It’s been 15 years since the famed adventurer and professor of fine antiquities, whip-cracked his way into LEGO® history. As a fourth big-screen adventure was prepping for Indiana Jones’ cinematic return, his previous adventure inspired a series of LEGO sets and even a pair of video games from TT Games. As Indiana Jones is set to return for his fifth adventure in the Dial of Destiny, the LEGO Group has once again partnered with Lucasfilm to bring back the LEGO Indiana Jones theme. But things have changed a lot since 2008. Today, there is a greater focus on adult LEGO builders which has resulted in more complex builds and sets ripe for display over play. The first of the new Indiana Jones sets us just that, an 18+ displayable diorama, inspired by the opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indy’s effort to retrieve the Golden Idol.
LEGO® Indiana Jones™ Temple of the Golden Idol building set celebrates the legacy of Indiana Jones™ with this rewarding build where adults can recreate the iconic opening scene from the Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. This impressive 1545-piece set pays homage to iconic characters and scenes that will look great displayed on a shelf once complete.
- Set Name: Indiana Jones Temple of the Golden Idol
- Set Number: 77015
- Pieces: 1545
- RRP: £129.99/$149.99/149.99€
- Number of Bags: Bags x 10
- Stickers: Sheets x 1
- Minifigures: Indiana Jones, Satipo, Balloq & Hovitos Warrior
- Instructions: Booklet x 1 + LEGO Building Instructions App
- Availability: LEGO Stores & LEGO Online from April 1st
For a very long time, every LEGO set had to appeal to a specific, younger age range. This limited their complexities and subject matter somewhat. After seeing how many adults were buying and building sets for themselves, the LEGO Group decided adults really were welcome. This led to all manner of different types of LEGO builds including diorama scenes inspired by iconic movie moments. The first was inspired by Star Wars and was later joined by a Jurassic Park scene. Now Indiana Jones’ debut has inspired the latest LEGO diorama. Back in 1981 two movie legends joined forces to introduce the world to Indiana Jones. A wise-cracking adventurer played by Harrison Ford. The character instantly became a cinema icon. As the Paramount Studios logo morphed into a far-off mountain, we venture into a trap-filled temple in search of an unknown treasure. It’s these opening moments from Raiders of the Lost Ark which has inspired this highly detailed diorama.
The scene is split into three sections which are then combined to create the full scene. Similar to how Indy and Satipo venture along a corridor-like temple entrance, the diorama set out in a similar layout. Although a few liberties have been taken to combine key moments from the film’s opening. Similar to other LEGO movie dioramas, the scene is sort of mounted on or bordered by a black lip. This helps to offer a better displayable build and also gives the set and those which have preceded it, a uniform appearance.
The first section you build is the left side of the scene, which depicts the jungle-covered entrance to the temple. This uses a pair of 2×2 turntable plates to mount a larger place at an angle. This is unusual for the rather uniform LEGO build system but really gives the build texture and helps to recreate the crumbling structures marking the way into the ancient ruins. The entrance is a rather small part of this section of the scene as it also recreates one of cinema’s most iconic moments. After Indy misjudges the sand needed to replicate the weight of the Golden Idol statue, he triggers the temple’s deadly traps. These include the release of a huge rolling boulder. It may not be as big or as deadly but the boulder has been integrated into the build and it really ‘rolls’. It’s moulded on a curved track, which is connected to a dial on the front of the set. Twisting the dial causes the brick boulder to tumble down the track. It’s a fun feature and a satisfying motion to engage.
The central section is a little bigger than the first but feels a little less detailed. This is due to the area of the temple it recreates. This section focuses on the closing temple door and the large gap which leads to the escaping the impending doom of the triggered traps. As with the first section, this part also includes functional elements both triggered by dials on the front of the diorama. One raises the stone door and the other ‘swings’ a rod over the gap. Admittedly these aren’t as fun as the boulder but replicate the action from the film quite well. One thing I really like about this part of the build is the use of elements to create the various stone statues and rocky architecture of the temple.
The final section is the most complex, although it is no bigger in terms of footprint than the other sections. What makes it complex is the functional aspects built into the temple chamber. One is connected to the Golden Idol pedestal and the other is a hybrid switch which also illuminates a light brick and causes the temple to crumble. Both movement functions are activated by a dial. As you build this part of the set, pay close attention to how the various Technic beams should be positioned before adding elements around them. I mistakenly left a lever under the pedestal sitting in the wrong position. Only by the end of the build did I discover the error as the Golden Idol rose instead of descending. This is not an issue with the build or instructions but could be easily done. Tuning the dial not only causes the Idol to drop, but it also lights up a brick above it and turning it the other way pushes the large monstrous stone face to topple forward.
There are also a number of stickers used here to represent the stone-carved deities in the end section of the temple. These include a couple of fun Easter Eggs. One face represents a minifigure and another has a passing resemblance to King Kahuka from the LEGO Pirates sets as well as being a boss in the LEGO Racers game. More on the use of stickers in this particular set is covered later on in this review.
Most of the elements needed to make the functional elements work are hidden behind the set. They use quite a few Technic beams and gears to make each of the movements work. The most complex is found in the last section of the build, as they are used to activate three different functions. Although not overly complex, as mentioned above it’s easy to make a slight error when building. So pay close attention to where elements should sit as building around them.
The set includes four minifigures, technically five if you also include the skeleton. Three of them have previously featured in past Indiana Jones sets, but they have been completely updated. The most obvious change can be found in the Indiana Jones minifigure. His iconic fedora hat now includes hair and it completely changes the feel of the character for the better. This new element combined with the two face prints perfectly captures the spirit of Indy. Satipo is quite similar to his previous version but features an improved face print and flipping him over reveals a back covered in spiders. Balloq doesn’t translate as well into minifigure-form but has a vastly improved face. The final minifigure is a generic tribal warrior. Obviously, there are some sensitivities with portraying these sorts of characters. But there shouldn’t be any issues as the character matches the appearance of those featured in the film.
To paraphrase Dr Jones – stickers, why did it have to be stickers? Unfortunately, Indy’s triumphant return is marred by them. Every single sticker featured in the set could have been and should have been printed. What’s most annoying is that some random pieces are printed. Whilst some of the stickers used to represent stone-carved faces and textured columns are passable, what is totally unforgivable in a set such as this is the use of stickers on the dioramas’ display plates. Both the logo and quotes are stickers. In every other similar diorama set such as the Jurassic Park and Star Wars ones, the same plates are printed. This is a massive disappointment. Not only does it look cheap, but it also causes the set, which would look amazing next to those previously mentioned sets, to drop a level of consistency. There are also minimal arguments for use of most stickers in these high-priced sets, especially on flat tile plates. These are the easiest elements to print on. I try to see the good in most things but this is one decision I can’t get my head around.
Despite the infuriating use of stickers, this is a wonderful set. It manages to capture the excitement of the opening scene in Raiders and even incorporates some of the action through functional movement. It was also really fun to build, there are a few tricky techniques used to craft some of the details and working elements. These only add to the joy of the build. I genuinely think these sorts of dioramas could become a theme of their own. There are so many iconic movie moments which would make outstanding LEGO scenes, many of which wouldn’t warrant a full theme of sets. Just imagine Jaws attacking the Orca, E.T.’s moonlit bike ride or Goonies on One-Eyed Willie’s pirate ship, all as detailed LEGO scenes. As long as they don’t use stickers of cause.
This set was provided BricksFanz and provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. 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.