LEGO BrickHeadz Chinese New Year 40540 Lion Dance Guy – #151 is a tribute to tradition [Review]

Last year, LEGO released 80104 Chinese New Year Lion Dance, a colorful, playful display set. Many of you already know that the Lion Dance is a tradition performed by acrobats to bring good fortune. The legendary lions make their appearance on various occasions, but none more impressive than during Chinese New Year. This year LEGO continues their tribute to the holiday, starting with a new BrickHeadz. Number 151 in the line is aptly named LEGO BrickHeadz Chinese New Year 40540 Lion Dance Guy. The 239-piece set will be available January 1st and retail for US $9.99 | CAN $12.99 | UK £9.99. Join us as we take a closer look at this special little character.

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.

Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheet

The front and back of the box are a vibrant ombre of deep red to golden orange. The design is pretty par for the course in terms of Brickheadz. Many of these have a picture of the cartoon or person they are modeled after. In this instance, a classic symbol of the lion from the legends sits in the top corner. It’s also nice to see that he has accessories not always offered with these characters.

Inside there are four unnumbered polybags and the standard 6×6 black plate. The instructions were fairly crumpled, but this tends to happen often with sets like this one. A bit of smoothing out and they’re fine.

The build

As you can imagine, this is a simple build. It kicks off with the typical dense core and lots of outward facing studs. Also, as per Brickheadz tradition, the center includes what can only be described as the guts and brain.

As we climb higher, the best part of the build is, of course, at the top. The lion’s head is fun and festive, and it calls upon the previous Lion Dance set in its design. Like those characters, this model includes elements such as bananas for eyebrows and dome bottoms for eye sockets. They even both use the same unique printed ball joint for eyeballs. But there are a few areas, positive and negative, where this model differs. Unfortunately, we don’t get all the great printed elements that come in the other set. Viewed alone, the mouth looks fine, but if you set it side-by-side with the other lions, it certainly looks like its missing something. On the other hand, the crown and ears (yellow leaves) look great!

Another nice addition to this model comes from the use of minifigure posing elements. They help give the eyes and nose a more organic look. Though, it would’ve been neat to see the part show up in a different color. Here, a specific angle gives the right look, but there is a small degree of rotation to play with. This could be a helpful technique in other builds.

As we wrap up the character (literally), we add plates on three sides with an abundance of 1×1 red quarter-circle tiles. And by abundance I mean 50. That’s more than even the largest DOTs set!

Finally, we round it off with the base. The center includes the customary square Brickheadz platform. But this one has optional wings to add to it. On one side are drums and on the other is a lantern. Unfortunately the lantern is pretty plain in comparison to the lantern from last year’s Chinese New Year Brickheadz, 40466 Panda and Cubs.

The completed model

Once finished this is quite the costume! He’s a fun addition to the Brickheadz line, and a no-brainer for LEGO designers to include in the collection. Although, in some ways, it does look a little too cartoony – perhaps with the missing detail in the mouth. It also feels incomplete. There are two dancers to each lion, after all, so it seems as though we’re missing his partner. That said, considering the second acrobat is the back end, perhaps he wouldn’t look as pretty. Still, I may go so far as to say that including the partner would be better than the accessories, even though the drums are an important part of the dance.

**For those of you sniggering about the “butt end” and it being a lame job, remember that that guy spends a significant part of the dance carrying the front acrobat over his head while jumping around. He’s the one that makes the exciting parts happen.

Conclusions and recommendations

So, at the end of the day, is this a set you want to pick up? Well, you probably already know the answer to that simply based on the kind of collector you are. If you must have all the Brickheadz, yes, go grab it. Though maybe you don’t need to run, because the pandas are still in stock at LEGO Shop online. If you’re someone who’s thinking about gifting this to someone for the holiday, again, go for it. It’s inexpensive and cute. Finally, if you’re in it for the parts, the price per piece is excellent. Most of the elements are fairly common, but it could still be worth it in the long run.

While you’re here, stick around to check out some of our other BrickHeadz reviews and fan builds, as well as all things related to LEGO and Chinese New Year.

LEGO BrickHeadz Chinese New Year 40540 Lion Dance Guy will be available starting January 1st. It will retail for US $9.99 | CAN $12.99 | UK £9.99.

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.

3 comments on “LEGO BrickHeadz Chinese New Year 40540 Lion Dance Guy – #151 is a tribute to tradition [Review]

  1. Jonathan Tegnell

    Lego is really making a play for the Chinese market recently. I guess that’s to encourage China to crack down on knock offs?

  2. mwilton13

    Did the instruction book or back of box tease any additional seasonal BrickHeadz for next year? Curious to see what the Halloween release will be, if any.

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