06 May 2021

LEGO® Creator review & alt-build: 31116 Safari Wildlife Tree House

Alice Finch (@bippitybricks) returns as our guest reviewer again today, with LEGO® Creator 31116 Safari Wildlife Tree House in her sights. She examines each of the 3-in-1 models before designing a 4th of her own! Buying this £29.99 / US$29.99 / 29.99€ / AU$49.99 set? Consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. The products in this article were provided by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.

31116 Safari Wildlife Tree House is in the LEGO® Creator line and features an animal, a vehicle or structure, and at least one colourful bird in each of the three models. Seeing as most of us are still staying close to home, taking a trip on a LEGO safari is a welcome departure from the living room, office or wherever you have been spending the last year.

03 May 2021

LEGO® Botanical Collection review: 10289 Birds of Paradise

Victor Pruvost (@leewanlego) reviews an upcoming addition to the LEGO® Botanical Collection today: 10289 Birds of Paradise. Buying this set? Consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.


10289 Birds of Paradise, the third set in the recent LEGO® Botanical Collection, has just been revealed. With 1173 elements, it is the set with the highest parts count to date, and also the most expensive: it will cost 99.99 EUR / 89.99 GBP / 99.99 USD and will be released on 1 June 2021, except in North America where it will be released on 1 August.

02 May 2021

(CW: HP) LEGO® BrickHeadz parts review + MOCs: 40495 & 40496

Eero Okkonen examines the parts in LEGO® BrickHeadz sets 40495 & 40496, both released on 1 June 2021, before using some of them in his own creations. Note, this article does not cover the actual build of the models – please visit other fan sites for that, such as The Rambling Brick. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.

The target audience for LEGO® BrickHeadz sets 40495 and 40496 are people who want to have simple, rectangular models of Harry Potter franchise characters on display. These two Brickheadz sets, each containing multiple characters, are not what I would call “essential New Elementary content”; they’re fairly basic models with only a few unique printed parts. Also their theme licence has its problems: New Elementary has a stance on Harry Potter sets following JK Rowling’s shocking and hurtful views on transgender people, which you can read here. I am aware that reviewing this merchandise might work as an advertisement, and JK Rowling might even profit from it. I don’t like it. 


So, why do we review such sets? Firstly, we do not always know what pre-release sets we’re getting from TLG, and secondly, it’s worth knowing that all sets are not new mold powerhouses; and such sets may have other qualities. Due to this issue, I have deliberately faded out the Potter aspect of this article, rather focusing on the parts and creating my own models. I will also return to this issue later on. 

30 April 2021

LEGO® Technic review: 42121 Heavy-Duty Excavator

Alexandre Campos is back with another 2021 LEGO® Technic set: 42121 Heavy-Duty Excavator. Buying this set? Consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.


Excavators are a common sight in LEGO® Technic, ranging from some of the smallest sets to some of the largest. 42121 Heavy-Duty Excavator is the newest entry, priced €39.99/ £34.99/ US$39.99/ AU$69.99.

28 April 2021

LEGO® Super Mario review: 71383 Wiggler's Poison Swamp

Nicolas Geeraert, a UK-based builder and former contestant in LEGO® Masters, is our special guest reviewer today. He's taking a look at the parts in the 2021 LEGO Super Mario set 71383 Wiggler’s Poison Swamp. Buying this £34.99 / US$39.99 / 39.99€ set? Consider using our affiliate links: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. New Elementary may get a commission. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.


Alongside the Character Pack Series 2, a series of LEGO® Super Mario sets was released at the start of 2021 including 71383 Wiggler’s Poison Swamp. This is my first experience with the Super Mario sets, and so the lack of a Mario figure prevented me from reviewing the gameplay, but that should not spoil the fun. The set brings some great new parts and recolours, with a new SNOT element as the highlight.

26 April 2021

LEGO® Brickheadz review: 40420 Gru & 40421 Belle Bottom

TobyMac (@efraimaspie) examines 2 new LEGO® BrickHeadz sets which are available from today: 40420 Gru & 40421 Belle Bottom. Buying these Minions sets? Consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.

Minions… annoying little yellow figures that speak some weird language. I can’t say I’m a fan of them popping up everywhere. But, they do give us some neat LEGO® sets with new, interesting elements. Last year, 5 sets were announced, with only 2 released because the movie Minions: Rise of Gru is delayed. Tim Johnson has already taken a look at 75551 Brick Built Minions and Their Lair & 75549 Unstoppable Bike Chase, looking at both the new moulds and the figures and recolours. The other 3 sets are supposed to be released in June this year. But before we can get our hands on those, LEGO is going to release 2 other Minions-related sets, in the form of 40420 Gru & 40421 Belle Bottom BrickHeadz, and today we’ll be taking a look at them.

24 April 2021

Si-MOCs vs. LEGO® Art

Simon Liu (@si_mocs) is our welcome guest today! A stalwart of communities in Canada and online, including the wonderful Iron Builder, we knew Simon would take the ultimate MOCcing challenge in his stride. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.

There are lots of LEGO® sites out there, targeted at different audiences, but for a builder like myself New Elementary has always been my go-to source for parts and building analysis. I’ve always said I’d jump if asked to do something for New Elementary.  Tim knew this, but Tim’s a funny guy; he asked me to do some seed-part building with some interesting new pieces... from LEGO Art 31200 The Sith. You read that right, dear reader, Tim asked me to do a deep dive build with pieces from a mosaic set.

21 April 2021

LEGO® Friends review & alt build: 41433 Party Boat

Lee (@citysoncreation) designs his own alternate model from a 2020 LEGO® Friends set for you today: 41433 Party Boat, which is priced 79.99€/ US$$79.99/ £74.99/ AU$$159.99. Buying this set? Consider using our affiliate links: UK LEGO Shop | UK Amazon | USA LEGO Shop | USA Amazon | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. New Elementary may get a commission. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.


It may be a 2020 set but there is no such thing as a bad time to build and review a LEGO® party boat, so let’s hop on with Andrea, Emma and Ethan to take a break as I examine for you the second-largest boat set in LEGO Friends yet: 41433 Party Boat. Then, I use its parts in my own creation!

19 April 2021

LEGO® Monkie Kid review: 80024 The Legendary Flower Fruit Mountain

Aron Gerencsér (@_pohaturon) completes his 2021 LEGO® Monkie Kid set analysis today with 80024 The Legendary Flower Fruit Mountain. Don't forget, it is Double VIP Points at LEGO.com until 20 April 2021 so if you're buying this set, or anything, please consider using our affiliate links: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. New Elementary may get a commission. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.


The largest set in the first 2021 wave of LEGO® Monkie Kid sets is a stark departure from the usual aesthetic of the theme. 80024 The Legendary Flower Fruit Mountain is a 1949-piece set retailing for £159.99 / US$169.99 / 169.99€ (more currencies listed at the end of this post) which instead of a fancy futuristic vehicle or mech depicts a beautiful mountain vista with a mythic vibe, straying much closer to the theme’s Journey to the West roots. Let’s see if this dramatic shift works to the set’s advantage. 

16 April 2021

LEGO® Designers interview: 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery

Zachary Hill recently conducted an exclusive interview for New Elementary with not one but two LEGO® designers who worked on 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery: the set designer Milan Madge and element designer Mani Zamani. This transcript has been edited for clarity, readability and narrative flow.

New Elementary: The Discovery Shuttle is an amazing spacecraft and the new LEGO® 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery is a fantastic homage to it. How did you enjoy the opportunity to develop this set, Milan? 

Milan Madge: It was great working with NASA and it really was a childhood dream come true for everyone involved.

© 2021 The LEGO Group

New E: In the LEGO Designer Video, you mentioned a part of that childhood dream: admiring the Discovery which was in the LEGO catalogue when you were young. Which version of the Shuttle was that?

Milan M: That set was the Space Shuttle Discovery from 2003 (7470). I loved the pictures of that set but never owned it myself, so I built my own out of multicoloured bricks.

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