LEGO Ideas continues its strong run to close out 2023, with 21343 Viking Village, an impressive homage to classic LEGO Vikings, which back in 2005-2006 were an extension of LEGO’s Castle theme.
21343 Viking Village received a second lease of life, after winning the LEGO Ideas x Target Fan Vote, and will be released on 1 October 2023.
In the US, the set will be a retailer exclusive to Target, but will also be available direct from LEGO.com and your local LEGO store. Elsewhere in the world, expect to find this set wherever LEGO Ideas sets are sold.
This set packs an insane amount of value and only costs US$129.99 for over 2,000 pieces, which is almost unheard of in this day and age, and delivers an exceptional build experience that hearkens back to LEGO’s golden Castle age.
See below for regional pricing and links, where preorders are now open worldwide except for Australia.
- 21343 Viking Village [US] – US$129.99
- 21343 Viking Village [AUS] – AU$209.99
- 21343 Viking Village [UK] – £124.99
- 21343 Viking Village [EU] – €139.99
- 21343 Viking Village [CA] – CAD$169.99
Who is this set for? An homage to the LEGO Viking theme, and fans wanting a classic Castle-esque and familiar build experience which won’t break the bank.
If you’re thinking of preordering the LEGO Viking Village, 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!
21343 Viking Village Set Details
Name: Viking Village
Set Number: 21343
Pieces: 2,103 pieces
Price: US$129.99 / AU$209.99 / £124.99 / €139.99 / CAD$169.99
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores / Target (North America)
Release Date: 1 October 2023
LEGO Designers: Isaac Snyder, Johana Wurm Jensen
Unboxing and Instruction Manuals
Opening up the box, you’re greeted with one single instruction manual, which is a bit of a bummer as the build is broken up into 3 parts. I think it would’ve been really nice to have 3 booklets to allow people to build together with their friends or family.
Oh, and there are no stickers in the set which was surprising but becoming a trend with adult-focused LEGO sets, especially in Ideas. I was really surprised that there wasn’t any stickers in this set, and this is always a reliable sign of a great build experience.
Look at all the printed elements!!
The booklet contains plenty of interesting tidbits and historical factoids about the Vikings, choosing to focus on their lives instead of the pillaging and plundering bit, and there’s also a profile on fan designer Florian aka Brickhammer, who only rediscovered LEGO in 2020 but has notched up an impressive profile of fan designs, with 8 submissions hitting the 10k vote milestone.
For reference, here’s his original design, which wasn’t approved, but was given a second chance via the LEGO Ideas x Target fan vote!
I also really like the back which has the iconic LEGO Vikings symbol.
LEGO Viking Village Minifigures
The LEGO Viking Village comes with a small but attractive cast of minifigures, two male and two female Vikings who are geared up to pillage and plunder. Or just enjoy idyllic life in this seaside Viking Village.
The torsos look familiar as two of them share the same torsos as the minifigures from 31132 Viking Ship and the Midgard Serpent but LEGO have gone above and beyond, equipping all four minifigures with printed legs!
The printed legs and unique faces make the minifigures look quite special, and I especially love the intricate printing on the legs, in particular the footwear!
Here’s a look at the female Vikings, a Warrior or Guard equipped with an axe and shield, as well as the village Blacksmith.
The Guard’s torso appeared in 31132 Viking Ship and the Midgard Serpent, but the legs are completely new and complement the torso well, with ringed armour.
The Blacksmith’s torso is completely new and featured a dark leather apron. If you think heir hair looks familiar, it’s because it belong to Autumn from LEGO Friends!
Here’s a look at their back printing and the warrior’s alternate face. The Blacksmith has a cool design on the back, with hammers and a Viking horned helmet.
I really love this wig with the braided texture which looks fantastic in tan.
The Blacksmith is also equipped with a hammer (aka Thor’s Hammer), which has some printed decoration on it, which was a delightful surprise.
I’m guessing this is an Easter Egg to immortalise the designer, with his initials B and H (for Brickhammer), etched in stylised Viking runes.
Here’s a look a the Viking Chieftain, and an Archer. The Chieftain is the only viking with shoulder armour, and looks wise and battle-hardened having survived the most winters out of this enterprising bunch.
He has the torso from 31132 Viking Ship and the Midgard Serpent, but the legs are new, as is the printed circular shield. The archer on the other hand has brand new designs, and I also like the facepaint and his very keen look.
Here’s a look at the back printing, and I really like the stag design subtle printed into his fur hood which is a fantastic bit of detail.
One can debate the accuracy of Viking helmets with horns, but I don’t think this set is trying to be a historically sound set, and the minifigures do indeed look very Viking-y.
At the very least, the Blacksmith is keenly aware of this, and is currently forging skullcaps in her workshop to right this historical errata.
The build was an utter delight, filled with a plethora of interesting techniques, brilliant rockwork, all built on an asymmetrical footprint which further accentuates the visual fidelity of the model.
It’s mostly traditional LEGO building here, so if you enjoy stacking bricks on top of each other, this build is a lot of fun, however there are some incredibly advanced and deft techniques employed by designer Isaac Snyder that accomplishes some really fascinating angles and shapes that will delight even the most experienced builders.
If you enjoy smart and clever building techniques, this set is for you and will be pure building bliss.
You build three major sections one after the other, the Blacksmith’s forge, Great Hall and Watchtower and connect them all together to form the Viking Village.
The Completed Model
The completed model is just brilliant to look at with really eye-catching composition, colours and realistic Norse architecture tying everything together.
The scale is also just nice, with the buildings sized perfectly for LEGO minifigures, and not too oversized, but at the same time, doesn’t compromise on details and design.
The irregular shape is also really very pleasing to the eye, with each section or structure having their own distinct properties, while looking uniform and like they belong in the same village.
Heck, it even looks great from behind!
Let’s take a tour into the Viking Village.
For a Viking Village, I was not expecting to enjoy the trees in the set, but I really like the “tree tech” used for the large coniferous tree outside the Blacksmith’s hut.
Another wonderful feature that’s omnipresent in the Viking Village are the craggy rockfaces, with unique shapes and angles, as well as the mix of stone sizes used for paths across the entire village.
Inside the Blacksmith’s hut is a small forge, which the blacksmith uses to forge weapons and armour for the Vikings. There’s a plain shield as well as a dark grey skullcap, and I also like that the Blacksmith is also a bit of an artist, evident by her paintbrush, which explains all the ornate designs on the round shields used by the warriors.
Oh and there’s a fun play feature where the flames in the forge can bop up and down as you press the blower up and down.
The roof of the Blacksmith’s Hut can be removed for easy access to the interiors.
Oh and my favourite thing here? This printed Viking Rune on a Nexo Shield, with a nod to 31132 Viking Ship and the Midgard Serpent, which is in itself a modern homage to 7018 Viking Ship Challenges the Midgard Serpent.
Up next we have the Great Hall, a large rectangular structure that’s the meeting place between Vikings, and the seat of the Chieftain.
The wooden timber architecture is brilliant here, and the printed 1×4 tiles with the intertwined serpents in gold really add to the attractiveness of it.
This technique where plates and tiles are layered vertically is such a simple but attractive architectural technique.
I also like the simplicity of the thatched roof, which uses generous amounts of grilled tiles, but also some specks of white for melting snow throughout.
The roof can easily be removed to reveal and access the hall.
There’s plenty of space here, with a large hearth, weapons hanging on the walls, some food, and an elaborate throne for the Chieftain.
It’s very Rohan-esque evoking Halls of Meduseld vibes.
Next we have the Watchtower, which is the most visually interesting part of the village thanks to its raised profile, and rope bridge connecting the watchtower to a lookout tower, which has a viking shield and flag fluttering in the wind.
The rope bridge is quite a clever design, and I really like that each step has studs that you can easily affix a minfigure to.
And here’s a look at the top of the watchtower where our Archer is stationed.
Some really nice details here are the stone steps leading up to the watchtower, which are constructed using slopes built sideways, which is a technique I always love seeing.
And I also like the use of black wands for the door design.
And right outside, next to a bunch of fish curing on a line, are some kegs with the Viking symbol printed on them.
While they may be fearsome Medieval raiders, you have to admire their commitment to marketing and branding.
And last but not least, a seacave located at the back of the build.
You know, initially, I was quite let down that there wasn’t a fun Easter Egg or a reference here like a treasure chest, or skeleton, but as I built the set, I really liked the restraint shown by the designer to just leave this as a natural cavern.
Of course, it’s an invitation to fill it with stuff!
What I liked:
- Eye-catching asymmetrical design and believable Viking architecture
- Detailed minifigures and printed elements aplenty.
- Attractive colour scheme
- Super fun build that’s old school and modern at the same time
- Incredible price point
What I didn’t like:
- Needs more minifigures
- Doesn’t contain a goat (lol)
21343 Viking Village is a charming ode to the LEGO Vikings, but also a love letter to the Fantasy era of LEGO Castle.
It’s a deft, polished model, filled with plenty of delightful flourishes that you encounter as you progress through the build.
The build experience in particular is pure enjoyment, with a very traditional brick on brick stacking approach, enhanced by modern building techniques and incredibly subtle touches by LEGO Designer Isaac Snyder, who worked on the equally as impressive Horizon Forbidden West Tallneck, a perennially underrated LEGO model.
What really makes Viking Village stand out from a design perspective is the scale. It’s just the right size, with the finished model looking satisfyingly large, without being too oversized and unwieldly.
Also, everything is in a very familiar minifigure-scale that’s reminiscent of the pre-LEGO Creator Expert/Icons days when sets were much, much smaller.
I just love that the design doesn’t try too hard to be clever, but in doing so, is undeniably brilliant at nearly everything.
Where 21343 Viking Village truly comes into its own is the price. At US$129.99 / AU$204.99 the price is simply unbeatable and I was just astounded at how much LEGO was able to squeeze into the set that’s priced accessibly.
Despite the budget price, LEGO have delivered an ultra-premium experience, with detailed minifigures, new torsos and legs AND printed elements throughout the build.
It’s just simply unmatched in this price bracket, with other sets priced similarly, or being close in piece count not even coming close to the amount of value packed into this set.
As I was building the set, and writing this review, I did grapple with the score. I couldn’t find a single thing I disliked about the set (except for a lack of a Goat, heh), and even if 4 minifigures feels small for a set this size, the price and detailed new minifigure parts more than made up for it.
After just awarding 21342 The Insect Collection a perfect 5-star score, could I just hand another one out so soon?
Well, the answer is yes, because this set is everything I love about this era of LEGO. A smart, satisfying build that marries the path and present, a shameless appeal to my nostalgia, all wrapped in an accessible package that makes for an outstanding playset that also doubles as a brilliant display piece.
This set might not be for everyone, especially for those who didn’t grow up on Classic/Modern Castle, but for a nostalgia and vintage tragic like myself, this was just so enjoyable and an easy set to recommend, especially for the price that won’t require you to resort to pillaging and plundering.
Rating and score: 5/5 ★★★★★
Build  – Such a fun build with plenty of variation, ingenious techniques and old school brick-building
Real Value  – Really good value and unmatched in its price bracket. Flabbergasted that this only costs US$129.99
Innovation  – Not the most innovative, but I really liked how the classic Vikings aesthetic was adapted to a modern adult build
Coolness  – I really enjoy Vikings and love that while they’re fearsome, this is set in a peaceful Village
Keepability  – An outstanding set that I will find space for in my permanent display
Thanks so much for reading my review of 21343 Viking Village!
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set over for an early review!
What do you think of the LEGO Viking Village? Will you be picking this set up at launch?
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