In which I investigate exactly what the implications of being part of the ‘Asia Pacific’ region means for Australian and New Zealand LEGO Fans, in the face of ‘Region Exclusive Sets,’ and find myself pleasantly surprised…
Earlier in the month, we were excited to hear that there will be a couple of new sets released specifically in the Chinese and Asian Markets to commemorate the Chinese New Year. Two sets have been officially announced to date 80101 Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner and 80102 Dragon Dance.
The new sets celebrate iconic new year traditions. Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner shows a Chinese family reuniting to celebrate the lunar new year in a traditional home. Often performed during Chinese New Year, Dragon Dance is a symbol of the Chinese culture and is believed to bring good luck to people. The Dragon Dance set features a team of dragon dancers, with a minifigure dressed as a cute pig celebrating the coming Chinese New Year of the Pig.
Christiansen said: “These sets are special. They are the first sets we’ve created to celebrate Lunar New Year and the first time we’ve made sets for a specific country or region. We hope they bring a lot of joy to children and the young at heart during new year.”
While images have been around for a few days, language associated with the set had evolved from ‘the Chinese Market’ to ‘China and Asia’ and subsequently ‘Asia-Pacific.’ Does this mean that these sets will be part available in all countries in the Asia-Pacific region? I sought clarification about the potential availability of these sets in Australia. (images used here are sourced from VJ Gamer Thanks to Brickfinder for the nudge)
I reached out to LEGO® Australia, and they have confirmed that these two sets will be available in Australia and New Zealand from January 1st, 2019. There will be a limited distribution, with details to be confirmed closer to the time of release. The prices are also as yet to be announced. These details are at the end of this article.
EDIT: Unfortunately, they will not be available through Australia or Newzealand’s Shop.LEGO.com site. Details below.
Here are the images that we have seen to date:
80101 Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner
I’ll have to admit, I love the aesthetic the family’s home, as well as the design of the lanterns hanging outside. The printing on the tiles, to signify the different foods being served is exquisite.At least I hope it is printing. – but I think putting stickers on multiple 1×1 round tiles would bet a little tedious! I especially like the rice and printing on the bowls. The set comes with six mini figures, transcending generations.
80102 Dragon Dance
This set demonstrates the traditional dragon dance, with multiple dancers manipulating the Dragon Puppet. It would appear that the dragon’s body itself has a mechanism that moves it in a lifelike fashion. I love the detail in the dragon’s scales, including what appears to be a new 1×1 heart shaped tile, as well as the scale printing on the 2×2 served slopes. I also appreciate the use of bright yellowish orange unikitty tails to make the dragon’s moustache. The prints on the dragon dancers are beautifully detailed, and the reappearance of the ‘Piggy Guy’ from series 12 of the collectable minifigures, albeit with a new face print. And one final point: Teal Brick Separator…
I am excited to hear that Australia and New Zealand will be included in the distribution of this ‘Region Exclusive Set’. We have had access to some of the ‘Year of the…’ sets in recent years, in extremely limited distribution – mainly as a gift with purchase in large retailers located near Chinatown districts. The distribution of these sets is yet to be confirmed, as is the pricing. I am left wondering if they will be a retailer exclusive, or be more generally available. I look forward to finding this out in due course.
Edit: the day after publishing I have received further confirmation about Australian availability: A limited distribution will see the sets available at David Jones and Myer, LEGO Certified Store, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Store and toy specialty stores – including a number of independent stores specialising in LEGO.
Recommended retail pricing: 80101: $AUD89.99 80102: $AUD79.99
Extra late edit (4th January 2019) These sets WILL NOT be available at shop.lego.com . When I received initial confirmation from LEGO Australia re: availability, they were unable to confirm online availability of these sets. Release was initially to be limited to China, but once requested they’re also made available to other countries in the Asia Pacific region. Unfortunately, production of the set was not increased. As such, the decision was made to have it available in specific retailers only. It is interesting to note that of all the countries in the Asia Pacific Market, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea are the only ones with access to shop.lego.com. Now to put on my protective gear and go out shopping.
What do you think of these sets? Are you excited to hear that they will be available in Australian and New Zealand? Leave your comments below, and