30 October 2016

With Groove

Let's take a break from all that New Black and add a splash of colour! All together now; “We all live in a Bright Yellow [TLG]/Yellow [BL] Submarine, a Bright Yellow [TLG]/Yellow [BL] Submarine, a Bright Yellow [TLG]/Yellow [BL] Submarine.” That song is in your head now, isn't it.

21306 The Beatles Yellow Submarine is the result of Kevin Szeto's successful LEGO® Ideas submission adapted by LEGO designer Justin Ramsden. It will be released on 1 November with an RRP of £49.99/ US$59.99/ €59.99. I don’t have much affection for the animated film on which this design is based (or indeed the song) but it certainly was seminal for its time and the style defines the hippie trippy age of animation.

This is a parts review only; my home renovation is still soaking up all my spare time plus the inventory for this set is not yet available on Brickset, which seemingly quadruples my research time to analyse the parts list. If you are looking for a build review, check out other LEGO fan websites such as Brickset and The Brothers Brick. I must mention the box though which is a riot of colour with cute designs from the film on the interior panels. It is full to the brim with 550 parts and, as with the previous LEGO Ideas set 21307 Caterham Seven 620R, there are a large number of exciting recolours, printed parts and newly released parts.

Printed parts

The real stars of the set are the printed elements. The designs may not be to everyone’s taste but they are extremely entertaining, so let’s take a look at those first.

Although not immediately apparent from the box art, there are a lot of printed 1x1 round tiles. All of these come in a quantity of two plus one spare: White with orange circles (Element ID 6177074), Medium Blue with blue and pink circles (6177076), Light Purple [TLG]/Bright Pink [BL] with green circle and pink arrows (6177075) and Transparent Medium Reddish Violet [TLG]/Trans-Dark Pink [BL] blue cross design (6177077). All are generic enough to be of use elsewhere.

There are two designs on White 2x2 round tiles: one with a hippie red and pink fan design (6174934) and two with a hippie clock design (6182017). The latter will be particularly welcome in MOCs, I suspect, as a new clock design always is. These would work well in a kid’s bedroom or a school.

Rectangular tiles are a lot of fun in this set: the White 1x2 tile with hippie “LOVE” text (6174728) in particular is beautiful. I’m less keen on the White 2x4 tile with hippie “Yellow Submarine” text (6174905), which is a part of the minifigure display stand. There’s also a Brick Yellow [TLG]/Tan [BL] 2x4 tile with hippie time machine controls, currently set to 1968, the year the film was released (6174910) and another one (6174902) with pipework which doesn’t look especially hippie, so should find use in other applications - a window to a factory floor comes to mind.

As for the larger printed elements we have two White 1x4x3 panels with hippie arch design (6174891) as well as two different White 1x2x2 bricks that make up a control panel; one with dials, switches and buttons (6175984) and one with a TV screen and controls (6175982). Aside from the pastel hues, these don’t look overly hippie and would look great in a ‘Friends in Space’ MOC.


For many, the real attraction of the set are the Beatles minifigures and they are indeed delightful but as usual, I will give them pretty short shrift here as I’m not a huge minifigure fan and other sites always cover them so well.

Their outfits all match the film closely. Their double-sided heads with their hilarious sideburns will all be extremely popular in MOCs and vignettes I am sure and the hippie outfits are very characterful. John and Ringo have two coloured stripes down the sides of their trousers which look really smart, but in John's case his legs are different colours so that will limit the use of this part elsewhere.

The weird clown-faced creature from your nightmares is called Jeremy Hillary Boob, Ph.D. Despite his frankly trippy appearance, he is a friend rather than an enemy of the Fab Four. He is not a new mould but rather a Scurrier from the Nexo Knights theme that has been recoloured in a Medium Nougat [TLG]/Medium Dark Flesh [BL].

George’s insane hairpiece is worth special mention. It is a Black recolour of a Star Wars Rebels character’s hair, Sabine Wren, which comes in two (coincidentally psychedelic) styles released in 2015 and 2016.

Each Beatle carries an accessory and some of these puzzled me greatly but this Wikipedia description explains their appearance in the film:
At the end, we see the real Beatles in live-action, having returned home, playfully showing off their souvenirs: George has the submarine's motor, Paul has "a little 'LOVE'" and Ringo still has half a hole in his pocket […] Looking through a telescope, John announces that "newer and bluer Meanies have been sighted within the vicinity of this theatre" and claims there is only one way to go out: "Singing!"


Now to the plethora of parts in new colours, and I guess yellow is the obvious place to start. The lovely inverted 1x2 bow now comes in Bright Yellow (Element ID 6167223 | Design ID 24201) and there are eight here. There is also one 1x3x2 inverted half-arch (6173894 | 18653), the sixth colour for this great part.

Everyone is super-excited about the return of the macaroni tube which I discussed in my 21307 Caterham Seven 620R post; now the Yellow Submarine brings us two in Bright Yellow (6173898 | 25214) and two in Bright Orange [TLG]/Orange [BL] (6173897 | 25214). Several people have suggested online that a pile of these would make a great bowl of mac ’n’ cheese! But who will be first to buy enough of them to do so?

Now, this isn’t just a Bright Yellow [TLG]/Yellow [BL] Submarine… it is also a Flame Yellowish Orange [TLG]/Bright Light Orange [BL] Submarine! Indeed there are some rather exciting items included for fans of this  warm hue. Some are not the most useful parts out there, though: one 1x6 arch (6173899 | 92950), two pairs of 2x4 triple wedge bricks (left: 6173892 | 43710 and right: 6173890 | 43711) and four 3x3 quarter-dome bricks (6173013 | 88293).

However, some parts that are far more universal are also present here in Flame Yellowish Orange for the first time: four 2x2 corner plates (6099714 | 2420), eight 1x2 bricks with 2 side-studs on opposing sides (6173895 | 52107), eight 1x2 plates with rail (6181932 | 32028) and one 2x2 inverted 45° slope (6170916 | 3660). The Flame Yellowish Orange inventory was already looking very healthy (for example, the basic plate range includes 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 1x4, 1x6, 2x2, 2x3, 2x4, 2x6, 4x4 and 4x6) so these new additions continue to make it an extremely viable colour to use in your builds.

The new 2x3 tile comes in White (6156667 | 26603), having appeared in Black and Bright Yellow so far. Sadly, there is only one provided. More happily, the new 1x1 quarter-circle tile comes in White too but in better quantities: there are 12 plus two spare in White (6172366 | 25269) and two plus a spare in Bright Red (6170390 | 25269). To date, this part has only appeared unprinted in Medium Azure but there are printed versions in other colours: a lattice pie in Brick Yellow and a watermelon slice in Dark Green [TLG]/Green [BL]. But now back to the red parts: I suspect many people will be excited to see the bar with ‘mechanical claw’ clip appearing in Bright Red (6173896 | 48729) and quantities are good: six plus one spare. By the way, I didn't mean for this picture to look like a squashed chicken. That's just how it turned out.

Delightfully, an extremely unusual 2016 part gets its first-ever recolour: there is one Nexo-bot torso provided in Bright Green (6174879 | 24078). If you missed my original post about why it is such an interesting part, check out this post. As you will have noted earlier, the version in this set is not used as a building element but rather is George’s submarine motor, which happily matches the original design rather well!

A small but significant treat comes in the form of a solitary 1x2 plate in Spring Yellowish Green [TLG]/Yellowish Green [BL] (6099368 | 3023). Basic plates in rarer colours are always a thrill but this is especially welcome given that, so far, the only plates in this colour are the 1x1, 1x3 and the round 1x1. Better yet: I was intrigued as to its use since I could not see this colour on the finished model, and so I flipped through the instructions. It seems it is merely used as filler brick, completely hidden by other parts! I suspect Justin had a little fun choosing the most outlandish colours possible for the filler brick in this model, and I will enjoy investigating this theory as I build the model.

One of the parts I selected for our current parts festival, The New Black, was the ‘Bionicle Barraki Eye’ which I noted has rarely appeared in solid colours. Well here is another: Bright Purple [TLG]/Dark Pink [BL] (6177526 | 58176). It is used as Jeremy Hillary Boob's tail.

Rarer pieces

There are many more pieces of interest in this set and also some parts that come in healthy quantities, so it is a good (if a tad random) parts pack. I will run through some of the less common pieces quickly now.

The set has a great selection of curved White plates, most notably five 6x6 round plates (6109817 | 11213) which have only been in only in 4 sets since their first appearance in 2015. There is a 2x6 plate with 2 rounded corners in White (6147792 | 18980), which has only been in two 2016 sets, and the Bright Red version (6108802 | 18980) is also here, which has only been in Angry Birds 75822 Piggy Plane Attack.

There are two 1x4 plates with 2 studs in Bright Yellow (6132263 | 92593), a recolour which has only just appeared in 21307 Caterham Seven 620R, and an inverted 1x4 bow in Bright Yellow (6146298 | 13547) which is new for 2016, having only appeared in two sets to date.

Back to Flame Yellowish Orange; there are 20 inverted 1x2 bows (6145215 | 24201), which I was pretty excited about until I learnt that Elves 41179 Queen Dragon's Rescue contains 18. The 4x4 hemisphere (6116987 | 86500) has only come in 76035 Jokerland until now, and the 1x1 brick with 1 side-stud (6092035 | 87087) only in 21303 WALL·E. This set has two.

More SNOT goodness: five 1x2 bricks with 2 side-studs are present here in Dark Green [TLG]/Green [BL] (6129807 | 11211) having appeared in four 2016 sets so far. The 1x4 brick with 4 side-studs in Medium Blue (6181934 | 30414) appeared in two Disney/Pixar’s Cars sets in 2012 (as Element ID 4650908) and you get five here.

Elsewhere in the blue hues we have three 2x4 plates in Light Royal Blue [TLG]/Bright Light Blue [BL] (6132418 | 3020) which has previously only appeared in three 2016 sets. There’s also the 1x1 plate in Medium Azure (6097493 | 3024) which has only appeared in two 2016 sets so far. There are eight plus two spares here, the most yet in a single set.

Finally, there’s a printed Silver Metallic [TLG]/Flat Silver [BL] 1x1 round tile with silver circle design (6138964 | 25313) and you get a spare. This has been in three 2016 sets and definitely looks useful for all sorts of things.

I really hope to find time to build it soon as it looks like a quirky model, much like 70803 Cloud Cuckoo Palace.

So, are you still singing the Yellow Submarine song? Maybe this side of the box will help shift your earworm.

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  1. GREAT post! Very useful stuff, I knew there were a bunch of recolors in this set but I wasn't expecting SO many! Cool set indeed.

  2. haha, you weren't the only one excited about a 1x2 yellowish green plate. Just need a bright light yellow next

  3. Interested to know if there has ever been an official explanation as to why sets sometimes include internal parts in odd random colours. I always assumed it was so that kids could find the part they need easier. On a lot of sets however the default seems to be tan - is tan the cheapest colour for TLG to manufacture?

    1. Ease of finding parts is the answer I've always heard, yes. Never noticed a prevalence of tan though. From what I know, the difference in cost between colours is negligible. Maybe tan is just less common in the sets you buy and therefore gets used as filler more often? Dunno.

  4. Heyy. I don't mean to overstep my bounds, but I'd really appreciate it if some of you would vote for my new project on LEGO Ideas. It's inspired by the planetary romance genre of fiction, and it would include a few recolors if made into a set. I think it's my best set to date. Link: https://ideas.lego.com/projects/157818

  5. Are the 3 long Technic axles with stops not new parts too?

    1. They came out at the beginning of the year, and we've mentioned them before, so I did not include them this time. But in short - yes they are new for 2016!