See in the Year of the Rat at the Temple Fair [Review 80105]

I recently looked at the 80104 Lion Dance, one of the sets released to celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year of the Rat. I said it was one of the most beautiful sets I had seen in recent years. Today, I get rid of the qualifier, as I look at the 80105 Chinese New Year Temple Fair – this is quite simply the most beautiful set I have ever put together. It is a set characterised by multiple small vignettes, a larger temple build, a novel tree design, and over a dozen mini figures. There are lots of printed elements, and precisely NO stickers.

The set has no elements specific to the Year of the Rat and, as such, could come each year, unchanged.

It is a set on the larger size of things, with a part count of around 1663. On opening the box, it looked as if I had some work ahead of me…

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Welcome to the Year of the Rat [80104 review]

When we got our first peek art the 2020/ Year of the Rat LEGO Sets, my first impression was that they were some of the most beautiful LEGO sets I have ever seen. The design aesthetic is quite different to that seen typically with LEGO City, Castle or even Creator Expert sets. What I must say is that I appreciate the work done by the AFOL Engagement team at LEGO, who made representation to the Global Marketing team last year – and as such, these sets are now available around the world – not merely limited to the Asia-Pacific region. When they became available locally, I headed out to pick them up, and I must say, I am delighted.

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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…

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Countdown to the Year of the Pig: Dragon Dance 80102 [Review]

As we approach the eve of the Year of the Pig, I would like to look at another of the sets released for the Chinese ‘Spring Festival’

The 80102 Dragon Dance has been enthusiastically awaited after the initial images arrived last November, and the set has been hotly sought after, in part due to its relative scarcity outside of Asia. In Melbourne, both this set and 80101 Chinese New Year Family Dinner have literally flown off the shelves, with long queues, household limits and disappointed customers being frequent occurrences at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre store.

I can see the appeal of this set on many levels: as a seasonal set, it is one of the first sets released, outside of the ‘Year of the…..’ series, for this significant day in the Asian Cultural Calendar, touching on subject matter rarely covered previously, featuring bright colours, and a movement function, coupled with limited global distribution to the Asia Pacific Region – this set has very little to be negative about.

This set has 622 parts, and costs $AUD79.99 new. The retail channels for this set have been limited in Australia. Certainly, demand for this set has been high in the rest of the world, and it will be interesting to see what approach might be taken with this type of set in the future.

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‘Region Exclusive’ Chinese New Year sets will be available in Australia/New Zealand [News 80101, 80102] –

In which I investigate exactly what the implications of being part of the ‘Asia Pacific’ region means for Australian and New Zealand LEGO Fans, in the face of  ‘Region Exclusive Sets,’ and find myself pleasantly surprised…

Earlier in the month, we were excited to hear that there will be a couple of new sets released specifically in the Chinese and Asian Markets to commemorate the Chinese New Year. Two sets have been officially announced to date 80101 Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner and 80102 Dragon Dance. 

The new sets celebrate iconic new year traditions. Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner shows a Chinese family reuniting to celebrate the lunar new year in a traditional home. Often performed during Chinese New Year, Dragon Dance is a symbol of the Chinese culture and is believed to bring good luck to people. The Dragon Dance set features a team of dragon dancers, with a minifigure dressed as a cute pig celebrating the coming Chinese New Year of the Pig.
Christiansen said: “These sets are special. They are the first sets we’ve created to celebrate Lunar New Year and the first time we’ve made sets for a specific country or region. We hope they bring a lot of joy to children and the young at heart during new year.”

While images have been around for a few days, language associated with the set had evolved from ‘the Chinese Market’ to ‘China and Asia’ and subsequently ‘Asia-Pacific.’ Does this mean that these sets will be part available in all countries in the Asia-Pacific region?  I sought clarification about the potential availability of these sets in Australia. (images used here are sourced from VJ Gamer Thanks to Brickfinder for the nudge)

I reached out to LEGO® Australia, and they have confirmed that these two sets will be available in Australia and New Zealand from January 1st, 2019.  There will be a limited distribution, with details to be confirmed closer to the time of release. The prices are also as yet to be announced. These details are at the end of this article.

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