I was recently sent some examples of the new Xtra sets for 2020. These can be great little parts packs to enhance the quality of a small vignette, but perhaps can be expensive compared with other ways to increase your supply of the elements enclosed. I compared the new 40376 Botanical Accessories with 40310, from 2018.
The older set has retired in some markets from shop.lego.com (including Australia), but you might still find it in your LEGO Branded Stores. The new pack was released on 1st January 2020.
When we look at the bags side by side, you get a pretty good idea of what you are getting yourself into, with all elements illustrated on the front.
The original version had a large and a small tree, a shrub, some examples of the ‘new flowers and leaves’ as well as a white picket fence, and some spurs of 3 leaves. In addition to these parts, we also receive 2 frogs in yellow.
In the new version, we have two small conifer trees, as well as a small brick built tree in blossom. Again there are two fence elements (in reddish brown) and some of the relatively new ‘curly grass.’ We also have some of the new flowers in light royal blue and the new daisy design. We have two ‘bamboo elements’ used for the base of the flowers, although the 2018 leaf is included, in both bright green and orange. We also have 2 small 2×3 foliage elements in white.These can be substituted for the bright yellowish Green ones on the tree, for a more wintery feel. I like the addition of the buildable tree to this set – it feels as though there is a little more to it than the set from 2018.
Here are elements included in each set, initially as they are in the bag, and then after putting together the flower stems and the like.
Its all very well having these parts around the place, but what can we do with them. I think each pack works quite well as a way to create a lilt garden/pice of parkland:
Perhaps I would have been better off aiming for a wintery tree instead of using the white elements here… but I thought they both work quite well as a way to provide some scenery for a simple minidoll.
I think I prefer the versatility of the new set over the old: the 3-leaf plants feel quite different to the current generation of LEGO flowers. Personally, I am not a fan of the bamboo leaves under the flowers, but there are plenty of other elements to use with the flower stem.
At $USD3.99/€3.99/£2.99/AUD6.99 each, I would not recommend these as a way to buy these parts in bulk, with the possible exception of the trees. The floral elements, as well as the new leaves in green I have found in pick a brick walls at our local certified stores.
I was sent a copy of the 40376 Botanical Accessories by the LEGO group for review purposes, and had a copy of the earlier set floating around, looking for an opportunity to escape from its polybag. With the exceptions of a couple of polybags, that may not find their way into routine retail channels, the Xtra sets (and classic Blue/Green boxes) are some of the only sets available this year with a RRP less than £5/$USD5. I give both of these backs 3/5 Arbitrary praise units. As a way to quickly enhance a small scene, they are great BUT they are not necessarily the best way to bulk up your supplies of the smaller elements.
What do you think of these two sets? Do you prefer the old or the new? Leave your comments below and until next time,
While you are here,
You have probably heard about the current Bushfire emergency, currently engulfing the eastern states of Australia. Over 11 million hectares has been affected by the fires.
My friend Jay, over at Jay’s Brick Blog, is running a fundraiser, with proceeds going to the Red Cross, to help with relief efforts. You can read about it here: https://jaysbrickblog.com/2020/01/03/raising-funds-for-the-australian-bushfire-crisis/