LEGO Art sets are something very new for LEGO – they’re essentially 2D mosaic builds designed to hang on your wall. If you’ve been to Legoland or visited the Leicester Squre LEGO Store in London, you’ll have seen something similar with the Mosaic Maker; it’s a service that takes a photo of your face then presents you with a set to build a picture of it out of studs.
LEGO Art does the same thing, but instead of your face, you’re building iconic characters and pieces of art. So far, there’s Iron Man, the Beatles, Star Wars and Marilyn Monroe. Each single set can build three or more different images, and they’re aimed squarely at adults. We’ve built one version of the Star Wars set – called The Sith – so read on to see what we thought.
LEGO Art – Star Wars The Sith 31200
- RRP: £114.99
- Number of pieces: 3406
- Release date: August 2020
- Time to build: 3-4 hours
What’s in the box?
With a big, flat box, the LEGO Art sets are instantly different from other LEGO sets. Opening the box up reveals something quite different too: studs are separated into bags by colour, and the box is separated into different sections to house different parts. It’s a really nice presentation.
The instruction book is pretty nice too, providing information about the franchise and each of the images you’re able to build.
Our only complaint about the box is that a built-in separator for each set of coloured studs would have been nice. There are 12 colours altogether; we used our own box to separate them out (pictured below). There would have been enough room in the box to throw in some sort of cardboard separator system, which would have been a really nice touch.
Don’t expect building a LEGO Art set to be your typical LEGO experience. Putting the frame together is more like traditional LEGO, but that only accounts for a very small part of the build. The vast majority of it will be spent building the main image. It’s separated into nine smaller squares, and the instructions guide you almost like a colour-by-numbers pattern.
If you’ve ever used Hama/Perler beads, putting together a LEGO Art set feels more like that than your traditional build. (Except you don’t have to iron it together at the end, of course!) It’s a little fiddly since you’re dealing with nothing but small studs, but it’s very theraputic. Some parts can get a little repetitive when you have large sections of just one colour. But for the most part, it’s enjoyable.
You can get into a nice, easy rhythm, and with some music or something on TV in the background, it’s a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. In fact, that’s exactly how LEGO have intended the set to be built; it comes with access to a podcast recorded especially for the build process. We didn’t listen to it, opting to go square-eyed at the TV instead, but it’s a really neat touch.
The fact that the large mosaic is broken down into nine bite-sized squares is nice, too. It means it’s easy to pick up and leave without losing where you are. Each square only took us around 20 minutes to complete, so if you only want to do one at a time, they’re easy to fit into a busy schedule.
The Star Wars The Sith set has three possible permutations out of the box: Darth Maul, Kylo Ren and Darth Vader. If you have three of the same set, you can build a huge portrait of Darth Vader, too. We opted for the (single) Darth Vader for this build. The finished set is really eye-catching, and it’s fun to see it come together. Building small squares at a time, you don’t get any idea of what it’s going to look like until you put them all together.
The frame is the last part of the build to complete. It adds plenty of rigidity to the set and looks effective enough without taking away from the image. It’s a thin frame; just one stud width around the edge, finished off with smooth black tiles. It adds plenty of support to the back of the image, so you feel safe hanging it on the wall.
Play or display?
Obviously, there is absolutely no play merit in the LEGO Art – Star Wars The Sith set. This is a set very much designed for display, and display only. But we’re all for LEGO sets that can be hung on the wall. As LEGO fans, decent display space is limited, so being able to use wall space is hugely attractive. More sets that you can hang on the wall please, LEGO! (Ooh, how cool would wall-mounted LEGO busts be?)
Value for money?
Is LEGO Art – Star Wars The Sith worth its RRP of £114.99? It’s a tricky one to answer. It’s a lot of money, but you do get 3,406 pieces (albeit mostly small studs). Still, the finished product is a piece of art that’s 40cm square. You can pay a similar price for a good quality piece of artwork. That’s what this is; it’s hard to compare to a typical LEGO set because it’s something quite different.
If you’re wanting something unique to display on your wall, then we think it’s worth the price. We’ve already seen the sets with a 10% discount on Amazon, so we expect them to drop in price in other places over the coming months, too. Sub-£100, it would be an absolute steal. But we certainly don’t regret paying full price for something so different.