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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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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Countdown to the Year of the Pig: Brickheadz Dragon Dance Guy [review]

With the Lunar New Year just around the corner, I though I might take a look at the Dragon Dance Guy, the first Brickheadz character to be released for this particular seasonal event. The dragon dance is a frequently performed at Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, traditionally to celebrate a successful Harvest. The dragon is thought to bring prosperity and good luck. It is also believed that the dance will scare away evil spirits.

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Countdown to the Lunar New Year [Year of the Pig 40186 – Review]

We are now counting down to the start of the Year of the Pig. This year, we have seen a number of sets released to commemorate this event, as the LEGO Group seeks to increase its market share in Asia. We have previously mentioned 80101 New Year’s Eve Family Dinner and 80102 Dragon Dance – these APAC exclusive sets have been in high demand: literally flying off the shelves as soon as they arrive. We have also seen the release of the Brickheadz Dragon Dance Guy, and the Year of the Pig 40186.

This last set is one I would like to look at today. The fifth in the series – following on from previous sets Year of the Dog, Year of the Rooster, Year of the Monkey and Year of the Sheep – 40186 The Year of the Pig is available as a Gift With Purchase at selected locations now. In Australia, it is available through the LEGO Certified Store (GoldCoast), LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Store (Melbourne) and selected Myer Stores (including their online store). Before you get to take it home, however, you have to spend $88 in store. I found mine at Myer Doncater, during the closing days of their stocktake sale ( which meant that most LEGO® sets were selling for 20% off).

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