Valentine’s Day seems like a long way off, but love can happen at any time. LEGO is ready to help you share your emotions with a cute seasonal set, 40462 Valentine’s Brown Bear. This 245 piece set is available now in the UK and is coming soon to North America for US $14.99 | CAN $19.99 | UK £13.49. It seems pretty straightforward, but this set contains more surprises than you’d think. Read on, but beware: Spoilers ahead!
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.
The box and contents
The front of the box shows the bear sitting on the display stand, clearly in love as indicated by the floating hearts off to the left. There’s also a heart in the bear’s hand, but it’s…a little odd. It’s constructed of three pieces – a 1×1 brick with studs on the sides, and two 1×1 domed tiles. You’d think that the two tiles would both be oriented in the same direction to make a heart shape, but one of them is rotated 90 degrees to create a “not quite a heart”.
The back of the box shows the bear sitting by itself, and highlights that the arms can move. They’re built on frictionless turntables, though. So while they can move up and down, they can’t be posed in any useful way; they’ll always fall down. There’s also a inset shot of another upcoming seasonal set – 40463 Easter Bunny.
I was convinced the heart design was a goof, but looking at the top of the box, the “actual size” inset shows the heart with the same rotated tile.
Inside the thumb-punch box are three unnumbered part bags and a 52 page instruction booklet. None of the pieces in this set are unique or particularly rare, but there are plenty of useful parts in a wide range of colors.
I really didn’t expect any surprises from this set – it’s a bear sitting on a stand. How much more could there be? I was therefore gleefully shocked to find this little message from the designer to the person building the set. Hidden inside the base is a secret message – “I Love You”. This hidden detail even makes use of a 3×3 heart plate in red; an element that isn’t used elsewhere in this set. After building the message, the very next step is to seal it away under a layer of lime green plate, never to be seen again.
The completed stand has a blanket of 2×2 tiles in white and dark azure, three “floating” hearts propped up by transparent-clear rods and 1×1 round plates, and a smattering of small flowers.
The center of the bear makes good use of studs-not-on-top (SNOT) building to create a solid core with plenty of connection options. The red clips at the base are used to attach the legs. While the exterior of the bear is mostly shades of brown, the interior bricks are bright and colorful, making construction easy.
The body of the bear is mostly mirrored building. The paws use 1×1 tile in tan for the pads on the feet, and 1×1 round plate on the hands. The hand-held heart connects up well and…hold on. Why does it have both domed tiles facing the same way? Didn’t the box show it built differently?
Well, sure. But now I’m following the printed instructions!
With this plot twist it seems there was a bit of confusion between LEGO’s design and art departments. I’m really baffled how this snuck through production, but sometimes goofy things just happen. I do wonder if the box art will get a correction at some point, though.
Moving on, the bear’s head uses construction very similar to the style used in BrickHeadz. A square core gets panels attached on each side, with curved brick adding a bit of roundness to the shape. The ears clip on, but don’t have much range of motion.
The completed bear looks great, and could probably have been marketed as a $10 set on its own. The mix of brown shades works well to add just a touch of visual interest. The arms and legs sit at non-standard angles making the bear feel more organic and cuddly. My only question is the choice to use a black 1×2 jumper plate for the butt. Seems like that could have been the same reddish brown as the rest of the body.
The Finished Model
The final bit of assembly is sitting the bear on the display stand. It attaches easily to the turntable, allowing it to sit at an angle and fit in well with the base’s details. It looks good from just about every angle, with the only iffy bit being seeing the transparent rods that elevate the hearts.
For those of you interested in an alternate build using all the parts in the kit, I present to you a bonus “B Model”. (As suggested by the set’s packaging.) It’s not too tricky, but just let us know if you need some help with assembly. We’re here to help.
Conclusion and recommendation
This is a cute little set. It’s very reasonably priced at $15 US for 245 pieces. While there aren’t any unusual or rare elements here, there’s still a great mix at 6 cents per part. The build is genuinely surprising, with a lot of hidden charm. It feels like this would make a good little Valentine’s gift for yourself or someone you care about, and will probably last a lot longer than flowers. (Unless you’re willing to go the LEGO route there, too.)
40462 Valentine’s Brown Bear is available now in the UK, and will be available soon in North America from the LEGO Shop Online for US $14.99 | CAN $19.99 | UK £13.49. It is also available via third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
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