I’m not doing very well at putting aside childish things.
This set appealed to me right away. The prequel trilogy is obviously inferior to the original trilogy (and both are vastly better than the execrable sequel trilogy), but I always loved Obi-Wan’s little Starfighter, and his trip to that planet with the long-necked aliens. I particularly liked that I’d get one of the long-necked aliens (Taun We) and a plucky astromech droid (R4-P17).
Over the last year, my childhood (and childlike) passion for all things LEGO reignited with all the intensity of a nearly-middle-aged man with disposal income and no children. It all started with the Medieval Blacksmith (#21325) set, which I purchased for myself as a self-indulgent birthday present (and probably as a way to distract myself from a recent breakup… maybe there’s a connection there somewhere).
That splurge resulted in quite a few more, both for myself, friends, girlfriends, and family. I’ll soon be starting on a very cool build that I will detail here soon.
I haven’t documented every build over the last year, but I’ve tried to give readers a glimpse into a world in which it is increasingly socially acceptable for a grown man to play with toys.
Regardless, in casting about for a good throwback post for this week’s edition of TBT, I settled on this detailed retrospective of my build of the Medieval Blacksmith set. It was an incredibly engrossing and fun build, and I still admire the detail and craftsmanship that went into the design of the set. Eventually, it will be the centerpiece of a hodge-podge LEGO world I’m currently constructing and planning.
Remember Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt’s oily Twi’lek consigliere with the tentacles coming out of his head? Thanks to the power of imagination and LEGOs, you can now roleplay his downfall!
Like any self-respecting man-child, I’d been lusting after set #75326, Boba Fett’s Throne Room, for some time. To me, it’s Jabba the Hutt’s iconic throne room, just without the lovably disgusting, sluggish crime lord.
Unfortunately, this bad boy MSRPs for a whopping $100. Fortunately, my brother found it at Costco in an example of mercantile serendipity—he didn’t even know I wanted it—for $60. Finding any new LEGO set for 40% off is like, well, finding forty bucks on the ground—it doesn’t really happen.
I finally got around to building this bad boy over the weekend, and it was a pretty fun build. It wasn’t as deeply satisfying as some other sets I’ve done, but it also didn’t become tedious. All in all, it was pretty fun to put together, and I love the variety of mini-figures—especially the porcine Gamorrean Guard and the aquatic Quarren.
Regular readers know of my boyish love for LEGO sets of any kind, and that I’ve been building more and more of them over the past year. Those same readers will know of my dog, Murphy, an eight-year old female bull terrier that I adopted last summer from The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission.
Apparently, there exists a bull terrier building set from Balody, an Asian (probably Chinese) company that makes a LEGO knock-off, with a twist: the pieces are extremely tiny. Indeed, they’re called “micro building blocks” on Amazon.
That’s where the inscrutable East gets that much more inscrutable: on Amazon, the company selling this set is called “Larcele.” I can only assume it’s a classy French rebranding to make the toy sound more European (LEGO is Danish). There’s also a site called mylozblocks.com that sells the sets.
I can’t find anything about Balody or Larcele online, other than the latter’s Amazon page. If any toy enthusiasts are reading this blog and can weight in, I’d appreciate it. Granted, I spent a grand total of maybe seven minutes searching the web, so who knows what I missed.
Regardless, a new lady friend gifted me this Balody/Larcelle bull terrier set for Easter, an incredibly thoughtful gift. It was also incredibly difficult to build, despite the box boasting a difficulty level of three out of five blocks (whatever that means).
This weekend I embarked on the ultimate in childlike self-indulgence and built the largest, most detailed LEGO set I’ve ever encountered: The Medieval Blacksmith (#21325) set. This bad boy is part of the LEGO Ideas series, which allows LEGO fans to submit ideas for sets. If the set gets 10,000 votes, LEGO reviews the build and, if they like it, they turn it into an official LEGO set.
These are premiere sets, and are often quite expensive. I managed to pick it up on sale at Target and had a gift card, so against my better judgment, I treated myself to Medieval Blacksmith for the princely sum of roughly $145.
Readers must understand: that kind of splurge is very out of character for me. But sometimes a deal is too good to pass up, and I’ve been drooling over this set ever since it was announced some months ago on LEGO’s website.
I’d say I got my money’s worth with this one. Around 2 PM Saturday I set to work on the behemoth, taking breaks of varying lengths for meals and to walk Murphy. I stopped building around 12:15 AM Sunday morning, just before the first bits of icy sleet began to fall from the winter storm (which I dubbed “Winter Storm Randy”). I resumed building Sunday morning around 10 AM and wrapped up before noon.
In total, I’d say I spent a solid eight hours of actual construction time (that includes probably half-an-hour looking for a single missing piece on my hands and knees, which at the time of writing I still have not found). Normally I’d never have the time for such an endeavor, especially in one stretch, but with a gloriously open weekend and the Korean series Squid Game, I set about building the blacksmith’s shop and home—all 2164 pieces of it.
Regular readers will have surmised that, in spite being thirty-seven-years old, I am very much a kid at heart. Often, I am also a kid in practice.
I was blessed to receive two incredible LEGO sets for Christmas: the Imperial Shuttle (#75302) and the Darth Vader Helmet (#75304). These sets are 660+ and 800+ pieces, respectively, and are probably the largest LEGO sets I’ve done. I did have the legendary Black Seas Barracuda (#10040) as a kid, which is nearly 900 pieces, but I never built it—my older brother did.
Both of these builds were deeply satisfying. I was sick with a low-grade fever and a sore throat (but tested negative for The Virus, no worries) the week after Christmas, and was generally enduring some low times besides the sickness, so I had plenty of time to dive into both of these kits—and was eager to do so.
Here, I’ll share some pictures of the builds, and discuss a bit of what it was like constructing them.