Once upon a time there was a place where budding LEGO® builders could share their creations with other LEGO fans, and if enough people like them, as if by magic they could appear in toy shops. That place is LEGO Ideas, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The platform has given us over 20 vastly different sets from numerous fan builders. Although many of the licensed sets have proven popular with a far reaching fanbase beyond the LEGO community, LEGO Ideas really comes into its own with the projects based on original ideas. As LEGO Ideas has evolved over the past ten years so has the sets it’s spawned. In recent years sets have become bigger and projects you wouldn’t expect to work in LEGO have been turned into sets. Something which continues with the release of the 23rd LEGO Ideas set – the Pop-Up Book. Books with intricate scenes that explode from the page have been around for many years. Being created with paper is impressive enough, but does that spectacle translate into LEGO bricks? Let’s turn the page and find out.
Build, play and display the classic fairy tales Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk with LEGO® Ideas 21315 Pop-up Book! This first-ever buildable pop-up book made from LEGO bricks opens to reveal the famous scene of grandmother’s forest cottage featuring opening door, bed and kitchen area. Recreate the scene when Little Red Riding Hood meets the wolf or swap out grandmother’s cottage for the scene of the giant’s castle in the clouds. This collectible toy features enough bricks to build both scenes or you can even build a scene of your own and makes a perfect creative gift. This LEGO set includes a booklet with a short history of pop-up books, a condensed history of each fairy tale in the set, as well as information about its fan designers and LEGO designers.
- Set Name: Pop-Up Book
- Set Number: 21315
- Pieces: 859
- RRP: £59.99
- Measurements: over 20cm long and 13cm wide when closed, and over 28cm wide when open
- Availability: Exclusive to LEGO Brand Retail Stores & shop.LEGO.com
Split across six numbered bags the build begins with the outer cover of the book. The best way to describe how the cover is built would be a wall. A number of 1×2, 1×3, 1×4 and 1×6 green bricks are combined with 1×1 bricks with knobs, to create the main surface of the book. You may think this could be a little unstable, but it’s reinforced with a inner wall that acts as the books pages. The cover is split into three sections – the front and back covers along with the spine of the book, these all connected by a number of hinge plates and bricks. Due to the bricks being built up, like a wall, much of the cover is studless. Those studs which are still on show, are used to add some additional detail.
This includes a frame of flat brown plates and the two 8×16 flat tiles, one plain brown and the other printed with ‘Once Upon A Brick’ yeah that isn’t a sticker. Under the books title plate are two flat 1×6 plates each printed with the sets original fan designers. I would of like to have seen a couple of printed elements used on the spine, maybe with the books title or the names of the stories featured within the book.
You’ll notice that as well as the studs intentionally built into the outside of the cover, there are also some on the inside of the cover. These are used as anchor points for the story scenery, which just so happens to be the next stage of the build. Despite two different scenes, they are both connected in the same way. Each side of the main sceney section has a series of bearing plates, with a couple of Technic connectors. These clip into the surface of the book and the motion of opening it causes the Technic rods to slide and make the scene stand up.
Little Red Riding Hood Story Scene
The classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood is on of new stories included within the the book. As Red bounds through the woods to as her Grandma, a wolf is eying up his next snack. But Red isn’t easy to catch, so the wolf decides to replace Grandma in her quaint little cottage, in the hope of bagging a little red bite to eat. It’s an extremely well known tale, making it perfect to recreated with LEGO bricks into a single scene.
The cottage is flat two piece build, connected via a couple of hinges. Detail of bother the outside of the cottage and interior is depicted. Which is impressive for a flat section of a building. As well as the cottage facade, there are two 6×8 tan plates which add a table and bed to the scene. These are connected to some of the exposed studs built into the book cover. I love the bed, as a minifigure can slot in there and look like they are tucked up in bed.
Jack & The Beanstalk Story Scene
The second tale to be told by the LEGO Pop-Up Book is that of Jack and the Beanstalk. One day Jack is sent to market to sell a cow in order to get some much needed money. Instead of getting a good price for the cow, Jack is talked into swapping her for a handful of magic beans. On his return home, Jack’s furious mother throws the beans into the garden. Where they grow into a huge beanstalk, which lead to a far away land, home to a menacing giant. It’s another well known tale, which translates well into LEGO. But creating a beanstalk from LEGO, which can also be contained in a book, is no mean feat.
Unlike the Red Riding Hood scene, the Jack and the Beanstalk scene is created in a microscale. The cottage is replaced by rolling green hills and fluffy white clouds. Behind that is a separate build to represent a towering beanstalk. This is make from a seemingly mismatched collection of Technic pins and beams, topped with a tiny castle. The whole thing clips to the 1×2 vertical plate holder element built into the cover. This has a small length of string connected to an anchor piece, which slots into one of the holes on the left hand side of the cover. As the book opens the string tightens and the beanstalk rises into the air. Although the scene isn’t as detailed as the other one, the pop-up motion is definitely more impressive.
The set includes four exclusive minifigures and a microfighter. With three themed around the Red Riding Hood story and the another and the microfigure for the Jack and the Beanstalk. The first story features Granny, who is the simplest of the minifigures. She’s wearing her pink night clothes, homely smile and uses the bun-topped hair style, previously seen on minifigures as varied as the Sumo Wrestler and Kimono Girl. It works perfectly for granny. Next up is Red, who makes great use of two recent parts, both newly re-coloured/printed for the character. Red’s hood is a variant of the one first seen on Lloyd from The NINJAGO Movie. Her skirt is a variant of the one seen on Alice from the Disney LMFs. These combined with short legs and a detailed torso, makes for an impressive version of the character. But as impressive as Red is, the Big Bad Wolf is outstanding. It uses the same body as Granny, but it’s all tattered with tufts of hair poking through. As you can see the hands are grey, unlike the minifigure seen in the teaser video. Finally the wolf head from the Monster Fighter and Monsters LMFs is used for the head, but has glasses printed on it. It’s a shame Granny Wolf doesn’t have a tail piece, but then ‘she’ wouldn’t fit so well into the bed.
As mentioned above the scale for the Jack and the Beanstalk scene is done in microscale. So a standard minifigure suddenly become a giant, something played up with the use of a microfigure for Jack. These tiny versions of minifigures are often used as trophies, but have become characters in sets like the Helicarrier and the recent Hogwarts Castle. Despite the small sized, there is a decent amount of detail of the little fellow. The Giant is less mean-looking and more cheeky, with his toothy grin and ruff hair style. But the best part of this minifigure is torso, there is so much detail, from the magic goose tucked into his pocket, a golden egg and a couple of skulls strapped to his belt, which just so happen to be the exact same size as the microfigures head.
I can bang on about this set for ages, but to truly appreciate the uniqueness of the set is to see it in action. It’s a simple idea that works so well. I like the detail and minifigures from the Little Red Riding Hood scene, but the movement of the Beanstalk is very impressive. Special mentions must go to the instructions, once again the highlight both the fan builders and LEGO designers involved. But also delve into the history of pop-up books and the two featured fairy tales. I absolutely adore this set, the initial idea from fan builders Grant Davis and Jason Allemann, has translated well into the final product. I much prefer the old-style jacket design of the final product as it makes the set look more magical, which is fitting for the theme of the stories told within and the overall mechanics of the build. It’s well worth the price and it’s one of the sets, like the Ship in a Bottle, which will mesmerise anyone who sees it up close. The images here and in the press release really don’t do the set justice. Keep and eye out for it on display in your nearest LEGO store or better still just order one come November 1st and step into a story-filled adventure built from bricks.
This set was provided via The LEGO Group for the purposes of review. The thoughts and opinions of the set reflect those of BricksFanz and not that of the LEGO Group.
23rd October 2018
Great set and great review!