This year, we have seen the launch of the LEGO® Botanical Collection – a range of sets aimed at adults, who may or may not have previously considered building a LEGO set as a way to spend their money or time. The Floral Bouquet and the Bonsai Tree have been perpetually out of stock on LEGO.com since early January, although these early issues seem to be improving, with stock starting to appear on the shelves of Bricks and Mortar stores.
I really enjoyed putting the previous sets together: the techniques, and unique parts usage made both sets exciting to build, and provided a building experience quite unlike any other that I had previously gone through. I was delighted to be able to have the opportunity to look at the next set to be released in this series.
We have a Bird Of Paradise currently flowering in our back yard in suburban Melbourne – hardly a tropical environment – and I was excited to see how this LEGO version would stack up next to it.
The set itself again features that distinguish the distinctive black a cardboard box of sets aimed at an adult market with a picture of the finished model on the front. On the reverse we see an indication of the actual model size, as well as several details of the finished model.
On opening the box, there were 7 bags, labelled 1 to 5. The instruction manual is a little smaller that A4, and is around 80 pages this. The book opens with a little information about the plant – Strelitzia Reginae, and the designer – Chris McVeigh. Once again, I’m grateful for Mrs Rambling Brick for laying out all of the elements for inspection.
It was a balmy Autumn day – yes I know, not words that normally go together, so I thought I should maker the most of the weather, and sat outside to build, a gentle breeze gradually dropping autumn (fall) leaves on my build table.
The first bag features a many brackets, 15 in each of black and bright yellowish green. There are 16 green swivel hinges as well as a number of plates and bricks. Of interest is the ‘haybale’ brick: I’d seen pictures, but this was the first time that I had help one in my hands. 2 plates thick, and with an axel hole in the middle, it also features horizontal grooves.
Building begins by constructing a number of modules, which fit together to form an octagonal base. The hinges really make the design, ensuring the wedge plates all sit on the correct angle.
Next, we start to build up our base, layer by layer, alternating bricks and plates and brackets. We add a core based around a round brick, insert technic pins, and add 2×1 bricks with an axle hole in the middle. The LEGO Ring element is used as a spacer here. There are 8 of these elements used in the set overall.
I built the base higher and higher, rotating it as I went. With an alternating frame pattern, it became very easy to lose myself in the moment, building with a rhythm. The structure felt a little flimsy, until I added a second layer of hinges. and wedge plates: then it was obviously rock solid. Finally, once the build was 8 studs high (6 2/3 bricks high) we finish it off with a layer of tiles, and a central brick. our
This brings us to the end of Bag 1: with a sturdy central, 8 spoked core for our pot, we look at the parts included in Bag 2.
Bag 2 was actually 2 bags, which ultimately filled up two trays! There were lots of sizable elements in these bags: bricks and plates, as well as the 2×8 and 2×3 curved slopes. there are also a number of long technic bricks, some reddish brown slopes and lots of 2×2 inverse curved slopes: 48!
We continue our build, making a solid layer to top off our core. We then brick build a sideways octagon, 2 modules thick, and secure its sides thanks to some of the SNOT elements in play.
This brick build panel will ultimately serve as florists foam, providing a way for our flowers to be ultimately attached into the pot.
Next we work on the panels that make up the side of the pot. There are 2 main designs: with and without underlying inverse curved bricks. The inlay detail is provided with some medium nougat elements: a 1×4 plate, and two 1×1 tiles with a half circle. The result is quite effective. The alternating panels feature inverse cuves, allowing them to fit in nicely.
This bag sees us put together the leaves and their stems. the Dark green/Earth green technic panels are appearing in this colour for the first time,
You will have noticed that in the picture of the completed pot, I have placed some connector pins, which will ultimately attach to the stems of our leaves. These are constructed with serial connectors in dark green, a new colour there are 8 elements in each size and sidedness
After building up our stems with connector after connector, with some appropriate bends along the way, we build up the first batch of leaves.
It is easy to fall into a relaxing rythm as you put the leaves together, and this rythm allows you to put the leaves together without the process becoming boring. I actually found myself getting lost in the process, almost doing it unconsciously as I breathed in the fragrant garden air. Before I knew it, the leaves were assembled, and ready to place on the stems.
We add some of the diamond click hinge elements to the bottom of the pot to provide some foliage, attach the leaves, take it all inside, and take a picture or two.
Bags 4 and 5
It is time to get to the (literally) pointy end of the build.
As well as more leaf and stem elements, we have a burst of colour: orange, bright yellowish orange, bright red, white and dark violet. There are some distinctive new elements here – particularly the bar connector and the minifigure sabre in dark violet. There are sufficient elements to build 3 flowers, and this includes some sand green stems of various lengths, using multiple connectors. You dont need to feel compelled to follow the length of the stems described in the book, but it will probably help you out in the first instance.
Next, we build up the flowers: I love the effect of the sabre, and the multiple layers of the orange elements provide a burst of colour. I cannot wait to compare them with the flowers blooming in the back yard.
We add the stems and flowers to the pot and we are almost done. There is just one thing remaining. The inside of the pot is looking a little bare and unfinished.
This brings us to the end of bag 4: Bag 5 is pretty simple, borrowing a trick from the Bonsai tree: We mix 200 medium nougat and 100 reddish brown studs together in a jug, and then poor them out, providing us with some soil in the pot.
I really love the final result here.
The details in the flowers are delightful, and the use of the recoloured sabre is inspired.
The pot is solid, sturdy and stylish. The colour name is also fine for customisation with DOTS. I found the soil and foliage feel quite realistic, and the leaves look very similar to the ones from the natural plant.
I compared the final product with the plant in my back yard.
I love the colour match here with the real flower, it just hits the spot.
At the end of the day, I enjoyed the build: the pot may be bulky and heavy, but us provides a stylish and sturdy base to the flowers, allowing them to be left in a drafty area, without fear of falling over. The colour match is excellent, as I already mentioned, and I think the new dark/earth green elements will have significant application in Technic MOCs.
Another thing happened at the end of the day. After a sun filled weekend, the wind blew up, and the heavens opened. I am grateful for the opportunity that building this set in the garden provided me with. A relaxing time, sweet memories, and a model I would be happy to put on display almost anywhere.
However, at $169.99 AUD, it is expensive, although there are enough of the sizable elements for me to understand why this is the case. However, it is almost the exact cost as the bonsai and floral bouquet together!
I found the entire build process relaxing in its cyclic repetitiveness: build, rotate, build, rotate and repeat.
After my last couple of weeks, it was just what I needed.
I give this set 4.5 out of 5 Arbitrary Praise units. If you like indoor plants, but have a brown fist, rather than a green thumb, I would certainly recomend it. It is likely to be another popular set, although some might find the price of putting. As such, it might be available for more than a couple of days! I love it, and my wife has already commandeered it for the living room.
10289 Bird of Paradise will go on sale in Most of the World on Jun the 1st, but not until August 1st in the Americas. It will be priced at 99.99 EUR/169.AUD / 109.99 EUR (France) /89.99 GBP / 99.99 USD / 139.99 CAD
I’d love to know how you feel about this set. Why not leave your comments below, and share this article with your friends. Follow the Rambling Brick for more great content, and until next time,
This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own.