Yesterday, Amazon.co.uk gave us an accidental (but very welcome) first look at the upcoming LEGO Ideas set – the Medieval Blacksmith.
Update: The LEGO Ideas Medieval Blacksmith has officially been revealed! Check out the LEGO 21325 Medieval Blacksmith announcement for official photos, pricing and release details!
The LEGO Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith will be released on LEGO.com on 1 February 2021.
Originally designed by Namirob, the original Ideas Project was a hit with longtime LEGO fans, and Castle enthusiasts as it represented an opportunity for a set to return to the glory days of LEGO Castle/Kingdoms, which were a huge part of many childhoods.
The LEGO Ideas Medieval Blacksmith is likely to launch on 1 February, so keep an eye out for an official reveal soon.
The difference in complexity is stark, with LEGO noticably scaling down and shrinking the build, with a drastically simpler roof, chimney and overall footprint.
Reading the comments on social media (including a very funny meme comparing it to a 4+/Juniors set), many LEGO fans were understandably disappointed that LEGO decided to downgrade and “kiddify” what was a highly anticipated Ideas set.
I don’t think it’s such a bad move, and I actually welcome LEGO simplifying and scaling down sets.
Looking at my credit card statement from last year, it has been a really expensive year for LEGO, and 2021 is likely going to be even more painful on the wallet, with what LEGO has been cooking up, and an even bigger focus on 18+/Adult-focused sets this year.
I think it’s a great thing for LEGO to focus on smaller sets that don’t compromise (that much) on build techniques and displayability, and I would love for LEGO to release more “mid-ranged” LEGO sets aimed at adults in 2021.
LEGO isn’t cheap, and not every set needs to cost an arm and a leg, and take up half a dining table to display. The recently revealed Ninjago City Gardens will retail for AU$500, and while LEGO fanatics would not hesitate to drop that kind of money on a highly detailed set, many regular fans can’t and won’t do so on a monthly basis.
Also, for many longtime LEGO fans, the number one problem plaguing us is that we are literally running out of surface area in our homes to display LEGO – so I highly welcome smaller sets that I can easily make space for.
*cough* LEGO Colosseum *cough* I’m looking at you.
I hope to see more sets like the recently released like the Botanical Collection, which are at an accessible price-point, and don’t require a ton of space to display, while looking absolutely stunning as display pieces.
“Midrange” LEGO sets are going to be extremely important to LEGO’s long term success and in pulling in new fans, so this is an exciting space to watch.
So yeah, am I mad that LEGO have dramatically scaled down the Medieval Blacksmith? Not at all – from the looks of it, it still bears an unmistakable classic Castle look, and that Nexo-Shield roof is still gorgeous.
Plus, we haven’t seen the entire set revealed just yet, so I’m reserving judgment till then. For all we know, LEGO could include 2 goats in it, and I guarantee you that all this outrage will soon be forgotten if that happens.
What do you think of the newly revealed LEGO Ideas Medieval Blacksmith? Are you overwhelmed, underwhelmed, or just whelmed? Would you like to have seen a larger more detailed set?
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Phillip Booth says
It’s cool and I’m looking forward to the whole reveal but I was really hoping for a full blown Castle set that embraces the sets from the 80s and 90’s. Something similar in scope and size to the Pirates of Barracuda Bay which was amazing.
Warren Abbay says
Not all sets are going to look the same from the original Ideas submissions. I’m just glad we are getting this set and can’t wait for the full reveal!
Yeah, but can understand frustration from some quarters that it wasn’t what they voted for.
I just hope the price point remains accessible!
I wasn’t aware of the original till now, but aesthetically to me, I think the redesign looks way better. In particular the roof – the roof on the original is just hideous! Of course, it’s a bit hard to compare the two considering the original was a render and the new one is all real and nice and shiny.
Having said that, I _was_ aware of the Lego Piano prototype prior to its final release which I was hugely excited for, and I was absolutely crushed by the redesign they did – I felt the original was so completely superior, in particular I hated the seat redesign. I’m not going to spend $500 to feel crushing disappointment whenever I look at it! Would I have felt the same way if I _wasn’t_ aware of the Lego Ideas prototype already? I don’t really know, but I want to think I’m able to be objective
I think there’s a great balance between both. A lot of Ideas submissions tend to have very elaborate (but flimsy!) designs that don’t translate well to actual builds, where LEGO’s standards are much tighter. What I’m glad is that the spirit of the original design has been kept intact with the production version, which is all we can ask for.
But yeah, great point about the Piano and the compromises made there.
I really like this set still (even with the 4+ rating, 😉), but I agree with the people that might think that LEGO maybe went a little too far with this. I’m originally from Europe, and I love the southern Germany wood/stone houses my whole life (I even lived in one in Holland, where I’m from, where the little tower was my bathroom, and looking out over the whole town ! 😃)
So I would like to see them a little larger than that, but I also agree with you Jay, that all those huge sets are going to ruin my credit rating if LEGO only does big sets for adults…
Personally though, I would have loved it larger than it is now; and then I would just be more “picky” this year about what to buy…
P.S. On another note, I voted for “Pirates of Barracuda Bay” to be the best set of 2020, and am currently putting it together and absolutely love that set ! I recommend it to anyone ! It’s funny, clever, beautiful, playful, colorful and gives me a “happy feeling” just looking at it !…
Thanks Jay for listening !
Thanks for sharing your thoughts – really interesting insight about the historical/geographic accuracy in play here.
In many ways, us LEGO Ideas fans have clearly been spoiled by the likes of the Fishing Store, and Barracuda Bay, so when LEGO shrinks down sets like this, it becomes all the more obvious.
If you look at the most recent Ideas set, Sesame Street, you can see a similar pattern as well. At the very least, it does look like the “spirit” of the original design has been largely maintained, which is all we can ask for!
Just in regards to your PS. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and YES :).
Barracuda Bay is a testament to a set that is almost unrecognisable when compared to the original submission, yet is perfect in every way. I suspect our cottage here will still live up to the original, but as others have noted, Lego presumably saw the need to spread sets across a wider price range. Personally I have so many sets in the “too expensive” wish list, and this should hit a good pricing sweet spot.
I like the new design, it’s obviously not as detailed as the original, but that was inevitable. There was no way LEGO would have done that roof tiling. It’s possible LEGO could have done something closer to the original with a roof style similar to the fishing store but the price would have been much higher than the current LEGO design. Imagine something similar to the original costing the same price as the ninjago city gardens and coming out at the same time, if you could only pick one which would it be? My guess is most people would go ninjago.
The set isn’t perfect, I would have loved the tree from the original as I don’t think LEGO have released a tree in that style. The tree they have is rather confused with what looks like spring colouring but also has apples on the branches. However the chimney just looks wrong, especially from the angle of the image, the pots are lost against the roof and is already too short so ends up looking really stunted. A medieval blacksmith with a large forge would have a much more substantial chimney.
Really great points – LEGO needs to find the right balance, and sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong.
Also agree about the Chimney – I wish it had a bit more personality and character, and like you said, have it be a lot larger to suit a blacksmith’s forge.
I like the set and feel there’s no need for all sets to be huge. Like you said, most people don’t buy big sets often, if at all. But 100% “kiddifying” the set might make a great kid set, 0% a great adult set. 50% just makes a set half as good for both audiences so I usually skip them.
Those percentages are a great way to look at it. LEGO need to constantly strike the right balance, and sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong, and sometimes, we get a bit of both.
Guido Fernando says
Me parece genial se vuelven asequibles al bolsillo de las personas siempre lo e dicho “un lego al bolsillo de la gente “osea que sean legos que la gente pueda comprar o un ciudadano del mundo no un millonario que se los puede permitir genial que todos fueran reducido para que el precio bajase genial.
¡Haciendo todo lo posible para responder con el Traductor de Google! Estoy de acuerdo y siempre he encontrado que los sets LEGO asequibles son mucho más fáciles de recomendar. Para muchos de nosotros, LEGO es una compra de lujo, por lo que mantener el set bastante asequible siempre es algo bueno. Siempre tendremos más oportunidades para conjuntos caros.
I like this set ! Agree on the building technique with the shields – will be stealing that idea ! It is what it is – buy it or don’t buy it ! We all find something we live from lego so we are spending ether way !
Yeah, the shields are so cool!
Yves Bormes says
I read a massive backlash in a german forum about that set. From the viewpoint of the creator it is understandable, but my first idea was also that Lego would simplify it to give it a shot at a more diverse range of customers and not only the 18+ range.
And as far as i know, the designer was a german, what would augment the amount of backlash😅
From what I’ve heard of the German LEGO fanbase, they can be pretty… opinionated!