LEGO Indiana Jones 77015: Temple of the Golden Idol [Review]

First launched in 2007, the LEGO Indiana Jones theme has brought us many fun scenes from all four movies, and as we prepare to rejoin our favorite professor/archeologist/adventurer in the upcoming 5th movie, LEGO has revived the theme with a wave of three new sets releasing in April. The largest set from this wave is the 18+ branded 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol, a 3-part diorama similar to smaller scenes from Harrison Ford’s other blockbuster franchise, Star Wars. The diorama set is based on the opening sequence of the movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Indiana braves a dark and foreboding tomb in an attempt to recover an idol. Many key moments from this sequence are including, from the spiked trap that impales the unwary, the deep pit Indian swings across with his trusty bullwhip, a row of faces that shoot poison darts, and ending (or beginning) with a large boulder that rolls down a slope to block the exit, trapping anyone who isn’t fast enough to outrun it. The set includes a number of Technic elements that allow the play features to be operated simply by twisting dials mounted on the front. LEGO Indiana Jones 77014 The Temple of the Golden Idol contains 1,545 pieces and will be available on April 1 for US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £129.99

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.

Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheets

The set comes in a black box with small branded elements from the Indiana Jones franchise, along with the 18+ branding bar along the bottom. The bar includes a texture of dark sand elements which is very appropriate, since many of the scenes from the movie include desert terrain. On the front of the box is a large centered image of the completed set with the 4 minifigs included in various locations to match their on-screen appearances.

One side features an image taken from the movie of Indaina Jones looking a bit world-weary. Along the top of the box is a line-up of the four minifigs included in the set. A Hovitos warrior, Belloq, Indiana, and Satipo. The back of the box features the finished model from a slightly different angle. There is a diagram detailing the set’s dimensions, a row of inset images showing various play features, and a pair of images showing the final moment before it all goes wrong, in the form of an image from the movie and the same moment depicted in the LEGO set.

Inside the box there are 15 numbered bags covering 10 building sequences, a small sticker sheet, and a large instruction booklet, both of which arrive inside a paper envelope, as many larger set instructions do, to protect the booklet and stickers during transit.

The first few pages of the booklet include a few spreads with photos from the movies, a background on the franchise including a timeline of movie releases, and finally, information about the design process and the team. In the background is an updated version of the textured design featured in the original sets.

The build

Starting with the left-most section of the diorama, we build a basic black base with technic beams and other mechanisms that connect the dial on the front to the elements that will eventually trigger the rolling boulder play feature. There are 4 2×3 dark bluish-gray tiles printed with a geometric pattern. A pair of fun little skulls adorn the front on either side of the dial. There is also a bit of green at the entrance of the tomb, and we start to see the rock slope taking shape at the back, along with our first spike trap.

As we continue with the landscape for the first section, we get an interesting (and very reusable) technique for attaching a plate using 2 small turntables. More spikes, and the first unfortunate victim of the tomb, a seated skeleton. Next, we build the entrance to the tomb, adorned with lots of plant leaves and vines, and a series of geometrical patterns made from 2×2 corner tiles in turquoise and sand green.

The tomb entrance finishes with an open-mouthed skull, a spider web, and a few creepy crawlies.

Moving to the back, we find out how the rolling rock feature works. There is a quarter-circle technic-toothed gear part and lift-arm assembly that allows a small 12-tooth gear to roll along the curved track quickly. I have heard that some people say too quickly, but in my opinion, the fast-rolling boulder helps convey the sense of imminent doom, even at the small scale of the set.

With the section complete it’s time to test out the feature. Once the boulder rolls to a stop at the end of the track, the entrance to the tomb is completely blocked, so you can play out an alternate version of events and trap Indiana forever among the vines and tarantulas if you feel so inclined.

Moving on to the middle section, which is centered on the pit where Indiana first swings across on his bullwhip, and later leaps across after Satipo betrays him and attempts to take the idol for himself. Well, we all know how well that works out for him, don’t we? The build starts out much the same as the first section, but this one has two dials for activating play features. On the left, a dial raises and lowers the heavy stone door that almost deprives Indie of his other signature accessory, his brown fedora.

The back of the section is a gray wall with several dark sand tiles. Around the back is the second play feature that attaches to the other dial, and swings the pole at the top of the wall back and forth to let Satipo gain the upper hand… for now. To the left of the pit is a gold circle ornament, and along the top, the geometric pattern from the temple entrance is repeated.

Next, we get the rest of the structure and mechanism to raise and lower the door, along with the door itself, and another skull. There is also a light gray carved head rising above the foliage to the left. Rather than more of the printed pattern tiles from each of the two side sections, this section includes a Raiders of the Lost Ark branded sticker and two quotes from the movie.

Finally, a large tree with jumbled roots along either side of the opening with the large stone wall.

The two sections attach with a series of technic pins and bricks. Unlike some other modular scenes from LEGO, this fished scene is not meant to be separated, as the sections are locked together with a few slopes and other pieces to stabilize the finished model when moved.

For the final section, we have the same basic black base with a mechanism that turned out to be quite advanced for a non-Technic set, despite a simple start. This dial will eventually trigger three distinct features. The first feature is to lower the mound at the center of the altar after Indiana swaps the idol for a too-light bag of sand (maybe he thought the idol was hollow).

The wall of dart-spitting faces is made with a combination of stickers and brick-built visages. There are also two mounted arms that will allow the giant head embedded in the wall to “tumble” down after the idol is removed from the altar. This represents my only complaint, which is that this feature is the only one that does not reset using the dial, and since you have to reset it manually anyway, it would have been nice if the head fell all the way down. On the other hand, the fact that it only partially falls will reduce the risk of it tumbling all the way to the floor and breaking.

Halfway up the wall of the final section, there is yet another band of the geometric pattern. As we move to the back to install more of the mechanism for the final play feature, which includes chains to drop the stone head and a light brick that shines down on the altar just before releasing the head.

And speaking of stone heads, we are ready to attach the many chains and other mechanical parts that string the three sequences of the play feature together. The head itself has some fun part usage, like a white clip element which turns the negative space between prongs into pupils for the squinting eyes. Here we can also see an easter egg in the form of a LEGO minifig face among the deadly visages (a stickered face on the right side).

This was honestly one of the most complicated mechanisms I have ever built in a System set. It took me a few attempts and lots of hole-counting to get it working. With all three sections completed and firmly attached, the set is complete.

The third section attaches to the other two in a similar fashion, with a few extra parts used to lock down the finished model for added stability when moving.

The Minifigures

The set comes with 4 minifigs, all with front and back printed torsos and all of them but Belloq has two face prints. Indiana and the Hovitos warrior have leg prints as well. First up is Indiana Jones and his “trusty” sidekick Satipo. All three sets in this wave feature a new hat+hair piece for Indiana, and he is sporting his signature open shirt under a leather jacket. His leg print includes a belt and a holstered pistol. Satipo wears a jacket over a sweat-stained tank top. Indiana sports his iconic smirk, while Satipo looks a little surprised. Indiana’s other face print is covered with spider webs and looks annoyed more than upset, while Satipo looks genuinely dismayed–perhaps he is reacting to the 2 tarantulas on his back. Indiana’s back print includes the buckles on the back of his jacket.

Belloq wears a pith helmet and a button-down shirt with pockets on both sides. The Hovitos warrior wears the traditional garb of his people including necklaces and a loincloth. Both his facial prints include face paint… one looking more serene and the other ready to charge into battle. The back of Belloq’s shirt is also stained with sweat while the warrior’s back print continues the necklace and beaded rope from the front.

The finished model

The finished set is reasonably sturdy, although you need to grasp each side section and lift gently from the bottom since there are lots of small plants that bump off easily. The play features are fun and easily accessed using the attached dials.

Conclusions and recommendations

While most younger fans will likely enjoy the other sets in the wave for play, this set is a great model aimed at older builders who also want a model that looks good on display, with several fun building techniques and tons of details to uncover. I would recommend the set to anyone who is a fan of the franchise, although the price is a bit stiff considering so many of the parts are hidden away in the bases to enable the play features. My only (very minor) complaint, as I have mentioned before, is that the most elaborate play feature requires you to manually reset, despite all of the other ones being completely operable by the twisting of the skull-stickered dials on the front.

LEGO Indiana Jones: Temple of the Golden Idol contains 1,545 pieces and will be available on April 1st for US $149.99 | CAN $199.99 | UK £129.99. It may also be available from third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

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.

6 comments on “LEGO Indiana Jones 77015: Temple of the Golden Idol [Review]

  1. Roloff

    No animated GIFs of the play features? I was hoping fir those, but nevertheless a great review, thanks!

  2. Thor96

    Without animated gifs this doesn’t have the feel of Brothers Brick review! Please add them if you can!

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