When the Internets first got glimpse of the LEGO Minecraft Set on the company’s Kickstarter-esque site Cuusoo, I doubt a lot of people thought it would ever become a real product. It surprised me when LEGO announced on the CUUSOO blog that it passed their approval process and would be a really-for-real set in a few months time. It’s been for sale for a short while and I got my hands on one, dumped all the pieces on my desk, and built it so I could let you know if it’s a great LEGO set or just a decoration for hardcore Minecraft fans.
What You Get
The LEGO Minecraft Set (or Minecraft 21102 officially) is a micro-world set, meaning it’s not minifigure scale. It does, however, include a couple micro-figures in the likeness of Minecraft’s Steve and a Creeper. Since the whole point of Minecraft is shaping and building terrain out of the available blocks in the game, the LEGO Minecraft set works the same way.
The set is composed of for quadrants, each with an above-ground and below-ground level. The levels are attached loosely to allow you to lift the top off easily to get a look underground. Each quadrant attaches with some Technic pins, letting you create a whole mini Minecraft world.
The first thing I noticed as an adult LEGO fan that’s use to putting together the more mainstream sets is the number of pieces you get. For a $35 set, you get over 400 pieces, which is a pretty good value. Granted, the pieces are all tiny, but it works well for this theme.
The construction is a lot different than the mainstream sets as well. To emulate the Minecraft look, there are a lot of random angles and pieces that hang over each other unconnected. It made me feel like I was doing things wrong when I was building it, but when it’s done the effect is pretty cool.
The box is surprisingly cool-looking, and contains the bags of bricks as well as two instruction booklets. The first booklet contains a page with the CUUSOO backstory, which is a nice touch. The set also includes an orange brick separator; a great bonus for those like me who didn’t have one yet.
Crafting the Set
It took me about two hours to put the LEGO Minecraft set together, but I was working in between steps. I’m sure if I would have given it my full attention it would have went by faster. One thing that annoyed me, as a guy with fat fingers, is that putting all those tiny one-by-one flat tiles and bricks together starts to make your fingers rather sore.
All in all it was a fun build. It wasn’t predictable like a lot of mainstream sets are, there are no huge pieces that take up a big chunk of the design, and the finished product is pretty great-looking. I think a lot of people will buy this set, build it, and then use it as decoration on their desk, and honestly it’s perfect for that. I’m sure kids who are into Minecraft could have fun playing with this set, but it definitely seems geared more towards the adult collector.
When it’s finished, the LEGO Minecraft set looks great. The shiny flat tiles forming trees, Steve’s house, and rocks have an almost 8-bit look. The set is compact and sits on your desk or shelf easier than a big LEGO super hero set or Lord of the Rings Castle. It’s a conversation starter too. Steve and the Creeper are printed on tiny bricks and tiles, and look almost like the game pieces in the Heroica games.
Even though LEGO Minecraft represents the third CUUSOO set to be available for purchase, this is the first on a lot of people’s radars. It was the first CUUSOO set that went viral online, and the fact that it is a real product now is exciting. Hopefully we can see more CUUSOO projects see the light of day, like the Portal project I posted a short while ago and the Modular Western Town, both of which received the 10,000 votes they needed to get LEGO’s attention.
I hope CUUSOO becomes a gold mine for LEGO. Once people realize that not every project needs to be a licensed set, I hope some of the amazing builders out there get their sets made so the rest of us can enjoy them. I’d love to see some generic Mechs, vehicles, and modular buildings to compliment the products LEGO designs themselves. Hopefully enough LEGO and Minecraft fans buy this set to show that we’re actually interested in crowdsourced sets.
I would even like to see additional LEGO Minecraft sets. As the game expands, the potential for more Micro World sets is huge. I’d love to see some little pigs and cows to go along with Steve and the Creeper, as well as some generic terrain to create larger Minecraft dioramas.
You can get LEGO Minecraft for about $35 on LEGO’s website.