Early 2021 saw the latest expansion to LEGO’s DOTS theme with new Series 3 sets. These kits are designed to appeal to kids who are interested in arts and crafts, but they’ve found a lot of love with adult builders, too. DOTS 41921 Extra DOTS – Series 3 packs are available now for US $3.99 | CAN $4.99 | UK £3.99. Each bag contains a mix of 107 elements including new 3D tiles, a mix of quarter-circle and round 1×1 plate, and 10 printed tiles from a pool of 16 new designs. It’s that last bit that needs a bit of exploration. Just what are those new designs? And how tough is it to put together a full set of them? We went out and bought a few packs to find the answers. Come along with us as we find out!
The box and contents
Unlike the Collectible Minifigure blind-bags, Extra DOTS bags have a clear window in the front of their packaging that lets you take a look at what’s inside. The product image on the LEGO site shows a pack just bursting with parts, completely filling that window. Unfortunately, this is a bit misleading.
When standing upright or hanging on a store peg, the package is a little less jam-packed. Things are better than they seem though. Compared to the official inventory, there’s a bonus copy of each of the unprinted tiles. That brings the part count up from 107 to 113. Considering this is a parts pack. That’s a nice little perk.
Each bag contains a standardized assortment of parts in addition to the 10 printed tiles. None of the basic tiles are particularly rare, but the new textured tiles are only available here and in the 71934 Starlight Bracelet set. The quantities are strangely uneven, with the aqua color having a lower part count than the other quarter-circle tiles. (The counts here include the “bonus” parts mentioned above.)
- 20 quarter circle tiles in aqua
- 22 quarter circle tiles in dark azure
- 22 quarter circle tiles in medium lilac
- 21 round tiles in transparent medium reddish violet
- 9 textured round star tiles
- 9 textured square diamond tiles
What’s interesting to me is that for an “Extra DOTS” pack, there are really only two parts that can be described as 1×1 round tile. While the quarter-circle tiles are certainly useful design elements, I would have preferred to see round tiles in their place. Those are much easier to work into LEGO mosaics…
Modified 3-D Tiles
Two of the new tiles feature construction that take a flat tile and enhances it with a transparent element on top. There are two designs in series 3 – a translucent diamond on a 1×1 dark blue tile square, and a transparent pink five-pointed star on a lilac round tile. The exposed transparent plastic on the underside of the tile means these could be lit from the bottom, allowing the transparent parts to glow. It has the potential to be a pretty cool effect in a larger construction.
The collectible draw of these packs is the 16 new designs printed on 1×1 square tiles. Each pack contains 10 of them, usually with a heavy level of duplication. This is the contents of one pack, for example. Out of the 16 possible designs, the pack had just 7 with 3 duplicates.
Building a complete set
Here’s the full checklist of images for Extra DOTS Series 3:
- Lavender dog
- Pink reindeer
- Magenta cat
- Light blue wolf
- Purple B.F.F. heart
- “…” speech bubble
- Keep Out!
- Sun Tarot Tile (XIX)
- Moon Tarot Tile (XVIII)
- Stars in cloud
- Crystal ball
- Closed padlock
- Open padlock
- Question Mark
So how many licks does it take to get to the center of this particular tootsie pop? Well, that depends on a couple of factors. If you have access to a store that is selling these and can check them out in person, you could probably find two or three packs that have at least one of each of the 16 designs. If, like me, you’re doing all your LEGO shopping on-line, you’re at the whims of random distribution and it can take a lot more than that. In my case, I picked up three from LEGO’s on-line store, and three more from a different vendor. Across those six packs, I managed only one complete set, although I was only one tile away from a second. I’m a sucker for DOTS, so I was happy that I could build my set without resorting to Bricklink or other secondary markets.
Six packs is too small a sample set to really get an idea about rarity, but here’s everything those six packs contained. The full set is on the left, with the extras off to the right. You can see that some tiles, like the key, were very common for me, while many others were a lot harder to obtain. The “cloud with stars” was my 1-in-6 packs rarity, but I really think it was just luck of the draw. Someone out there is likely very annoyed at how easily I found the keys.
The tiles in Series 3 are my least favorite of the collection. Looking across all the Extra DOTS tiles from series 1 through 3, you can see that series 3 features a much more subdued color palette. I preferred the emoji-style icons of the first series, and the bold and bright colors of series 2. On the positive side, the animal faces are very cute. And the inclusion of the Sun and Moon with Tarot arcana numbering hints that maybe we’ll see more in that theme if we get a Series 4.
Conclusion and recommendation
I’m a fan of the DOTS theme, and I was excited to get my hands on these packs. Sadly, these are the least useful of the Extra DOTS packs so far for me. The lack of 1×1 round tiles is a pretty big demerit in my eyes, and the printed tiles aren’t nearly as much fun as previous waves. The quarter-circle tiles are also all in colors that are readily available, further making this pack less of a draw. On the positive side, the new 3D tiles are pretty sweet, and have could have some interesting applications for custom builders. (I’m looking forward to trying to incorporate them into a back-lit design.)
Are they worth getting? It really depends on if quarter-circle tiles in these colors fit well with LEGO projects you have in mind, or if you find the printed designs to your liking. If either of those are true, then go for it! Otherwise, I’d pass on these and check out some of the other sets in the DOTS Series 3 assortment. There are some fun projects there that are worth checking out.
Check out our full gallery of images.