, pub-5618279750012654, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Review: 21342 The Insect Collection, part one

Posted by Huw, 18 Aug 2023 13:00

99290 P1078425


21342 The Insect Collection was revealed earlier in the week and the review embargo was unexpectedly brought forward from the end of the month to yesterday.

That’s good because we can now publish our article sooner rather than later, but also not so great because I haven’t finished building our review sample yet, thinking there was no hurry to do so!

So rather than rush to complete such an exquisite set, but not wanting to keep you waiting, I’m going publish the review in three parts, starting with the butterfly. That way you can savour each of the incredible builds over the coming days, and I can lavish my articles with plenty of photos.

Blue morpho butterfly

The blue morpho (Morpho menelaus) is native to Central and South America and is one of the largest butterflies in the world, with a wingspan of around 12cm. The LEGO version’s wingspan is 20cm or so, so is larger than life-size.

Unlike in the original Ideas proposal, the insects are accompanied by detailed and attractive habitats built upon octagonal bases on which to display them.

The butterfly has landed on something nondescript, which could be a bit of twig sticking out the ground. Whatever it is, it looks suitably organic and serves as the perfect place for the nymphalidae to rest and display its beautiful wings.

Surrounding the twig are two red and pink flowers among lush green foliage. The leaf piece 3565 LEAF 2X6X1, NO. 1 was introduced in this year’s summer releases, including Dreamzzz and Super Mario. This is the only set to include bright green ones so far.

The bee hovering over the larger flower is mounted on a curved transparent piece, 4042 3.2 SHAFT W/ CROSS AXLE, that’s just been introduced, for flying Super Heroes, judging by the sets it appears in.

The instructions reveal that the flowers are bromeliads, native to the subtropics, which fits in with the butterfly’s range.

Unlike in the original Ideas submission the bee included in the set is to scale with the butterfly. Its ingenious 7-piece build incorporates minifig fairy wings and a printed egg, and I think it looks excellent.

The butterfly in the Ideas proposal was brick built, but this one utilises layers of plates which has given it a much more organic appearance. The specimen’s distinctive white dot markings on the tips of its wings are created using printed 2×2 1/4 circle tiles.

Understandably, the backs of the wings are nowhere near as decorative as the fronts, but an attempt has been made to make them look something like they should, with the blue boat studs resembling the creature’s ‘false eyes’ markings that warn off predators.

Overall, both base and creature are exquisite. The base is elaborately detailed and the pink and red of the flowers contrast wonderfully with the butterfly’s wings. It was definitely a good decision to include the habitats in the set.

It makes a wonderful display model on its own, but I’m sure it’ll look even better next to the other two, so I had better get building…

Stay tuned for part two of my review tomorrow.

You May Also Like