Today, at the Chinese International Import Expo, the LEGO group unveiled some of the most anticipated sets for the new year.
Announced at the expo, and streamed on WeChat, we saw new sets in Duplo, Monkie Kid, and also commemorating the Year of the Rabbit. I apologize for the quality of images, caputered from the live stream of the press conference.
For the last couple of years, the larger of the Spring festival sets has been one of the highlights of the building year for me. Last year’s 80105 New Year Temple Fair is one of my favorite sets to build ever, between the details of the maket stalls, the characters , the different produce, and the temple itself.
This year, we are looking at the 80107 Spring Lantern Festival: traditionally on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, it marks the final day of celebrations for the Lunar New Year period. This year (2021) it will fall on February 26th. The lunar new year starts with a new moon – a moonless sky. On the night of the lantern festival, we expect to see a full moon.
I cannot recall any LEGO set that focusses on external landscape in any detail with the possible exception of the LEGO Ideas Treehouse, and in that situation, the landscape, apart from the tree and treehouse itself, was fairly limited. In this set, designer Justin Ramsden presents us with a masterclass in landscape design.
This is a larger set than 80106, with 1793 parts. It will cost $AUD169.99/USD119.99/GBP89.99/CAD159.99. It is due for release in the Asia Pacific region on January 1, and throughout the rest of the world on January 10.
Over the last couple of years, the LEGO® sets released in association with the Spring Festival/ Lunar New Year have been some of the most delightful sets that I have experienced in recent years. With their bright colours, families celebrating and insights into Asian Cultures, they have been a highlight of the new year releases in 2018-19.This year, we have two new sets: 80106: The Story of Nian, and 80107: The Lantern Festival. I was delighted to be given the chance to look at both of these sets ahead of time. The Story of Nian will be released in Mainland China and the Asia-Pacific Markets on January 1 and rest of the world from January 10th, 2021. It will retail for $AUD109.99/USD79.99/GBP59.99/CAD109.99, and has 1067 elements.
Over the last few years, we have seen the LEGO Group make an increased push into the Chinese market – opening over 200 Certified Stores; introducing sets commemorating the Spring Festival/Chinese NewYear and drawing on traditional stories to fuel the Monkie Kid Theme.
This week, the Chinese International Import Expo has provided an opportunity for companies looking to sell into the Chinese market to showcase their ware for the coming year. In the previous years, we have seen sets relating to the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year announced. This year, we see two new festival sets, and more!
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…
No sooner is Christmas in the immediate past ( as I write this, it was yesterday), but the LEGO Group have a new range of seasonal sets to release. Back in October, it was announced that following the unprecedented success of the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival sets last year, that there would be a follow up this year as well, focussing on the Temple Spring Market and Lion dance. These are now available in the Asia Pacific markets, with global release following in January.
But wait, there’s more. Just as last year we had the Brickheadz Dragon Dance Guy, this year we have another Asian cultural icon, 40436 Lucky Cat. Perhaps the relative paucity of BrickHeadz sets in 2019 was a correction, after filling the market with licensed characters. Perhaps the seasonal Brickheadz, with the occasional licensed character will be the new norm. This set is due for release on January 1st, and I was fortunate enough to have been sent a preview copy by the AFOL Engagement team of the LEGO Group.
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…