What’s the point of an instrument if you can’t play it? That’s what many might think when you mention that LEGO has just released a brick-built Fender Stratocaster guitar. But when they actually see it they might change their tune. Why? Because it looks fantastic. It captures all the beauty of a real Fender Stratocaster but in a smaller, brickier, form. Though the real highlight here might possibly be the amplifier that comes with it.
LEGO Ideas 21329 Fender Stratocaster
- RRP: £89.99
- Number of pieces: 1,074 pieces
- Release date: October 2021
- Age rating: 18+
- Time to build: 3-4 hours
What’s in the box?
The box might be the most disappointing thing about LEGO Ideas 21329. Unlike most LEGO Ideas sets that come in pizza-style boxes that allow you to open and close them without damage, this comes in a standard box with tearable thumb perforations. It’s probably due to its large size, but still.
In any case, inside the box are 12 numbered bags, along with two thin and reasonably long rubber tubes, and an unnumbered bag of smaller metallic cables and tubes. There’s also a 180-page instruction book, with information about the real-life guitar and the designers of the model. And let’s not forget the obligatory sticker sheet, thankfully with just four stickers to apply. There’s a giant LEGO Fender sticker, too, but that’s not for the model. It’s just a nice little extra for you to apply to anything you’d like.
LEGO really has thought of everything with LEGO Ideas 21329 Fender Stratocaster. Like, how would buyers display it in their homes? And so, your first task is building the included guitar stand. It’s a simple build but it’s effective, and looks just like the real thing. It even folds up and makes use of rubber pieces to add some additional grip. It makes for a great start.
After building the stand, you then move onto actually building the guitar, starting with the neck and head, as well as pickups. The head is quite intricately designed, and comes complete with a printed Fender logo. The fretboard is printed too, and looks just like the real thing. Once this part of the build is complete, you really get a feel of just how much thought LEGO has put into this build. It’s impressive.
Your next step is to decide if you want a red guitar or a black guitar – parts are included for both. We choose red, just because we thought it would look better. If you decide you want to change it at a later date it’s of course possible, and you don’t need even need to take the entire guitar apart. The body is primarily built in two halves before attaching them together and adding some final detail.
In between putting the two halves of the body together, however, is the act of adding the strings to the guitar. This is a very fiddly process that first involves building a plate to attach the strings to, attaching it to the body of the guitar, and then connecting the strings to the head of the guitar. It’s a process aided by adding coloured studs to the grey studs connected to the strings themselves, then rotating the connectors to make the strings taught.
Removing the coloured studs after this isn’t as easy as LEGO perhaps thinks it is though. Ultimately, it proved to be easier to just remove the strings one by one, taking off the coloured stud before reapplying the grey stud and tightening the strings again.
With the stings on, the guitar is finalised by attaching the remainder of the body and applying some final details. Everything has been thought of – from the the pick guard down to the numerous dials for things such as volume and tone. There’s even a whammy bar, and strap to attach realistically. With the guitar done, it truly is a sight to behold. It’s a work of art.
Some might see the next step – building an amp to sit alongside the guitar – as unnecessary. Something to bulk the piece count up and therefore the price along with it. Honestly, though, it really completes the set, and is fantastic to build. After building the frame, a large plate is built to adorn the front, decorated with light grey grills that give a striking mech effect. Behind that sits a speaker, and you also have a build a circuit board complete with pots, etc. that sits at the top of the amp, just behind the dials and sockets will eventually be.
A nice touch is that the plate that sits on the top of the amp can easily be removed, allowing you to see your handy work at a later date. Turning the amp around also allows you to see the numerous cables you’ve connected between various components. It’s wonderfully accurate and realistic. The final touches of the entire build include building a pedal before attaching it to the amp via one of the long, thin rubber tubes. The other is used to connect the amp to the guitar.
Play or display?
LEGO Ideas 21329 Fender Stratocaster is a set purely created for display. After all, you can’t play it. If you strum the strings no sound is produced. Besides, you wouldn’t want to play with it, because as a model it’s not the sturdiest. The guitar at least. But just look at it – it’s beautiful! If you’re a fan of music, guitars or LEGO models that are excellent conversation starters, this is a must.
Value for money?
Priced at £89.99, LEGO Ideas 21329 Fender Stratocaster offers excellent value for money as far as we’re concerned. Few models have the ‘wow factor’ that this does once built. Some might consider the stand and amplifier as unnecessary extras, but altogether they really make this set stand out as a display piece. It’s perhaps the option of building the guitar with a red or black body that’s the unnecessary aspect. Especially with LEGO currently trialling selling selected sets in numerous colours.