With the Lunar New Year just around the corner, I though I might take a look at the Dragon Dance Guy, the first Brickheadz character to be released for this particular seasonal event. The dragon dance is a frequently performed at Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, traditionally to celebrate a successful Harvest. The dragon is thought to bring prosperity and good luck. It is also believed that the dance will scare away evil spirits.
The Dragon Dance Guy, set 40354; Brickheadz #80 has 170 pieces, and is available around the world through LEGO Brand retail and Certified Stores. It has been quick to sell out at the LEGOLAND discovery centre in Melbourne, as well as shop.lego.com in Australia. It retails for $AUD15.99, the typical price for a single Brickheadz set here.
Opening the box reveals that the set was produced in factory ‘O’, as was the year of the pig model. This is thought to be in Billund. This is different to the Dragon Dance 80102 and Chinese New Year’s Eve Family Dinner 80101 sets, which are produced in one of the Chinese factories (‘G’).
The set came in three sealed poly bags, and a cursory glance at these bags reveals a lot of red and bright yellowish orange elements.
The set does not contain any exclusive elements, but there are some which are slightly harder to find than others. The gold elements are only in three or four other sets at present, while the black microphone tends to appear on its own in most sets.
The body of our guy starts off simply enough, with a red torso and gold detail.
We next start to work around the head, adding the side of the headdress, as well as a tail.
I do like the use of the plates with bows as scales running down the back of our dragon. We then move on to the details of the Dragon’s head. I love the use here of the 1×2 plate with rounded ends to represent the nose of our dragon, with 1×1 brackets to hold the golden tusks at right angles.
The construction of the eyes left me amazed: the combination of elements used just seems to fall together to form the perfect eye for the dragon, and the black whips work well as wisps of smoke – or are they whiskers?
Once we have finished our guy, we construct a base out of a black plate, with two quarter plates in dark red. Some lamp posts – Using gold trim around the transparent red globes looks very much like a Chinese lantern, with the colours symbolising prosperity for the new year.
The final effect is very effective, with the bright yellowish orange standing in for gold quite well.
As I mentioned, I found the use of colour simple, but effective, and the pearl gold elements really add a special touch to the final model.
The build is quick and simple, but does use a couple of interesting techniques, and neat parts usage, especially around the headdress. This is the first buildable character to be released, associated with the Lunar New Year, and I he doesn’t disappoint.
I always find it difficult scoring Brickheadz type models, as they are often simple builds. However the structured colour scheme, in combination with the nifty small elements, which might be well on the way to being a great seed pack for another lunar new year build. I give this set 4 Arbitrary Praise units out of five.
What do you think? It is available around the world, although out of stock in Australia currently, relatively inexpensive and (currently in US and UK) you can get the Year of the Pig as a gift with purchase as well. Why not leave your thoughts in the comments below, follow the Rambling Brick on Facebook and Instagram and until next time…
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[…] wait, there’s more. Just as last year we had the Brickheadz Dragon Dance Guy, this year we have another Asian cultural icon, 40436 Lucky Cat. Perhaps the relative paucity of […]