Ten years ago, a gang of French-speaking yellow things, known as Minions, entered popular culture with Illumination’s Despicable Me movie. They proved so popular, they even got their own spin-off movie, unsurprisingly called Minions. It’s sequel, The Rise of Gru was set to hit cinemas this June, but due to the current situation, it has been moved to 2021. This has affected the release of the new LEGO® Minions sets. However, a couple of sets are still being released later this month, one of which is the Brick-built Minions set. This features a trio of new Minions Minifigures and a pair of buildable Minions, one of which can be rebuilt into a different Minion character. I’ve managed to grab the set early so here’s my review.
Kids who love Minions will go wild for this LEGO® building toy for kids (75551). First, they can build an eye-catching, brick-built version of Kevin and Stuart. Then they can turn the models around to reveal the room playset inside, complete with accessories, such as tools, hats and weapons, plus figures for role play. Kids can construct 2 toy Minion models at a time and then rebuild Kevin into Bob.
Explore with the Minions
Young Minion fans will love seeing all the intricate details inside the rooms. Each one matches a different Minion’s unique personality and all feature turning eyes. Kids can create inventions in the lab with Kevin or watch Stuart take a nap in his bedroom. Kevin rebuilds into Bob, who’s practising kung fu.
- Set Name: Brick-built Minions and their Lair
- Set Number: 75551
- Pieces: 876
- RRP: £44.99/$49.99/49.99€
- Measurements: Kevin is over 15cm tall, Stuart is 14cm tall and Bob is 12cm tall
- Minifigures: Stuart, Kevin (sleepy) & Bob (kung-fu)
- Availability: April 27th
Although most of the new LEGO Minions sets have been delayed along with the movie, this particular set is a little more ambiguous as it not really tied to the storyline of the new Minions movie. Unless it turns out the Minions do actually live within larger versions of themselves. Which is the basis of the set, a pair of brick-built Minions characters, which also double up as playset-style lair. Although the various characters have slightly different appearances, the basis of their builds is very similar. On the surface, they look like large-scale display pieces but have a peek around the back and you’ll notice you can open them up to reveal a hidden room. One thing you’ll notice from the box is the set allows you to build a trio of Minions characters. However, you can’t build them all at the same time. Stuart is a complete build, and he can be joined by either Kevin or Bob. To create these characters, you’ll need to re-use the elements to create either of them. Which means you can’t build Kevin and Bob at the same time.
As mentioned above Stuart is a single build, the basic build is almost identical to the other characters. The notable differences are his eye and his interior. Unlike the other Minions, Stuart has a single peeper. This uses slightly different elements as well, a classic umbrella piece is topped by a printed 2×2 round tile. This gives the eye a more textured look and being able to turn it via a dial inside allows you to bring a surprising amount of character to the set. Within the rear of Stuart, you’ll discover a compact but detailed room. As well as a few control panels and pictures, you find a pair of speakers and a flip-down bed, which perfectly matches up with Stuart’s PJ wearing Minifigure.
The main difference between Kevin compared to Stuart is his taller body. This is achieved with a few more yellow elements to give the body the required additional length. Overall the style of the build is completely the same as the other brick-built Minions. Inside you’ll find Kevin’s room, this is adorned with a couple of accessories, control panel and a bank of screens. Unfortunately, these are all stickers, however, they do tie nicely to past Minions and Despicable Me movies, I especially like the Fart Blaster one. You’ll also find the dial needed to turn the eyes as you can with any of the Minions you build.
Using the elements needed to build Kevin, you can also build Bob. He is a lot smaller than Kevin so uses fewer elements for the shell but features many different elements for Bob’s interior room. Bob may look cute and innocent, but his room is filled with weapons and a ninja training dummy. This is probably why Bob is kitted out in a Kill Bill style tracksuit. Overall he is the smallest of the three builds, adding to his cuteness.
As with quite a few of the more recent themes based on animated movies, the Minifigure characters look a little different to their usual counterparts. Although elements of the Minion figures are similar to standard Minifigures such as the hands, every component of them is unique to the Minions. The set features three Minions and each is completely unique in terms of the outfits they are wearing and the elements used to create them. They include a body section, two attachable arms, a headpiece and then eyes. The arms have appeared in other sets such as the Unikitty, NEXO KNIGHTS and Angry Birds themes, but the ones each are available in new colours or with unique print detail. Despite the Minions having a similar look, each character here has a different head element. Stuart has a single eye, with both Kevin and Bob having two. Then Kevin has a longer body than his chums and Bob being the shortest of the three.
Technically all three Minions are exclusive to this set, Kevin appears in the same overall form in another set, but with different eyes. Kevin and Bob are both featured in unique outfits. All three characters can also be accessorized with additional hats. Some purists like nothing beyond the classic Minifigure design, which I understand, but unique elements are 100% needed to recreate the Minions in LEGO form. I like that there are different outfits but in this particular set, I would have preferred them to be in the standard uniforms just so it makes the set feel a little more generally based on the movie franchise and less tied to the upcoming movie.
The movie may be delayed by an entire year, but overall the set feels less dependent upon the story of The Rise of Gru. When the sets based on the film were first revealed, this one gained the most attention. After building it, I totally understand why. I quite like the way it is a combination of being a display piece and a playset. For older LEGO fans you can have those loveable yellow chaps sitting on your desk or shelf, and younger LEGO fans can play out their own wacky Minions adventures. I also like that there’s an option to create a choice of characters. It would have been cool is Stuart could also be rebuilt into another character, but judging by the additional character, Otto, included as a figure in other sets, his body type is far too different to fit in with the similar design of the other three characters, without adding way more elements to the set. I have to say I’m tempted to pick up another set so I can build all three characters together and it could be possible to MOC up an additional Minion from the combination of extra elements from two sets.