LEGO has produced a broad range of different promotional items during the last few years and 40291 Creative Personalities is perhaps the most unusual such model yet. This set celebrates Hans Christian Andersen, a prolific author and one of Denmark's most famous historic citizens.
The model is based around a book and depicts Andersen writing a fairy tale, perhaps inspired by his rural surroundings. I have been thoroughly impressed by the images of this interesting promotional set so have high expectations for its quality, especially since it contains a total of 307 pieces which is quite exceptional for a gift-with-purchase at shop.LEGO.com!
Box and Contents
The box is looks marvellous, displaying the open book against a row of unmistakably Danish buildings. I like the red seal in the corner which matches a printed tile in the set and the reverse shows some of the smaller details and accessories that are included. Unfortunately, the box features a thumb tab rather than tape seals so may be damaged unless you are particularly careful when opening it.
Four bags of parts, some loose 6x10 plates and a single instruction manual are found inside the box. The instruction booklet is made using a higher quality paper stock than one might expect for a set of this kind and includes images of other inspirational models, depicting a selection of Andersen's most famous and beloved fairy tales. These could replace the pond which occupies the right hand page of the book.
Two minifigures are included, the first of which is a child wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and a stripy shirt. I like his smiling facial expression very much and the texture of the dark orange hair piece looks brilliant. Hans Christian Andersen appears somewhat plain by comparison. He sports a black top hat and a matching waistcoat. This design bears a loose resemblance to the real author but a new head or torso design would have been beneficial.
Andersen comes with a dark bluish grey quill pen and a reddish brown book. The cover opens to reveal a printed tile which reads 'Once upon a time...' so befits a fairy tale. This component has only appeared in two previous sets and so is quite appealing, especially since it features some lovely metallic gold scrollwork at the edge of the page.
The Completed Model
The book is constructed around a central spine, to which the open pages are then attached using clips. I think the resultant design looks fantastic, closely resembling a real book and including several splashes of bright colour that contrast with the earthy tones of the cover and pages. The left hand page displays Andersen sitting on a bench and authoring one of his fairy tales. I love the cobblestones around the bench and the black lamppost looks good too, although a trans-yellow lamp would have been better than trans-neon green.
A printed 1x8 tile is laid in front of the scene and includes a tiny wax seal, like that on the packaging. The opposite page features a pond with a swan swimming on the surface. The Ugly Duckling is Andersen's most famous story focused upon swans but that tale appears as a suggested alternative model in the instructions. I therefore wonder whether this vignette takes inspiration from The Wild Swans, a less famous story which is celebrating 180 years since its publication this year.
Unfortunately, the swan appears rather crude in my opinion. The designer has certainly captured its white feathers and colourful beak but the shaping of the neck looks odd when compared with the real animal. The surrounding pond, on the other hand, is excellent. I like its irregular banks and the fountain as well as the pink flowers which are reasonably rare, having been used in just eleven other sets.
The underside of the book is much less attractive, including some obtrusive flame yellowish orange plates. A more muted colour scheme would have been perfect here, although the corresponding stripes across the spine look great. It is perhaps a shame that there is not a little more detail on this side of the model but most of the 307 pieces included are focused upon the open pages which are undoubtedly more important for display.
Several excellent promotional products have already been released in 2018 but I think 40291 Creative Personalities is the best such model yet. Its unusual design is very distinctive and the open book looks wonderful on display, featuring an attractive but understated colour scheme as well as some beautifully textured cobblestones. The trans-light blue water is similarly impressive, really standing out against the tan pages of the book.
My only criticism of this set relates to the Hans Christian Andersen figure. A couple of new pieces would definitely have been useful here as the current torso and head feel unsuitable for the famed author. However, there is little opportunity to include new minifigure parts in a promotional set like this one and I would therefore highly recommend adding 40291 Creative Personalities to your collection.
I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.
Thanks to Huw for the photos in this review.
40291 Creative Personalities is free with purchases exceeding £65 or $99 during the next fortnight on shop.LEGO.com:
This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.