LEGO’s Creator 3-in-1 continues to surprise in the best of ways, and today, I’m pleased to share a review of 31122 Fish Tank, a charming buildable LEGO aquarium that’s due to be released in the second half of 2021.
In addition to being a rather eye-catching little build, one of the first things that stand out immediately is how familiar these tropical fish are – there’s an orange Clownfish, blue Dory, and a yellow tang.
Hold on! Have LEGO created an unofficial Finding Nemo set? It sure looks like it, with some other fish added in for plausible deniability, but it sure seems it’s very heavily inspired by the Aquarium at the dentist (P. Sherman who works at 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney).
Whether you see Finding Nemo in this set or not, read on to see why this is one of the more exciting new Creator 3-in-1 sets from the Summer 2021 wave.
The new LEGO 31122 Fish Tank will be released in Europe and Asia Pacific from 1 June 2021 and 1 August 2021 in the US and will retail for US$29.99 / AU$44.99 / £24.99 from LEGO.com, LEGO Brand Retail Stores, and most toy stores.
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
31122 Fish Tank Set Details
Name: Fish Tank
Set Number: 31122
Price: AU$44.99 | US$29.99 | £24.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK]
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Creator 3-in-1
Release Date: 1 June 2021 (Rest of World) / 1 August 2021 (USA & Canada)
If you’re looking for a fairly accessible set that contains plenty of replay value and bang for your buck, it’s hard to go past Creator 3-in-1.
As the name suggests, you get 3 models in one set, a concept that is core to LEGO’s DNA, and pays homage to old LEGO sets, where you had alternate models shown off in packaging or in instruction manuals.
31122 Fish Tank offers 3 distinct modes – the major build which is the Aquarium, an underwater treasure chest and a painting easel.
Treasure Chest alternate build
Let’s take a look at the alternate models first. The Treasure Chest is by far my favourite, as the underwater theme matches the Fish Tank theme quite well.
You build a small orange crab, a sea-bird and a treasure chest containing all sorts of trinkets.
The two buildable animals are great, which make great use of the extra parts, but the crab is really impressive with its posable arms and eye stalks.
In the treasure chest are these 2 items, a pink goblet, and a rather ornate-looking sword. It gives off heavy Final Fantasy/Legend of Zelda vibes (leaning to the latter because of the colours) and there are cool details such as the jewelled hilt, yellow winged cross guards and ruby pommel.
It reminds me of the Golden Claymore from Breath of the Wild, and it’s the right size for your standard LEGO mechs to wield which is a nice bonus.
Here’s how the chest looks open, and from behind. The bits of seaweed and coral growing from it gives off a nice underwater look.
Easel alternate build
The other alternate model is this Easel, with a beautiful portrait of a parrot.
The colours and elements used are quite ingenious, and exhibits the unlimited creative potential of LEGO.
The different-sized elements in use also create a really pleasing 3D textured effect which is most apparent when viewed on an angle.
The easel itself is quite basic, and the painting rests on the black frame without any firm attachments.
Fish Tank / Aquarium Primary Build
The Fish Tank is of course the main draw, and upon completion, struck me with how good it looks as a display piece.
Creator 3-in-1 sets tend to be very play-focused with vehicles, animals or structures, but this is a rare foray into the realm of buildable objects for the theme, and boy does it work.
The choice of an aquarium teeming with brightly coloured tropical fish seamlessly blends an inanimate object with organic creatures inside, creating quite a stunning result.
The fish tank has no physical glass or walls, just imaginary barriers between the frame which work well enough to give you a clear line of sight into the aquarium.
The fish, corals and ornaments fill the tank, and create a very pleasing sense of depth between each of the elements.
Here are the inhabitants of the fish tank – the most noticeable being the clownfish aka Nemo/Marlin. The exposed studs are a little distracting and I’d have preferred a more streamlined SNOT (studs not on top) look like the other fish.
There’s also a yellow tang (aka Bubbles from Finding Nemo) who injects a bright burst of yellow into the aquarium.
There’s also a regal blue tang (aka Dory from Finding Nemo).
Beneath Dory is a pink and yellow fish called an Anthias. Behind it, you can also see a fairly ornate coral structure has several different levels.
The last fish is a black and white Cardinal fish hanging around at the bottom of the tank.
My favourite part of the Fish Tank has to be the tiny submarine ornament, which in my mind is an homage to the 6175 Crystal Explorer Sub from the legendary Aquazone theme – the shape and rubies its clutching with its arms are dead giveaways for me.
Of course, like any real aquarium or fish tank, part of the fun is decorating it and placing your own spin on it.
No minifigures are included in the set, but the build can be vastly improved by adding in some underwater-themed minifigures, such as Divers from LEGO City, an Aquazone diver, or even an Atlantis Squid Warrior to tie it all together.
What I liked:
- Great value for so three great builds
- Alternate models are a fun way to squeeze more playability out
- Aquarium looks great as a display piece
- Sense of depth and space within the aquarium
- Suitable for kids or adults
- This is probably the closest we’ll get to a Finding Nemo set
What I didn’t like:
- No minifigures included – a diver would be fun
- Fish are not that stable and can be knocked over easily
What can I say – I really loved nearly every bit of 31122 Fish Tank, and consider this one of the best Creator 3-in-1 sets in the Summer 2021 wave, and especially within the “budget category”.
At US$29.99/AU$44.99 the amount of value and replayability packed into this, with 3 excellent builds is unreal and will especially delight parents who want an accessible set that their kids can make the most out of.
This LEGO Aquarium doesn’t rely on any frills or gimmicks (except maybe a wink at Finding Nemo) such as play features or minifigures to sell itself, just good old-fashioned LEGO building to craft what is both an interactive and ready-to-display model that will suit all play-styles.
I really liked that there’s enough space within the Aquarium that almost encourages you to add to it – whether by including missing tank inhabitants like a brick-built urchin, or starfish, or you could go down my route and add in ornamental minifigures.
In terms of flaws, the only major one is that the fish are not fastened to the fish tank well, only relying on transparent rods and are thus easily knocked over especially when you’re repositioning them, but for the most part, it’s a stable build.
The fun vibrant colours perfectly capture any tropical fish tank, and the cheeky nod towards Finding Nemo just make the set all the better. For Disney fans hankering for LEGO to create a Finding Nemo set, this is probably the closest you’ll ever get to one.
Highly recommend 31122 Fish Tank when it’s released in June for the rest of the world, and August in North America – this is one of those rare LEGO sets that goes above and beyond its entry price.
Rating and score: 4/5 ★★★★✰
Build  – Lots of fun, especially with the alternate builds. Brick-built fish were very enjoyable
Real Value  – Being a Creator 3-in-1, it’s great value – affordable, and you get so much out of it
Innovation  – Does LEGO using Creator 3-in-1 to sneak in Disney references count?
Coolness  – The display potential of the set makes this quite the eye-catching model thanks to its bright colours.
Keepability  – It looks marvellous to display without taking up too much space, and you can constantly tweak the design with your own creations or minifigures
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed my review of the Creator 3-in-1 Fish Tank!
The new LEGO 31122 Fish Tank will be released on 1 June 2021 worldwide, and 1 August 2021 for North America and will be available from LEGO.com or most toy stores.
What do you think of the LEGO Aquarium set? Does it scream Finding Nemo to you?
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review.