, but not as easy as it would have been if it had included Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, and definitely Dino. The car certainly helps things playwise.
While very collectible, especially for Flintstones fans, I’m not convinced it will retain it’s value for money in the long term. For AU $100, it’s not bad. The grey elements, while a little on the dull side, are still very versatile, and there’s some other good inclusions, so it’s a good buy. The build and design is where it lets itself down, but it’s still a good inclusion, even if it’s only for the fact that it’s unique.
If you had never seen the original submission before, I reckon you’d be pretty happy, but for those of us that have, it could have been so much more.
ELEMENTS & MINIFIGURES: 14/20
DESIGN / APPEARANCE: 15/20
VALUE FOR MONEY: 9/10
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.