In Part I of our review of LEGO Icons 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle, we explored the building at the center of this massive, 4514-piece love letter to the Castle theme. Here in Part II we’ll meet each of the twenty-two minifigures that accompany it. This set will be available to VIPs on August 3rd (and everyone on August 8th) for US $399.99 | CAN $499.99 | UK £344.99, but you can continue your early look now!
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.
The Lion Knights Castle comes with a very impressive count of 22 minifigures. What’s even cooler is that twenty-one of them are exclusive to this set! Now, to be upfront about that…while there are 22 distinct characters here, there is a LOT of repetition in part selection, particularly with the Lion Knights. But an army should have a uniform, and that’s what LEGO has given us. For three factions. Plus a bunch of villagers! And a dead dude.
The Village People
The first thematic grouping of characters are the village people. No, not those Village People, just townsfolk and people who work and live in and around the castle.
First up is Majisto The Wizard. Wizards have been a common character in Castle sets since 1993, and it’s good that the man in the classic blue robes makes a return here. He comes with a backpack, a black Harry Potter-style wand, and a staff topped with a transparent bright green crystal. He has a removable beard accessory and a pointy blue wizard hat.
Sadly, once you take off that beard you’re left with a very plain figure. It’s strange LEGO opted not to have any printing on the torso, considering the detail present on the other figures. His lower robes are from an existing mold, but appear for the first time here in plain blue. Friends of Kris Kringle may recognize the face print – it had one other appearance in 2021’s 10293 Santa’s Visit.
The Farmer is a rugged chap with a new torso print, new blue version of the Forest Guardian hat, and plain dark brown legs. He has a pitchfork and backpack-basket as accessories.
His face has graced 11 sets, so no exclusivity there. It’s kind of sad that he’ll probably be in demand on the aftermarket mostly for his hat.
The baker is my favorite character from this set. He has an all-new face print that just cries out “G’day guvnor!” or maybe “Can I sell you a leather mug?”. The instructions don’t explicitly give him the bottle, but it seemed a good match to me.
His torso and legs are fairly new, but have both made previous appearances. His dark-brown hairpiece was seen twice before: On Petunia Dursley of Harry Potter fame in 75968: 4 Privet Drive, and on a Burglar-foiling decoy in 21330 Home Alone.
The Noblewoman is also loaded with new parts. Her hairpiece is an unprinted white version of the one seen on the Mummy Queen Collectible Minifigure.
Her dual-sided face is a new print, and her dress (the same mold as the Blue Wizard’s robes) is new in dark green.
The kids are a fun addition that shows the Lion Knights Castle isn’t entirely about armor-clad warriors clomping around. At least one of these two lives in the castle, although there’s a good chance that the one in green has only snuck in to visit. You see, that’s a Forest Guardian outfit…a decidedly unwelcome group in the Lion’s den.
The first youth has the same torso as the Collectible Minifigure Troubadour. The rest of his parts are fairly common.
The other child’s face has had 30 previous appearances, including several Advent Calendars. It’s just such an adorable print, it’s no wonder it sees heavy usage. We’ll talk about that torso print in just a second.
The Poor unfortunate soul who perished in the dungeons is the only non-unique figure in this set. Because death comes for us all.
The Forest Guardians
The Forest Guardian faction has two adult representatives. Their green hunter’s hats are a slightly updated mold, which first appeared in the Botanical Collection 10309 Succulents set. The second appearance was in the 90 Years of Play Gift with Purchase set 40657 Forest Hideout, pretty much a companion piece to the Lion Knights’ Castle. The shared torso had its first appearance in the Forest Hideout set, too.
This lute-playing gentleman isn’t fooling anyone. That quiver full of arrows doesn’t exactly scream “harmless wandering minstrel.” It does, however, say “Have you ever seen someone use a lute as a substitute bow? Well, hold on to your hat.”
He has a brand new face. His selection of headgear precludes him having a dual-sided print, but I think his single expression is still very fun. And kind of Timothy Dalton-esque.
Joining the (totally legit) minstrel is another archer. And here’s where we see that counting most of the figures as “unique” is a bit of a stretch. Other than her face, this figure is identical to the last one. And, sadly, her face is pretty common, too.
Yes, I took a photo of this figure from behind for completeness’ sake. And no, I’m no longer 100% sure that the rear views of the Forest Guardians didn’t get swapped in post.
The Black Falcons
The Black Falcons, the traditional foes of the Lion Knights, have been making a comeback recently. They appeared in three recent sets: Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith, the 3-in-1 31120 Medieval Castle, and 910001 Castle in the Forest. This means their uniforms are a tiny bit more common, but this visiting diplomatic group still has a lot to offer.
The knight figure is the most battle-ready of the trio, with an ebony blade, helmet with black plume, and printed shield.
Removing the helmet reveals that this a very cheerful Black Knight. I think I’ll call him “Sir Hi-Diddly-Ho Neighborino”.
The Standard Bearer has both a sword and a lance with blue and yellow pennants. Her face has appeared 7 times, mostly in CITY sets.
Rounding out the trio is an individual whom I have to call “Patsy” after the character in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. An extremely heavy backpack requires the use of a walking stick to balance the figure in an upright position. And he really doesn’t look too happy about it.
Patsy has a new face, making him the “true” exclusive of the Black Falcons. His brick-built backpack has both a water pail and a flag pole.
A quick detour before we get to the Lion Knights. In addition to the twenty-two human figures, there’s also a fun assortment of animal friends in this set. There are two steeds, a cow, two bats, three frogs (brown, green, and gold), a pigeon, and a baby lamb.
The horses are the ones most likely to draw attention. They have great articulation and balance well in a variety of action poses. A really nice upgrade from the old horses of the Classic Castle era.
There are also two exclusive printed barding pieces. The graphics here are sharp and colorful, and make a great enhancement for both the at-home and away teams. The underlying barding elements for poseable horses are not new to this set, but they’ve only been in two sets before, way back in 2013.
The Lion Knights
The Lion Knights, unsurprisingly, have the heaviest representation at the Lion Knights’ Castle. We’ll start off with one of the more elaborate figures, a knight with sword, printed shield, and blue-plumed helm.
The dual-sided torso is new, as is the leg printing. Get used to that part combo, as every other knight will have the same pieces.
Next is a sleepy guard. (A nighty night knight?) This is another common face, with over 30 previous appearances.
The shocked expression on this character served me well in Part I of this review, and he remains a personal favorite out of the Lion Knight squad. His frightened face has had 17 prior appearances, most notably in multiple Roller Coaster sets.
We return to more battle-ready characters with an archer. I love how the winking expression here now suggests she’s taking aim.
Tom Selleck makes an unexpected cameo as a spear carrier.
This distinguished fellow’s head has only one other appearance: 60351 Rocket Launch Center.
Back in the heavily-armored world, this knight’s shield is a different print than the earlier knight’s. (The yellow and blue colors are inverted.)
Next is another archer. Her face is a little more uncommon, with only 7 previous occurrences.
The final Lion Knight is this trumpeter. He uses the vomiting face from the roller coaster sets to invoke really playing that horn. This knight has a lot of personality, and I suspect he’ll spend a lot of time jamming with the Forest Guardian minstrel.
Customize your army
One figure left to go, but before we get to her, a quick word about customization. Yes, the Lion Knights suffer a bit from uniformity (ah, so that’s where that word comes from) – but the designers did try and ensure that there are plenty of ways to make the knights individuals. Swapping around helmets, shields, and weapons can change the feel for any of them. And, when really wanting a bit of pizzazz, you can always put them on a horse.
The castle comes with a number of weapons racks. There’s plenty to change the load out for your army, including a few extras of those printed shields.
And, if you’re willing to strip the walls of the castle bare, you can have a pretty wide range of insignia to choose from! In fact, this set has ten different printed designs, most of which are recreations of shields from the heyday of castle. There are three each of the bottom two Lion Knights shields, but sadly only a single copy of the rest, some of which have never been printed before, as the originals used stickers.
When this set was first announced, there was a lot of fan speculation that we’d be getting a Lion Queen instead of a Lion King. The lore on the packaging gives us a slightly different story:
The great castle on the horizon is home to the Lady of the brave Lion Knights. As a firm but just ruler, the Lady has established her stronghold as the natural gathering place for people from near and far. It serves as a place of trades and treaties, as well as a haven for those in need.
According to the on-line dictionaries I consulted, Lady is used when referring to women who hold certain titles: marchioness, countess, viscountess, or baroness. Not Queens. So scratch that fan theory.
But we still get one very bad-ass Lady. Here she is armed for battle with chest armor, helm with golden visor, sword, and unique printed shield.
Her cloth cape has the updated Lion Knights logo.
Doffing the armor and replacing the helmet with the alternate hair piece and crown, you get a more “ready to receive visitors” look. Unlike the rest of the Lion Knights, the Lady has a different print for both her torso and legs. A nicely unique way to wrap up the cast, and a great figure to end on.
Conclusion and recommendation
As I discussed in Part I, this set earned high marks from me. The castle is a wonderful build from start to finish, at a good price point, and lovely to display and adventure in. The minifigures are also a pretty solid win. Even with a high degree of repetition in part selection, each figure does feel like a unique individual, and there are plenty of new prints to add to the exclusive feel. The animal companions are all fun, too. What do you think? Will you be using this set to build your Castle armies? Do you think the Black Falcons will manage to carve out a peace treaty? And just what are the Forest Guardians up to? Only time will tell…and I hope LEGO gives us more sets like this to help our imaginations along.
If you missed it, be sure to rewind to Part one of this review, where we storm the castle!
LEGO Icons 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle will be available August 3rd for VIP members (and August 8th for everyone else) from the LEGO Shop Online for US $399.99 | CAN $499.99 | UK £344.99. 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.
Check out our full gallery of images