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LEGO 40431 Brick Sketches BB-8 Review

A brand new range from LEGO, the Brick Sketches series is an intriguing one. So far, just four sets have been released: Batman, The Joker, a First Order Stormtrooper, and this one, BB-8. At £17.99 each, they’re pleasantly budget-priced, and their unique designs stand out against typical LEGO models. They’re designed to stand up, like a picture frame, or be hung on the wall – making a great alternative for people who want to display their creations but are limited on space.

LEGO Brick Sketches BB-8 (40431)

  • RRP: £17.99
  • Number of pieces: 171
  • Release date: July 2020
  • Time to build: 20 minutes

What’s in the box?

Inside the Brick Sketches BB-8 box you’ll find the instruction booklet, two 16×1 bricks and three sealed bags. You can see the contents pictured below. Surprisingly, the bags aren’t numbered, so you’ll need to open them all at once. It’s not so much of a hardship though, since there’s only 171 pieces in the entire set.

The build

As you’d expect from a set with less than 200 pieces, putting together the LEGO Brick Sketches BB-8 is a short and straightforward build. It’s a fun and easy set though, with some really nice features. The photo stand and picture hook are built entirely from bricks – which shouldn’t have been as surprising as it was!

It feels surprisingly sturdy, and the finished model is rather chunky. The image is made up of several layers of bricks, and you’ll use a number of different building techniques to create the model. BB-8’s body, for example, is put together with a series of studded and flat plates, while its head is built using single-width bricks, then attached to the base with a SNOT (studs-not-on-top) brick.

The details come together really nicely, and the different layers make for a very pleasant aesthetic.

Play or display?

Obviously, the LEGO Brick Sketches series has been designed with display in mind. These are not at all play sets; there’s no moving parts (other than the frame stand), and nothing at all is interactive about it. Brick Sketches BB-8 is a display set through-and-through, but what a lovely little display set it is.

It’s rare a set in this price range is suitable for display, but it’s lovely to look at. It’s a very sturdy model when completed, and surprisingly chunky. It looks great stood on its stand, or hung on the wall. It’s particularly striking when grouped with the rest of the range. Arranged on a wall, the four of them would look fantastic.

Value for money?

£17.99 for a 171-piece LEGO set isn’t exactly a bargain. The Brick Sketches range seems twinned with BrickHeadz, and they have a similar amount of pieces. However, BrickHeadz cost only £9.99. It’s quite a striking different in price – so is it worth it?

We think so. Considering the structures contain some much larger bricks than the BrickHeadz, the extra price is somewhat understandable. Especially when you consider the stand structure that needs to be constructed, too. But mostly, the price feels worth it for something as unique as this. We’ll definitely be keen to buy more in the range if (or hopefully when) they become available.

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