They will both be available from LEGO.com on 1 May 2022 but can be pre-ordered now direct from LEGO or through Amazon.com, and I think they’ll be extremely popular as they’re one of the best ones yet out of this collection as they’ll appeal to both longtime and non-LEGO fans, as well as make for incredibly fun gifts in the leadup to Mother’s Day.
My first review from the 2022 LEGO Botanical Collection is 10311 Orchid, which is quite simply a work of art, and one of the most visually impressive sets LEGO have ever put on sale, that’s also relatively affordable and accessible.
If you love house plants, flowers, or unique LEGO experiences, you’re going to want to add the LEGO Orchid to your wishlist come 1 May 2022.
Let’s jump into the review!
See below for regional pricing and links:
- 10311 Orchid [US] – US$49.99 [Amazon]
- 10311 Orchid [AUS] – AU$89.99
- 10311 Orchid [UK] – £44.99
- 10311 Orchid [EU] – €49.99
- 10311 Orchid [CA] – CAD$69.99
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
10311 Orchid – Set Details
Set Number: 10311
Price: AU$89.99 | US$49.99 | £44.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores initially
Theme: Creator Expert / Botanical Collection
LEGO Designer: Mike Psiaki
Release Date: 1 May 2022
Here’s a look at the contents of the instruction manual – there is as always, an introduction to the designer, in this case, Mike Psiaki (who is someone held in very high esteem by every LEGO designer I’ve spoken to), and some background information on Orchids.
Yes, the LEGO Orchid set is a Mike Psiaki special, so you instantly know that you’re in for a treat.
LEGO Orchid Build Experience
At 608 pieces, the LEGO Orchid isn’t a particularly lengthy build, and it’s just the right length to give you a satisfying experience, without feeling tedious.
The start is a little daunting, with the assembly of the core of the fluted vase – Technic bars are used across, which may be a little awkward for those not used to building with Technic, but the bright cornucopia of colours will do its best to distract your attention.
The second bag sees you assemble the exterior of the fluted vase or pot, with a generous helping of triangular sand blue roofs, which are incredibly satisfying to snap into place.
The geometry and colours were especially striking, and I loved peering into the vase from above, showing the multi-coloured core, and 16 facets of the fluted vase.
Bag 3 has you building the leaves, potting mix, and roots… before you finish off the build putting the Orchid flowers into place!
Here’s the completed LEGO Orchid, and this was a truly special LEGO set to behold. It makes such an impressive statement, and like most of the LEGO sets in the Botanical Collection, plays tricks on your eyes as it’ll make you stop and rethink whether this is an actual living plant, or a bunch of ABS plastic parts cobbled together.
The Orchid has all the essential ingredients for a exceptional display piece – it has height, attractive colours, and a larger-than-life footprint, thanks to the large leaves, and sand blue vase – all of which work in harmony to catch your gaze.
It’s honestly one of the most life-like LEGO models I’ve ever built, and I found it hard to believe that it only costs US$49.99 / AU$89.99 which is simply astounding value for what you’re getting on display.
It’s not just the visual aesthetics that disarm you. I had the most visceral experience when I picked the Orchid up with both hands grasping the vase, as it felt exactly like a ceramic vase.
Thanks to the sand blue roof elements, which have a slightly porous and matte texture to them, it actually feels like you’re holding an actual ceramic pot as the textures and how it feels in hand, which is such a bizarre experience.
From that moment on, I knew that this was going to be a very special LEGO set, and I began wondering how intentional the choice of material/element was to evoke that feeling.
Like the Bonsai Tree and Bird of Paradise before it, the LEGO Orchid also has potting mix, and stuff inside the vase, in this case, some chunks of bark to retain moisture in the soil.
Two roots are seen snaking out, which is another really wonderful touch, and I also liked the dark brown tentacle, which looks like a dead roof, or stem rotting, which is a very common sight if you have house plants.
Here’s a look at the leaves, which use these large curved panels, in dark green for the first time (I believe). The smaller one uses an angled canopy at the bottom, which serves to introduce some variety.
I wasn’t a fan of the leaves, as I felt like while the shapes were seemingly accurate, they are a little too glossy and reflective for me, which does make it look quite plasticky, and if you put it on display, you’ll likely see bright balls of light reflected on it from the lights in your home.
I do wish the leaves had a more matte texture, but understand that element limitations probably would’ve have made that possible for now.
Here’s a look at the stalks and Orchid flowers, which are the main draw. There are 6 Orchids in full bloom, 2 smaller blossoms, and 2 buds, and you’re encouraged to adjust and personalise the arrangement by twisting and manipulating the Technic stems, allowing you to alter the shape as you please.
Here’s a closer look at the Orchid flowers in full bloom – they’re created from a mix of Constraction shoulder pads, white shields, forks (yes forks), and knob gears in pink for the first time, and magenta frogs!
A hodge-podge of elements that Mike Psiaki has somehow figured would come together to accurately mimic an Orchid.
The use of frogs are inspired here, as they have an odd organic shape, and the way they’re angled against the light pink lips look almost natural.
The frogs, are also likely a nod to the LEGO Bonsai, designed by Nick Vas which famously employed 100 pink frogs to act as cherry blossoms.
Perhaps the most surprising element used – it surprised me when dozens of white forks popped out of the bag. These forks are used to hold the shields in place!
But perhaps the most interesting surprise, and another shining example of nice part usage is the use of recoloured Demogorgon heads (yes Demogorgon Heads from the now-retired Stranger Things set) – which are cast in white, and have Orchid flowers printed on them.
They serve as juvenile Orchid blooms, which are beginning to emerge – I guess the closest we got to Orchid bulbs hanging from the stems.
Here’s some of the interesting elements included! Forks and Frogs aplenty!
The LEGO Orchid looks marvellous on display, and if you’re like me and have a modest houseplant collection, it should be incredibly easy to incorporate the Orchid in your homes.
It seamlessly blends in, and has the right size and scale to disguise itself as an Orchid, except this one is immortal, and won’t require finicky conditions to bloom.
Here’s a comparison with my Bonsai Tree, and Bird of Paradise. The size (and height) almost rivals the Bird of Paradise which is double the price, and is more than double the size of the Bonsai Tree which has the same US$49.99/AU$89.99 pricetag.
When placed side by side, it manages to make both sets (which are really good sets) look bad, as it makes the Bird of Paradise seem overpriced (it is), and the Bonsai Tree seem almost pedestrian.
What I liked:
- The Orchid is a work of art
- Incredibly nice part usage with the pink knob gears, magenta frogs and Demogorgon heads
- Vase’s realistic texture is mind-blowing
- An exceptional display piece
What I didn’t like:
- Leaves are too glossy
- Would be nice to have “green” and unopened Orchid buds
It goes without saying, 10311 Orchid is an exceptional LEGO set, and one of the most impressive sets ever released to the market, all for the low, low price of under US$50.
It ticks all the boxes for me, and is an incredible case study of just what can be made possible out of LEGO, and an astonishing display of Mike Psiaki’s talent, and eye for detail.
This is a masterclass of LEGO design, and it’s also bolstered by the fact that you can customise and personalise the Orchid’s arrangement to your liking, also adds to the appeal.
As a display model, it’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous and just oozes display presence. You can set this up on your desk at work, or in your home, and it instantly elevates its surroundings.
The comparisons with the Bonsai Tree are impossible to avoid as they are both priced identically, but the Orchid outclasses the Bonsai in nearly every single category.
It’s larger, has more interesting and rarer elements, and has more LEGO included, and honestly, I’m surprised LEGO didn’t price this closer to the Bird of Paradise.
While its beautiful and all, LEGO sets targeted at adults have always had a “see but don’t touch” vibe about them, but I just cannot forget the visceral feeling I had when I held the vase, and it actually felt like a ceramic vase.
It’s hard to put into words, as it’s a sensorial experience, but you’ll get it when you get this set in your hands. I don’t know why, but feeling has stayed with me as it’s unlike anything LEGO have ever done.
I recommend the LEGO Orchid to absolutely everybody, and this would also make a remarkable gift to non-LEGO enthusiasts, or as an introduction to LEGO.
It’s a rare, near-perfect set that will absolutely delight and thrill you.
It does have a few small flaws, which are just minor peeves such as the leaves being too glossy and reflective, or the lack of closed buds, but they don’t detract from what is the closest we’ll get to a perfect LEGO set and experience that will not break the bank.
The LEGO Orchid receives a very deserving perfect 5/5 score from me.
Make sure you don’t miss out on this set – I hope LEGO made enough as I can see this selling out almost immediately.
Rating and score: 5/5 ★★★★★
Build  – A great blend of brilliant build techniques, and borrows heavily from the Flower Bouquet in terms of ingenuity
Real Value  – Incredible that in the face of rising inflation, LEGO managed to keep this at US$50
Innovation  – Truly astounding how Mike managed to make this look like the real thing
Coolness  – An immortal ornamental flower made out of LEGO. So many cool parts, and will absolutely spark conversation.
Keepability  – You’ll never disassemble this and take it from display ever.
Thanks for reading my review of 10311 Orchid! Look out for my review of 10309 Succulents tomorrow! The LEGO Orchid and Succulent goes on sale from LEGO.com on 1 May 2022, so make sure you don’t miss out as I wouldn’t be surprised if this sells out incredibly quickly.
What do you think of the LEGO Orchid?
If you’d like to see videos of the LEGO Orchid, and a comparison with the Bonsai and Bird of Paradise, be sure to also watch my review on my Youtube channel!
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review