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Comparing 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle to other historic LEGO Castles

Following the launch of 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle, many excited fans are now either putting the epic 4,514-piece LEGO Castle together that I called a “genre-defining LEGO Castle” in my review.

With LEGO’s 90th Anniversary coming up soon, and Lion Knights’ Castle being a celebration of all things LEGO Castle, I thought it’d be a good idea to compare it against with some other Classic LEGO castles, to demonstrate just how far LEGO has come, as well as how this highly detailed modern set pays tribute to Castles of old.

10305 Lion Knights’ Castle is available now from LEGO.com

10305 Lion Knights’ Castle vs 375 Castle

To know your future you must know your past, and we have to go all the way back to 1978 with 375 Castle, also fondly known as the “Yellow Castle”.

At the time, grey were quite rare (check out the sets released in 1978), and I believe the only grey elements at the time were mostly plates, and they would only become more abundant in 1979, when Classic Space landed on the scene.

So LEGO designer Daniel August Krentz went with yellow instead, for a bright, cheery aesthetic that has now become one of LEGO Castle’s most iconic models, thanks to its bright yellow walls and towers.

Placing both sets side by side, you can appreciate just how ground-breaking 375 was at the time, with many playable features such as the drawbridge, arched entrance, and battlements across the towers and walls, which carry over to 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle, and many other LEGO Castles after 375.

Another standard was established with 375, plenty of Knight minifigures, whether they be mounted on brick-built horses, or if they’re serving as squires, or Castle guards.

And let’s not forget the ability for the walls to extend outwards, to create a larger wall, and alter the shape of the Castle, a key LEGO Castle feature that 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle also adapts.

One thing that 10305 does brilliantly, that sets it apart from all these Classic LEGO Castles is just how detailed the interiors are. Older LEGO Castles are mostly just walls, towers and minifigures, and very bare bones on the inside.

The Lion Knights’ Castle features a fully-decked out castle, with plenty of rooms that really make the Castle alive.

10305 Lion Knights’ Castle vs 6080 King’s Castle

The closest historical analogue to 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle would be 6080 King’s Castle, the flagship castle and home base

Designed by Niels Milan Pedersen, and released in 1984, half a decade after 375 Castle, it demonstrated (at the time) a huge leap forward, with flags, grey bricks, printed wall segments, a portcullis and some cavalry which is now made possible by moulded LEGO horses!

For many LEGO fans that grew up in the 80s, 6080 was THE Castle to own, and at the time was unrivalled as a LEGO Castle.

10305 Lion Knights’ Castle is notable because it marks the return of the Lion Knights’ faction, and instead of a king (who was absent from his own castle!), we get brave Queen Lionne who leads the Lion Knights in 2022.

You’ll notice many elements that have been carefully adapted into the 2022 version – the drawbridge and portcullis are obvious ones, as is the arched entrance, flags and also the position of the 2 shields above the entrance bearing the Lion Knights coat of arms.

Like 375, the interiors are bare, but we have staircases, as well as clips to hang swords, and even small chambers on the inside, which is a tiny step forward!

And yes, 6080 King’s Castle can also fold its way outwards, to create a massive walled section, something that 10305 emulates well.

Placing them side by side, it’s staggering just how far LEGO has come in almost 4 decades, but if there’s one thing that 6080 King’s Castle does slightly better, it’s that it has a more impressive Cavalry, with four horses to 10305′ two.

10305 Lion Knights’ Castle vs 31120 Medieval Castle

And now, for something a little more… present day. Unfortunately, my other older LEGO Castles are in storage, so these were all I had on display!

Here’s a side by side look with 31120 Medieval Castle from 2021, which at the time got a lot of Castle fans excited because it was a PROPER Castle despite being nestled within the Creator 3-in-1 theme.

Medieval Castle is a fantastic set (and still available to buy!) and functions as a modern keep for the Black Falcons, which are included in the build.

As you can see, it retains many classic LEGO Castle architectural features, such as the square-ish footprint, towers, entrance, and drawbridge, but with more refined and advanced building techniques that you’d expect from a 2021 LEGO set.

And yes, of course 31120’s walls can be folded outwards as well. Size-wise, it’s incomparable to the behemoth that is 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle, but a quarter of the price… still makes for a bloody good Castle.

Oh, and 31120 also has a slight edge because it comes with a brick-built dragon!

Here are all 4 Castles lined up together. As you can see, each Castle has its own distinct and unique flavour, yet retains so much of the LEGO Castle DNA first established in 1978’s Yellow Castle. DNA that is still front and centre of Lion Knights’ Castle.

The size, complexity and ambition dwarfs any LEGO Castle, which is why I think that 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle is the definitive LEGO Castle, and a glorious celebration of the rich Castle heritage that built the LEGO brand into what it is today.

I hope you enjoyed this look into the past, and how 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle pays homage to the Castles of old, and for a brief trip down memory lane if you grew up with 375 Castle or 6080 King’s Castle!

If you missed it, be sure to also read my review of 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle where you can uncover all the secrets, and brilliance of what is my favourite set so far of 2022.

Were you lucky to have LEGO Castles growing up? Tell me your favourite LEGO Castle memory in the comments!

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15 responses to “Comparing 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle to other historic LEGO Castles”

  1. Brian says:

    To be fair, a lot of the shared DNA between the sets has nothing at all to do with LEGO, and everything to do with medieval defensive structures. 10305 is a fantastic set though, and definitely worth every penny and storage/display space sacrifice!

  2. Daz says:

    Thanks Jay
    Another great review. I’m old (or is it more PC to be ‘Iconic’) enough to remember building the original Yellow Castle !

    Despite the nostalgia I will probably pass on these sets. I’m happy for the 90yr retro stuff but I’m looking forward to Castle/Ships/Steampunk along the lines of LOTR / Hobbit and the Castle fantasy line. Id really like to see the Lego designers do something else more interesting with new techniques. But not Space Castle (Lookng at you Nexo)
    So will welcome the new Viking village. Please Lego think about reinventing the orcs, trolls, dragons, spiders vs humans elves dwarves and wizards

    Sorry but just my opinion! 🙂 Peace out brickers

  3. Nut says:

    No mention of the Fright Knights? Best castle set in my opinion but it was also my first big set.

    • Jay says:

      Lots of love for the Fright Knights! Love the Night Lord’s Castle, which I believe is one of the tallest Castles.

      Unfortunately, mine are still back in my parents’ home, and I haven’t repatriated them yet.

  4. Adam says:

    It’s interesting you mention 10305 Lion Knight’s Castle’s parallels to 6080 King’s Castle! I have long saw that too, in spite of the usual comparisons to Black Knight’s Castle. Interestingly, I also see a lot of parallels in 31120 Medieval Castle to 6074 Black Falcon’s Fortress.

    1) They both are the home castle of the Black Falcons in their respective eras

    2) They both feature a front facade consisting entirely of the front gate, though the yellow arch with black slopes from 6074 has been expanded to a full gatehouse above the gate in 31120.

    3) Speaking of that yellow, they both feature classic yellow for their wattle-and-daub sections, with the 6074’s black half-timbering replaced with the not-available-at-the-time reddish brown.

    4) Speaking of that gatehouse, it has a drawbridge but no portcullis in both.

    5) Instead of a black roof, a more appropriate to the Black Falcons dark blue roof has been chosen, but in the two rear structures, a similar roofing pattern has been chosen for the rear of the structure: A traditional house-shaped roof on left side, contrasted with a pointed roof on the right.

    6) 6074 Black Falcon’s Fortress was concurrent in the product lineup with 6080 King’s Castle, though it came out a few months before, much like 31120 and 10305 which were separated by exactly 1 year but are concurrent right now.

    7) In addition, 6074 Black Falcon’s Fortress shares a similar size relation to 6080 King’s Castle that Medieval Castle does to Lion Knight’s Castle: It’s smaller, more compact, and less impressive than its neighbor, kind of serving as a “budget alternative” in the product lineup. Even so, it’s different enough, with a different faction of knights, such that buying both didn’t feel strange.

    Finally 8) While admittedly a bit of a stretch and completely different in color (yellow instead of red and white), 6074 also had hanging flags on either side of the gate that had nothing to do with the Black Falcons’ color scheme.

    In conclusion, my tinfoil hat Lego conspiracy theory is that in spite of being split off into the Icons and Creator 3-in-1 lines, and in spite of 31120 being a much simpler structure, especially when it comes to interior detailing, a convincing argument could be made that 31120 and 10305 were designed to go together as a miniature Classic Castle revival. This is reinforced to me by the fact that 10305 contains enough Black Falcons–with matching torso prints between the two sets–to appropriately staff the relatively barren 31120 (coincidentally with the same 6 guys that 6074 has, consisting of 5 with Black Falcon torsos and one that wears a breastplate).

    Not just that, I speculate that they were specifically intended to recall the Lego Castle lineup circa ~1985. Though, perhaps, reviving that lineup as adults remembered it being, rather than what those sets actually were.

    • Jay says:

      Hey Adam, wow love how much thought you’ve put into this! I think there are some elements from Black Knights’ Castle adapted, the most notable being the the Tudor cottage/building, as well as the slightly more fleshed out interiors.

      But yeah, 31120 is definitely an update to 6074, down to the shape of the walls, and how the entire structure was laid out.

      I would say that 6074 (and 31120 to an extent) function more as keeps/fortresses than the main castle.

      No tinfoil required, I think you’re on the right track with this being a mini Castle revival. Add the recent Forest Hideout set, and who knows what else we’ll get next year, and I think it’s safe to say that Castle is alive and well, albeit not within a formal theme. I definitely hope we see more factions, and maybe a Wizard’s tower or something next!

      Lord knows this newly reincarnated Majisto needs his own dwelling, or perhaps a magical workshop!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts once again, it was such a great read!

  5. Ian says:

    Hi Jay

    I actually had this castle from 1970 which you couldn’t buy but had to collect tokens to the send off for
    https://en.brickimedia.org/wiki/00-1_Weetabix_Castle

    It had a non-opening drawbridge but a whole raft of bricks that I had not seen before in the basic sets I had had up until then.

    I think there are still elements of this around in our loft waiting to be used yet again

  6. Shaun says:

    Why didn’t you compare it to the 6090 castle? That seems like the closest?

  7. John says:

    Im partial to my Lego Black Knights Castle #6086.

  8. Gabriel says:

    I got the Black Monarch’s Castle (6085), Forest Hideout (40567) and other small sets (a catapult and a wagon) for my (10th birthday IIRC). The boxes and instructions are long gone but I still have them stored in a cardboard box in my parents attic.

  9. Carl says:

    I absolutely loved my 6082 Fire Breathing Fortress as a child (I believe it’s still in my parents’ attic waiting to be repatriated). It was my only castle set but it gave me so many hours of joy over the years.

    I’ve since become an AFOL (mainly Lego Star Wars) but was really happy to see Lego Castle theme make a comeback. I really enjoy all of the little interior details in 21325 Medieval Blacksmith and 31120 Medieval Castle so cannot wait for my 10305 Lion Knights’ Castle to arrive! I’m definitely going to be in the dog house when my other half sees the size of it though!

    Keep up the good work, Jay! I always enjoy your reviews, particularly for the CMF series and Lego Star Wars advent calendars.

  10. Phil says:

    How about an article on the knights in the minifigure series?

  11. Johnny says:

    I have the 375 yellow castle. Got it when I was 3 and it sits in the cupboard together with all my new stuff. Unfortunately most of the knight were lost when I was little, but all stickers on the castle are intact. Many hours were spent playing with it.

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