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Review: LEGO 40651 Australia Postcard

Australia is the next country joining LEGO’s Postcard collection, which is pretty exciting for all 26 million of us who call this beautiful country home.

With a release date of 1 January, 40651 Australia Postcard is a slight departure from LEGO’s Creator Postcard collection which has previously featured LondonBeijingParis and New York.

As you’ve noticed, this Postcard focuses on an entire country (and continent), instead of iconic metropolitan centres with the Australian Outback being centrestage.

It’s certainly a unique design choice, and clashes with the other city-based postcards, and has been quite divisive with some people liking the set’s unique direction, and others wanting the set to stick to the established city and man-made landmark formula.

I just think it’s cool that Australia as a whole is a subject of the LEGO Postcard sets, so let’s take a quick review and check out some of the sights Down Under.

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

40651 Australia Postcard Set Details

Name: Australia Postcard
Set Number: 40651
Pieces: 191
Price: US$14.99 / AU$24.99 / £13.49 / €14.99 / CAD$18.99
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores
Theme: Creator/ LEGO Postcards
LEGO Designer: Mel Caddick
Release Date: 1 January 2023

Like all the other LEGO Postcard sets, 40651 Australia Postcard relies on stickers for the decorations, in lieu of printed elements. It’s kinda disappointing, as I’d have really loved the Kangaroo Crossing sign to have been a printed tile, but alas, at least it actually exists.

Here’s the completed model, which my wife help me put together and was quite a small, but substantial build. It’s excellent if you enjoy building at microscale, and has enough variety to keep you engaged throughout the build.

If you’ve travelled anywhere in regional or rural Australia, these Southern Cross Windmills are a common sight against the countryside, anywhere that there’s been agricultural activity.

I love the simplicity, and the use of an engine turbine is brilliant part usage, and it especially looks great against the sky backdrop, and its size is well conveyed thanks to the shrubs and trees beneath it.

Flying high above the windmill is a white plane with a red tail – likely a cheeky nod to Qantas, the national flag carrier and largest airline in Australia.

One of my favourite inclusions in the set is this Dunny, the Australian slang for an outhouse. It has a tin roof, and wooden door and looks extremely spot on to outhouses you see in rural Australia.

Be sure to check for snakes and spiders if you have to go.

These Gum Trees, are also great and I like the accurate tan colours used for them as they can look white/bleached when their back falls off. Some of them are sparse and some have limited amount of foliage, as well, which looks attractive, and there are also vibrant desert blooms amongst them.

One of the most well-known features of the Australian outback is the red earth, which covers the entire base of the post card.

The red earth evokes really vivid memories, best exemplified by Dorothea Mackellar’s poem, My Country, especially this stanza, which is the most well known and oft-quoted.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

Moving on, here’s a look at the Australia stickered tile, which has some eucalyptus leaves on the corner, and looks like its etched out of wood, giving it a very rustic look, establishing the tone of the set.

The largest structure is this tin-roof homestead, which is again, yet another important and iconic fixture of the Australian outback. The tin-roof in particular is represented finely here, and I didn’t notice this in the official photos, but there’s also a water tank next to it, which I love.

At the base of the massive gumtree is a billabong, an Aussie term for an oxbow lake, an isolated pond left behind after a river changes course. Either that or it’s a flood.

Either way, it’s another nice nod to the Outback and Australia’s natural wonders.

The tallest structure is this massive gum tree aka an eucalyptus tree which is a staple of the Australian bush, and even in suburban areas. These large trees typically have white or light brown bark, and fans of new LEGO elements will be excited by the introduction of sand green leaves, which are a great representation of eucalyptus leaves.

Perched up high is a cockie, aka a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, one of Australia’s most well-known birds (that isn’t a Kookaburra or Emu). Their squawks and penchant to swarm in large numbers should be no stranger to anyone living in Australian, and they can also be massively annoying pests.

It’s a simple but effective build that captures the cockatoo’s iconic features, down to their grey beaks and feet in as few bricks as possible.

The gum tree is comically big, relative to all the other elements on the postcard, and is quite distracting, and kinda takes away from the other lovely microscale builds, but I think it’s meant to be a forced-perspective image, where a person is looking at the kangaroo sign, and gumtree, with the rest of the background being far away.

This photo is my best effort at re-creating what the designer was going for, but it only really works from specific angles, and you have to really strain to get the desired effect.

And last but not least, one of Australia’s most well-known symbols, the yellow kangaroo road sign. We see these everywhere here, and don’t think too much of them, but they’re always a hit with tourists and those who visit Australia, and I like that the kangaroo is hopping over some studs!

I really wish this was a printed tile as it would’ve been absolutely brilliant.

What I liked:

  • Does an amazing job capturing the Australian outback on a LEGO postcard
  • Great microbuilds, especially the windmill
  • A really interesting set that’s unique enough to stand out from the other postcards
  • Sydney or the Opera House are nowhere to be seen

What I didn’t like: 

  • Stickers
  • The gum tree is quite distracting
  • Stickers can be incredibly hard to apply, like the one on the dunny
FINAL THOUGHTS:

I think the decision to spotlight Australia as a whole was the right one in this case, especially when you have to think of the global audience that this set needs to appeal to.

For many people, whether they’ve visited Australia or not, this snapshot of the outback, with the sunburnt earth, blue sky, and rural structures are what comes to mind when they think of Australia.

As much as it loathes me to say it, if LEGO were to pick a City to base it on, they’d have to go with Sydney for maximum global appeal, but Sydney already has its time in the sun, with 21032 Sydney Skyline or 10234 Sydney Opera House.

Locally, having the outback and natural wonders is also probably the right move, as it prevents people squabbling about why their town or city wasn’t included. The Outback is generic and universally loved, even if some people think its a little cliched and kitschy to sell the idea that Australia isn’t just a desert wasteland.

When the set was announced, I did read plenty of comments lamenting the fact that Uluru, one of Australia’s most important and visually significant natural landmarks wasn’t included.

It’s likely because any brand or for-profit organisation needs permission and a permit to depict Uluru, especially for commercial use. And there’s also consideration from the traditional owners of Uluru, the Anangu people, who might not want Uluru depicted as a toy as it’s a deeply sacred site.

Respecting the traditional owners’ wishes is extremely important, so I think not including Uluru is definitely the right call here.

I like this set, even if it’s the little oddball out of the LEGO Postcard family, mainly because I live here, and it’s nice to see Australia being represented in this way in the Postcard theme.

It definitely makes for a nice buildable souvenir, but what I like the most is the courage to break the mould when it comes to this LEGO Postcard design, and go so far away from the established city option, and go with the country’s natural abundance.

It’s not for everyone, but at US$14.99, it’s still quite accessible, especially if you have a planned order ready to go on 1 January, or if you want to hit specific thresholds.

Overall, not bad, and I’m just happy that Australia made it to the LEGO Postcard collection.

When LEGO Minifigures Series 24 is out, you can bet that I’ll be adding a Koala to this build, even if it’s likely to get killed in the Outback heat.

Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰

Build [3] – Lots of fun micro build techniques and a varied build
Real Value [3] – It’s very well within impulse purchase range
Innovation [4] – Bold of LEGO to just go with a country, and pick a subject like the Outback which is hard to depict
Coolness [3] – Great if you’re filled with national pride, and want a souvenir to gift to overseas friends
Keepability [3] – It’s small, so displaying this will be relatively easy, and I think will appeal especially to those that have visited Australia, or are part of the overseas diaspora

That said, I fixed the model, by adding more spiders. Now it looks exactly what life in Australia actually looks like.


Thanks SO much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this early look at 40651 Australia Postcard!

40651 Australia Postcard will be available from LEGO.com from 1 January 2023, and will also be available at LEGO Stores.

I’d love to know what you think of the Australia Postcard, especially if you’re not from/or live in Australia. Does this design appeal to you and conjure up mental images of Australia?

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

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8 responses to “Review: LEGO 40651 Australia Postcard”

  1. Monty says:

    Honestly, this feels like a whimsical postcard full of fun.

    Love it.

  2. John says:

    I had considered purchasing the whole set – however, not going to now. While I like the fact it doesn’t focus on Sydney, the major build (gumtree) is cumbersome and not easily recognizable. They have to fill in the ‘white’ space with two clouds and the verandah is simplistic – it is nowhere near the quality of the city sets. The Kangaroo sign had to be printed. As an Aussie I’m sad to say I won’t be purchasing.

  3. Tuck says:

    Love your review.

    The addition of Dorothea’s poetry and the acknowledgement of Uluru’s significance and the Anangu people shows great thought and love for our country.

    I love the set. Australia is so much more than Sydney and I’m glad to see an internationally sold product break the clichéd easy design route for something quirky. It’s almost like Lego is trying to have a fair go at conveying an Aussie larrakin humour.

  4. Chris says:

    You’re spot on about Australians squabbling about why their town/city was not included. Just have to see how recently Sydney was chosen to host the Soccer final from now on, and it resulting in protests and trouble at the soccer last night in other cities.

  5. Andrew Gardiner says:

    I like the outback theme but that gum tree is a major problem. It is too big and doesn’t even remind me of a gum tree very much. A couple of minor tweaks occur to me too:
    1. change the verandah posts to some shade of brown (after all they would be made of wood)
    2. the cockatoo’s crest looks too big so maybe change it to a yellow cheese slope

  6. Reader says:

    Clearly a Melburnian if you’re complaining about Sydney. 😛
    I have mixed feeling about the postcard being a country rather than a city. Previous cities were iconic. Australia has iconic cities too, but there are many of them (and our most iconic cities are not even our country’s capital city). Adding to that, most of Australia’s population don’t live in the outback. While it would be nice to have postcards per-city, that’s probably not feasible. Whether this sticks or becomes an oddball may depend on if future entries in the series are also country-focused.

  7. Mike Montross says:

    The Beijing set is also the Great Wall and old pavilions with no modern buildings

  8. Tristan says:

    Haha, great spiders.

    I’m glad it’s an outback build but that forced perspective gum dominates.

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