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Review: LEGO 40566 Ray the Castaway (gift with purchase)

I’m very honoured to be one of the first to reveal and unveil the upcoming LEGO Ideas set for 2022 – 40566 Ray the Castaway, a new LEGO gift with purchase (GWP) that will be available from 1-13 October!

The October 2022 release window is absolutely STACKED at this stage, with many heavyweight releases like The Mighty Bowser, Black Panther Bust, The Office, LEGO Avatar and the UCS Razor Crest, among other things, so if there’s something on your list, it should be pretty easy to qualify for Ray the Castaway.

40566 Ray the Castaway will be available from 1-13 October 2022, and will be free with purchases of US$120 / €120 / £120 from LEGO.com or your local LEGO store, while stocks last.

Here’s a very quick review so you know what to expect from the set!

Oh, and MASSIVE shoutout to my wife for building and photographing the set while I’m away in Billund!

Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set for this review!

40566 Ray the Castaway Set Details

Name: Ray the Castaway
Set Number: 40566
Pieces: 239
Price: N/A
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores
Theme: Ideas
LEGO Designers: TBD
Release Date: 1-13 October 2022
Purchase Threshold: US$120 / €120 / £120

As I’ve demonstrated (with math and graphs) – LEGO Ideas is no longer an accessible theme, partly because sets have gotten larger, and pricier, but also because the smaller builds seem to have been funnelled into the gift with purchase category.

That said, Ray the Castaway is a bit of an exception, as it didn’t go through the typical 10,000 votes and review round process, as it was the winning entry in the Do You Want To Go To The Seaside LEGO Ideas competition, following in the footsteps of recent LEGO Ideas GWPs like 40533 Cosmic Cardboard Adventures, 40448 Vintage Car and 40487 Sailboat Adventures,

Ray the Castaway is a fan design submitted by DadiTwins, and as you can see from the original design, has mostly kept the aesthetics and overall look, with a few small tweaks.

Here’s a look at the back of the box.

The instruction manual is really cool, and I love the “portrait” style instructions manual.

And here’s the profile on the fan designers inside!

Here’s a look at the completed model, which is quite a charming, densely packed build for just over 200 pieces. We have Ray, stranded on a deserted island, with a makeshift hut (or throne depending on you look at it), and his various efforts to be rescued.

There’s a small beach section, with a bottle (presumably with a message in it), and a really clever SOS sigh fashioned out of dead grey eels and a yellow Life Preserver, spelling it out.

On the side, there’s a small makeshift raft, matching the original design.

Here’s a look at the Ray the Castaway minifigure, who has unkempt hair and a grumpy expression. I love his mismatched clothes and red shorts.

Not too bad of a minifigure.

Here’s a look at his face beneath the beard.

And here’s the back of the minifigure.

Overall, I think this is a very charming GWP. There’s plenty of fun details, and I like the fishing rod, and plenty of marine life like starfish, eels (?), a crab, fish and a parrot to keep Ray company. No seagull unlike the original design but the parrot works thematically.

The design is clearly an homage to Tom Hanks’ Castaway, but there isn’t a volleyball, which was also not present in the original design. I’m not sure if that was too on the nose, but it shouldn’t be too hard to add your own Wilson volleyball (especially if you draw on one!) to the set to make it a proper Tom Hanks tribute!

What I liked:

  • Lots of stuff to buy in October to qualify
  • Feels Piratey
  • Lots of animals
  • Small and tidy display model

What I didn’t like: 

  • No Volleyball
FINAL THOUGHTS:

Ray the Castaway is a pretty decent GWP, and with so much to tempt you in October, I can see this on being on the easier side to redeem. It helps when you don’t have to think hard about what to buy to trigger the purchase threshold.

Design-wise, I like how closely they kept to DadiTwins’ original design, and how it’s so immediately recognisable.

There are some fun techniques such as the Palm Trees, and how dense it is, giving the small beach section a very lived-in, survival vibe which translates well.

Overall, a very unoffensive and pleasant LEGO gift with Purchase that many people can enjoy.

Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰

Build [3] – A pretty fun build for 200+ pieces
Real Value [4] – Plenty of October releases makes this good value as you’ll likely end up getting one
Innovation [2] – Not too much innovation here, as not much was changed from the original design
Coolness [3] – Love the obvious Castaway references
Keepability [3] – As it’s small its easy to display, but will most likely be expanded on for a Pirates MOC/display or harvested for parts


40566 Ray the Castaway will be a free gift with purchase when you spend US$120 / €120 / £120 from LEGO.com or your local LEGO store from 1-13 October 2022.

Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set over for an early review!

What do you think of the Ray the Castaway as a GWP?

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