We’re officially kicking of 90 Years of Play, a celebration of LEGO’s 90th Anniversary with a trip back to the past. One of the most anticipated gift with purchases of 2022 is 40567 Forest Hideout, a fresh remake of the iconic 1987 Forestmen set, 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout.
For fans of vintage LEGO and Castle-era builds, this is an absolute dream come true to see the Forestmen faction make a return in 2022, complete with Legoland-inspired retro packaging design.
Let’s jump into my review, which will also include a comparison with 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout (which I recently featured in a Retro Review), and a special Squirrel surprise, so you’ll want to read all the way to the end!
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
40567 Forest Hideout – Set Details
Name: Forest Hideout
Set Number: 40567
Price: Free with purchases of US$150 / AU$209 / £150 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores
Theme: Gift with Purchase / Forestmen
LEGO Designer: TBD
Release Date: 15 June 2022
I love how much LEGO is committing to fan-service nostalgia for their 90th Anniversary, down to the packaging which pays homage to the rolling green hills, and bright yellow and orange gradient backgrounds that were present on the original 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout set.
There are also familiar callouts, like the set’s name in teal font, on the top right corner (where the Legoland strip used to be), and “Castle System”, a nod to the theme.
On the bottom right is LEGO’s 90 Years of Play logo, with a Forestmen minifigure face happily smiling, as well as shots of the minifigures on the side of the box.
Here’s a look at the instructions for 40567 Forest Hideout, and a comparison with the original 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout instructions.
As you can see, the design is a vivid callback to the original.
This is 258-piece set, and it has 2 numbered sections which comprise of 4 bags – so the build is relatively quick, and isn’t particularly tricky – so unlike what the box and instructions say, is not just for 18 year olds and over.
Here’s a snap of Bag 1, which starts with the minifigures and base of the Forest Hideout. As someone that loves the original, I quite enjoyed progressing through the build and spotting all the different build techniques.
Here’s a look at the 2 Forestmen (Forestpeople?) minifigures included in the set. We get a male archer, with his signature Forestmen cap (with red feather), a quiver of arrows, and a bow, as well as a female Forestmen, who wields a sword.
They both are attired in green tunics, and have red sleeves and collars – the newly updated Forestmen torsos are excellent, and I especially like the scuff details, and the detailed belt, and printed pouch.
Here’s a look at their back printing – they each only have single-sided faces which work well enough here.
Unfortunately, there’s only one cap included, but if you need more, you can always “harvest” some from 10309 Succulents.
Here’s a comparison with the Forestmen pair from the original set. It’s now my head-canon that one of those minifigures in the original was indeed a female.
The red plume is slightly out of place compared to the white and yellow ones, but it’s a very minor change tat didn’t really bother me.
And here is the completed set – a lush hideout, tucked inside a black tree, with plenty of foliage and leaves that conceal the stone structure built into the trees.
This isn’t a 1:1 remake, and modern building techniques are employed here, to give it a more contemporary look, which may or may not appeal to you. I suspect more hardcore Forestmen fans will not like the more liberal use of curves, and new tree structures.
That said, all the signature elements of 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout are here, from the clamshell open and close function, blue roof, window arches, and red flag that made the original so recognisable.
The target practice is here, and utilises a new bulleye print, instead of the older one – it’s slightly disappointing that they didn’t bring back the old yellow target, but at least its consistent with the targets recently found in 31120 Medieval Castle and 21325 Medieval Blacksmith, which were breadcrumbs nodding towards a Forestmen return.
A really nice addition is a toadstool, which I really like.
Over on the other end, we have a small pine tree, and some yellow flowers. I wish we received 2x Pine Trees just like the original.
Here’s a look at the back when the hideout is open.
There are a few new additions, like this brown ladder, which makes so much sense as in the original, there was no easy way to climb up, so this is a great upgrade that makes so much sense.
On the upper level, there isn’t a holder for the sword, which I found very odd as it’s not a hard thing to incorporate, to make it look identical the original.
There’s also a small chamber for the Forestmen to rest and have some quiet time. There is a clip for a silver spear on the side, just like the original.
On the upper level, there is a small cavern for keeping treasure safe. Like the original, there is a wooden barrel, with 2x pearl gold studs hidden inside.
Here’s what the bottom level looks like when enclosed, to form a small cave.
As you can see, the 2022 version eschews the blocky angles of 6054, and opts for plenty of curved bricks, and walls, giving the black tree a more “organic” and natural look.
I don’t mind the curves, as it feels quite fresh and contemporary, and sets it apart from the 1987 version.
Here is a look at the watchtower, which has 2 kite shields, with the Forestmen deer sigil printed on them. The arched windows are captured well here and evoke the same design aesthetics as the original thanks to the arches.
The stone bricks get an upgrade, thanks to the fairly new 1 x 4 Masonry Bricks in Light Bluish Gray that first made an appearance in 76383 Potions Class. These add so much more of a “Castle” feel to it, and are a welcome update.
The Forestmen shields are slightly different to the original – here’s a side by side with the original – as you can see the printing is slightly sharper, and the colours are just a bit more vibrant.
And yes, just like the original, the blue roof flips open as well.
Here’s a look at the branches on the side – unfortunately, there is no vine this time, which I am quite disappointed as it was such a memorable part of the original. I guess the “whips” aren’t in production any longer, which is a bit of a shame!
One of the new changes are the leaves and branches – the foliage and branches have completely been reimagined, with generous use of dinosaur tails, maraconi tubes and more to give it a more natural, tree-like look.
There is also plenty more leaves included, giving the canopy a denser look, which I like.
I think this will be the most divisive design change, as some people are really fond of the classic 1x5x4 arches which have been a staple of “tree design” from this era of Classic Castle.
I don’t mind the new branches, but I really would’ve liked at least one traditional tree branch, which would have been a fun thing to add, even if it looks a little jarring alongside the new branch design.
40567 Forest Hideout vs 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout
And finally, here’s a comparison with the original 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout from 1987.
Looking at the silhouette, you can see that many signature features have been retained, with the biggest change being more leaves, and more natural-looking branches, which allow the leaves to be posed in more dynamic angles, as opposed to the “flat” array in the original.
The baseplates being curved, is a strong way to indicate the shift in design language from the 1980s, which were blockier, to the more rounded aesthetics of current-day LEGO.
As you can see, I really wish they had kept the vines that the Forestman can swing from, as it’s such an integral feature from the original.
There are several things that you can do to improve 40567 Forest Hideout. I think swapping out the modern heads for classic smiley faces just feels right in this case, and they look so much better with plain heads.
I wish LEGO had included classic smiley heads as an extra option.
Last but not least, I think 40567 can be seriously improved by adding a metric ton of squirrels.
This is the forest, so it just makes perfect sense for the Forest Hideout to be swarming by squirrels.
We didn’t have LEGO Squirrels in 1987, so it just makes sense to use today’s technology to improve the classic.
Squirrels make any set better, and I challenge anyone who thinks otherwise.
What I liked:
- A charming, and incredibly well-designed homage to a Forestmen classic
- It’s a gift with purchase
- New Forestmen torsos
- Packaging design is sublime
- Such a fun nostalgia trip
What I didn’t like:
- No vines
- No sword holders
- No squirrels
In September last year, I predicted that we’d see homages to many historic and classic LEGO themes as part of LEGO’s yearlong celebration of 90 Years of Play, and 40567 Forest Hideout is an excellent way to kick things off.
Packaging design is so important, and just like Pirates of Barracuda Bay, I love how the design evokes so much nostalgia, while ensuring that it looks modern and contemporary.
I’ve been a huge fan of Forestmen since I was a kid, and have many fond memories of the minifigures and theme, so this is really aimed at adults like myself, but also aimed at newer builders who will be introduced to Forestmen in this way.
I like that it isn’t a straight replica, and there are plenty of new techniques introduced to make it a fresher experience, and the set also employs new elements like masonry bricks and tiles to give it a more modern look.
The branches will be divisive, especially to more militant Vintage Castle fans, but I think the denser foliage and more generous helping of leaves does a great job in elevating the look.
The updated Forestmen minifigures are a treat as well, and will look great alongside even classic Forestmen. I do wish we had classic smiley faces included, but these should be abundant in anyone’s collection (or Bricklink), so it’s not too much work to swap them out, which I highly recommend.
As a gift with purchase celebrating LEGO’s 90th Annivesary, this couldn’t have been a more perfect set, and I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and the fact that a whole new generation will be introduced to the merry Forestmen.
If there are any new June 2022 releases that have been on your radar, I think this is the perfect chance to pick something you’ve been eyeing up, and thankfully the purchase threshold isn’t too high, and with price increases on the horizon, if there’s a big set you’re after, now’s the time to buy if you can afford it.
Well done LEGO on so much nostalgia with this set – I can’t wait to see what else they have in-store. This feels like a very delicious appetiser, and the main course just feels like it’s going to be magical.
Rating and score: 4/5 ★★★★✰
Build  – Nothing groundbreaking, but I enjoyed seeing modern methods applied to bring classic designs to life
Real Value  – As a GWP, this is great value considering all parts are printed, and it looks wonderful on display
Innovation  – Like Barracuda Bay, I love how LEGO have melded the old with the new
Coolness  – I love Forestmen, so this is the coolest thing ever, and never expected to see them make a return in 2022.
Keepability  – Like 6054, this is an instant classic, and I will get an extra to keep as a sealed memento
To check out the original, check out my Retro LEGO Review of 6054 Forestmen’s Hideout!
What do you think of 40567 Forest Hideout? Do you like this trend of LEGO refreshing classics and want to see more?
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review