Love it or hate it, it’s Valentine’s Day today! Whether you’re busy preparing a thoughtful surprise for your loved one or complaining about how Vday has completely lost its meaning after being hijacked by businesses and consumer culture, we can at least all agree on one thing – our mutual love of the LEGO brick.
LEGO has brought back its seasonal vignette sets for 2017 and the very first one this year is 40236 Romantic Valentine’s Picnic. I wasn’t a fan of last year’s range of brick-built Seasonal sets so I’m very happy with the return of the minifigure vignettes.
Here’s a short review of 40236 Romantic Valentine Picnic! They’re still available to order online from LEGO.com, so if you missed out or forgot, there’s still time to nab this set.
Like most Seasonal sets, Romantic Valentine’s Day comes with a very nice looking box, which adds to its appeal as a thoughtful gift for your LEGO-loving partner (or would be partner).
Up on the front, there are little Cupids firing arrows at a heart in the bottom left corner, and on the top right corner, there’s a love heart where you can write the gift recipient’s name for that extra touch of personalisation. On the back, you’re treated to a preview of the set and the different ways the minifigure can interact with it – I like the female minfig with the heart in the thought bubble.
We get a minifigure couple in this set, a young man and a young woman. The lady is wearing a cute pink and purplish tank top with butterfly and flower prints on it – I also really like her heart necklace. The dude is wearing a light blue hoodie over a purple t-shirt with a solitary silver star on it.
Both torsos are relatively rare and are designed very nicely, so it’s quite nice to add both of them to my collection. They also each come with printed tiles, an envelope and a chocolate bar.
Both torsos have back printing which is always nice. The lady has a dual-sided face with pink sunglasses on, which I think looks fantastic and gives off a very Outdoor and Summery-vibe.
Both minifigures are absolutely delightful and it was very nice that LEGO didn’t resort to stock-standard torsos.
You get a printed LEGO chocolate bar tile, which is one of my favourite recent accessories. Just like the real thing, you can never have enough of these!
The Romantic Valentine Picnic is a simple vignette. Both minifigures are enjoying an elaborate picnic date. There’s a classic red and white checkered picnic mat, and they’re surrounded by so much food that you’d think that this was a buffet.
The picnic utilises jumper plates/tiles so you can easily shuffle the layout of all the different elements as you see fit. On the picnic mat, we have a teddy bear accessory, a plate full of baked sweets and goodies and a pineapple.
The pineapple is a pretty odd addition – who brings a whole pineapple out to a picnic? It’s bizarre, but I really like the pineapple minifig head which is printed, so I’m not going to complain about it.
There’s also a balloon on a stick which is a great accessory for the minifigures to pose with.
Accompanying the main vignette are a few smaller components. We get a small patch of grass which holds a nice vase and one of those new-ish bouquet elements, a bench of sandwiches and a tray holding a wine bottle and glasses.
I thought it was pretty clever that the two sandwiches are different colour – possibly to indicate one being white bread and the other being wholemeal bread.
You can easily remove the bouquet from its vase for the minifigures to hold. I don’t have too many of these bouquets in my collection, so this is yet another great accessory to have.
On the far side of the vignette, we get a small fountain that’s adorned by one of those heart-shaped jewel pieces in transparent light blue. These blue heart jewels are relatively rare. I also like the flowers and plant stalks alongside the fountain – it’s almost like a small self-contained fountain.
The tree is a simple but very effective build. I like the different shades of leaves, and the tiny birdhouse nestled into a tiny corner on the trunk.
There’s also a brick-built bird perched high above the branches overlooking the lovey-dovey couple.
One of my favourite things about the entire vignette is that the vignette is shaped in a love-heart when viewed from above. It’s really clever, and just fits in perfectly with the theme of this entire set.
The only issue is that the plates are not attached to each other, so they tend to slide around when you re-arrange things. You can easily fasten them with a tile or plate, but it breaks up the clean look slightly.
If you slightly shift the tree roots and fountain tile, it makes for a better way to connect all the plates so they don’t drift away.
For a small set, the selection of spare parts is nice – plenty of printed food tiles and flowers.
What I liked:
- Great civilian minifigures
- Plenty of food items and accessories
- The vignette’s heart-shaped design
- Very affordable set
What I didn’t like:
- The plates sometimes shift around
Final thoughts: The Romantic Valentine Picnic is an utterly delightful set that’s a return to form for LEGO’s seasonal vignettes. For a relatively affordable set, you get a lot of bang for your buck, with a great selection of food accessories and uncommon elements.
The theme of a picnic is executed well and it looks really good on display, even if it’s a little cluttered thanks to all the separate modules. It’s not as compact as the 2015 Valentine’s Day set but I think that it looks a lot more organic, thanks to all the greenery in this set.
The minifigures are also very nice, and I really liked the fact that we got some rare-ish torsos and parts. Most underrated thing is the female minifigure’s dual-sided head with the sunglasses on.
LEGO Seasonal Sets are usually great value and 40236 Romantic Valentine Picnic is no exception to the rule. It’s a fun little set and it won’t hurt your wallet too much. It’s an awesome standalone set, or it can be easily integrated into your LEGO Town or City.
If someone you know and love is into LEGO, I can’t quite think of a better Valentine’s Day gift. It’s still available online, so I guess you can pass it off as a belated V-day present!
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know in the comments if you own this set and what you thought of it.
If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, I hope you have a really lovely one and that you get spoiled silly! Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers!