The Botanicals Collection has quickly become one of LEGO’s most popular lines. With lovely colors and unique part usage, these sets are just as much a joy to display as they are to build, especially because their sophistication helps them blend into any “grown-up” design setting. After months of patiently waiting, the new additions are here, and at first glance, they don’t disappoint. First up is a closer look at the 939-piece LEGO Icons Botanical Collection 10313 Wildflower Bouquet, which will be available February 1st and retail for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £54.99.
Unboxing the parts and instructions
Like a vase of long-stemmed flowers, the box is elongated vertically versus the traditional horizontal orientation. I’ll say it again: the “new” (not so new anymore) box design is suited perfectly to the eloquent nature of the Botanical Collection.
Inside are 4 large bags and 4 small bags, numbered as such, in addition to an unnumbered bag containing the long axels for the stems.
One treat that we get from the Botanical line is that these sets often include new or rare part-color variations. Some of these part molds themselves have been around a short time, while others have been around for many years. For example, the pirate hats were first introduced with that respective theme in 1989. Even older is the barrel, which was introduced with Fabuland in 1983. These factoids happen to be something LEGO mentions in the instruction manual.
Although the instructions are something you really don’t look at past building the model, it’s nice when they have substance. The cover of this one, for example, isn’t just the same image as the front of the box. Instead, it’s an artistic departure. More interesting though, is what you learn from the book. These flowers were not arbitrarily chosen. Instead, they are representatives from various locations around the globe. The symbolism of that is a nice touch. I’m also a fan of the fact that each flower is presented with its name, which has been lacking in other models from the collection.
We kick off things easy, leading with one of simplest of the lot: Queen Ann’s Lace (AKA Cow Parsley). They use a great descriptor for this native of eastern parts of the world – a “firework” of blossoms.
The Welsh Poppy uses a variation on the large figure shoulder armor that has a bar attachment instead of the pin hole of its cousin. (See the new parts mentioned above for a good look at that bar.) We also use the wheel-spoke element from the James Bond Aston Martin, in bright light yellow.
The first bag is rounded out with the classic fern. The design is quite simple, but does the trick in terms of both convincing you of what it is and filling out the collection. These leaves are another old part, surprisingly seen for the first time in dark green.
As you likely know, ferns are used widely as filler in flower arrangements, and so we get three here to do the same. In addition, there are two poppies and two of the Queen Ann’s Lace. These make up the lower portion of the bouquet.
Next up are the Cornflowers, which appear here in both white and blue. The stems of these flowers are a bit erratic, but in a real-life kind of way. The triumph here is the use of the 6-sided Ninjago weapon-holder element (in purple) along with blue “eggshells” and purple stems to give them the classic Cornflower look.
To follow are the lavender blossoms. Not a perfect representation but a convincing one nevertheless. The light lavender minifigure heads used to top them are rare enough that as of this writing, I believe they’ve never been featured in a traditional set. (They’ve only been available through Pick-a-Brick.)
Together, these form a neat trio of pops of color. They sit around mid-height in the bouquet, and the blue ones in particular help to fill it out.
As we move onward, the flowers become a little more complex. Or, at least, require many more parts. First up we have the Lupins. They start out a bit odd-looking, with a combination of 4-bar axle hubs and taps sandwiched between plates and tiles. With the addition of round studs and bricks, the cores of these flowers are reasonably sturdy and full.
Once the colorful pirate hats go onto those studs, these little builds really come to life. They were a favorite of my mom’s – and in turn, mine – growing up, so this brings back great nostalgia. Although it’s quite simple, it’s easily one of the top 10 best part usages I’ve ever seen in sets I’ve completed.
Larkspur is the next flower that finds its way into this bouquet, primarily because of its height and soft beauty. It’s not quite as complex as the lupins, but I personally love how green sausages and minifigure posing elements are used to orient the buds. In fact, with any of these flowers, you can’t exactly “mess up” because changing various aspects and angles just make them more organic-looking.
Finally, we round out the bunch with the large eye-catchers, the Gerbera daisies (AKA African daisies). This is where those nifty barrels come into play, as well as another excellent parts usage. Oars clipped to steering wheels form the petals, and the center is capped with a dark brown conical Asian hat. This combination also makes its way onto my list of top 10 best parts usages in LEGO models. Thanks to the LEGO’s System of Play, it looks like they were always made for this purpose.
The completed model
Once all of the flowers are combined in a vase, it’s like an explosion of color! It really is lovely how this diverse group of global favorites sit together so well. I appreciate that care is taken by LEGO designer Milan Madge to provide an appropriate combination of heights and sizes of blooms. Capturing just one angle isn’t quite enough, so a 360° view was needed to give you a complete picture.
Conclusions and recommendations
With each new member of the Botanicals Collection, the designs get more sophisticated and detailed. New colors, molds, and clever parts usage abound, and LEGO’s most vividly colored flower arrangement to-date brings a lot to the table in that regard. It packs just the right amount of punch and wow factor, while still holding some of that more subtle beauty. It can also easily be combined with components from the original 10280 Flower Bouquet to make an entirely new arrangement.
Ultimately, with the techniques learned between these kits, in addition to a few more parts, the possibilities are really endless for any would-be florist. The fact that the builds are entertaining, yet aren’t overly challenging, combined with the fact that they blend into a wide range of décor, means I would certainly recommend this set to seasoned and new fans alike.
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.