Reviewing the LEGO Botanical Collection

One of the most exciting and anticipated new themes to come out of 2020 was the Botanical Collection. With two sets to start it off – 10280 Flower Bouquet and 10281 Bonsai Tree, the feeling from the fans has been overwhelmingly positive. These sets are aimed at not just the adult fans, but in particular those new fans that haven’t really dabbled in LEGO before, or want something just that little bit different. I think these sets are going to do just that. Let’s take a look at them one by one. They’ll be available from 1st January, 2021.

10280 Flower Bouquet

Theme: Botanical Collection
No: 10280
Release Year: 2021
Cost: AU $89.99
Pieces: 756

Here we go! I’m pretty excited about this. The box itself is nice, using the new black background for the 18+ theme. It puts a nice focus the set, but the biggest issue I have is the perforated thumb punches. I’ve never been a fan of these. Why not the tape? On opening the set there’s numbered bags across three stages, and a bag of ten 32 length axles, for the first time in sand green.

There are some really interesting parts inclusions in the set, and some good quantities of them as well. 2×2 flower plates, pterodactyl wings, bonnets, surfboards, gold crowns, steering wheels, and more. Some of these, including the wings, bushes, stalks, horns and other leaf elements are made from the plant based plastic that LEGO likes to call Plants from Plants. There’s obviously a lot of Technic axles and connectors, that make up the stems.

The start of the manual lists the flowers, which is extremely helpful as I’m not great at flower names! Included in the set are roses, snapdragons, lavender, aster, daisies and a poppy. There’s also a few green leaf builds to flesh out the bouquet.

The roses are interesting – it’s not the first colour I would have chosen, but the slightly muted pastel colours of the rest of the bouquet work really well in this case. The colour is also rather exciting, as light nougat hasn’t been seen outside of minifigure parts before. The use of the wings as leaves is really clever. The petals are also able to be opened more, to mimic the length of bloom you want.

While snapdragons are not in Australia, they’re one of the prettier options in the bouquet – the colours are vibrant and there is just so much texture. With three layers of colour and growth through the flower, this is a heavy one.

The lavender is much more recognisable – my wife recognised them instantly. It’s a strange looking version of it. It certainly doesn’t look like the lavender we have here at home. The build is also very repetitious, having to make nine flower portions to make it up.

My favourite flower in the set is the aster. I’ve not heard of it but the textures in this bloom are amazing, using simple clips, parabolic rings and leaf studs closely bunched together.

The daisy was the first flower to be built and it’s one of the simpler options of the bouquet. Using the rounded 1×2 plates as petals, the shape is a little square, but it’s recognisable.

Lastly there’s the California poppy. Bright orange with a yellow centre, it’s the state flower of California and is apparently edible too, according to the instructions.

I thought the only vase that would be suited for this set was a large LEGO Pick-A-Brick cup. It looks great, but the was one problem – the bottom of the cup isn’t flat, so the stems don’t quite sit properly. It’s also very top heavy so tended to fall pretty quickly. I’d go with a glass vase for sure.

This set is one of the most unique sets that’s been released, and certainly like nothing I’ve ever built before. This set will appeal to not only fans of LEGO but will engage those new fans that haven’t spent as much time with the plastic brick as some of us have. Just seeing what is possible will be enough to engage new fans and excite older ones.

10281 Bonsai Tree

Theme: Botanical Collection
No: 10281
Release Year: 2021
Cost: AU $89.99
Pieces: 878

Time for the Bonsai. The build process is relatively quick, and aside from the repetition of the leaves (in both green and cherry blossom variants), it’s highly enjoyable. There’s also some great and rather interesting parts included. The new large tube elements in reddish brown – seen in Mickey and Minnie Mouse, plenty of white small leaves, and 100 pink frogs, just to name a few.  

It’s also important to note that the green and white leaves, plus the brown horn elements are all Plants from Plants elements.

The build commences with the black planter container that it sits in – Not a lot of exciting techniques here, although I do like that the legs are tyres, so have some grip to them. The tree itself is offset slightly, thanks to a turntable and some extra studs to stop it from moving. Not only this, but the shape of the tree is thanks to plenty of SNOT and interesting angles. The branches are built separately and added on, with the branches being able to be positioned to the builder’s liking. This set is quite customisable. The loose studs mixture as soil is also a really nice touch.

I’ve left the green branches on, but the cherry blossom option also looks really vibrant. The use of pink frogs is an interesting approach. Personally I would have loved to have gotten 100 of the dark pink flowers, but the use of frogs to mimic what I’m guessing is unopened cherry blossoms is unique. I also appreciate that it’s super simple to change them over, just pulling the ends off the branches. Up close it’s a little odd, but from a distance it’s stunning.

The final stage in the build is the reddish brown stand that the bonsai planter sits on. It’s simple and comes together quickly.

I love this set – it perfectly fits the niche for people wanting to start introducing LEGO into their lives as adults. It’s absolutely spot on for a work desk display item. It’s a quicker build but introduces some great little techniques that new LEGO fans will find interesting.

I’m really excited to see what else comes from the Botanical Collection. I sure hope this isn’t it!

Some additional images and the official press release is below.

Let creativity bloom with new botanical builds from the LEGO Group

Today, the LEGO Group has revealed a new range of mindful models for the green-fingered. The decorative LEGO® Botanical Collection includes a stunning LEGO® Flower Bouquet to brighten the home, and a LEGO® Bonsai Tree for those looking to be more zen in the new year.

 While many people seek out green spaces to destress and relax, adults can now bring a touch of nature into their home and unwind as they create and customise their botanical builds….and the great news is that LEGO plants don’t need to be watered to stay fresh.

With 7 in 10 adults saying they often research new ways to destress and over 8 in 10 saying play helps them relax, the new sets could provide the perfect perennial project for those looking to get creative, destress and find moments of mindfulness in a day.

Both sets in the new LEGO Botanical include a number of elements made from plant-based plastic, produced using sustainably sourced sugarcane.

LEGO Flower Bouquet

Surprise a friend or show yourself some love with a gift that keeps on giving, a beautiful flower bouquet that’s anything but ordinary, and won’t wilt! The 756-piece set features a host of beautiful blooms in an array of stunning colours that older builders can customise as their flowers flourish.

Whether you’re treating a loved one or are looking for a new creative project, the flower stems are adjustable so it’s easy to tailor the arrangement to suit any vase. A combination of snapdragons, roses, poppies, asters, daisies, and different grasses can be arranged in the bouquet in a number of ways to suit the mood of the builder and the design of the room.

The set includes a host of LEGO elements that feature new colours and shapes to perfectly recreate petal shapes and making admiring visitors look twice.

LEGO Bonsai Tree

The art of bonsai has captured the imaginations of tree lovers for centuries. Now LEGO fans or those looking for a new way to relax can celebrate this ancient art with the 878-piece LEGO® Bonsai Tree model building kit.

Builders can enjoy a sense of calm as they carefully shape the bonsai tree model with either green leaves or pink cherry blossoms. When you’re ready for a change or when the season starts to turn, it’s easy to swap the coloured crowns to create a totally new look.

The LEGO Bonsai Tree model comes with a rectangular pot and a slatted wood-effect LEGO stand, creating a pretty display piece to take pride of place in any home or office. Those who look very closely may even notice the little frogs that make up each blossom.

“As adults look for new ways to switch off and relax, we’re delighted to be able to help them seek solace from their busy everyday lives as they immerse themselves in creating these beautiful botanical builds,” says Jamie Berard, Design Lead at the LEGO Group.  “The customisable elements and mindful building experience will hopefully help them express their personality as their creativity blossoms.”

Both sets will be available from 1st January from LEGO.com, LEGO Stores, and other retailers globally. The LEGO Flower Bouquet blooms can be designed to be over 14 inches (36cm) high, with the set priced from [$49.99/€49.99/£44.99]. The LEGO Bonsai Tree stands at 7 inches (18cm) high when complete and is priced from [$49.99/€49.99/£44.99]. Individual LEGO Roses and LEGO Tulips will be available exclusively from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores from [1st January/insert AMS launch date] priced at [$12.99/€12.99/£9.99] for LEGO Roses and [$9.99/€9.99/£7.99] for the LEGO Tulips.

To find out more about the new LEGO Botanical Collection, visit https://lego.build/FlowerBouquetReveal or https://lego.build/BonsaiTreeReveal

A special thank you to LEGO for sending me a copy of each of the sets 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.

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