Theme: LEGO Ideas
Release Year: 2021
Cost: AU $159.99
As a huge fan of LEGO Ideas, I’m always excited to see what happens next. This one was a little different. In 2020 LEGO Ideas held a competition – Music to Our Ears. There were some amazing entries but this one was chosen to be made into a set. The iconic electric guitar has been around since the mid 50s and has been in the hands of legendary rock guitarists ever since – Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Eddie Van Halen and a lot more.
There’s 12 bags, with a couple of bags of black, and a couple of red, for the two different guitar bodies, which can be swapped out so you can have the Stratocaster you want. As usual, there’s a brief history of the guitar in the opening pages of the instructions, as well as a word from the design team, all of which have a connection with guitars themselves.
The first stage of the build is the stand, which looks almost identical to the version in the project submission. Simple and sturdy, it does the job very well.
On to the main event, with the neck and headstock of the guitar. While the neck is very standard, there’s some interesting techniques in getting the shape just right. The printed tan Fender sloped brick adds some great detail. It’s good to see this was printed and not a sticker. There’s only four stickers in the set, plus a bonus brick built Fender logo sticker, perfect for a guitar case! There’s also some really exciting new elements in the set, including the strings and the 40cm guitar strap.
In this section there’s only printed tiles – 3 white 1×3 for the pickups, and four reddish brown tiles for the fret board, with the tan sloped brick as well. The creation of the strings is really interesting. Each string gets a coloured stud added, so the order is correct as you travel down the neck, but the strings are not easy. Once they’re in the right colour order, you’re asked to take the coloured studs off and replace them with the light bluish grey ones. I found it tricky to get the coloured ones off without taking the actual strings off too! Once they’re in place the next job is to tighten them. This is appropriately done by turning the studs at the headstock, just like the real deal. Once they’re tight, it’s tempting to strum, but I’ve found they get a bit pushed around. There’s some cosmetic tuning pegs as well, for good measure.
The body of the guitar is made up of SNOT and lots of curved pieces. Add some white wedges to the front for the scratch plate, the cable jack, volume knobs and the whammy bar and you’re done. It’s honestly stunning. Such a fun set! I didn’t swap the body for the black one (as the strings scared me off!), but I’m sure it looks just as good.
On to the amp. I honestly thought this would just be a boring box as there’s no rear image on the official images, but it’s far from that. The front is very nice to look at, but there’s not a lot to it. The mesh using grille tiles, a tilted control panel with sockets (technic pins) and knobs, but the best action is around the back.
The back is open (like the real deal) exposing the speaker cone, cabling, sockets and more. The speaker actually sits held in by the four round studs. I never realised this was possible, but it’s very effective! The best details inside are the old school valves (used before transistors were a thing). They’d heat up and glow red, which is why the left one has a lipstick element inside! It’s just fantastic.
Open the top panel (that interestingly enough just sits without a stud connection), and you’ll uncover a brick built circuit board. It looks absolutely fantastic and is a great additional detail. There’s a small pedal that’s also built and connected using a long length of pneumatic tubing. The plug at the end (similar to the tubing to connect the guitar to the amp) uses grey lipstick pieces that connect quite satisfyingly to the inside of the Technic pin.
This set is another masterclass in SNOT building. The shaping of the guitar is superb and the interior of the amp was a very welcome surprise. The designers really put a lot of effort in to making it look and feel as realistic as possible. Guitarists, and Stratocaster owners in particular will absolutely love this build. The black body was a bit take-it-or-leave-it for me, but I’m sure it appeals to others. Another set that will be on display for some time to come!
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.