LEGO have officially revealed 21344 The Orient Express, the 52nd LEGO Ideas set that’ll be coming to you on 1 December 2023.
LEGO have partnered with The Orient Express to re-create one of the most iconic and luxurious modes of transportation ever in LEGO form, in celebration of the train’s 140th anniversary.
This 2,540-piece LEGO Train is packed with details, and yes, it does run on conventional track but unfortunately, isn’t quite designed for motorisation according to the design team as it’s too heavy.
That said, it’s a really gorgeous train and almost a spiritual successor to the legendary 10194 Emerald Night, and LEGO have really thrown locomotive and train fans a lifeline with the Orient Express, after years of neglect.
See below for regional pricing and links:
- 21344 The Orient Express [US] – US$299.99
- 21344 The Orient Express [AUS] – AU$469.99
- 21344 The Orient Express [UK] – £259.99
- 21344 The Orient Express [EU] – €299.99
- 21344 The Orient Express [CA] – CAD$389.99
At RLFM Days in Billund, Denmark, we were given an early reveal of the Orient Express and got to hear from Jordan Scott, the Design Lead for LEGO Ideas on the new Orient Express train.
As this is an officially licensed product, with LEGO working with the Orient Express, it was decided by the latter that it was to be dark blue, keeping with the upcoming Orient Express La Dolce Vita which will once again carry passengers in 2024.
You can learn more about The Orient Express and the journey to bring back the legendary train on their website.
The set comes with 8 LEGO minifigures including the conductor, a chef, staff, and a variety of passengers that include a film director, a writer, scientist, and a regal Duchess.
That writer with the red hat and red scarf? Yeah, that’s Pippin Reed reborn, a fact confirmed by the LEGO Design Team!
Here’s a better look at the other minifigures.
Here’s a look at the side profile of the train, which includes a locomotive, coal car and two carriages.
And yes, it runs on traditional train tracks, although the train body is slightly wider to accommodate the extra details.
Unfortunately, according to the design team, it’s not designed to be motorised which is going to come as a big disappointment to the LEGO Train Community.
The official reason is that it’s too heavy but I’m a little curious and have always been a rebel, so I’ll be trying anyway.
The Orient Express also has a name – the Sapphire Star, which fits in really nicely with the Emerald Night!
Here’s a better look at the locomotive engine. Fun fact, did you know that in the original Orient Express, different locomotives pull the train depending on which country or part of the journey you’re in?
And here’s a look at the carriages. Some stickers are used in the train, but there are quite a number of printed elements.
Of course the Orient Express is all about the opulence and luxury of the journey, and there are 2 cars filled with plenty of great detail. The design team went to great lengths to bring these details to life and fans of the Orient Express will appreciate the attention to detail here.
Highlights are the backgammon game tile, and these 2 gorgeous sticker artworks, with the reflective one with grapes and birds at the bar particularly stunning.
LEGO fans will be delighted to know that this new element is introduced in the set, which makes the horizontal window building technique possible.
Oh and these coupling rods are new too!
There are also plenty of fun recolours such as these minion heads in dark blue.
Here are more lifestyle photos in this gallery.
Overall, I think that this is a really attractive model, and trains fans who enjoy display trains will be really happy with The Orient Express brought to life.
I’m a big fan of the colour scheme, and think it looks really elegant. Still, the lack of motorisation is frustrating but I’ll be putting that to the test in my review!
That said, the smaller and scaled down locomotive, colour change (people voted for the green) and the lack of motorisation will make this set highly divisive, especially amongst the passionate LEGO Train community.
What do you think of the LEGO Orient Express?
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