Ever since we got our first look at the Floral Bouquet, the Botanical Collection has become a go-to place for hunting down mind bending recolours, improbably geometries and parts usage that is down right unexpected (and , dare I say, somewhat neat). The latest addition,10329 Tiny Plants is no exception. Following in the footsteps of the last year’s Succulents, this collection brings us 9 plants in total, brought to us in the context of small pot plants. – Three groups of Three, each with uniting theme: Tropical plants, Carnivorous Plants and Arid Plants. So how does the building experience stack up? I was delighted when the LEGO Group provided a copy of the set for review before its release on December 1, 2023. Let’s take a look…
What’s in the Box?
The box contains 3 instruction books, and 6 bags of elements. The notation on the front of the box suggests that it might be good for the set to be assembled by up to three people as a group activity: one person per group of plants. This might actually be the ideal, for reasons we will discover shortly. I built this set as an enjoyable afternoon activity with the Knoller-in-Chief, building 3 bags each. At the end of the day, I believe we were both happy with the experience.
Of course, before putting the sets together, the Knoller-in-Chief laid out the elements: as you might see, there are clusters of dark orange elements, used to construct the terracotta like pots: there are lots of 2×2 curved slopes, as well as tiles, car bonnets, tubs and more in this colour. I shall not spend too much time at the moment pointing out all of the interesting element recolours, as the instruction manuals waste no time in pointing out the origins of the elements used. I’ll touch on some of the flights of genius as we cover the relevant models.
Lets take a look through each book:
The first couple of bags bring us tropical plants, but not before we are given a short overview of the set by designer Theo Bonner. It is a consistent feature in recent years to get a little input from the designer in the instruction manuals, and I value the insights that we receive:
The Tropical Plants include the False Shamrock; the Jade Plant and the Laceleaf. We see a recurring pattern in the builds ahead: one bag includes the two smaller builds, while the next bag contains the parts for the larger pot and its associated plant. In this case, the Jade Plant, and False Shamrock are the smaller builds, while the Lace Leaf gets a bag all of its own.
The False Shamrock typically has small triangular leaves resembling butterflies – and so in this case, the leaves are represented by small medium lilac butterfly elements. This is the smallest and simplest of the pots, with two main elements on display: the tub, along with a wheel.
The Jade plant has a slightly larger pot, demonstrating creative use of the 4x4x2/3 bonnet element, as well as some curved tiles to form the upper rim of the pot. The succulents from 2021 were a surprise collection of Forestman helmets, while this plant includes the peaked cap (previously seen in reddish brown with the CMF newsboy) in dark green,
The bright red shell element really captures the feel of the flower of the laceleaf, while the form is complemented by the pale yellow spikes and studs along with some red bull horns. The new leaf element originally seen in the August 2023 LEGO Super Mario sets makes its Botanical Collection debut here. This pot is significantly larger than the others, and includes a 1x4x2/3 arch along the junctions between several panels of curved slopes, while 4×4 curved tiles form the upper rim.
The Venus Flytrap somewhat ingeniously takes the Cake Icing element originally seen in LEGO Friends and adds some lime green/bright yellowish green fern leaves to create this small bug eater.
The sundew takes a pirate (or Governor’s) epaulettes for a literal spin and light purple recolour to stack 3 together to form the petals, while the leaves use dark red hairbrushes to convey the sticky fibres that trap unsuspecting insects.
The Pitcher Plant uses a bright spring green pith helmet – straight from the world of the Adventurers – attached to the new mop head element, whilst a red droid arm keeps the lip appropriately open.
I am a little concerned that these sets are working too hard to demonstrate their own cleverness, by actively stating the origins of recoloured elements. While I might have found this annoying, if you are new to LEGO and putting this set together, this information is probably more useful.
Britton’s Liveforever uses an interesting combination of lavender, pale lavender and bright royal blue elements to build this plant up. The pale lavender teeth will bring an less menacing look to any toothy creature you might bring to the game.
The Eastern Prickly Pear features the only printed elements in the set, and exploits the plates with curved ends to be able to readily change the shape of the plant, while the yellow crown represents the flower nicely.
The Pincushion Cactus is a substantial build, taking the flower stems in tan, as well as lime green dishes to form the shape of the plant. Small flowers, as well as tan ‘spike/branch/stem elements’ really convey the desert look for this plant.
I tucked the new pots closely around the 10309 Succulents: despite the different style of pot, they were easily tucked in together, increasing the overal ‘garden’ size.
Claiming the parts back
As we noted, there are multiple elements in this set that have been recoloured, and repurposed. This is one of the triumphs of the Botanical Collection: designers see the shapes that exist within existing LEGO Elements and, perhaps with the aid of a little bit of recolouring, give those parts a new lease on life. I thought I would reclaim some of those parts into the world of my minifigures…’
We saw the Forestman’s hat appear in 2022’s 10309 Succulents after an absence of 10 years or so. It was followed shortly afterwards by the reappearance of the Forestmen later that year in 40567 Forestmen’s Hideout. I imagined that they might see the dark green flat cap and substitute it for their own…
Alternatively, consider the Newsboy from Series 23 of the Collectable Minifigures…Having a distinguishing coloured hat might make him the leader of a newsboy legion…
Epaulettes had been prominent in characters in pirates, both with Captain Redbeard and the Imperial forces. I imagined they substituted what they had for the light purple provided here.
Of course, then I had to consider the hairbrushes, which might make for an alternate wepons for them both…
The Butterfly element has been repurposed from LEGO Friends, and I repurposed it back; along with the Pith Helmet – let’s put it back on it to Dr Kilroy. And build a birthday cake for Johhny Thunder using the Venus Fly Trap.
In an alternate timeline, the nemeses of the Time Cruisers, the time Twisters might take an alternate approach… Meet Professor Millennium and Tony Twister
Imagine a desperate attempt to disguise themselves, simply by wandering through, and taking some pickings from the Tiny Plants…
I think its apparent that I have had a bit of fun with the tiny plants. The set is designed to be built by several people, and doesn’t take too long from that point of view. The pots get a little repetitive if you are building on your own, but the plants themselves provide a good bit of variety, and occasionally some fiddly challenges to successfully complete.
Like last year’s Succulents, this set can be arranged however you choose within the space available. The Botanical Collection has always held appeal for people new to the LEGO Hobby, and I suspect this set will be no different. I give the set 4 out of 5 Arbitrary Praise Units: I am always excited to see the new functions are found for existing LEGO Elements: unexpected recolours of old elements certainly allow allow for some surprisingly good Neat Parts Usage, although I did find the way that the manuals constantly pointed these imaginative uses became a little tedious after a while. While this repurposing does inspire creative building amongst those who built it, I have mixed feelings about the way that elements are recoloured solely to make them fit into a set. That said, we look forward to recolours in Star wars and Super Hero sets all the time for precisely this reason.
I reckon this is a great set to build with friends or family, and would be great for anyone looking to decorate a space with colourful plants, who is lousy at remembering to care for them appropriately.
While the set will ship on December 1, 2023, it is already available to pre-order through LEGO.com at AUD99.99 /USD49.99/ £49.99/ €49.99. Unfortunately, on the exchange rate, we in Australia appear to lose out significantly, compared to the rest of the world.
If you are considering preordering, please use our affilliate link (it should take you to your local store, and will cost you no extra). Check out the Tiny Plants on LEGO.com
I’d love to know what you think of this set. Are you a fan of the Botanical Collection? Have LEGO Plants overrun you living space? Why don’ t you let us know in the comments below.
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