LEGO Elves: 41176 The Secret Marketplace [Review]

As promised in our 2016 New York Toy Fair coverage, I’m happy to share our first dragon review from the LEGO Elves line! LEGO sent us a copy of 41176 The Secret Marketplace. You’ll be able to find this set beginning in March. It has 691 pieces, and we expect it to retail for $59.99.

41176 The Secret Marketplace

41176 The Secret MarketplaceThis set has a two-storied marketplace along with a blacksmith’s stand. It includes the green dragon, who carries a chest on his back.The parts are divided into five bags: one for the dragon, three for the main building, and one for the blacksmith’s stand. It includes the ever-important brick separator.

41176 The Secret Marketplace

This set includes a number of existing parts in great new colors, as to be expected. The dragon includes 1×1 vertical teeth in lime green, and there are plenty of curves in lime and light aqua to help give the dragon a more organic shape. Some parts are printed, including the tile inset for the new book piece, the book’s cover, the map, cookies, and the 1×1 round log tile. Sadly, this also means there are a number of parts that are stickered that could have easily been printed, including that fantastic shield and all of the round tiles used to indicate the the shop in the marketplace.

We’ve got five new parts in this set, not including the dragon’s head assembly and wings:

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41176 The Secret Marketplace41176 The Secret Marketplace

The book cover looked like it might just be compatible with a 1x1x2 shutter holder. I am sad to report it is not: the gaps for where the book connects to the book body do not match up with the taps from the 1x1x2. The dimples face the wrong direction, too.

41176 The Secret Marketplace

I like the dragon. I’m less pleased with its design than the water dragon from 41172 The Water Dragon Adventure, which we will be reviewing next. Where the water dragon has an articulated tail and a neck, the earth dragon is far more stocky. His head moves, but there’s no neck. His body is 4 studs wide at all points, and his tail has no articulation. The arms and legs are designed very similar to the water dragon. All in all, he’s somewhat less pose-able and playable because of those things. His stocky build reminds me more of a bulldog somehow. The chest on his back is nougat, instead of brown.

The buildings that make up the market place are quite interesting. The first floor of the main building is a book store, with a lovely ornate door/gate. I like the design of the puffy armchair for reading. The fancy gold book is hidden in the main bookshelf, with a nice mechanism to reveal it.

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The top floor appears to be a post office with packages. This is where the owl sits; no word if she’s part of the delivery service.

The blacksmith shop‘s mechanism is quite fun: turn the brown wheel and the hammer hits the sword. I was amused. I do like that the stairs, even though they’re the spiral staircase that’s been used a bit in Harry Potter and other themes, are secured at both the top and the bottom. In previous sets,41176 The Secret Marketplace I’ve been frustrated that they’re not secured and swing wildly about. I’m not overly sold on the lavender for the stairs, but to each their own. The top floor of this section seems to have produce in a nougat colored crate.

I recommend this set. It has a lot of great existing parts in new colors, and the dragon is fun if a bit too stocky for my preferences. You get a little fox, the owl, Farran, and Aira.


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41176 The Secret Marketplace

Keep an eye out for the newest additions to the LEGO Elves line in March!

2 comments on “LEGO Elves: 41176 The Secret Marketplace [Review]

  1. Aanchir

    According to, The Secret Market Place is actually going to be just $59.99.

    The new book looks great and is a lot more practical than the old Fabuland/Belville books that have been appearing in minifigure-based sets since the launch of the Harry Potter theme. The new tail/horn piece is also great, but the all around most useful new building element will probably be the inverted baby bow!

    Overall I quite like the diversity of the new dragons, even if it does mean that some are more articulated than others. Thorne the Earth Dragon is probably stockier than the others to help signal that he’s a boy dragon (also apparent due to his lack of eyelashes — thank you, tertiary gender signifiers!). It’s truly amazing what a great job LEGO can do with brick-built creatures these days. I doubt this signals the end of dragons made from more specialized parts, simply because the building level for these brick-built dragons might be too advanced for the five- and six-year-olds that LEGO Castle sets are generally aimed at. But it definitely shows that we’ve passed the point where brick-built dragons are limited to looking robotic like those of the Vikings theme.

    The owl, Owlyver, does in fact run the post office — in fact, the “secret” of the secret market place is that it’s entirely run by animals! I like the lavender being used for a lot of the stone in this year’s sets (including the steps), since it adds to the otherworldliness of the setting and also makes the grey and black colors of this summer’s Shadow Castle and prison tower sets look that much darker and more foreboding.

    Farran and Aira’s new outfits look great while still remaining true to each character’s trademark style. The new patterns on their shoulders (now in metallic colors) are interesting, and I guess confirm that those patterns are body paint rather than tattoos or birthmarks.

    Overall, I’m very excited to add this set to my collection once it comes out next month! :D

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