As we head into November, LEGO Ideas fans have a new set to look forward to – 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei, which will be a gift with purchase (GWP) and celebrates the famed Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.
This LEGO Ideas set comes in the form of a gift with purchase after LEGO fan designer FIRECRACKER‘s design Tribute to Galileo Galilei won the Ready, Set, Go Stem fan vote. There might be some distaste about this being a GWP, but on the flipside, if it wasn’t made as a GWP, a set like this would probably not have qualified under a regular LEGO Ideas review round.
Ahead of the launch of 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei, let’s dive into a quick review into this set that’s especially enjoyable for those that appreciate history and Galileo Galilei’s contributions to astronomy!
Who is this set for? LEGO Ideas fans and completionists, and people who have an appreciation for history, especially Galileo Galilei’s pioneering astronomy work.
If you’re thinking of ordering enough to trigger the Tribute to Galileo Galilei GWP, please consider using these affiliate links as I may receive a small commission with each purchase that helps support the work I do here on the blog.
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set for this review!
40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei Set Details
Name: Tribute to Galileo Galilei
Set Number: 40595
Pieces: 307 pieces
GWP Threshold: Spend US$130 / AU$215 / €130 / £130 on LEGO.com
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores
Theme: LEGO Ideas
Release Date: 1-16 November 2023
LEGO Designers: TBD
At 307 pieces, 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei isn’t a particularly big set but the build itself was fairly interesting. There are 3 numbered bags and despite the set’s small size, it was still relatively enjoyable, and I really liked that the mechanical function was retained in the final model – with the only difference being the splat gear positioned being moved to the back to obscure it from sight.
Throughout the build, there are some nice furniture builds, and I appreciated how the bookshelf attaches itself to the wall, after building it, which I thought was quite clever, and like any good GWP, is short and sweet enough to feel like you’ve gained some bonus value when buying direct from LEGO.
Here’s a look at the sticker sheet included.
Meet the Galileo Galilei LEGO minifigure
One of the big draws of the set is the Galileo Galilei minifigure, which is a fun little addition for those that enjoy collecting historical real-life characters.
It follows in the footsteps of 40450 Amelia Earheart Tribute, 40530 Jane Goodall Tribute, 40579 Eiffel’s Apartment, as well as other sets that include historical characters like Walt Disney in 43230 Walt Disney Tribute Camera.
The minifigure however is quite disappointing as there aren’t any new or exclusive prints, so this is really just a franskentein-ed figure that doesn’t look like historical depictions of a scientist who lived in the 16th and 17th century, apart from his bushy beard.
It all falls apart when you remove his beard, which reveals a grumpy elderly man face, which has been used multiple times, from Gandalf the Grey, to Cornelius Fudge from Harry Potter or even Marley from Home Alone.
The torso also just feels incredibly out of place, with a modern collar, and buttons. It’s repurposed from Ross Gellar’s torso from 10292 The Friends Apartments, making Galileo Galilei’s shirt choice all so much weirder.
With the look of his shirt tucked into his trousers, it just looks way too modern, and so out of place.
It’s a really disappointing take on Galileo Galilei, which is a shame.
The Completed Build
Thankfully the model does a lot of heavy lifting here, and the build itself feels like a really solid tribute to Galileo Galilei. If you’re unaware, he was a pioneer of Astronomy, having made many groundbreaking discoveries that went against conventional knowledge of the time, such as the planets revolving around the Sun instead of the Earth, as well as the first observations of the Moon’s cratered surface, and Jupiter’s moons.
Here’s a really great article by NASA on his many achievements and why he’s so important to the field of astronomy.
The build features his study or research room with plenty of nods towards Galileo’s discoveries and experiments.
For starters, there’s this large portrait of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Hopefully a nod to a future large-scale LEGO Architecture set, but a really important fixture in Galileo Galilei’s scientific achievements.
There are two metallic spheres of different sizes on a table, which is a nod to his Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment, where he dropped two spheres of the same volume but different masses from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that their time of descent was independent of their mass.
As a learned scientist and mathematician, he also has a well-stocked shelf of books, including a letter that has fallen on the floor.
In the middle of the room is his large desk, which features among other things, a model of the Earth orbiting the Sun, as well as a watercolour diagram of the Moon’s surface, which he famously drew after observing the Moon’s crater-y surface through his telescope.
In the middle of the desk, is this model, which you can twirl and bring to life by turning a gear located at the back of the model.
On the other side of the room is a globe, which is a bit of a historical anomaly, as Australia wasn’t mapped when Galileo was alive! This should drive history nuts mad, just like Galileo’s modern button-up shirt!
And for the most important build, we have a large brick-built telescope that he uses to peer into the sky, unlocking the secrets of our Solar System and forever changing the course of Astronomy.
Here’s a look at the back. I especially like the pop of green from the foliage outside his balcony.
What I liked:
- Build was quite enjoyable with some relacing, and interesting sections such as the way the wall is oriented
- Superb use of Earthen tones and colours making this quite an attractive model
- Plenty of Easter Eggs and references befitting a Galileo Tribute set
What I didn’t like:
- Galileo Galilei minifigure is disappointing
Like any student of history and as someone who appreciates astronomy, I was really excited for 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei but to be honest, the poor minifigure really has marred what should’ve been a really enjoyable set.
I find it quite disappointing that LEGO got so much wrong and the minifigure feels quite lazy with the reused Gandalf face, as well as the historically inappropriate outfit.
That said, everything else about the set is enjoyable, from the nods to his many scientific discoveries and achievements, as well as the layout and colours of the build, all of which are quite pleasing to the eye.
There’s just enough stuff in his study to make it look believable and realistic, without it being too messy. The play feature of Earth orbiting the Sun is also quite enjoyable, and just adds that special something else to the set as you can bring it to life.
That said, for the purchase threshold, and especially so close to the holiday season where there’s undoubtedly going to be a deluge of offers and potentially other more interesting and substantial GWPs, 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei feels like something you can safely skip, if you’re not a LEGO Ideas completionist, or have a strong connection to the Italian astronomer.
If the minifigure was better, it would’ve been much easier to recommend, but when the man himself is depicted so poorly as a minifigure, for a set that bears his name and is meant to pay tribute to him, it just feels a little sloppy from LEGO. It’s a shame because this is otherwise a really well-designed diorama!
Unless you have something you absolutely HAVE to buy in early November, I’d skip this one and wait for a slightly more compelling GWP or offer.
Rating and score: 2/5 ★★☆☆☆
Build  – The build was enjoyable, with some clever techniques and masterful use of colours
Real Value  – With a minifigure made of recycled parts, it feels like poor value and not worth the spend to trigger
Innovation  – Always great to see more historical sets, but they really should’ve pushed the minifigure envelope further
Coolness  – Gandalf wearing Ross Gellar’s lumpily tucked in shirt is the opposite of cool
Keepability  – A nice diorama to display, but you’ll need to fix the Galilei minifigure with a more period-appropriate outfit.
Thanks so much for reading my review of 40595 Tribute to Galileo Galilei! Here’s a fun photo I setup. I wonder if Galileo Galilei knew of his impact to science and discovery of the solar system and beyond?
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set over for an early review!
What do you think of the Tribute to Galilei Galilei set, and the minifigure? Which other historical figures would you like to see LEGO take on next?
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