The latest in the highly popular LEGO Ideas theme is 21326 Winnie the Pooh. This was a favourite of mine as a child and I was very excited at the chance to build this set. Many thanks to LEGO for providing a review copy of this set to WBI.
I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by mentioning up front that this is a lovely set. For me, the pleasantness starts with the box. While I’m not a huge fan of the new 18+ artwork for many sets, this seems to work as it brings out the brighter colours of the set. However, the box is a flip top, like Architecture sets, so the box isn’t destroyed on opening and provides a convenient storage spot should you ever want to take the build apart. But why would you?
The cover of the instructions is evocative of a Winnie the Pooh book, with illustrations that resemble the classic illustrations of EH Shepard. Included in the instruction book is an interview with the fan designer as well as a feature of the design team. I did notice that the instruction designer was not included in this; hopefully that’s something to be considered in other sets.
But let’s get on with the build. First, let’s take a look at the minifigures, all of which have been created for this set.
The titular character is Winnie the Pooh. As this is a Disney licensed set, it’s understandable that the figures are based on the Disney version as opposed to the original illustration. As such this minifigure is a faithful rendition of the classic Disney character, especially the head. However, Winnie is a standard minifigure, which means he’s a little on the thin side based on what we’ve come to expect from the books. The printing of his shirt does convey his round tummy, but it does seem a bit off in that there’s no tummy actually there.
Winnie comes with a balloon accessory, famously known from the Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree story.
Piglet has also been reproduced faithfully – his head in particular looks fantastic. Piglet is given short legs, which makes sense considering that he is shorter than Pooh, after all. His accessory is a scarf (not pictured), coming from the Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day story.
Rabbit is another great character that comes with a new head. I’m wondering where the whiskers are, even though I do like the pink accents for his nose and ears. And his fluffy tail is adorable! I don’t think Rabbit is quite as close to the source materials as the others, though it is still an impressive minifigure. My main quibble with Rabbit, though, is the waistline. Why is one included? We took a look at waistlines for female minifigures, but I don’t know of a reason why one should be included for Rabbit.
Rabbit’s accessory is, of course, a carrot.
I love Tigger – this is another great minifigure. The detailed printing is wonderful, and I think his expression is caught perfectly. I love the tail piece – it looks like he could (almost) bounce on it!)
Tigger comes with his bundle – it’s not seen in the stories, but has been seen with various toys.
Eeyore isn’t a minifigure, but a beloved character all the same. He comes in a new mold, and the colour and mold are perfect for him. I particularly like the printed stitching down his face, which is faithful to the source material. A Friends hair bow is provided for his tail, but the nail with which it’s attached can’t be found.
Building the Model
I won’t say too much about the build experience, as I don’t want to ruin the surprises for you. The designer has done a great job in creating the organic shape of the tree that also serves as the entrance to Pooh’s house. Similarly, the instructional designer should be recognized for the splendid way in which the instructions are put together and breaking down a pretty complex build into enjoyable steps.
For the build, two small sticker sheets are included. Stickers can be extraneous (Friends sets, I’m looking at you), but all of the stickers add value to the story and contain several key details. I really like how one sheet is printed on the reflective surface so that Pooh’s mirror can be included.
A sign showing the way to 100 Acre Wood has been included. Though the details are provided by stickers, it provides a delightful detail. The honey pots show that Pooh must have been close by! The “hunny” pot is another new printed piece.
The front of the build has the entrance to Pooh’s house, including the distinctive “Mr. Sanders” sign over the door (and that’s a printed piece). I love the detail that has been provided here, from the bench, the toadstools, the door bell and knocker, and of course, more honey pots behind the bench.
There’s cute little brick built snail around the side of the tree.
The foliage portion of the tree has some outstanding parts usage. When first looking at the picture, I thought the foliage would be repetitive and time consuming. While it is repetitive, the use of the green coral pieces for the branches is brilliant, thereby only requiring the addition of some green leaves to provide a fuller, lush look. With this being Pooh’s house, there are of course some honey bee hives in the tree, complete with bees buzzing around them. This picture shows the new 1×1 round tiles with the bee print.
Turning our attention inside the house, just inside the door we find Pooh’s mirror, and of course an umbrella with its stand. On the other side, there’s a teapot and cup on a bureau underneath a map of the 100 Acre Wood. Of all the stickers that are provided in the set, this is the one piece that I wish had been printed.
Pooh’s house opens up to allow for play (as well as display). The mechanism works quite well and I like that this gives accessibility to all of the wonderful detail inside.
On one side of the house is Pooh’s sleeping area. The bed itself is quite ornate and lovely, and I love the brick built azure curtains. Pooh’s “Pooh-koo” clock is included with some great parts usage in the gold tassel for the hanging weights. Up in the attic, we find another open “hunny” pot as well as two unopened ones, which are minifigure heads.
One of the accessories included is the book, which I’m including here as I think Pooh would read it before going to bed. All the details provided are pictures – the cover shows Pooh and the inside has Pooh’s balloon flight, while the inside cover includes Ben Alder’s name, who is the fan designer of the set.
The other side of the house features Pooh’s armchair, with sticker provided detailing of the upholstery. I particularly like the stove, especially since the chimney for the stove lines up well with the chimney up on the roof. Above the armchair is artwork featuring bees, but also features the initials of Ben Alder’s children. In the attic, we find Pooh sticks as well as Tigger’s locket.
On closing the house, you can see it makes for an attractive model all the way around. The use of the different colour 1×2 cheese slopes give the roof pleasing texture and dimension.
As I said at the start, this is really a lovely set. It’s retailing for $99.99 US, and at 1265 pieces, provides a fantastic building experience and results in a model that suitable both for play as well as display. The designer (Ilia Gotlib) has implemented great parts throughout the model – I am particularly impressed with the tree foliage. Additionally, the build techniques used for the base of the tree are fantastic and I’m similarly impressed with the instructional designer here.
I would recommend getting this set, especially if you’re a Winnie the Pooh fan!
Excellent write up. I am disappointed in the Pooh minifig but the rest of the set more than makes up for his rum Tim tummy.
Thank you for a well done article. I especially like the detail photographs since the tree portion on my set fell over and came apart into many pieces. I can use the photos (and the manual of course) to spend many happy hours rebuilding the tree.
I should probably duck after saying this but I actually really like the 18+ artwork, generally – except for the black-on-black instructions.