The new 10276 Colosseum is the biggest LEGO set ever made, with an insane part count of 9,036 pieces. The record-breaking set is making its debut on Nov 27, better known as Black Friday, where it will retail for $549.99 | CAN $649.99 | UK £449.99, and for customers who purchase it over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, it will come with an exclusive gift-with-purchase (GWP), 6346109 Roman Chariot, which contains 127 pieces. Our early review copy of the Colosseum was delayed in the mail and so our review of that set is still in progress, but we do have the promotional set to take a look at.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Like some other small seasonal promotions, the Roman Chariot comes in very simple box design that can accommodate a variety of products. The image on the front is actually an open window to the cover of the instruction manual, which slips into a slot from the inside. There are two small parts bags plus the simple manual.
The build is very quick, starting with the chariot which sits on a 6-wide base. Chariots are simple affairs, and this build is likewise very straightforward with a small row of red bricks creating the chariot’s walls.
The horses are a bit more complex, being completely brick-built for a change. Some of you will remember that LEGO horses started off brick-built way back in the 70s before the introduction of the horse mold in 1984 (which was then updated to feature movable hind legs in 2012 with The Lord of the Rings theme). This is the first time LEGO has returned to a brick-built design for a castle theme since the horse mold was introduced 36 years ago–not counting the Minecraft horses and whatever the heck that was in The LEGO Movie 2. It’s safe to say that LEGO designers have learned a lot in the intervening years, and while I still think I would have preferred the molded horses (I just love them) there’s no denying these horses look great. The two horses are identical, and attach to the yoke side by side easily.
The completed horses are nearly the exact same size as the molded ones, though being brick-built they have a bit more coloring than their pre-made counterparts, with a black mane and tail and a red harness that goes around the tail.
Finally, just add the charioteer and the set is complete.
Like the rest of the set, the chariot driver contains no exclusive elements. The torso has been borrowed from several 2020 Ninjago sets, and the rest of the parts are standard fare.
While the minifigure is passable as a gladiator, it’s a shame this wasn’t an opportunity to re-introduce any of the Roman-era Collectible Minifigure elements, like the Centurion from Series 10 or the Gladiator from Series 5. And since we’re talking about it, this seems like the perfect opportunity to say that LEGO really, really needs to make an Ancient Rome theme in minifigure scale, or at least a large minifigure-scale set. They’ve been dancing around it for years, teasing us with a variety of Roman-era figures in the Minifigures theme:
- Gladiator (Series 5)
- Roman Soldier (Series 6)
- Roman Emporer (Series 9)
- Roman Centurion (Series 10)
- Gladiator (Series 17)
But, to return to the first-ever minifigure-scale Roman-era set that LEGO’s ever released. It does look good, though it seems a bit underwhelming compared one-to-one with the detail in a set like the Charles Dickens Tribute freebie set we reviewed last week. However, bear in mind that it’s not an either/or situation; if you’re purchasing the Colosseum over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, you should net both sets as bonuses.
It’s hard for me not love this set, as much for what it represents as for the build itself. The brick-built horses are clever and fun, but apart from that there’s nothing particularly remarkable about it, except that I am overjoyed to see LEGO exploring classical history. I would love nothing more than for the next Architecture set to be an aqueduct, or to have a Roman minifigure-scale theme (maybe even with Hannibal’s elephants). So as far as a set you’ll get for free, this one’s a winner in my book. Of course, you’ll have to drop the cash to get the microcsale Colosseum to qualify for it, and our jury is still out on the review of that set, though in my opinion it looks pretty great if you’re into Ancient Rome for your brick collection.
Of course, for those who don’t want to the Colosseum, since there are no exclusive elements, there’s nothing stopping you from just building the set out of your own collection or buying the parts online, as long as you don’t care about the “exclusive” instruction manual. And a digital copy of the instructions and parts list should be available from LEGO after the set is officially released, though it would also be a fun challenge to reverse engineer just from the photos.
6346109 Roman Chariot contains 127 pieces and 1 minifigure. It is available as a free promotional item with the purchase of 10276 Colosseum, which retails for $549.99 | CAN $649.99 | UK £449.99 during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend starting Nov. 27, 2020. Purchases of the Colosseum during this period should also qualify for the Charles Dickens Tribute set.