LEGO Art 31206: The Rolling Stones – You can’t always get what you want, but this might be what you need [Review]

LEGO is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of The Rolling Stones with a 3D rendition of their classic “Lips and Tongue” logo. LEGO Art 31206 The Rolling Stones is a 1998 piece set that will release in the UK on June 1st, followed by North America on August 1st, and will retail for US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £129.99. It’s a big departure from the other Rock and Roll Icons we’ve seen in the Art theme…and there are surprises in store for the curious builder. Come along as we take an early look at this unusual entry into the world of wall art!

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

In an annoying turn of events, US Customs decided to closely investigate our review copy of this set. They popped all the tab seals, and things were obviously moved about. As such, please be aware your unboxing experience might be slightly different. 

This set comes in a large box with Adult-collector style packaging. That means a mostly black background, prominent logos, and a mandated 18+ age range. Admittedly, the average Stones fan is probably well above the 18+ mark, but there’s nothing here that a younger builder couldn’t manage.

The back of the (normally) tab-sealed box shows the set mounted on a brick wall (which makes me think of Pink Floyd more than the Stones) with an inset shot showing the set’s dimensions (22 in./57 cm high and 18.5 in./47 cm wide) and a prompt to download the set’s custom-built soundtrack. (Sadly not yet available when I was writing this review.)

The side of the packaging has the logo on the right side, adding a bit of shelf-appeal. Strange they didn’t include a LEGO logo on that panel, though.

Inside the box are a second printed box and a number of loose part bags. No idea if this is “official” layout or not, but it does match what we saw in other large Art sets like the 31206 World Map.

I suspect things were moved around as there’s a pretty big gap between the tops of the bags and the edge of the box. It was nervous going for a while while I waited to see if all the parts had arrived safely. (Spoiler alert: They were all there.)

The secondary interior box is also tab sealed, and probably contained more part bags, the loose Technic bricks, and the instruction book.

In total, there are 24 numbered bags spanning 12 buildings steps. There are also three unnumbered bags, 5 loose 16×16 Technic bricks, a bag containing the instructions, and a tiny folded flier.  There are no stickers included with this set.

The front of the manual features the iconic logo, although heavily cropped to better fill the rectangular space.

Inside, the first few pages explain how this set is different from previous LEGO Art offerings. Fiorella Groves (LEGO Art creative lead and design manager) and Annemette Nielsen (LEGO Art model designer) both have a small blurb talking about how they’ve broken with expectations for this set. This is followed by a few pages on the history of the “Lips and Tongue” logo, and a history of The Rolling Stones in general.

Although our review set had the standard clear plastic bags, the included flier suggests that later copies of this set will start to see the more eco-friendly packaging LEGO has been promising to roll out. I scanned the page in so you can read up for yourself.

The parts

The majority of parts in this set are common, but there are some rare bits and new recolors. The 3×3 bow tile in white is a new color, with the version red having only one other appearance so far in 80035 Monkie Kid’s Galactic Explorer . The ingot element is also new in red – and there are 60 of them to be found here. Finally, a unique 2×4 printed “signature” tile rounds out the cast.

The build

The backplane of the logo uses a combination of Technic bracket elements and the 16×16 square brick used in the other Art sets. Things are locked together firmly with Technic pins and plate.

Additional locking happens when the red and white details are applied to the top. The designers have made great use of the nested macaroni tile, rounded plate and angled plate to block in the various curves.  Soon enough, the first quarter of the build is done, and things are already looking recognizable.

“Side B” is doesn’t quite mirror the first section, but it’s still very similar. The same Technic framing goes on around a single integrated 16×16 block.

The surface details for the right half go on the same as the other side. The mix of plate and tile adds some texture to the build. It’s clearly the Stone’s logo, but it’s also clearly a LEGO project.

Joining the two halves together is a satisfying step. A few more plates and tiles are added to lock the sections together from the front.

There are two mounting brackets built into the top half, one on each side. These wall mounts have proven their strength and functionality with the larger mosaic style Art mega builds, but you’ll still want to take care to make sure you’re putting the nails in the wall the correct distance apart. It’s a shame LEGO hasn’t come up with a small brick-built tool to help with that, but you can make your own out of spare plate. Or, you know, use a level or something.

The lower half of the lips is built as a single block. Not having it split in half probably adds a bit of structural strength to the completed base.

Flipping things back over, the red edge of the tongue goes on next. Several Technic pins are added to lock things together. Considering the layers of interlocking plate that will be applied on top, the low number of pins isn’t a concern.

Attaching the halves together completes the underpinnings of the art. After applying a little more red tile, the connections are sturdy and there’s no excess play between the sections.

And then…suddenly….MOSAIC TIME

At this stage of the build we suddenly return to the more established LEGO Art styling. Bags of 1×1 round plate in a spectrum of flame hues await. They’re applied to the black center of the tongue area in strips of color.

With all of them in place we get a tribute to the 60th anniversary of The Stones. Some people might want to stop building right here, as this is pretty much a complete image. I’m not super thrilled with the hard lines in the gradient – it feels a little clunky to me. The inner edge of the tongue area also feels needlessly sharp compared to the curves we see elsewhere.

Strangely, this B-Model version isn’t highlighted on the box art at all – it came as a surprise to me as I was building my review copy.  The only hint I had was these two shots in the start of the instructions – something I had admittedly skipped over as I was anxious to get building. The current product description at does highlight it; maybe someone yelled at marketing after the set’s box design was completed.

And then…suddenly….NO MORE MOSAIC

I think most fans will probably keep building to have the more iconic version of the logo. The 60-year mosaic is quickly covered by large red plates.

The edges of the tongue area are smoothed out with various curved slope elements. The White highlights are well integrated, making use of those nesting curved tile elements to create gapless coverage.

The final bit of glitz is applying the 2×4 printed tile.  It’s another reminder that this is a LEGO Art set – those 2×4 “signature” tiles have been part of the mix since the first Iron Man mosaic set.

The completed (this time for real) logo is a picture-perfect recreation of the classic Stones logo. The curved base and uneven weight distribution means you have to wall mount it for display, though. I wasn’t able to balance it on its own.

Conclusion and recommendation

The LEGO Art theme takes a bold step into “non-mosaic” areas with this interesting take on The Rolling Stones logo. While the overall build is very monotonous and eyestrain inducing, the “hidden” 60-years Easter egg provided an interesting break. But do I like it? Will LEGO fans in general like it? Will hard-core Rolling Stones fans like it? I’m going to go with a qualified “maybe”.

Is it interesting wall art? Yes. Does it do a good job of recreating the logo? Very much a Yes. But there are some important downsides to consider. The weight distribution and curved lower edge means that you will be required to wall mount this to display it – you can’t just prop it against a wall and expect it to stay upright. And it’s pretty big – that could be a plus or a minus depending on the wall space you have to play with. As a more casual Stones fan, I probably wouldn’t use up my LEGO budget for the $150 US price point. Non-fans might consider it as a parts pack at 7.5 cents per for a good selection of useful (and some rare) parts in high quantities.  But if you’ve read this far, there’s a decent chance you’re a Stones fan, and just want to make sure you know what you’re getting into with this set. If that’s you, yeah, you’ll probably be happy with the end results. And now, on to the mandatory final encore song reference:

You can’t always get what you want, but this set might be what you need.

LEGO Art 31206 – The Rolling Stones will be available June 1st in the UK and August 1st in North America from the LEGO Shop Online for US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £129.99. It may also be available via 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.

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