Let’s take a step back to 1996 – an innocent time when the world was full of boy bands, teen magazines, and MTV still played music videos. An unsuspecting world was informed in no uncertain terms what they really, really wanted: to zigazig-ah with the Spice Girls, courtesy of their first single, “Wannabe”. Since then, the Spice Girls have cemented themselves as a cultural phenomenon through music, movies, and, now, their very own LEGO BrickHeadz. Released as part of a trend of music-themed sets, like 21329 Fender Stratocaster Guitar and 31204 Elvis Presley Mosaic, the new Spice Girls Tribute BrickHeadz focus hit hard on mid-90s pop music nostalgia. But how does the set stack up against other BrickHeadz? Let’s dive in and take a look. 40548 Spice Girls Tribute will be available on March 1 from the LEGO Shop for US $49.99 | CAN $64.99 | UK £44.99.
Unboxing the parts and instructions
The box, containing five bags and five sets of instructions, features pictures of the Five Spice girls in their number order: Emma at 165, Mel B at 166, Melanie C at 167, Geri at 168, and Victoria at 169. Each is presented in the brick representation of their iconic outfits.
The back of the box switches up the order and puts each in front of a vibrant background that corresponds to the color of their individual instruction booklet.
Each Spice Girl BrickHead has her own bag and instruction book, so you could theoretically pop on a playlist with four friends and each build a separate Spice Girl simultaneously if you choose. Afterall, you gotta get with your friends.
The build order does not appear to correspond to the boxed number orders of 165 – 169 that I mentioned above. If you go by bag number, the build order becomes Emma (165), Geri (168), Mel B (166), Melanie C (167, and Victoria (169). While this has no impact whatsoever on the builds, I found it interesting that LEGO hasn’t settled on a uniform order.
This set features two printed 1×1 round tiles we’ve seen before: the requisite BrickHeadz eye print, and the white tile with the printed Red Spiral Pattern for Emma’s lollipop.
As far as new printed pieces are concerned, three of the five use new printed pieces:
- Mel B features ten 1×2 tan bricks with leopard print
- Geri features two 2×4 blue tiles, each printed with half the Union Jack
- Melanie C has two 1×2 bricks with a single white line
Interestingly, nowhere on the box nor instructions are the Spice Girls’ Spice names mentioned. Everything references them by their given names, which is an interesting decision given their early branding was super focused on their Spice names. I’m of an age where I think in terms of Sporty Spice or Ginger Spice, not Mel C. or Geri, so I found that took some getting used to.
At the end of the day, these are standard BrickHeadz with their standardized build process. There are a few items to note, however: four of the Spice Girls are fairly typical, built from the base up with bricks upon plates. Geri is built more SNOT-style to allow the use of the printed tiles on her front for the Union Jack dress.
Emma and Victoria are the least interesting to build, as each has a single-colored body and a simple hairstyle. You build the single-colored body, the same face, followed by hair. They each get a microphone and stand. You could probably recreate them out of other sets like 41597 Go Brick Me or your own collection.
Melanie C, while she doesn’t have a single-colored body, is just as bland to build as Emma and Victoria. She features two printed leg bricks to give her an athleisurewear look, with a tight ponytail hairstyle. She uses a headset for her microphone.
Geri and Mel B have the most interesting builds: Geri’s hair is striped, and her body is built completely differently from the other four.
Mel B has the most printed parts, and her hair is more complex to build, to achieve her iconic hairstyle. Both Mel B and Geri are holding a microphone.
Since this set is effectively five smaller sets into one, you do end up with a fair amount of extra pieces. It didn’t seem like much as I built each one, but the pile at the end added up.
The completed model
I would be remiss to acknowledge the huge pull of nostalgia for these models. The builds may have bored me, but man did I have fun diving into the music that popped into my head as soon as I opened the box. I can’t remember the last time I jammed out to Spice Up Your Life.
On their own, each BrickHead would be just…a build. All five together make something special, much like the Spice Girls themselves. The individual builds are true to the person they are representing, which can be sometimes difficult to capture in what ultimately is a very simple format. Simple isn’t easy, and while I may not have found the build process particularly engaging, I do thoroughly enjoy the built models.
Conclusions and recommendations
Frankly, there are simply more interesting BrickHeadz to build, and I was quite bored building these. There are just the microphone stands as accessories, and the overall build felt underwhelming. If you’re looking for a more interesting BrickHeadz build, check out some of the more recent ones we’ve reviewed like 40540 Lion Dance Guy or 40549 Demogorgon and Eleven.
Ultimately, this one is really up to your personal preferences. If you are a Spice Girls fan, then yes: you’ll enjoy this set. Throw on your favorite album, bop your head, dance in your seat, and build your favorite fab five. If you’re a BrickHeadz collector, this will clearly have a place in your collection – these bigger, themed collections are fun and have a nice shelf presence.
If you’re not solidly in either of these categories, this set may not be for you. The parts, beyond the handful of printed pieces, are common parts you likely already have plenty of. Meanwhile, the builds themselves are underwhelming, even when compared to other BrickHeadz.
Or, you know, take a chance: they certainly did, and I daresay it turned out pretty darn well for them.
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.