Take a stroll down a stunning brick-built street

For a Western audience, this collection of buildings by 磊 耿 is a striking break from the more familiar architecture usually seen in a LEGO street scene, with a wonderful variety of styles. But regardless of where you’re from, you’re bound to be impressed by the sheer quality of the building work on display. Pagoda roofs vie with castle spires for attention, and “big” certainly doesn’t mean bland, with an impressive depth of texture and interesting colour schemes across all the structures.

LEGO MOC 作品,古韵街系列作品-檀香竹韵

I particularly liked the blue-roofed pagoda building, which definitely merits a closer look at its shaped roof, corner towers, hanging lanterns, and wonderful touches of colour detailing…


Like the best LEGO buildings, this structure rewards viewing from any angle and at all levels. Even the lowest tier of the structure is beautifully-built, with extensive use of textured bricks for detail, delicious gold patterning on the walls, and a smart set of stairs to street-level.


Although all the buildings in the street are impressive work, the pagodas are a standout for me — simply stunning LEGO creations which I would love to see in-the-brick one day.

LEGO MOC 作品,古韵街系列作品-檀香竹韵

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Details of LEGO Ideas Disney 21317 Steamboat Willie set including retro Mickey and Minnie Mouse [News]

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 | UK £79.99 | CA $119.99 | EU €89.99.

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.

Steamboat Willie premiered in 1928 and is a black-and-white cartoon created in part by Walt Disney himself. It is considered to be the debut of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and was the beginning of an entertainment empire. LEGO celebrated Mickey’s 90th birthday last year, and it only seems fitting that the party continues with the release of a LEGO set celebrating such an prominent milestone in animation.

Like the set itself, the box is grayscale with the LEGO and Mickey Mouse logos shining vibrantly with the only color printing. The LEGO Ideas logo has been updated to look like a film strip, though it is oddly numbered as the 24th LEGO Ideas set, when in actuality 21316 The Flintstones was also numbered #024–perhaps a remnant of this set either being rushed to production of having already been completed before Flintstones was released. The front of the box also comes with a disclaimer that this boat sadly does not actually float.

The back of the box shows off some of the set’s play features, including bouncing steam pipes and spinning paddle wheels (echoing the motion of the animated boat in the cartoon). This motion is activated by hidden wheels on the bottom of the boat. The box also shows a display stand for the exclusive minifigures.

The boat measures over 10 inches long (26cm) and 5 inches high (15 cm). It has room to fit all the minifigures on either the front bow or on the bridge. The ship also includes an adjustable crane as an added play feature. The boat’s whistles on the top of the ship are replicated closely to look like the animated cartoon, and a parrot and “potato room” are also included paying further homage.

The set includes two minifigures: retro Minnie and Mickey Mouse in black-and-white. They each sport hats worn in the cartoon and come with silver-colored printing to set them off in comparison with the overall monochromatic set. Minnie also comes with a guitar and a tile printed with sheet music for the song “Turkey in the Straw” which played in the cartoon (sadly not the actual notes but just musical gibberish shown in the cartoon, so it is at least true to the visual source).

In comparison to the original LEGO Ideas submission, the final set is significantly bigger. It has been up-scaled from a microscale set to a minifigure-scale playset. The increase in size clearly allows for the addition of moving parts and play features, as well as transforming it to be a more substantial set.

The set also comes with a minifigure display stand showing a Mickey ears silhouette and a printed tile celebrating the anniversary year of Steamboat Willie. The stand can either display vertically or horizontally.

21317 Steamboat Willie comes with 751 pieces, two exclusive minifigures and will be available starting April 1st for US $89.99 | UK £79.99 | CA $119.99 | EU €89.99.

The full press release and photo gallery from LEGO are included below. Also check out our hands-on review of 21317 Steamboat Willie.

21317 Steamboat Willie
Ages 10+. 751 pieces
US $89.99 – CA $119.99 – DE €89.99 – UK £79.99 – FR €89.99 – DK 749DKK

 All aboard Steamboat Willie to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s birthday!

Disney Mickey Mouse fans will love this LEGO Ideas 21317 Steamboat Willie building toy marking the 90th anniversary of the most famous cartoon character ever. Mickey Mouse made his screen debut in a 1928 black-and-white animated short film called ‘Steamboat Willie’, which was also the first Disney film to have synchronized sound. This LEGO brick version of the S.S. Willie features steam pipes that move up and down and paddle wheels that rotate when the boat is pushed along. The boat’s bridge has room for a minifigure and play-inspiring nautical details such as the ship’s wheel, life buoy and buildable bell. On deck there is a working crane to lift the ‘potato bin’ cargo aboard and this unique toy building set comes with new-for-April-2019 Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse minifigures, each with special silver-colored decoration, plus a parrot figure. An ideal LEGO set for kids and adults to recreate scenes from the original Mickey Mouse cartoon or simply build and display this striking monochrome model.

  • Build and display this collectible LEGO set or recreate your favorite scenes from the classic Disney Mickey Mouse cartoon, ‘Steamboat Willie’.
  • This unique toy building set includes 2 new-for-April-2019 minifigures: Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, each with silver-colored decoration, plus Mickey Mouse’s parrot figure.
  • The iconic Steamboat Willie boat features a black-and-white color scheme, hidden wheels, moving steam pipes, rotating paddle wheels, adjustable crane and assorted elements including the ‘S.S. Willie’ boat name sign, ‘1928’ year sign and a ‘potato bin’.
  • The boat’s bridge has space for a minifigure, a brick-built bell and assorted elements including the ship’s wheel and life buoy.
  • The 2 steam pipes move up and down and the 2 paddle wheels rotate when the boat is pushed along.
  • Accessory elements include Minnie Mouse’s guitar and music sheet.
  • This LEGO Ideas creative toy building set comes with a booklet with building instructions, fun facts about the historic 1928 animated Disney short film ‘Steamboat Willie’, and information about this awesome retro set’s fan creator and LEGO designers.
  • Steamboat Willie toy boat measures over 5” (15cm) high, 10” (26cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide.

Available directly through LEGO from Monday April 1st, 2019 via shop.LEGO.com or LEGO Stores.

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Mickey Mouse makes his 1928 debut in LEGO Ideas 21317 Steamboat Willie [Review]

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.

The set has 751 pieces, features black & white retro minifigures of Mickey and Minnie, and is available from April 1st for US $89.99 | UK £79.99 | CA $119.99 | EU €89.99.

The box and its contents

The box is a thing of beauty — a chunky, predominantly white carton, with some classy gold foiling on the Mickey Mouse and LEGO Ideas logo elements. It’s surprisingly heavy, giving some inkling of the scale of the model you’re about to put together.

The rear of the box shows some of the paddle steamer’s details, and the “play feature” of turning paddles and the moving funnels which mimic the huffing-and-puffing of the boat’s smokestacks in the original cartoon.

When you open the box, you’re in for a treat. As the heft suggested, the packaging is stuffed to the brim with bricks, and with Bag 1 sitting on the top, I received a pleasant surprise about the types of bricks the set contains. The black-and-white nature of the cartoon inspiration, and the images on the box, had me expecting nothing but black, white, and grey. Bag 1 is anything but — packed full of the brightly-coloured bricks which make up the internal structure and mechanisms.

The instruction booklet

As well as the 179 instructions steps, the 175-page booklet also includes a bit of background on the significance of Walt Disney’s 1928 cartoon — the first to feature a synchronised soundtrack, and the first appearance of everyone’s favourite mouse. There’s also a two-page feature interviewing Mate Szabo, the fan designer of the LEGO Ideas project, and the LEGO designers involved in creating the set itself.

The build

The construction begins with the creation of a robust Technic frame which holds the mechanism for the moving elements. It’s a great example of how LEGO designers will use lots of bright colours for internal structure in sets, making it easier for kids to orientate the model as they build, reducing the risk of misplaced bricks.

The frame gradually expands out and up, adding in the paddle axles, and a simple rocker mechanism for the funnels. There’s one particularly cool building technique employed here — introducing ball-and-socket joints to allow for the secure connection of the inverted bow and stern hull sections.

The brick-built hull, constructed from slopes and curved elements, and the neat inverted sections, is a genuine pleasure to put together. From an initial glance at the box art, I’d expected the set would feature large pre-fab hull parts. In reality, it’s mostly constructed from smaller parts, and it’s a much more interesting phase of the build than I’d thought it would be.

The bow and stern areas receive some nice attention to detail from the designers with deliberate misalignment of different sized white tiles creating the impression of a smooth planked deck…

The boat’s cabin is next, built up from stacked bricks, with windows and doorways, and bracket parts awaiting the addition of more tiles later.

By the time the cabin’s lower level is complete, the stubs of the smokestacks are in place and it’s starting to come together.

There’s a break in boat construction at this point — it’s time to put the paddles together. This is a repetitive job, needing sixteen identical “fins” made out of 5 smaller parts each. It wasn’t my favourite section of the overall build, but it doesn’t take too long and the end results look pretty good.

More tiling completes the upper deck of the cabin and then construction begins on the wheelhouse itself. Once again I was pleasantly surprised by this set when I realised the wheelhouse section was going to be big enough to fit Mickey standing at the wheel. Especially with his little hat on top, I’d assumed Disney’s most famous character would be too tall to fit within. Sometimes it’s nice to be mistaken.

The roof of the wheelhouse has a lovely little design feature — three cute pipes which break up the expanse of white, and add to the steamship character of the vessel.

The final stage of construction is of the rear derrick. It’s a simple yet effective design, using Technic pins and hinge parts to create a frame for the hook and string.

The minifigures

The black and white versions of Mickey and Minnie are excellent. The danger of the retro-styling was that black, white, and grey would prove an uninspiring colour combination for such an iconic and “colourful” pair of characters. However, the clever use of silver instead of light grey gives the pair some visual pop amidst the greyscale…

Minnie’s guitar is a nice piece, and the printed music score is a lovely touch. However, having tried to actually play the notes printed on the score, sadly it doesn’t appear to be the famous Turkey In The Straw tune. It’s an odd choice, to go to the trouble of printing the tile but not print the right notes, though the design of the music does look like it might come directly from what was drawn in the cartoon as a goat eats the sheet music. (Full Disclosure: my musical abilities are practically non-existent, so if I’m wrong about this then I can only apologise to the designers!)

Alongside the set’s Mickey-ears display stand, the minifigures will look great as an exhibit piece — perfect for any Disney fan…

New and interesting parts

There are some new parts, printed parts, and new part/colour combos in the set. (Or if they’re not that new, they’re rare enough that I don’t have many of them!) Here are a few of the ones which struck me as most interesting…

Overall impressions of the set

The finished model is bigger than you might expect, especially if you’d seen the microscale design of the original Ideas project. The turning paddles and moving smokestacks are good fun, and if you’re a Disney fan then you’ll appreciate how closely the model fits with the classic cartoon source material, and you’re sure to want to display it.

Having said that, as a display piece there are a couple of minor design choices which let the set down a little. Despite the smooth planked deck look, there’s a couple of ugly studded sections left on show, particularly at the tip of the bow and the stern. I’m not “anti-stud” when it comes to LEGO models, particularly official sets, but here it’s a mix of regular and open-ended studs left exposed. It makes the model feel a little unfinished — something that could easily have been sorted with just a few more white tiles or wedge plates.

I’m also worried about all those white parts. As I put the model together I couldn’t help but notice the subtle variations in colour amongst the white pieces. If brand new white parts already look a little different in shade, I dread to think what the boat will look like once it has sat out on display for a few years. White LEGO parts are notoriously prone to yellowing — this is a vessel which might not age too gracefully.

Nevertheless, the set is a great tribute to a landmark moment in cinema and popular culture. It’s a smart design with a striking monochromatic colour scheme — almost unique for a LEGO model. The build process is fun and includes some neat techniques, and the minifigures are brilliant. It’s simple really — if you’re a Disney fan, you have to get this, but if you’re not, then you don’t.

The set has 751 pieces, features black & white retro minifigures of Mickey and Minnie, and is available from April 1st for US $89.99 | UK £79.99 | CA $119.99 | EU €89.99.

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

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Paddington Bear recreated in LEGO bricks

Paddington Bear is surely one of the least likely TV characters to have seen a 21st century reboot. However Michael Bond’s beloved creation has enjoyed renewed commercial success, and some surprising critical acclaim, in two recent big screen outings. Now his iconic status is cemented as he becomes the subject of a LEGO model — vincentkiew‘s delightful figure. All the character’s trademark attributes are present and correct — blue duffle coat, floppy red hat, and travel-stamped suitcase. The use of tan-coloured cam-shaft pieces for the coat’s toggles is perfect, and the whole composition is enhanced with the scenery — quickly and simply placing the bear in his natural environment: middle-class suburban London.

Paddington Bear.

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