A Rose By Any Other Name [review 40460, 40461]

When we got our first look at the Flower Bouquet, one of the first questions that people asked was ‘Why are the roses that colour? Surely they should be red.’ I should know, I was one of those people!

A few weeks ago, while we were taking part in a round table discussion (along with other Fan Media) with the designer of that set, Anderson Grubb, a few things came up in the discussion:

One of the overarching design goals was for it to surprise people with what subtlety, what simplicity, what elegance we can achieve with LEGO Bricks.  Those are adjectives I don’t think you would hear a lot of people necessarily use about a LEGO toy. Many other positive adjectives (were goals) like elegant, sophisticated – I hope we achieved that. One of the things that came first to mind was that we have this beautiful soft peach colour, and we’ve barely used it. We’ve certainly never used it like this….

Anderson Grubb, designer of the 10280 Flower Bouquet set.

And so, in part that challenge was to drive that set towards surprise, subtlety and sophistication. And while you cannot deny the subtlty of that colour, it is probably not what many people would expect from a rose.

As we approach February, and with that, the 14th – Valentines Day , we find our selves reminded that

Roses are red, Violets are blue

This poem can’t express my Feelings for you

Anon.

And so, at this point our attention turns to roses, and indeed rose buds, which are a traditional gift at this time of the year..

Anderson continued…

It was quite obvious from the outset that red roses for a lot of people are going to mean Valentine’s Day. In fact, if we put red roses into bouquet, it would become too specific for something that we want people to have out for a long, long time. Tulips are also associated with springtime. We talked a lot about that.  It seemed a better fit for them to take some of those flowers that evoke specific occasions.  For the bouquet we wanted something that would feel like you could have out for a very long time.

And so, red was deliberately left out for roses in the Bouquet, as were tulips.

But, Have no fear. They were indeed recognised as having value as standalone products, and as such, we can now find 10260 Roses and 10261 Tulips starting to grace the shelves of LEGO branded retail channels. these boxes have more traditional bright yellow along with a soft pink, or green box, rather than the staid black background seen with the 10280 Flower Bouquet

40460 Roses

With 120 elements, the parts used are very similar to tose employed in the flower bouquet, with a few notable exceptions: This set only uses the 4×4 curved plates as petals: there are no car hoods here. We also have some ‘cockpit covers’ in green, rather than reusing the pteradactyl wings (which is fair: rose buds tend to be picked a little earlier in their lives, and the leaves are not as big.) We also have some bright green claws which represent sepals. the construction of the stem is similat to that seen in the bouquet set, and the stems can be adjusted in length by adding or removing connectors.

The core of the rose is essentially identical to the previous model: multiple steering wheels, petals on clips, arranged around the central hub, incorporating some SNOT techniques using bricks and brackets.

This set comes elements to build two roses, and when we compare them with the Rose build from the floral bouquet, we see a few definite differences:

  • The petals, even the most inner, are all the same colour. – not lighter in the middle and working out to a richer colour
  • The outer two layers of the petals are the same element: the Floral Bouquet used a car hood as the outer petals
  • addition of sepals in this model
  • Change in the shape of the leaves.

The new roses are similar in size to those seen in the Flower Bouquet set, and as such suffer from the similar tendencey to being a little top heavy.

Thast said, these roses come in a set that retails for $AUD20, rather than $80, and of you wish to put together a dozen, it will be not too much more expensive that using real roses.

As a present for your Valentine, these roses would certainly make a delightful gift. Hopefully, they will return to stock in the local LEGO.com in a timely fashion, although I suspect your best bet might be to get them from a Certified store, LEGO Retail or LEGOLAND Park/Discovery centre.

40461 Tulips

Roses might not be able to arrive in time for Valentines day, BUT tulips can be a great flower anytime in spring, which is still a month away, and as such might not be in the forefront of the mind for people currently online shopping.

The 40461 Tulips sets comes with 111 pieces, and makes 3 tulips. Each flower is fairly simiple to build, and the bulk of the part count is in the bright yellowish green technic connectors, used for the stems.

The tulips are in three colours: lavender, cool (light) yellow and white.

The core of each flower is made up of the 1x2x1 2/3 SNOT Bricks, with 10 studs, first seen as the core of a Goomba in LEGO Super Mario. These bricks were also used as the core of the California Poppy in the the Floral Bouquet.

The plate with bow, 2x3x2/3 is used to make up the outer petals, and the recolours in cool yellow and medium lavendar are new in this set, as are the bright green Bionicle/CBBS 7 module claws, which were also seen in sand green in the Floral bouquet.

The bricks are essentially identical in each flower, although some recolouring ensures variation in the build. I like the use of the CBBS claw as a leaf: it makes for an effective, novel look. the one (fairly insignificant) criticism that I have would be that the stamen is visible past the tip of the flower, which doesn’t seem to happen with the tulips we get growing in our back yard at home. (and are, natuarally a few months out of season, so I can’t compare them here until October).

I really like the use of bright yellowish green and bright green here: it really makes it feel like a happy, spring flower. And after the northern winter of 2020, who wouldn’t be looking for something bright and cheery.

The tulips don’t seem to have the same stock issues as the roses, and are currently available from LEGO Branded stores for $AUD17.99

I give both of these sets 3.5 Arbitrary Praise units out of 5: I really like both of these small sets: simple, but effective constructions, some wonderful recolours in the tulip set, and relatively inexpensive. Perfect as a thoughtful gift. I would hope that they will be easy enough to obtain, but I am concerned about their lack of relative availability on Shop@home (particularly the roses).

What do you think of these flowers sets? Are they on your ‘to buy’ list, or are you just waiting for the right occasion? Why don’t you leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well!

These sets were provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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