A few times a year, LEGO dips into the vast sea of fan-designed content on the Ideas platform to find a smaller set suitable for a free gift with purchase for customers, such as 40448 Vintage Car. The Summer 2021 example is 40487 Sailboat Adventure, designed by fan Yan Chevalier as part of a LEGO Ideas fan competition. The 330-piece set is available to LEGO VIPs starting today with minimum US $200 | CAN $200 | UK £200 purchases from LEGO stores and the LEGO website— check out all the new LEGO sets for August 2021 available today. Starting Aug. 4, it will be available to non-VIP members as well, and the promo is slated to run through Aug. 29. Let’s take this set for a sail and see if it’s seaworthy.
The box and contents
Like the previous gift-with-purchase Ideas sets, the box is branded as a regular Ideas set, except that it’s missing the Ideas series number (for example, 21327 Typewriter was #035). And of course, the set’s number positions it in the Gift with Purchase theme rather than the 21xxx numbers that typical Ideas sets have. With 330 pieces, the box is quite large for a freebie set, though, and is easily in line with $20-$30 sets.
Inside, the parts are divided into six bags across two numbered sections, along with the instructions, sticker sheet, and a couple of loose elements.
Although most Ideas sets have eschewed stickers, the set-specific elements here are stickered rather than printed. Thankfully, there are only two stickers, which show the boat’s name along the front of the hull: “Éloïse”, named for Yan’s daughter. There are some new printed elements here, too, though, with some printed 1×4 board tiles. It’s basically the same pattern as the new board tile from 21325 Blacksmith Shop, except without nails. Here they’re on dark orange tiles, and you’ll get eight of them.
The ship is built on a small base of medium azure plates. Once it’s all built you can remove it from the base, though it’s not really designed to do so.
The sailboat has a surprisingly complex interior, with lots of brackets to make the outward-facing studs that the outer curved panels attach to.
Finally, there’s just the large sail to attach, which is a simple construction of white bricks and slopes, along with some black Technic for the mast and spars. With the cabin top and the extra bit of water with dolphins the set is complete.
The completed model
The Éloïse is a lovely little sailboat, and definitely one of the best that LEGO has produced at this scale. The color scheme in particular is just beautiful, as the dark tan hull, dark orange deck, and gold highlights give it a classic, elegant look.
The small cabin can be removed to access the interior, which contains a single 2×4 tile that I presume is a bed, though it’s a little too small to actually fit a minifigure. That’s a compromise I’m OK with making at this scale, however.
There are a few small things I think could be improved upon, though. Besides the lack of the rudder, which I already mentioned, the anchor is attached amidships, which is not a great place for an anchor unless you want your boat swamped. Also, the tiny bit of mast sticking above the sails is just begging for a pennant. It’s so naked there that it actually feels like a mistake that one wasn’t included. Here, let’s fix that.
The dolphins are a great addition to the set, as well. The little segment of waves they’re on gives them some nice movement. The dolphins are medium blue and have appeared in a couple of sets before (notably the LEGO Batman Movie Series 2 Collectible Minifigures) but it’s fantastic to have two included here. A few crystals are used for the splashes of water. Neither color is new, but the trans-light-blue crystals have been somewhat scarce with only a few large sets containing one each in recent years.
And while this doesn’t influence my opinion of the finished set, it is worth noting that the design you’ll find in your LEGO box is remarkably similar to the concept that Yan submitted to LEGO Ideas last year.
LEGO Ideas submission “Sailing Ship Adventure” by yc_solo
The two sailors are each decked out in appropriately stripey shirts and kerchiefs. The female sailor’s torso has appeared in a handful of sets before, but the male’s torso is new. Both minifigures feature single-sided heads, and also come with lifejackets.
Conclusion & recommendation
Like the Vintage Car before it, this set shows that designs pulled from fans can have a novel approach, bringing lots of great detail to subjects that have traditionally been quite simple LEGO models. The Sailboat Adventure would be a great set at a $20 price point, and would probably still merit consideration at $30. The real question is if it’s worth dropping $200 to get it as a free bonus, but with lots of other great sets currently available, from the UCS Republic Gunship to the Ideas Typewriter, dropping $200 on LEGO is easier than ever—check out all the new LEGO sets for August 2021 available today. So the answer is that as far as free bonus sets go, this is definitely worth taking advantage of the promotion. It’s one of the better gift with purchase sets we’ve seen outside of Star Wars.
40487 Sailboat Adventure contains 330 pieces and two minifigures. It is available to LEGO VIPs starting today through Aug. 29 with minimum US $200 | CAN $200 | UK £200 purchases from LEGO stores and the LEGO website. Starting Aug. 4, it will be available to non-VIP members as well.
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.