LEGO Botanical Collection 10309 Succulents – faux plants that don’t suck [Review]

Faux plants serve a purpose, but in general they just collect dust. Don’t get me wrong, they can look cool, but there’s not a lot to them. LEGO made a really good call when they decided to create a new collection of sets featuring popular plants. The latest two were just announced and they look wonderful! Come along as we review LEGO Botanical Collection 10309 Succulents. This 771-piece set is available for online preorder from LEGO Shop @ Home now for US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £49.99. It will be widely available in store and from other retailers May 1st.

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 and instructions

The thumb-punch box is pretty par-for-the-course. Apart from the 18+ packaging, the kit is vibrant and colorful. The font for the theme is really nice as well. Something to note is that this set is advertised as being intended to be built by up to 3 people.

Inside the box we have four polybags numbered 1-3. Each bag creates three individual succulents, hence the ability to break things up and build with friends.

Likewise, there are three sets of instructions. The design is actually quite clever, with a cool blueprint appearance. The succulents covered in each book are the ones that are filled-in images and not just the blueprint.

Inside the books there are a handful of awesome little blurbs, which give anecdotal tidbits of interesting info about both the plants and the elements used to make them.

The build

This set comes with a nice handful of new/rare color variants. These are in the form of sand green large teeth and Hero Factory blades (the latter of which has only been in the 10280 Flower Bouquet), black 3-axle hub (only available in the new 42141 McLaren Formula 1 Race Car), and bright light orange 2×2 round plates. An entirely new element for this set comes in the form of a pentagonal sloped piece in bright light orange.

That piece is used for the petals in our first plant. There’s not much to this little guy, but it’s cute and gives a nice contrasting pop of color.

Next up is the aloe. This one uses the large spikey elements previously mentioned to create the iconic pointed leaves. It looks nice from some angles, with those leaves perfectly positioned. But it feels like it could use one more layer of the larger ones.

Next up is a lone hen without chicks. Which is fair, considering how packed this set is. (If you’re unfamiliar, this kind of plant tends to quickly create lots of babies.) It starts as something akin to a radio beacon or shrink ray, but turns into something that is really satisfying to look at.

The first three come together with a lot of green, nicely broken up by the yellow. They make up a diverse, albeit possibly the simplest, combination.

The next group of succulents provides us with another handful of useful new color variations. This includes lavender shoulder armor, olive green 2×4 slopes, a coral 3×3 radar dish, a sand green mini-dome, and both quarter-circle tiles and 2×2 boat studs in sand blue. Not new but certainly notable are green Robin Hood hats.

These hats are used as leaves on the smallest of all the succulents. While simple, they are possibly the best parts usage of of the entire set. This plant also has a secret compartment below for storing extra connector axles.

Providing a nice bit of light color is a lavender succulent. It utilizes several of those new elements previously mentioned. The shoulder armor makes for great petals, especially when attached with bar holders with handles. This allows for them to twist into a lovely spiral. Inside, the center is composed of the sand blue elements attached via yellowish green inkwells. Again, the ability to pivot helps create the spiral.

Tallest of all the succulents is the moon cactus. Those olive slopes come into play here, along with a perfect use of 6 spikey, tan Minion hair.

Just like the real thing, we are quite literally grafting on the top with a handful of coral elements. In this instance, the non-organic nature of LEGO elements seems to work well for this alien-like plant.

This second set of three makes up the most colorfully diverse group. As previously alluded, it involves some nice techniques and lots of new parts.

Our final set of three succulents comes with four notable elements. Most noticeable are 35 yellowish-green eggs, which are new in this color. Also included,in a new color are dark red 1×1 pyramids mentioned in the blurb referenced above. A solid handful of green minifigure posing elements round out the bunch, only appearing one other set (Minecraft). Not new but certainly interesting are 6 blaster pistols.

A tiny and adorable ball cactus kicks off this set of three plants. There’s not a lot too it, but once again the shape of the LEGO elements lend themselves well to cacti.

Burro’s tail is one of the most interesting and recognizable types of succulents, and is executed perfectly here. The fact that the posing elements pivot allows for great organic shaping.

Finally, we wrap up the model with arguably the most commanding of the lot. (At least in footprint.) The “ruby red” Echeveria uses another great technique, employing those blaster pistols to create a great petal angle. It’s not quite as tight as the real plant usually is, but it’s forgiven in that it looks awesome.

The last group of three plants is probably my personal favorite. The diversity, color, and true-to-life nature provide a lot of wins in my book.

The completed model

All told, the 9 plants make up an impressive representation of the most popular succulent varieties. The container for each plant has axle holes on all sides so that they can be arranged in a multitude of ways. That said, the best arrangement is the one provided in the instructions because they tend to encroach upon each other’s space. Either that, or you could arrange them in a line on a shelf. Still, I made my best attempt to reorganize this layout, which you can see in the first picture of this review.

Conclusions and recommendations

While I don’t have all of the succulents covered in this set, I do have some pots of cousins for comparison. The LEGO set is a tad brighter, but it fits right in with the rest of the gang!

It’s nice that this set is broken up into three groups. However, the idea of having more than one person build it is questionable. Yes, it’s absolutely possible and could be fun. But I don’t see this particular set as being one that three people would build together because it comes together so quickly, and would probably be most fun to do alone. (That said, I’m really fond of this new pattern of sets being designed to build together!) Regardless, at the end of the day this is a lovely model that is both relaxing and enjoyable to build. Succulents are also the easiest plants to care for, and these are even easier! They’re way cooler than traditional faux plants. What more can you ask for?

Not into succulents but interested in seeing what else is available? Check out our other reviews of the LEGO Botanical Collection.

LEGO Botanical Collection 10309 Succulents is available for online preorder from LEGO shop at home now for US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £49.99. It will be widely available in store and from other retailers May 1st.

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.