The latest in the LEGO Botanical Collection has finally arrived. This popular line has been a triumph for the brand, in that décor fans who have no experience with building are picking up these gorgeous sets. Likewise, experienced builders looking for something a little more sophisticated and elegant have found their niche. It’s one of those themes that have us thinking, what arrangement might they think of next? Well here we are! Join us as we take a tour of the 812-piece LEGO Icons Botanical Collection 10314 Dried Flower Centerpiece, which will hit shelves February 1st, and retail for US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £44.99.
Unboxing the parts and instructions
The dark box really sets off this arrangement and makes it pop! The lower right hand corner of the front indicates that the build could be shared between two people. On the back the model is shown split in half for explanation. In addition to this, there are display examples, including the idea to combine multiple sets together for one large centerpiece, or hang it on the wall.
Inside there are seven large numbered bags. Simple and straightforward. Along with them are a pair of small-ish instruction booklets. These are interesting in that they have the same image on them, but flipped and slightly skewed. You would think that if you put the manuals side by side, the images would line up to create a complete model, but they don’t. At least they do show what half you’ll be building.
There are a solid handful of new or rare part color variants in this set. It comes as a surprise that we haven’t seem some of the plant elements in olive green before (or only a couple instances). Some of these parts are also displayed in other new color variants for the freshly-released Wildflower Bouquet.
Both booklets kick off in essentially the same way. We start with a plate-dense base that hides a mounting bracket for hanging the decoration on a wall. There’s also some nifty use of hinges to create interesting angles.
Next we gain a pair of elements that are mounted on the angles. Perhaps the most interesting here is the wheat, which consists of a stack of dark tan “eggshells” along with a white shell and medium nougat “gold nugget” for the dried flower.
Next up are some dark red leaves alongside more wheat and a stick of millet, which is comprised of tan bevel gears. All of these items are mounted using Mixel joints, giving them a fairly flexible range of motion to ease arrangement.
Apparently there is a plant called a “bladder cherry” and these are represented by dark orange pumpkin elements attached to whips. The real thing looks fairly different, but it’s a reasonable representation in dried form. This is where one half of the build begins to differ from the other. You’ll see those difference in a moment.
When all the smaller sections come together on the base, the result is a dense display of neutral-toned colors.
A small cluster of flowers comes together to support the final topper. This section has a lovely parts usage in the form of stacked orange minifigure epaulettes used to create dried cosmo petals.
The final component of this half of the model is a giant bloom that is identical in all but color to the Gerbera daisies from the new Wildflower Bouquet. It’s created by clipping oars to a steering wheel, and capping it with a conical hat for the center. A brilliant recreation!
As previously mentioned, the other half of the model starts out exactly the same way, up until the following point. Instead of two bladder cherries, this iteration has one and a sprig of tiny flowers.
When it comes to the punctuating element, we have a rose. It’s created using mudguards and large figure armor elements as petals. In previous sets, the armor had a pin attachment, but these have a bar to clip to, which is easily seen in the unique parts photo above. Speaking of which, I managed to accidentally forget to include the 2×2 dome and 2×2 round plate in light flesh amongst the new and rare parts.
The offset in the attachment of the elements creates a lovely, satisfying fold of the petals. They fit so neatly together in a tight whorl that it’s a little mesmerizing to play with.
Once complete, the rose is placed atop a near-identical subassembly to the first half.
This, in turn, is nestled carefully between the other elements in the arrangement. It should be noted that, for both halves, when it’s all said and done things are pretty snug. The initial ability for each piece to have a wide range of motion allows everything to find a home, but it’s a tight fit, so there is very little posing and flexibility at the end.
Finally, a bridge piece with pins is used to connect the two halves together. It’s a little surprising, actually, that the plant elements used here are not seen anywhere else in this set. They’re a little buried and easy to miss if not pointed out.
The completed model
When the halves are connected, they get locked into place with plate on the sides. Then we’re left with an eloquent, cohesive, and festive decoration. It’s a bit of a shame that this wasn’t released in the fall, as I’m sure it would’ve been a popular decoration during the holidays. Also, it may be more fun (albeit fast) to do this with two people due to the repetition. Either way it’s a pretty quick build.
The kit also includes the pieces to attach these at a 90° angle from each other. I suppose there are other ways this might be useful, but it’s primarily intended to allow for joining several copies together in order to make a larger decoration.
Conclusions and recommendations
When I was first presented with this set, I “ooohed and awwwed” over it. The color palette is generally awesome, and it’s a superb idea. My opinion of that hasn’t changed with building the model, although I do find some cons to it. First, many times when I build a kit, it comes out feeling bigger than what I expected. Unfortunately, this set comes out feeling much smaller in my opinion, which is a bit of a letdown. It will look lovely on a smaller table, but will get totally swallowed by even a medium-sized one. Then again, if you’re looking for a decoration that’s not massive to display, this is a great pick for you.
Along that same vein, while making unique designs by adding multiple together is clever, most people probably won’t want to buy multiple copies. This means the parts for doing that are a bit irrelevant. Personally, I wish they would’ve used that part-count to do more with the basic set and provided separate accessible instructions for combining them together.
In any case, this is a minor gripe and I did truly enjoy the set. I would recommend it for anyone looking for a quick build to share, especially if you’re a fan of the Botanical Collection.
LEGO Icons Botanical Collection 10314 Dried Flower Centerpiece is currently available for pre-order from LEGO Shop online. It will be more widely available starting February 1st, and retail for US $49.99 | CAN $69.99 | UK £44.99.
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.