It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since LEGO added the Botanical Collection to their lineup but here we are. After the initial success of the 10280 Flower Bouquet and 10281 Bonsai Tree, as well as the 10289 Birds of Paradise that came later in the year, it was clear that LEGO would keep watering this prospering garden. Joining the ranks of the “botanical boosters” 40460 Roses and 40461 Tulips, LEGO has announced the upcoming 40524 Sunflowers (US $12.99 | CAN $16.99 | UK £11.99) to be release on January 1st, 2022.
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 the previous flower booster sets, this one is 8+. Perhaps LEGO, classically seen as being “for kids,” wanted to provide the younger fans with something a bit less complicated than the 18+ sets of the Botanical Collection? Whatever their logic may be, this set doesn’t come without a challenge. Right off the bat, it’s obvious there are way more repeated elements here than the previous flower sets. The box art features a simple pastel blue background with two perky sunflowers, heavy with individual petals. So many petals. More on that later.
The back of the box shows the sunflowers lying down with an inset of their dimensions of 24 cm or 3.4″. It also shows off the Tulips and Roses as insets on the right.
Thankfully this isn’t a tongue-punch box. Ruining the artwork that the LEGO artists work so hard on isn’t my preference, and thankfully this one has simple tab closures. Cut the tape, and inside you’ll find three unnumbered bags and a 24-page instruction booklet (that is most likely folded in half).
It seems like we get a new plant plate in bright light orange with this set. This is a nice match to the large leaf elements for the fall variant of the Treehouse from 2019. Though it’s the only new part, there are plenty of good grabs here. The 2×2 steering wheel in dark green only shows up in the Roses and Flower Bouquet. It’s a good price point to get those pieces at, considering it only shows up in black in four much larger vehicle sets. Aside from that, it’s more about quantity here. You’ll never find yourself up a particular creek without a paddle considering this set gives you 48 of them in yellow. There are also 48 bright orange claws that partner with the paddles to make the plethora of petals. Oh, the petals. Enjoy playing Mother Nature for twenty minutes with the longest second step of a build ever.
Placing all of the petals along the rim of the steering wheel only requires a little bit of counting to make it symmetrical. Gardeners and florists might notice that these specific petals make up the ray florets of the inflorescence, or flower head, of the sunflower. The fixed connection points on either side of the steering wheel assemblies provide a good guide angle to align all of the other petals slightly upward. The asymmetrical structure of the paddle piece also gives you a chance to orient each petal the way you desire. I love this little touch of variance that makes each flower unique in its own way.
After attaching the paddle florets, the rest of the sunflower head starts to take shape. An octagonal bar plate sits atop a circular 2×2 brick and 2×2 plate. This allows the attachment of the bright light orange plant plates to form an inner layer of ray florets. Another circular plate gives space for the hinges below a round brown 4×4 plate meant to be the disc florets that will eventually turn into sunflower seeds.
After each flower head is finished, the build moves on to the stem and leaves. The set gives two different angles of attachment via Technic axles and dark green Technic axle connectors. To give each stem its own character, the designers gave them a different amount of leaves, represented with green hexagonal windscreens. The leaves are attached with Technic pin connectors with horizontal clips. The helicopter-like motion that these clip connectors give the leaves makes them a bit difficult to position, though. The weight of the flower head causes the whole build to flop around in a container. Of course, sunflowers generally have this issue.
I really love how well they captured the feel and image of sunflowers. The different petal structures, as well as the excellent parts usage produce a delightful final product. They may take a little fiddling with to position correctly, but once they’re positioned well, they do look rather lovely as a display. Plus, adding this to the Bouquet or even displaying it with the Roses and Tulips would make them a bit easier to pose. They really would look striking with the other flowers in the Botanical Collection. Their size was a bit confusing to me, as they certainly are miniaturized from their real-life counterparts. However, given LEGO’s realistic tendency to miniaturize things, this isn’t that odd. I mean, full-sized builds might be alluring for some but the average fan isn’t going to want to deal with the accompanying price tag for certain sets. The round 4×4 plate may be a basic rendition of the disc florets but, honestly, having to build thousands of little seeds, not to mention as many petals, would probably take a few hours. No, thank you. I’ll happily stick with these for now.
In conclusion, this is definitely a great set for a good price. Even if it’s just potential fodder for a parts challenge involving yellow paddles, they’ll make a good addition to your collection. Personally, I plan on using them to create a little fairy garden for my mom. Compared to minifigures, these flowers are fantastically large and I love the idea of a little hut nestled between the two. If you decide to pick it up, feel free to display it as is or create a scene of your own. We’d love to see what you make!
40524 Sunflower (US $12.99 | CAN $16.99 | UK £11.99) will be available on January 1st from the LEGO Shop Online and in stores. It may also be available through 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.
Sunflower heads vary immensely. Most of the sunflowers that grow near me are almost exactly this size of head (about 1cm smaller than these). Though that said, if you wanted to buy 4 or five sets and use some old 30cm lego pneumatic tubes to make rings, you could probably make a singular massive bloom.