Easter bunnies

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With Easter almost upon us, at last, I thought now would be a good time to take a look at the history of Easter offerings from LEGO, concluding with a look at this year's Easter bunny.

The first Easter set I can find in the database is 1677 Rabbit, released in 1990. There wasn't another one until 2000, and it wasn't until 2010 that Easter sets became a regular occurrence.

As with most items marketed at Easter, religious ones excluded, they are either chicks, eggs or bunnies. Since 2000 we've had eight bunnies, four chicks/hens/ducks and one basket of eggs: 12 sets in total, since one includes a bunny and an egg.

Two sets were produced in 2000, a bunny and a hen and chick. They were generally available only via shop.LEGO.com, since brand stores were not widespread back then. The rabbit uses the same printed slope as the 1990 version which arguably looks more like a mouse and I think has been used for them in the past.

The next one to be released was in 2003. 10071, 'Mr. Bunny' is identical to 1990's 1677 and I think you'd agree that it's a pretty poor rendition of a rabbit.

2005 saw the release of two sets: a rabbit, a tree and what is presumably a 2D egg, and a hen with her chicks. This rabbit is possibly even worse than Mr. Bunny.

The first of the regularly released Easter sets, from 2010, is this brown bunny, 40005. It was one of the first sets in the then new 40xxx number series denoting brand store/shop.LEGO.com exclusives (although I know there have been exceptions since). Unlike most in the series, this one was boxed.

While better than the previous versions, it's a bit blocky and child-like, which might have been the intention but the result is a bit weird-looking.

2011 saw the release of this nice basket filled with eggs as well as another slightly scary looking rabbit.

There were two sets in 2012 as well, a family of ducks and a rabbit in a pen and a chick bursting from an egg. This time the rabbit actually looks like one.

Last year we were back to just one set, another rabbit. It's certainly an improvement on previous versions but it still hasn't really nailed the look and character of an archetypal Easter bunny.

Finally, this year sees the release of another Easter bunny, 40086, designed by none other than AFOL-turned-designer Mel Caddick who works on a lot of 'special' sets like this.

I reckon she's captured the character and essence of an Easter bunny perfectly. The use of new curved pieces and plenty of SNOT parts and building techniques has resulted in something far more organic-looking than previous efforts.

40086 Easter Bunny

The back looks slightly weird from this angle, but side-on it adds depth to the head and bottom and of course includes the obligatory white tail.

40086 Easter Bunny

What I particularly like is that if you prefer your bunnies with floppy ears, you can have them...

40086 Easter Bunny

This is easily the best bunny to date and the designer of next year's will have a job bettering it. Buy it now before it disappears from the shops.

If you celebrate it, Happy Easter!

(Note: I have deliberately excluded these brand store models, which were just instruction sheets given away with tubs of bricks).

18 comments on this article

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By in United States,

The new bunny for 2014 is just delightful! The ears and facial expression are so cute!
Thanks for the history of Easter bunnies, etc. Definite improvements there!
Mel Caddick did a wonderful job on his remake!

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By in United Kingdom,

I nearly bought this on my trip to Legoland last week - but ran out of money :-(

Hopefully they'll be some left in stock when I do my online order for Star Wars May 4th!

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By in Sweden,

If the latest one used the new small ball joints it'd be pretty perfect.

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By in Germany,

^I agree they should have used the small ball joints. The use of the hinge for the arms and the clip for the paws is a little odd looking.

Got to love the carrot-cannon, though!

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By in United States,

I grabbed this bunny the instant it appeared at [email protected] because it was such a perfect partner to the Valentine's Day teddy bear! Was that bear also designed by Mel Caddick? Frankly I think both those holiday sets look more like real animals (or at least real stuffed animals) than the two recent animal-centric Creator sets. They're definitely an inspiration to anyone trying to generate curved shapes with Lego! Thanks for the review, Huw!

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Yes the bear is another of Mel's.

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By in United States,

I own another not mentioned in this post from 1992: http://brickset.com/sets/1545-2/Build-A-Rabbit , it is a great companion to Mr Bunny. I also really like this years Easter Bunny and picked it up on April 15 to earn double VIP points.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Good find, I missed that one.

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By in United States,

Nice info on Easter sets, thx. Is the picture up front the 2014 one?

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By in Australia,

I confess, I don't like the ears on the 2014 bunny. They're great in floppy-mode, but when they're upright, it looks like they're weirdly side-ways.

I like the design, though.

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By in United States,

It makes sense that most of the sets prior to the the 2010 version were super basic. A lot of the new bows and brackets that make sets(and by extension MOCs) look great weren't around then. I think you're being unfairly critical Huw. This is like movies, in a way. Sure a movie that was great back in the day might not hold up to today's standards, but back then it was probably amazing. The same can sorta be said about these bunnies. It also seems that you're a little biased since you know who designed this set as well. It was nice you recounted the old easter sets, but I think you failed to take into account the various contexts as to why the sets look the way they do. And the way I see it, they got progressively better. I think the reasons why this bunny looks better is the fundamental reason why any newer set looks better than older ones, new parts means new capabilities, and improved aesthetics. Now I guess the real challenge is to make something that could be made into a set using only parts from 1990 or older.

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By in Sweden,

Nice review of older Easter sets. I actually got the furry creatures set 31021 for the rabbit, because I liked that one better for my Easter display.

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By in United States,

That new rabbit looks OK, but it probably could've been better.

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By in United States,

If I was closer to a LEGO Brand Store I'd buy on of these, nicely designed.

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By in United States,

Easter Bunny brought the new one yesterday. Looks great, and was fun to build!

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By in United Kingdom,

That's scarier than LEGO's early efforts :-)

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