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LEGO 40491 Year of the Tiger Review

It’s the… year of the tiger! It’s the thrill of the fight!

Ahem. Currently available as a gift with purchase from LEGO.com or in-store at LEGO, the Year of the Tiger is the latest set to join LEGO’s Chinese Zodiac range. We’ve had Year of the Ox, Monkey, Rat, Rooster, Dog, Pig,. Sheep and Snake, and the Tiger’s the latest addition. It’s currently not available to purchase separately, but is it worth grabbing as a free gift? Read on.

LEGO 40491 Year of the Tiger

  • RRP: Free with purchases over £80
  • Number of pieces: 193
  • Release date: January 2022
  • Age rating: 8+
  • Time to build: ~25 minutes

What’s in the box?

We’re big fans of these ‘Year of the…’ boxes. They may be small, but they’re very nicely put together. The top of the box opens up, like an Ideas or Architecture set, making it the ideal place to deposit your bricks. They’re separated into three unnumbered bags, and are accompanied by a small instruction book.

There’s also a gift envelope included. You see, it’s customary to give gifts of money at Chinese New Year, and the envelope is included to encourage doing so. It’s a nice touch that we always see in these annual sets.

The Build

This was a short build, only taking us around 25 minutes to put together. What do you expect for a set with less than 200 pieces? For a small model, it’s very nice, though. There are some lovely details here, like the tiger’s stripes, his ears – which can be moves slightly to the sides if you want him to look more alarmed – and his tail, which can curl upwards towards his back. We also love its expressive eyebrows. So cute.

You’ll start by building the main structure of the body, before moving onto the tiger’s head, which then sits securely on his torso. There are a few less-than-secure bits, however; the tiger’s front legs came off when we were trying to attach the back section. Once the model’s finished, it shouldn’t be a problem. We’re far from Camper Van V2 territory here!

Once you’ve finished the tiger, you’ll then build a base for him to sit on. It’s very nicely put together, with flowers and leaves adding some nice decoration. Size-wise, it’s roughly the same height as previous Year of the… sets, which are roughly in line with BrickHeadz. As such, LEGO 40491 Year of the Tiger will make a nice addition to any collection of small builds.

Play or display?

LEGO 40491 Year of the Tiger has some moving parts – you can angle its ears and move its tail. But it’s not really enough to warrant being a playset. It’s very much designed to be a small display piece. That said, the size of it means it’s the ideal set to be built by a younger LEGO fan. There’s not much ‘swooshability’ to be found here, however, so any playtime with it will be limited.

Value for money?

This is a hard question to answer for a set that’s currently a free gift. It’s one of the better Gift with Purchase offerings from LEGO, however, and if there’s something in store you want to buy for over £80, this makes a very nice bonus indeed. It’s possible the set will become purchasable once the offer period has finished; previous years’ sets have appeared in shops with a retail value of £9.99. If we consider that to be the price, this is a lovely pocket money build that will brighten up any collection. Particularly if you’re an animal fan. Rawr.

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