With Avatar 2: Way of the Water opening in cinemas worldwide this week, I’ll be taking a look at the biggest and most expensive LEGO Avatar set from the first wave, 75574 Toruk Makto & Tree of Souls.
If you want sets from Avatar: Way of The Water, you’ll have to wait until January 2023, so if you have a Na’Vi itch you need to scratch for the holidays, you can check out the first wave which is based off scenes and characters from the original groundbreaking movie.
Without further ado, let’s jump straight into my review of 75574 Toruk Makto & Tree of Souls!
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set for my review!
75574 Toruk Makto & Tree of Souls Set Details
Name: Toruk Makto & Tree of Souls
Set Number: 75574
Price: AU$249.99 | US$149.99 | £39.99- Buy from LEGO.com [USA] [AUS] [UK]
Exclusive to: N/A
LEGO Designers: TBD
Release Date: 1 October 2022
This set is based on the Toruk Makto scenes from Avatar, where Jake, who is desperate to win affirmation and trust from the Na’i fearlessly tames/rides a Toruk, a massive flying aerial predator that’s worshipped by the Na’vi.
After successfully riding it, he emerges as Toruk Makto (which is a title conferred to those who tame the Toruk), and returns to the Tree of Souls to win over the Na’vi and unite them against the RDA.
In case you need to refresh your memory.
The set comes with some interesting new elements, such as this massive plastic foil sheet for the wings and tail of the Toruk, which bring the winged creatures of Avatar to life. It’s a novel way to really get the details of the Toruk as close to accurate as possible, but I’m not a fan of the plastic material as they’re quite glossy and reflective – I would’ve much preferred fabric as it would then look and feel a lot more natural.
Stickers are kept to a minimum in this set with only 5 stickers on the sheet, all of which are used for patterns on the Toruk.
Oh, and to bring the Tree of Souls to life, you get this awesome bag filled with trans-pink rods and antennas, as well as generous helping of medium lavender leaves.
Here’s the completed model which largely consists of three main components, a slice of Pandoran cliffs and flora, the Toruk, and the Tree of Souls as the centerpiece.
As the biggest LEGO Avatar set in the wave, it does feel like you’re getting decent value in terms of all these things, but cohesively, it doesn’t look as impressive as a US$149.99 set should be, unless of course, you’re a die-hard Avatar fan.
Here’s a look at the slice of Pandora, which is quite sizable. There’s a large rock arch, which is surprisingly sturdy and there are 2 smaller sections that clip on to its side.
There’s a little Technic axle atop a floating island (using one of these fancy new transparent support structures) allowing the Toruk to be perched comfortable on it – a cool way to introduce further height to the already large section.
The cool alien flora are one of my favourite facets of the LEGO Avatar sets, and this set is no exception, with really imaginative Pandoran plant life.
And yes, some of these of course glow in the dark, but I really wish there were more elements that glow in the set. It’s a neat effect, but because LEGO didn’t go ALL-IN with glow in the darks, it still feels gimmicky.
Let’s take a look at the Avatar minifigures in the set. We get 4 Na’vi and a Direhorse. From left to right, we have Tsu’Tey, Mo’At, Jake Sully as Toruk Makto, and Neytiri.
All 4 minifigures are exclusive to the set and feature detailed prints on their faces, torsos and legs that allow you to tell them apart.
I still maintain that the LEGO Avatar minifigures, while well-designed with their tall legs, are the weakest part of the theme. The Avatar characters are simply not iconic or recognisable enough, which makes identifying which characters these are extremely challenging, unless you’re a super hardcore Avatar fan.
Here’s a look at their back prints, wigs and tails. Their wigs have these little rods fused into the ends of their hair, which represent “queues” that allow them to connect and bond with native Pandoran fauna, as well as mate with one another.
Here’s the Direhorse, which was also available in 75573 Floating Mountains: Site 26 & RDA Samson. It’s a neat looking 6-legged creature, and one of the nicer moulded animals introduced in LEGO Avatar.
The Direhorse also has queue tendrils, that can then be hooked up to the Na’Vi when riding. It’s a much more reliable connection than Bluetooth from what I’ve heard.
Here’s the Toruk, which is completely brick-built, which is a huge plus. It’s fairly large, with a wingspan of over 40cm, and strikes a particularly imposing presence.
I found that stability was a challenge for me, as it’s quite large, and it took a while to stabilise it and get it to stand up properly, which got progressively harder when you want to pose it in a dramatic fashion.
Here’s a look at the moulded head which has blue fins on its upper and lower jaw, as well as sharp detailed prints.
I had a lot of fun taking photos of the Toruk outdoors, and here you can appreciate its impressive wingspan, and the lovely details made possible by the plastic foil sheet.
There’s a section for Jake Sully to stand on, with studs to lock him in place, and a black queue to bond them together while in flight.
Don’t think its particularly hyperbolic to say that this is the most impressive brick-built LEGO Avatar Creature, and the design team and graphics have done a fantastic job capturing the Toruk’s majestic wingspan and design in LEGO form. Extra bonus points that it’s all brick-built, which further enhances the overall experience.
And last but not least, we have the Tree of Souls, a giant sacred neon willow tree where many important scenes take place.
To mimic the Tree of Souls’ vibrant purple leaves, LEGO have generously included dozens of trans-pink elements connected to leaves.
Here’s what the leaves look like – they’re dense by LEGO standards, but not dense enough to really achieve the effect from the Tree of Souls.
At the base of the tree, LEGO introduces these spiky plant vines, which appear in mint for the first time. They do a decent job at replicating the glowing bioluminescence effect Pandora is known for, but alas, they do not glow.
Only the white hilts at the base of the tree glow, which isn’t terribly exciting.
That said, the Tree of Souls does work visually, and it’s a decent centerpiece to the build, for the minifigures to gather around.
What I liked:
- The Toruk build is fantastic
- Pandoran landscape is nice, and doubles as a stand for Toruk
What I didn’t like:
- Not enough glow in the dark elements
- Is quite expensive and has plenty of competition at this pricepoint
- Avatar minifigures are still so hard to recognise
- Very messy to display as there’s a LOT going on everywhere
I get what the designers were going for with 75574 Toruk Makto & Tree of Souls, but it just falls short of getting stuff right, and in turn, makes this one of the least cohesive LEGO Avatar sets.
The set does get some stuff right, such as the excellent Toruk build, which is a blast to piece together, and display. It’s large, imposing and majestic, and quite easily one of the most impressive brick-built LEGO creatures.
The wings are its distinct patterns are captured well thanks to the plastic sheets, but I really would’ve liked fabric instead for a less plasticky look.
The minifigures are just that – blue, tall and unrecognisable. I had to look up the box art to identify each minifigure, but I’m not emotionally invested enough to care about these Avatar characters. At the very least, their prints and vibrant and sharp.
The Tree of Souls is quite disappointing. The purple willow leaves are simultaneously dense and not dense enough, and it really only looks good against bright, illuminated backgrounds like in my photo lightbox, as it get muddled against darker backgrounds.
I really wish we got more Glow in the Dark elements, to really bring the set to life. The mint vines at the base should’ve been glow in the dark, but the mint colour was the closest analogue they could get to, but I think that would’ve redeemed it slightly.
As an entire set, there’s a bit too much going on, and it works best if you display the Tree of Souls on its own, and the Pandoran landscape and Toruk by itself. The Toruk is so hard to integrate into the display because its vibrant red, yellow and orange colour scheme, clashes quite aggressively with the other models, and it’s large wingspan means you need plenty of space for it.
Combined with a relatively expensive pricetag, this is a hard LEGO Avatar set to recommend. At full price, this isn’t particularly good, and I think is only worth picking up at 30-40% off, but even then, you’re going to really need to like Avatar to justify it against so many other great sets at this competitive price bracket.
This is one of those sets that’s just begging to be bought when on clearance, and depending on whether Way of the Water can reignite the phenomenon that was James Cameron’s Avatar, it’s a safe bet that it’ll be deeply discounted soon, as retailers try to clear through their Christmas 2022 inventory.
Rating and score: 2/5 ★★✰✰✰
Build  – Some nice variety with the builds, with the highlight being the Toruk and alien plants
Real Value  – It’s priced too high for a not very cohesive build
Innovation  – Toruk design is great, but I really would’ve liked more new elements, especially glow in the dark recolours
Coolness  – Was Avatar ever really cool?
Keepability  – The Toruk is a nice one to display, but the Tree of Souls was visually annoying after awhile, and I couldn’t wait to put it away.
Thanks so much for reading this quick review of 75574 Toruk Makto & Tree of Souls! Hope you found this useful, and hopefully this goes on sale soon for those planning to pick it up.
What do you think of this set, and what could be done to improve it?
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