LEGO has revealed 21317 Steamboat Willie, the next LEGO Ideas set featuring retro-Mickey and Minnie Mouse minifigures as well as the iconic S.S. Willie steamboat. The boat’s steam pipes bounce up and down and the paddle wheels rotate as the set is pushed forward. The set comes with 751 pieces and will be available starting April 1st for US: $89.99 | Canada: 119.99 CAD | UK: £79.99.
The monochromatic set comes only a month after it was selected to be one of the next LEGO Ideas products, a shockingly fast turnaround in comparison to previous LEGO Ideas sets. The set is also quite an upgrade from the original submission. Continue reading to see all the official photos, or take a closer look at the insides and build process in our review of 21317 Steamboat Willie.
Only a few weeks since the set was announced in the second round of LEGO Ideas reviews from 2018, 21317 Steamboat Willie will be available to buy from April 1st. The final set design is very different from the Ideas project which inspired it, and, with all respect to the original model, the improvements are significant. Mickey’s paddle steamer is much larger and more detailed than the original microscale design.
Fresh from the Disney town of Duckburg, here’s Little Helper, built from bricks by Oliver Becker. Eccentric inventor Gyro Gearloose’s automaton assistant makes for a delightful LEGO character — using ribbed metallic hoses for limbs is a perfect choice, and cockpit parts for the robot’s lightbulb head are simple yet effective. I find it wonderful how such a model, put together from relatively few pieces, can embody so much character. It’s down, in no small part, to the care taken in posing the model for photography, getting the curves of the back and limbs just right. The dangling feet are spot-on, as is the thoughtful angle of that transparent cranium. Lovely.
Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring…except for SpaceBrick. SpaceBrick’s latest LEGO model presents a unique twist on the classic Tim Burton film by taking a scene and contextualizing it as a painting. His brick-built illustration is even mounted on an easel! The builder did a great job of crafting the moonlit cliff with a curl, and the surrounding scenery is to die for. Pairs of Harry Potter wand on sprue elements were used to create tombstones, which look Burtonesque in their own right. Look carefully, and you might also catch a glimpse of a tiny Jack Skellington.
The level of detail in this LEGO model is frighteningly high, right down to the tools of the trade scattered below the easel. There are half-filled tubes of paint, a paint spill, and wood shavings alongside the pencil sharpener. It all helps one feel the artist’s sense of accomplishment they must have experienced upon finishing their masterpiece.
One of the most incredible things about LEGO is that you can truly build anything you set your mind to. A good builder can take a pile of squared-off pieces and create something that looks organic. Sometimes a LEGO artist (because that’s what they really are) has that extra stroke of genius that takes a build to the next level and gives it life. If you don’t know about Alex de Jong, you should, because he’s proven this point with his stunning tribute to Disney’s Tinker Bell. We were fortunate to communicate with Alex throughout the build process, and he has been kind enough to share with us exclusive details about the project.
Hot on the heels of LEGO versions of the cartoon cast of Futurama, Palixa and the Bricks now takes on another band of animated characters: Mike, Sully, and Boo from Disney’s Monsters Inc. The studs-out construction style is perfect for the two monsters, somehow managing to effectively evoke both Sully’s fur, and Mike’s leathery hide. I think the modelling of Sully’s face is spot-on, and I particularly like the Tauntaun horns gracing his head. Little Boo is just perfect peeking out from beneath her hard hat — a nice companion to the larger pair, and perfectly scaled for the teddy bear clutched in Sully’s paw. All we need now is Roz: “Watching. Always watching.”
We recently covered Mike Nieves‘ excellent Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but of course, she needs an antagonist. Now Mike is back to bring us everyone’s favorite Disney chump, Gaston. With ludicrously bulging muscles and a smarmy grin, this LEGO sculpt captures the essence of Gaston perfectly as he shows off for a disinterested Belle. The little bit of scenery ties it all together, with an excellent stump that even includes tree rings.
“M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!” Thanks to Shawn Snyder, one of Walt Disney’s most beloved cartoon characters comes to life in LEGO-form. LEGO Mickey is instantly recognizable, right down to his red trousers and white gloves. In particular, I was impressed by Shawn’s use of a wide variety of angles to form the shape of Mickey’s head and facial features. Finishing off the build is an elegant black and gold base which would make this model a perfect fit for Disney Store shelves!
Along with the new sets, LEGO has a gift with purchase for Star Wars fans: an exclusive Han Solo Mudtrooper minifigure. To get him, you have to spend more than $35 on LEGO Star Wars sets. The promotion runs through the 14th or while supplies last.
Patty Rau has launched Cinderella into space aboard the FGP When You Wish Upon A Star. There’s a lot to love about this LEGO spaceship. The bulbous midsection is a great nod to the vehicle’s origin as a pumpkin. The ship also contains elements from all three minidoll-scale versions of Cinderella’s carriage: printed inverse slopes from Cinderella’s Carriage (2016), printed curved slopes from Cinderella’s Dream Carriage (2014), and gold filagrees from Cinderella’s Enchanted Evening.
It seems like Patty is doing a series of Disney Princess spaceships, as she has also created one for Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. Apparently Sweet Mayhem isn’t the only minidoll with a spaceship.
“Well, some people use their imagination.” Mike Nieves has used his imagination to create a wonderfully whimsical representation of Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Mike’s character build may not have a defined face, but the pose and setting is iconically Belle. Thanks to her outstretched hand and head tucked in a book, I can almost hear her singing.
Thanks to an extensive use of curved and angled slope elements, Mike has done a great job of capturing the look of Belle. As we can see in this shot, sloped elements are also used to convey a sense of motion with the flow of Belle’s dress. There is some incredibly nice detailing here, including the clever ribbons for the hair and dress.
Back in 2016, Koen treated us to his magical take on Disney’s iconic Mouse. Two years later, in a response to LEGO’s own BrickHeadz versions, he’s redesigned his model of Mickey as well as adding Minnie to the mix. It just goes to show how much a year or two means in terms of the evolution of LEGO elements; Koen improving on the rounded shaping of the characters’ heads with new curved tiles as well as using the printed eyelash piece for Minnie’s eyes. The design of Minnie’s bow, with its single stud polka dots, and her brick-built shoes, demonstrate some seriously clever building too. The result: a brilliantly realised recreation of our favourite cartoon couple.