New Spring Festival Sets for 2020 Announced: APAC Release: December 26 – Rest of the World: January 10!

After last year’salmost unanticipated success of the 80102 Dragon Dance, and the 80101 Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner, the LEGO Group have just announced the two sets to be released for next year’s celebrations, as we welcome in the Year of the Rat: 80104 Lion dance and the 80105 Chinese New Year Traditional Temple Fair.

These sets build on the foundation set by last year’s sets, and carry the story telling to the next level. For MOC builders, the sets offer an array of new decorated elements, as well as some neat parts usage demonstrated throughout both sets…

80104 Lion Dance

Featuring 5 lions, 8 minifigures, 2 stages, and a Temple Gate, the Lion dance set lets you reenact aspects of the lion dance: as well as percussionists and lion dancers, we have the Mayor of the village, painting the lion’s eye red, as well as a man in a rat costume.

I am intrigued by the way in which facial detail is achieved in the lions: with bananas and frogs providing brick built detail next to printed elements. There is also a red envelope, featuring a printed tile, wishing’good luck’. The Lions have lots in common, but there appear to be some subtle differences in their design, beyond the colour skinning. I also like the use of the printed quarter circle tile, 2×2 for the mouth of the lion, filled with teeth!

The minifigures provide us with a lot of interest too: from the striking costumes of the percussionists, the sartorial elegance of the mayor, and the variation in costumes for the 3 lion dancers, they again come with some fantastic examples of printing and design. But I cannot overlook the Rat Suit Guy. Yet to make an appearance in the world of the collectable minifigures, and appears to be a medium nougat here. The dancers all have the same torso print, albeit on red and white torsos, while the colouring of the legs varies between figures.

80105 Traditional Temple Fair

The Traditional Temple Fair is a hive of bustling activity around the Spring Festival. The Family which me met in the 80101 Chinese New Year Family Dinner has returned to visit the Temple Fair. This brings me joy, confirming the continuity that exists in story telly across the years in LEGO sets – This makes other theories I have been looking at seem more plausible…I can’t wait to see if the kids get ‘Teen Legs’ in a few years time!

There are some other, non family, figures too…

And with all these figures there is so much action –

We have the temple gate: the roof detail is what really caught my eye here… until I saw the jade inlay, which I presume are printed tiles

The food stall, with the barbecue skewers and candied haw has an enthusiastic vendor. however, you might need to be sure that he is cooking his food up to appropriate standards… or perhaps it is so good, our young man has just eaten way too much…

I love the design of the roof here: quite different in form to the other stalls that we see around the temple fair.

The toy shop features decorated fans, balloons, a toy airplane and lots of stuffed animals: Panda, Rabbit, duck and Rat! Out young man seem unable to work out what to use the contents of his red envelope to buy…

Grandpa is working at the shadow theatre, telling the story of Nian. He had a gold figuring, as wells a dragon head to represent the beast, Nian. This story is integral to the Spring festival, with the beast said to be repelled by load noises – including drums, fireworks – and the color red.

I love the roof of the stall, with 2×2 plates with axle hole used, upside down, to form the corrugated roof.

Grandma is working at the pottery stall, and along with vases, also has a number of dolls on sale. These nanofigures come in green, earth blue, black, dark red, orange (as well as pearl gold). Some of these colours we are seeing for the first time.

Overall, this set provides us with a delightful overview of the Spring festival, in a similar way to the Winter Village Market set, released several years ago now. With lots of minifigures, and exciting activity, this set looks like it would be an excellent display piece, as well as a set for role play. It also integrates very well with the Lion dance set.

Designer Video

We already have access to the Designer Video for this set: here, Markus Rollbühler takes us through the details of both models and explains many of the details enclosed within.

“We were incredibly thorough with our research when designing the sets. For the Chinese New Year Temple Fair, we looked closely at the types of things vendors sell in the market stalls and all of the various goods on offer.” It was also important that children could act out scenes to make the sets come alive: “Both sets include amazing minifigures and details to encourage role play. The Lion Dance set comes with many interesting play features. For example, you can fully pose the lions and you can also open and close their mouths to help recreate the spectacular dances we all know and love.” Markus explains. 

Again, I am blown away by the design of these two sets: the level of detail, color, parts usage and overall aesthetic is wonderful, and I think I will look to add them to my collection when they become available, shortly after Christmas.

After the concerns regarding the availability of 80101 Chinese New Year’s Eve Family Dinner and 80102 Dragon Dance, you will be glad to know that these sets will have an international release: initially in China, and the Asia Pacific Market on December 26, 2019; followed by release in the rest of the world from January 10, 2020.

What do you think of these sets? Last year’s sets represented excellent value, and while we don’t have specific details just yet, we know that one set (but not which one) will be available for $99.99AUD. We have had confirmation that the Lion Dance 80104 will cost AUD$99.99 and the Temple Fair 80105 $149.99. Part counts: 884 and 1664 respectively) The box art is not available at this time…something to look forward to discovering soon.

Until then…

Play Well.

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