LEGO® Ideas has fast become the vanguard for brick-built creativity. LEGO fans of various ages and from different countries have been united in their ability to craft unique LEGO creations. In the early days of the LEGO Ideas theme, projects hitting 10k were limited to an elite few. It was almost easy to predict what would make the cut as well. With projects of a certain size seeking favour with the Ideas Review Board. These are no longer the case and many more projects are reaching the 10k mark. Now regardless of size, many of them are in with a chance of being a future set. The 43rd set to join the line-up is the Motorized Lighthouse. Join me as I take a journey around this impressive new set ahead of its release.
Let your creativity shine as you build this LEGO® Ideas Motorized Lighthouse (21335) model. It features a lighthouse tower with motorized rotating light and custom-designed Fresnel lens elements, plus a cottage with a glowing fireplace. The cottage and tower are both easily accessible to let you view the wonderfully detailed interiors, and they sit on a brick-built rocky outcrop with steps down to the pier and a cave containing pirate’s treasure. Lighthouse keeper and sailor minifigures, plus a buildable rowboat and seagull and cat figures, add to the delightful scene.
- Set Name: Motorized Lighthouse
- Set Number: 21335
- Pieces: 2065
- RRP: £264.99/$299.99/299.99€
- Number of Bags: Bags x 13 + loose elements
- Stickers: Sheets x 2
- Minifigures: Lighthouse Keeper & Sailor
- Instructions: Booklet x 1 + LEGO Building Instructions App
- Availability: LEGO Stores & LEGO Online from September 1st
The set includes quite a few bags of elements with some steps requiring more than one bag. They are joined by quite a few additional elements including a dark blue baseplate and a number of BURPs, plus Powered Up elements including A battery box (6380609), a medium motor (6290183) and cable with lights (6238858). There are also a couple of tiny sheets of stickers. Within the first of two instruction booklets, there’s some information about the history of Lighthouses, the fan designers behind the original project as well as the LEGO Design Team. There’s also a little background behind the creation of a special new element to replicate the Fresnel lens used within the lantern of lighthouses.
The Lighthouse is built upon a 32×32 stud baseplate, appearing for the very first time in dark blue. Although there are brighter blue baseplates already available, this darker tone blue is in much better keeping with the overall appearance of the set. The build starts off in a similar fashion to a modular building, with the footprint of the rocking island, upon which the Lighthouse sits, fashions through a mix of grey elements for rocks and transparent elements to recreate the foam of the wash lashing against the shore of the island.
This base section is also used to house the powered elements needed to illuminate and rotate the Lighthouse. This is achieved with a battery box, which required 6 AA batteries. I really wish a rechargeable option was created and included as standard in sets. The use of batteries seems a little outdated these days. Connected to the power source is a light cable, which branches off to include two lights and a medium-sized motor to power the rotation functions. These are all incorporated into the set really well. The switch to turn the Lighthouse on it’s nestled inside the pirate’s treasure cave. Even the battery box is covered by an easily removed section of rock. So not only is it hidden, but it can also be accessed to change the batteries without having to take the set apart. It’s a very similar style of build Wind Turbine, which, unfortunately, had an iffy base section. That’s not the case with the Lighthouse, the base is solid and that makes it fairly easy to move around.
At the base of the Lighthouse is a small cottage, home to the Lighthouse keeper. This is a quaint little dwelling and it’s also connected to the base via a turntable plate, so it sits at a jaunty angle, which adds to the charm. Although small, the cottage features a little bed, kitchen and desk. There are also a couple of plates featured here, which require stickers. These tie into the sets fan designer. The roof section can be removed so the interior can be accessed. Although a simple detail, I love the way the cottage leads into the Lighthouse tower. One of the lights is also incorporated into the cottage, where it’s used to light the stove in the kitchen. The transparent orange element it sits behind, give the cottage a warm and cosy feeling.
Of course, the main focus of a lighthouse is the tower, these stands tall enough to be seen at a distance and to allow the light to be spread across the greatest distance possible. This Lighthouse’s tower is built in sections and then clad in panels to create the iconic circular design. Some of these panels can be removed to view the inside of the tower. I did find when building this part of the set, that some of the unremovable panels felt they were connected very securely, but once everything is added, this becomes less of an issue. Another thing I’m torn between is the colouring of the tower, which is mainly white. Normally lighthouse towers are a little more colourful. But although a more muted colour palette has been chosen for this set, I think it adds to the whimsical nature of the set. I’m sure something will MOC the set to have a red and white striped tower.
Finally, just as important as the tower is the light which sits stop it. This isn’t as complex a section as I thought it would be, there’s an angled plate, which featured a foil sticker, and the other part of the light is then connected to the cradle. On top of this is a unique element, created especially for this set. It recreates the Fresnel lens, in a real lighthouse, it’s used to focus the light and transmit it over a greater distance. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case here. Although the light can clearly be seen rotating, it’s just not very bright, even in a darkened room. Despite this, the whole section focused on the light is nicely done and I prefer it to the original fan design. The use of shutter door slats to create the circular window around the Lantern Room looks great.
Another change from the original fan project is the scale of the set. Although the size is similar the original project had just a lighthouse model along with a small building and a larger, cliff-like island. The set has become minifigure-scale and I think this works better as it adds a little more character to the build. The switch in scale allows the inclusion of two minifigures, one is a cheery-looking Lighthouse Keeper, who has an amazing expression on his face. He’s joined by a local sailor, who is visiting the island in her row boat. They are joined by a lonesome seagull, which is the set’s biggest disappointment, it really needed a couple more at the very least.
I expected a complex series of inner workings to craft the rotating ability of the Lighthouse’s light but was pleasantly surprised to see a simple strip of Technic rods running from a motor and into the tower. In fact, the actual Lighthouse structure is the least complex aspect of the build, the rocky landscape it sits upon required a lot more building and elements. This section does an excellent job of hiding and incorporating the powered elements needed to make everything work. The same goes for the little handle used to switch it on. Although I had to build the set in haste due to this review, I really enjoyed the build experience. I think it would be even more enjoyable to build in a more leisurely manner. Unfortunately, as much as the Powered-up elements are needed to make the set work and basically its most impressive feature, they have added to the overall price of the set, which is quite high. Regardless, it’s another impressive showcase of what can be done with the LEGO brick and just how creative the fan community can be.
+ The mechanism to work the light isn’t at all complex
+ Light feature works extremely well
+ Genuinely fun to build
+ Great display piece
– Very expensive partly due to powered elements
– Instructions can sometimes be difficult to see where elements are to be placed
– Light isn’t very bright
– Needed more seagulls
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This set was provided to BricksFanz 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 a set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.