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.
This 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.
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:
- 1×2 inverted baby bow in light aqua
- 8×8 half circle plate in green
- Book (body and cover) in pearl gold
- Itty Bitty Crown in pearl gold
- Dragon’s Tail/Horn piece in lime and brown
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.
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.
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, 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.
Keep an eye out for the newest additions to the LEGO Elves line in March!