Release Year: 2020
Cost: AU $149.99
Pieces: 1664 pieces (with 14 minifigures)
The second Chinese New Year set for 2020 has easily been the best CNY set in the last two years. It is enormous – around 1000 pieces more than any of last year’s CNY sets. One thing we know about the latest CNY sets is their details. The detail in this set is no different. It includes a large temple facade, two cherry blossom trees, four market fair stands and an insane amount of minifigures. I mean, 14? That’s crazy!
Inside the box there are 10 bags – numbered one through nine, with two bags for stage one. There’s also three instruction booklets – a big one and two small ones. Thankfully there’s no stickers in sight.
The parts in this set are vibrant and colourful and there are also some excellent minifigure accessories as well. With loads of red, orange and teal, printed Chinese character tiles and ornamental designs, pearl gold elements and more nanofigures than I’ve ever seen in a single set, this was sure to be a fun one.
With 14 minifigures, there is an insane amount of goodness to behold. If I was to go into all of them in detail we’d be here forever, so let’s have a quick look:
- Random male visitor with orange hoodie and blue tee – a pretty standard inclusion
- Food stand owner with orange vest, red apron and red cap – BBQ is written on his apron – he looks the part
- The puppet master looks great – traditional blue and gold robe with puppets.
- Grandma with some traditional garments and a nice sash print on the legs as well – favourite minifigure so far
- Random female visitor with white hoodie – another standard inclusion
- Male visitor with denim(?) jacket and a satay – I like that jacket
- Toy stand seller has a more traditional top on but plain red pants
- Younger mum has a black jacket and striped top with orange hair and a blue beanie – a brilliant recolour from the Hidden Side sets
- Another baby, this time from the Winter Village Fire Station and an excellent pram build!
- Younger dad with checked vest and blue shirt with a banana on it, and carries a bottle. I love that torso!
- Older dad in a maroon jacket and wearing a new red scarf! Another colour scarf – awesome!
- Young boy with a red envelope, blue hoodie and a brilliant red wooly hat
- Young girl with another red scarf and a red envelope
- and finally, Older mum with a brown jacket and a pink handbag!
Phew, what a list! On to the builds.
The two cherry blossom trees are identical. They’re simple and elegant and are also very cleverly designed. The white and red contrast against the dark brown ‘trunk’ is great, and the inclusion of the lanterns and banners makes for a nice addition and supporting detail.
As far as Google can tell me, the big banner reads 恭贺新禧 (gōng hè xīn xǐ) – “happy new year”, and the little one has “good luck” – 大吉大利 (dàjídàlì). To be honest, I’m sure it’s much more formal than that, but that’s what I’ve found.
The market stands are inspired. With four stands there is a lot of variety, and all are selling items that you’d definitely see in a market in real life too. Pottery, pinwheels, cakes and sweets, soft toys, fireworks, dolls, and a bbq! It just shows the level of detail the designers went to.
The toy stand has nine pinwheels, a bunch of balloons, some stuffed toys and a toy plane. I finally get a yellow duck! Hooray! There’s also a little 1×1 calculator, and what appears to be a pile of unicorn 1×1 tiles – well, one on top at least.
The food stand has a wide assortment of treats, and a very clever roof detail. There’s a bbq in the middle with some satays (there’s also a loose candle flame in the bbq), some chicken, cookies, steam buns, and a display of Tanghulu, or Chinese Hawthorn Candy. Here’s some in real life, thanks to Wikipedia.
There’s also some spare sticks and satay ingredients, and a cleaver for preparing some more.
On to the ceramics stand – these are so clever! With a number of different designs to choose from, it’s spot on. There’s also a stack of nanofigures – not only do you get the big assortment in the set, but almost as many as spares! There’s also a quill and calculator for the seller.
My favourite stall has got to be the shadow puppet show though.
These are seen all over Asian marketplaces, and this was depicted so well. A simple border surrounds the stage, with a printed window to display the shadows, and behind the stage, clipped to the base are two puppets on sticks – a person using a nanofig, and a dragon using the dragon head sword hilts. What a clever addition!
There’s also a box of fireworks and a box of larger red packages – I’m not entirely sure what they represent.
Not only that but the two pairs of stalls all have unique roofs and a string of lights in between each one. The details in this set so far have been awesome, but on to the final big structure – the temple.
Interestingly the stairs are built separately and clipped on with Technic pins. What I love about the base is the four red flower plants along the front. When building them it felt like the top leaves were about to pop off at any second, but they’ve held firm. As the build goes up, the details start to appear. with a large doorway in the middle and some latticed windows either side, the colours show. A large teal detailed banner and red pillars, and the first of two ornate winged roofs. These are extremely cleverly designed. It’s a little repetitive, but totally worth it.
The top section keeps going, and adds some white fences to the front. There’s also some SNOT work up top with some more Chinese characters, this time translating 新春廟會 into New Year Temple Fair. With a smaller roof at the top and some more dragon head hilts, the temple is complete. It is beautiful.
The detail in this set is spot on. The architectural details are beautiful, the colours are perfect, and the quality is superb. With loads of minifigures – the most I’ve seen in a set this size, plus some excellent stands, this is definitely a set to pick up.
ELEMENTS & MINIFIGURES: 20/20
DESIGN / APPEARANCE: 20/20
VALUE FOR MONEY: 10/10
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.