Just about all sets to be released under the LEGO® Ideas banner come from fan designers uploading their creations and getting 10,000 votes. In recent years, Contests have offered a unique way to gather fan-created content. After a few smaller projects have been transformed into GWPs, the set which is the focus of this review is the first to be released after being featured in a LEGO Ideas Contest. Back in 2020 LEGO Ideas ran the ‘Music to our ears’ contest. This required fans to create a music-themed build. Fans could vote for their favourites as well as the possibility of one of the finalists becoming a future LEGO set. One such entry was the Legendary Stratocaster project by Tomáš. It may not have won the Contest top prizes but it has been chosen to become the next LEGO Ideas set. So here’s a review of the newly announced LEGO Ideas Fender Stratocaster set.
Create your own brick-built 1970s Fender® Stratocaster™ guitar and 65 Princeton® Reverb amplifier with this LEGO® Ideas set (21329). Recall the legendary musicians who have played a Stratocaster® as you recreate its iconic curves and add authentic details such as the posable whammy bar, pickup switch and tuning pegs. The buildable amp has removable panels for easy viewing of the motherboard, reverb tank, speaker and other interior details, plus rubber cables to connect it to the guitar and footswitch.
This set includes bricks to build the guitar in either red or black, guitar picks in 4 colours and an elegant, foldable stand for the guitar model to complete a delightful display piece. There is also a sticker with the Fender logo made from LEGO bricks for you to attach to your real guitar or amp.
- Set Name: Fender Stratocaster
- Set Number: 21329
- Pieces: 1074
- RRP: £89.99/$99.99/€99.99
- Measurements: 36 cm long, 11 cm wide and 3 cm deep
- Availability: LEGO Stores & LEGO.com from October 1st
Fender first created the Stratocaster electric guitar in 1954 and although the design has been tweaked over the proceeding years, its appearance has remained largely the same. The legendary instrument has been favoured by iconic musicians such as Hank Marvin, George Harrison, John Lennon and Eric Clapton to name but a few. This LEGO Ideas version leans into the history of the instrument, by offering the ability to build it in one of two colour variants as well as including a stand and amp.
The stand is the first part of the set you build and the result is a simple looking construction upon which the guitar can be rested. It can also be folded up just as a real stand would. Once the guitar is added, it sets perfectly and firmly against the stand, making it a functional part of the overall set as well as a great way to display it.
I chose the red version to build first as it appeared to be a little more flashy looking. You start by constructing the neck of the instrument, which is where you’ll find the strings and tuning tools. There are 5 strings included in the build as as you place them you’ll notice they each have a coloured stud attached to them. Once correctly placed in position, these are then removed. This visual marker is a simple yet super helpful way to ensure the strings are placed in the right formation. Once they are, you are required to twist them counterclockwise in order to tighten them. It almost feels like tuning the guitar, just don’t expect the strings to give you a note.
With the neck of the Fender complete, you can then add the body of the guitar. This is built in sections that fit around the neck, depending on which colour you decide to build, the neck of the guitar is the same. Just don’t expect switching colours to be a super easy endeavour. You’ll certainly need to remove a few additional pieces in order to switch colours. After attempting the switch, it’s certainly a little time-consuming but easy enough to achieve, although it would have been nice if the instructions offered a visual guide to doing so, just to make things a little easier.
One of my favourite parts of the Fender build is the unique material strap. On real instruments, the strap is an important tool to help with playing it. The version here has been given a LEGO twist, with brick stud patterns interwoven with the Fender logo. Other interesting aspects of the set include grey coloured strings. These stud-tipped parts aren’t normally offered in such a long length, this also applies to the tubing used to connect the guitar, amp and foot pedals to one and another.
As much as the focus of the set is the guitar, the accompanying Princeton amp is just as important and in fact, is even more interesting to build. The various components and fuses that form the inner workings of the amp have all been worked into the build, even if some of those pieces aren’t connected in a traditional manner. This includes the speaker dish being held in place by the edge of studs and various different coloured 1×1 tiles wedged sideways between studs. The results are pretty cool and can be easily accessed once the set is built by removing the top and back panels.
Just as you would a real guitar, the LEGO Stratocaster can be connected to the amp via a uniquely long piece of tubing. Another is used to connect the foot pedal to the back of the amp. Even the pieces used to achieve this are interesting, with ‘lipstick’ elements used to create connector pins. These elements are also used inside some of the fuse tubes inside the speaker.
The original project may not have won the overall Ideas ‘Music to our Ears’ contest but it’s certainly one which has the most mass appeal. The Fender guitars are iconic instruments, which can be easily identified beyond those who play them. Type guitar into an emoji library and you’re basically greeted by a tiny version of a Stratocaster. The set is a really unique build. It joins an ever-growing number of buildable objects which make great display pieces. This is the perfect gift for a budding musician but also an amazingly unique build for any LEGO fan. It’s also great fun to build, particularly the amp. It may seem a little smaller than expected but I think that adds to the charm as well as making it a lot easier to display. The instructions booklet also includes some neat extra content including the history of the Stratocaster and the fan designer behind the set’s original concept.
This set was provided by the LEGO Group for purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are that of BricksFanz and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group. Providing the set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.