Adventure Time has become exceptionally popular since the animated series began in 2010 and the show made the transition to LEGO towards the end of last year as three Dimensions packs became available. However, this was preceded by the success of aBetterMonkey's LEGO Ideas project which was announced in March and has now resulted in the release of 21308 Adventure Time, a 495-piece set which is priced at £44.99 or $49.99.
This is the sixteenth LEGO Ideas product and is perhaps the least interesting from the perspective of most adults, in contrast with something like 21307 Caterham Seven 620R, but may be one of the most appealing for children. It will therefore be fascinating to see whether this set proves successful over the next few months, particularly given the overwhelmingly positive reaction received by the Dimensions content during 2016.
Box and Contents
LEGO Ideas boxes are consistently attractive but this is one of the best yet in my opinion, presenting an idyllic panorama of the Land of Ooo which is populated by the eight figures included. It is interesting to note that Gunter's size has been reduced in relation to the other characters in an effort to make him appear more in scale with the animation model. This seems slightly disingenuous to me and I hope LEGO does not continue to manipulate scales as they have here, although it may have been a simple mistake.
The box opens to reveal three numbered bags and an instruction manual which contains 84 pages. This is not made from the higher quality material seen in previous LEGO Ideas sets but includes the standard information about the original project and its creator as well as some Adventure Time character profiles.
The Completed Model
Adventure Time follows the exploits of Finn and Jake, two friends who embark upon heroic quests across the Land of Ooo. Most of the figures included follow a design based around a body which is three studs wide and these characters follow that implicitly. I think it looks quite stylish on the whole but the flexible animation which defines Adventure Time means that these blocky designs take some getting used to. I consider Finn to be one of the best models in the set as his attire is recreated quite faithfully despite the simplistic style of the figure and I like his printed smiling expression very much, particularly since a couple of teeth are missing just as they are in the show.
He wears a green backpack and is equipped with Scarlet, Finn's trusty sword, which is designed to match the blocky style of the figures. I think Jake is less impressive, due in no small part to the fact that his rounded body is so recognisable and that this is lost in the brick-built figure. Nevertheless, his face looks splendid, with a printed 2x2 slider element and a pair of new eyes which also appear on some of the other characters included.
BMO is a living video game console who lives in the Tree Fort alongside Finn and Jake. This is the smallest figure in the set but includes some interesting pieces, most notable of which are three sand green jumper plates and two black sausages which represent arms. The screen displaying BMO's face is formed using a printed 1x2 tile while the controls underneath make use of a red tile, a yellow flower and a couple of exposed studs which is quite effective in my opinion.
The instructions suggest that the flower should be attached with the petals facing diagonally but I prefer to display the model with the petals matching the orientation of a real directional pad, as shown in the image below. I wonder whether this was intended but could not be shown in the instructions as an update to the original submission shows BMO with an angled flower.
Two video game controllers accompany the figure and these are simply constructed using just three pieces. I favour the BMO figure which appears in 71246 Adventure Time Team Pack as its proportions are a little more faithful to the animated series, although this version maintains the width of three studs which defines the style of the brick-built characters in the set.
The Ice King rules over the Ice Kingdom and periodically comes into conflict with our heroes during his attempts to abduct Princess Bubblegum and force her into marriage. His character design is relatively simple and I think this building style therefore suits the king quite well as his robe looks appropriately rotund and he sports an enormous beard which almost reaches the floor. A 1x3 slope represents the Ice King's prominent nose and a printed 1x3 brick forms the eyes and eyebrows which are accurate to the show.
A pair of trans-light blue snowflakes are fixed to the Ice King's hands to demonstrate his magical abilities and these have only appeared once before in this colour so are very rare. These powers are granted to the king by his crown and it looks quite impressive in my opinion, with three points on top and a trans-pink pyramid at the base of each point. The crown is adorned with rubies in the show so trans-red would have been a more accurate colour, although it looks good even in its current state. It is worth noting that the official image of the Ice King shows his crown topped with three yellow horn elements but that these are not included. This is probably for the best as I think the crown looks too tall with them attached.
Gunter accompanies the Ice King as his servant and is another small figure, although the level of detail captured is quite impressive. I like the pentagonal tiles used to represent Gunter's flippers and the blocks of yellow look great against the black and white colour scheme. However, this figure is slightly fragile as the white section at the front is only connected to the black bricks by a couple of studs at the base and another behind the forehead so they might detach during play.
Marceline the Vampire Queen is a close friend of Finn and Jake who loves travelling the Land of Ooo in search of adventure. She wears a simple outfit consisting of a grey shirt, dark blue jeans and red boots which is nicely replicated by this figure, as are her sharp teeth printed on the face. Aqua elements are used for her skin which is nice to see and I like her voluminous hair as well, although the angled slopes mounted on the front look slightly awkward.
She comes complete with her axe bass guitar which is a welcome accessory, although I am not entirely satisfied with the shape of the body as it does not curve outwards from the centre as it should. This could easily be resolved with some minor modification and I like the details of the strings which run the length of the neck but it would have been nice to see an entirely authentic design.
Princess Bubblegum is overwhelmingly dominated by varying shades of pink, only relieved by a purple sash and bright yellow crown. This is topped by a turquoise gem and surrounded by bright pink hair which closely resembles the character model while her smiling expression matches the princess' typically cheerful personality. The light and dark bluish grey colours of the ball joint components detract from the appearance of each figure but Princess Bubblegum suffers more than the others in my opinion.
Her long hair continues onto the back of the figure, revealing some discolouration of the dark pink bricks which is disappointing. I think this is one of the weaker figures included in the set given the monotonous colour scheme, although that is not the fault of the designer and the accuracy of the model is again restricted by its brick-built design.
Lady Rainicorn is a close friend of Princess Bubblegum and offers a dramatic departure from the style of the other figures in this set. The model is only two studs wide for most of its length and incorporates far greater articulation as each section of her body is attached to the next using hinges, allowing you to create a flowing movement as she flies through the air. I love the use of Unikitty tail elements to represent her billowing mane and a white horn protrudes from her head, just like in the show.
The legs can be posed as though Lady Rainicorn was walking and her tail is mounted on a hinge so may also be articulated. The bright colour scheme looks marvellous and I appreciate the attention to detail which has ensured that the colours are arranged in the right order from the top of her body to the bottom.
One's enjoyment of this set depends entirely upon an interest in Adventure Time and an appreciation for the unique style of the figures included. I think some are more successful than others, with Finn, the Ice King and Lady Rainicorn being my favourites, but would have preferred to see the brick-built design cast aside in favour of more accurate shapes using a selection of curved slopes.
Furthermore, it would have been nice to see alternative expressions printed on both sides of the 1x3 bricks included and greater poseability would have been welcome as most of the figures are limited to ball-jointed arms. Nevertheless, for fans of Adventure Time I think this is a worthy purchase as the set look great on display and also offers reasonable play value given the number of major characters included.
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