The Year of the Dragon is almost upon us and to celebrate LEGO have given us a whole bunch of dragons of varying sizes and complexities. From large majestic models like 80112 Auspicious Dragon, to smaller Creator builds like 31145 Red Dragon, or Ninjago dragons 71809 Egalt the Master Dragon, and also GWPs (gift with purchase) like 40611 Year of the Dragon.
This is the 10th edition of LEGO’s Chinese Zodiac animal models, which first began with 40148 Year of the Sheep in 2015. LEGO have then released a new one each year corresponding to the Chinese Zodiac Animal. There are 12 Zodiac Animals in total, so we’re just two away from completing the entire collection – a 12-year long pursuit!
Here’s a quick review of 40611 Year of the Dragon, which was available as a GWP from 20 January – 6 February 2024.
Who is this set for? Those born in the Year of the Dragon, and LEGO fans who have been collecting the Chinese Zodiac animals series.
40611 Year of the Dragon Set Details
Name: Year of the Dragon
Set Number: 40611
Pieces: 214 pieces
Piurchase Threshold: US$85 / AU$140/ €85 / £80 /CAD$110
Theme: GWP, Seasonal
Release Date: 20 January – 6 February 2024
LEGO Designer: TBD
Here’s a look at the contents of the box.
Included in each LEGO Chinese Zodiac is a hongbao (red envelope) featuring the year and photo of the Chinese Zodiac animal. In Chinese tradition, red envelopes are handed out during the Lunar New Year as emblems of good fortune and luck, and contain money!
Here’s a look at the completed build! For a 214-piece set, the build is an enjoyable one for fans of creature-building.
Like the other LEGO Chinese Zodiac animals, these look quite cartoony, but the dragon does benefit from being a powerful mythical creature and the designer has employed a fun palette of colours.
Here’s a look from the side where you can appreciate the dragon’s unique silhouette and also nice bits of details like his tail and body.
A really fun build technique is the use of two trumpets for the horns!
The base is also quite well-designed and unique compared to the other Chinese zodiac animals that have been released. The base depicts the dragon floating and being seated among the clouds.
Every LEGO Chinese Zodiac animal set released so far
Now that the LEGO Year of the Dragon set has been released, this brings us up to 10 Zodiac animals so far!
This has been a 10-year endeavour to collect and I’m actually so excited that we’re so close to completing the 12-year cycle.
When the Year of the Sheep first came out in 2015, I distinctively remembered thinking that it would be such a long wait it would be to collect all the Zodiac Animals, but now that we’re at the 10th, we only have the Snake (2025) and Horse (2026) remaining, although I do think the cycle will officially end in 2027 as they remake Year of the Sheep given it’s not the same design format as the others.
And here are all the boxes stacked up!
What I liked:
- One of the most distinctive LEGO Chinese Zodiac animals
- Fun use of colours makes it stand out
What I didn’t like:
- Not much at all!
Dragons are typically revered amongst all the Chinese Zodiac animals for their mystical properties, and LEGO have done a great job with the Year of the Dragon.
It benefits from not being based on a common farm animal or critter which allows LEGO to reimagine a cute Oriental design and have a little fun with the colours and shape.
Looking at it amongst all the other Zodiac animals released, it definitely stand outs in all the best ways and those lucky enough to have qualified for the Year of the Dragon GWP during the promotional period will be very happy with this design.
Rating and score: 4/5 ★★★★☆
Build  – Interesting build that makes great use of colours and techniques
Real Value  – Low purchase thresholds made this one a relatively easy GWP to earn
Innovation  – A fun take on the mystical Chinese dragon
Coolness  – Dragons are magical and bad-ass, so this one is undoubtedly the king of the Zodiac
Keepability  – Fun to display for the Year of the Dragon, especially if you have other LEGO Lunar New Year decorations
Thanks so much for reading my review of the LEGO Year of the Dragon!
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