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Review: LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Brickheadz

LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Set

LEGO’s January 2022 Brickheadz lineup is off to a strong start, with something for everyone – Pets, Star Wars, and of course a new Chinese New Year-themed Brickheadz with 40540 Lion Dance Guy!

Along with 80108 Lunar New Year Celebrations and 80109 Lunar New Year Ice Festival (which release tomorrow in the US!), Lion Dance Guy is part of the new wave of 2022 Chinese New Year sets, and an excellent companion to 2019’s Dragon Dance Guy.

Here’s a quick review of the Brickheadz #151, Lion Dance Guy!

Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review

40540 Lion Dance Guy Set Details

40540 alt1

Name: Lion Dance Guy
Set Number: 40540
Pieces: 239
Price: AU$15.99 | US$9.99 | £9.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com, LEGO Brand Retail Stores
Theme: Brickheadz / Seasonal
Release Date: 1 January 2022*

For Brickheadz and those interested in Lunar New Year traditions, this year’s Lion Dance Guy is a fun little addition to the growing LEGO Chinese New Year set collection.

LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Set

LEGO have given Lion Dance Guy the “Seasonal Brickheadz” treatment, meaning that like the 2020 Chinese New Year Pandas and Valentine’s Bee, they come with 2 quarter circle plates attached to the primary Brickheadz which come with some small builds to complement the seasonal celebrations.

The Lion Dance Guy comes with a set of drums, and a red lantern!

Based on the traditional Chinese dance that you’ll often see (or hear first as they’re super loud!) during the Lunar New Year, or large celebrations like weddings, or openings of businesses, Lion Dances are a staple in most cultures within the Chinese diaspora.

Check out a performance below!

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LEGO 80104 Lion Dance

Of course, this isn’t LEGO’s first set paying homage to Lion Dances as we had a minifigure-scale set in 2020 with the excellent 80104 Lion Dance!

LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Side
LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Eyes

The Lion Dance Guy’s Brickheadz borrows many design elements from 80104 Lion Dance, with the bowls and printed eyes, which very accurately mimic the eyes on the real costumes, but also nice part usage like bananas and Unikitty tails for eye and whisker detaling.

I also especially like how they captured the nose, and gave the Lion Dance Guy a crown with a red sphere in it as well.

LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Head

True to form, the Lion’s “mouth” can also open and close, via a flap-like movement which greatly adds to the realism and accuracy.

LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Side
LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Back

To re-create the wavy pattern on Lion Dance costumes, repeating quarter tiles are used across the back and sides, creating a mesmerising and quite aesthetically pleasing sense of texture on the Brickheadz.

LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Dragon Guy Comparison
LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy WIth Dragon Dance Guy

And here’s how the Lion Dance Guy and Dragon Dance Guy look together!

Sadly, just like the Dragon Dance Guy, the Lion Dance Guy lacks printed elements, which is a bit of a bummer – I think it would’ve looked way more realistic if we had some printed patterns on the red and yellow 1 x 4 tile on the front, featuring the Lion Dance outfit’s patterns.

LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Set

What I liked:

  • More non-Animal Chinese New Year Brickheadz
  • A great companion to 2019’s Dragon Dance Guy
  • Similar design cues to the minifigure Lion Dance

What I didn’t like: 

  • No printed elements
  • Some variation to the pattern on the sides and back would be nice.
FINAL THOUGHTS:

Like most of the other LEGO Chinese New Year sets, Lion Dance Guy has a very niche target audience, appealing to those that collect Brickheadz (especially the Seasonal variety), or have a personal connection or interest in Chinese New Year traditions like the Lion Dance.

My favourite thing about Lion Dance Guy is that it’s a great partner to the Dragon Dance Guy Brickheadz, which doesn’t look odd on its own, and I can see LEGO continuing to add to this Lunar New Year Brickheadz lineup, alternating between a human and animal each year.

The Lion Dance Guy’s headgear’s design is also fantastic, and it’s great to see some design continuity with the LEGO Minifigure Lion Dancers, with similar elements being used across both versions, giving it a sense of continuity, like they exist in the same universe.

That said, I would’ve liked Lion Dance Guy a whole lot more if they had included some printed elements, as well as some varied patterns on the sides and back, to make things look a lot more interesting. That said, the headgear design is super interesting, and one of the most complex Brickheadz heads yet!

If you already own the Dragon Dance Guy, or you’re looking to add more Lunar New Year-themed Brickheadz into your collection, I can heartily recommend the Lion Dance Guy!

Oh, and I also think it looks great next to the minifigure Lion Dance troupe when displayed together!

Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰

Build [4] – Building the Lion Dance Guy’s headgear was really fun and engaging
Real Value [3] – While some of the elements are nice, the lack of rare parts or printed elements hurt its value score.
Innovation [3] – Great techniques adapting minifigure Lion Dance into Brickheadz form
Coolness [3] – Great if you’re into Lion Dances, but looks mighty festive too
Keepability [3] – Not the most popular Brickheadz, but a must if you have and like Dragon Dance Guy.

LEGO 40540 Lion Dance Guy Lion Dance Troupe

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review of Lion Dance Guy Brickheadz!

40540 Lion Dance Guy is now available on LEGO.com or your local LEGO store!


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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review.

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