31206 The Rolling Stones Review

Theme: Art
No: 31206
Release Year: 2022
Cost:  US $149.99 / DE €149.99 / UK £129.99 / AU $229.99
Pieces: 1998

The Rolling Stones have been a musical institution for 60 years and to celebrate, LEGO has been busy creating an art piece with a difference. In the past, LEGO Art sets have been square black tile bordered sets, filled with round 1×1 tiles. It’s effective, but I’m so pleased to see some differences in this one. It’s made up of tiles, curved tiles, plates, wedge plates and more. It adds texture and subtle details so it’s worth coming up close to it . Full disclosure, I’ve not done a complete Art set yet (aside from a few squares of the World Map at work), so I was predicting this was going to be rather repetitive. Obviously, I was correct.

The instructions include an explanation of the different style of Art set – as The Rolling Stones broke down the barriers of music, the set breaks out of the frames of the standard LEGO Art set. Rather poetic, and I hope it’s a sign of things to come for Art sets! The instructions also explain the history of the Lips and Tongue logo design, which was quite interesting, plus some band milestones.

The build is broken down into four major chunks – the base layer in thirds, plus the top tongue layer, and an extra grindy bit thrown in for good measure. We’ll get to that soon. There’s honestly not a lot to say about this set. it’s extremely repetitive. The part that’s not that bad is the black layer on the bottom – there’s still a good amount of grind, but getting the edge shape figured out is very satisfying. It’s made up of Technic frame bricks (the larger square ones) with wedge bricks and plates added top and bottom. Inside the top and bottom layers are some SNOT bricks, and some sloped tiles are added on to smooth it out. It works well. To mix things up once the job is done, an exciting variant is added. A new colour. From black to red! Slow down LEGO. I jest, but there is really only three main colours in this set. Black, red and white. If you haven’t realised this already, there’s a lot of repetition.

When this set is released, there’ll be a soundtrack that goes with it, which I’m sure is bound to improve the build experience tenfold, but as I had it early, the soundtrack wasn’t made available to me, so I had to go without. I somehow don’t think it’ll just be a collection of the Stones’ biggest hits, but also (hopefully) some other audio grabs as well.

As the build comes together, the red and white layer really brings out the sheer size of the build. It’s really big. With the tongue included, it’s also a little heavy, at 1.7kgs. While some stick on hooks could work, this might be worth drilling holes into your wall. I wouldn’t want those hooks coming off and finding your build in pieces on the floor! There are a couple of wall hanger Technic elements to mount it onto, which are nice and solid.

Time to explore that extra grindy bit. After bag 7 the base layer is done, with the tongue the last thing to add. There’s a massive amount of space underneath the tongue that is meant to be filled in. In there is a large stud mosaic made up of almost 500 studs that spells out ’60’. It’s a nice feature, but when the tongue layer is added, it’s completely hidden, without the remotest possibility that the tongue layer can be taken off to see it! I don’t even think it’s meant to be left like that as an alternate build, as there’s still a lot of parts left. The tongue layer is added piece by piece, so it will never come off in one easy move. It seems like not only a waste of build time, but a cheeky way to boost element count. There’s even a colour gradient in there, which will never be seen. I’m not sure it was worth it. If it’s a big anniversary (like a 60th), surely it’s better off making it visible so it can be a proper commemoration? It’s actually one of my favourite details of the set! I’d rather have this displayed than the tongue itself. I’m glad the tongue is another layer on top, and rounded off at the edges. It makes a big difference – like it’s properly sticking out. The way the white and red mix with each other in the tongue is really well done. It’s clean and spot on.

It’s a good set, and a really cool change from the standard Art sets we’ve seen before, but it’s also rather niche. For fans of The Rolling Stones, this is a no brainer set. It’s bold, striking and a brilliant representation of a music icon. I feel for the rest (me included), who know a few of the bigger songs, but wouldn’t go out of their way to listen to their whole discography, or even one or two albums, there’s a few negatives. It’s not the most engaging set – aside from the outside black edge, it’s standard plates on plates. There’s not a lot of technique involved. Apart from some minor internal colours, it’s all red, white or black. Not including the hidden studs in the 60 sign, there’s a grand total of 79 parts in three other colours, and they are all hidden. Out of 1998 parts, that’s 96% of the set is three colours.

The overall feedback I got from my wife is that it’s just so loud and gaudy. I had it up on the wall to take a few photos, but I honestly couldn’t have it up for long. There’s one word for it in my mind – obnoxious.

If you’re a big Stones fan, then this is the set for you. For me? It was good to experience, and it’ll be boosting my parts collection nicely.

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.