16 February 2019

LEGO® Ideas 21316 The Flintstones

Sven Franic reviews LEGO® 21316 The Flintstones for us today but will it be a yabba dabba doo or a yabba dabba don't? The set is available to VIPs this Wednesday 20 February 2019 with 748 pieces, four minifigures and retails for US$59.99/ CA$79.99/ 59.99€/ £54.99/ 549DKK/ AU$99.99.

LEGO Ideas is a constantly evolving system, but there are a couple of individuals who seem to have cracked the magic formula. This is fan designer Andrew Clark’s second Ideas submission to make it all the way to store shelves after 21304 Doctor Who in 2016.



As a concept idea, The Flintstones might have caught your eye as one of those meticulously finished Ideas projects. Andrew created his own graphic designs that mimic a recognizable style we know from official sets and he managed to portray the otherwise heavily caricatured Flintstones characters using existing elements. Not that this is any guarantee for success, but doing all the extra work, utilizing all your artistic talents and your presentational skills surely helps the LEGO Ideas team better visualise if a project could plausibly become a set.


LEGO designer Ricardo Silva and the now-regular graphic designer on Ideas, Crystal Fontan, took over from Andrew’s polished concept and gave it the final sparkle before it could be packed up in a box.

As simple as it sounds, this is a process that can take months and involve a wide range of jobs. While we don’t get to fully see behind the curtain at TLG, Ideas sets stand out for their personal approach we can experience through the instruction booklet describing how the product came to be, or discover little titbits like the designer’s appreciation for certain LEGO-related websites ;)

Elements

Ideas sets are not afforded the luxury of getting new moulds developed for them, but as Design Manager Specialist Jamie Berard revealed, there is a tiny loophole in this rule allowing foam and cloth elements to be custom tailored since they technically don’t require a mould.
This makes the only new element in the set a white cloth piece used to cover the roof of Fred’s car (Element ID 6266291).

Parts aficionados might be sad to hear there are no newly re-coloured or re-introduced elements in the set, except minifigure hair pieces, but here are some interesting recent or rare parts from the set just in case you missed their introduction elsewhere.


  • Cylinder Half 2 x 4 x 4 in Brick Yellow / Tan (Design ID 20430|Element ID 6232142), previously only available in 71043 Hogwarts Castle and LEGO Games 3862 Harry Potter Hogwarts
  • Tile, Modified 3 x 5 Cloud in White (35470|6223667)
  • Brick, Modified 1 x 2 x 1 No Studs, Curved Top in White (37352|6248827)
  • Plant Plate, Round 1 x 1 with 3 Leaves in Medium Lavender (32607|6210460)
  • 1x1 open stud in Bright Red [TLG] / Red [BL] (20430|6223427) and Dark Stone Grey [TLG] / Dark Bluish Gray [BL] (20430|6231765)

Element Separator in Bright Bluish Green [TLG] / Dark Turquoise [BL] (20430|6254100), also seen in some other 2019 sets.



Decorated elements

One of the perks of Ideas sets is they tend to print all the elements rather than use stickers.

Four set-specific printed elements are included:
2x4 Tile in Medium Stone Grey [TLG] / Light Bluish Gray [BL] with a woolly mammoth poster (Element ID 6266192), another one with a stone-age TV screen (6266185), a Brick, Modified 1 x 4 x 1 1/3 No Studs Curved Top in the same colour featuring the Flintstone name carved in stone (6266195), and probably the coolest piece of the bunch: a 1x3 Tile in Bright Orange [TLG] / Orange [BL] with a tiger pattern (6266180).

The Minifigures



All four of the minifigures use exclusive prints on Light Nougat-based skin tones. Both Fred and Barney get the same hair piece which was previously used for Emmet from The LEGO Movie. Fred’s piece is Black (6262019), and Barney’s Bright Yellow [TLG] / Yellow [BL] (6262020).



Wilma is wearing an older hair piece which conveniently suits her character, recoloured in Bright Orange [TLG] / Orange [BL] (6267065).




Final thoughts

Maybe it is time to mention the pink dinosaur in the room. Considering The Flintstones’ short list of main characters and the likelihood of this being the last we see of the theme, it comes as a surprise that Bamm-Bamm, Pebbles and Dino were left out of the final set. A brick-built version of Dino was added to the fan submission in a later update, but he didn’t live through TLG’s rigorous design standards. A likely reason could also be the lack of available parts in Bright Reddish Violet [TLG] / Magenta [BL] and Medium Lavender, both of which would have worked in theory for the vibrant Snorkasaurus.

I tried to re-create a version of Dino with the limited available Magenta pieces I had on hand, but I don’t think he would fit through the door.

Considering any limitations that go with the compact size of the set, the Flintstones vibe was captured truthfully. The tiger-striped curtains, slanted boulder roof, foot-powered car and stone-age furniture are all instantly recognizable features of the cult series. With the evolving LEGO brick system increasingly lending itself to organic shapes, it was only natural to put these two timeless icons together.



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9 comments:

  1. It's a great little set, but I still don't understand why did the designers give Barney normal legs instead of the short ones.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know, but I wonder if they have certain rules about when they can be used ie only to represent age, not height? Is there precedent for short legs being used with adults? I don't know much about minifigs:)

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    2. The Other Mike19 Feb 2019, 09:50:00

      Flitwick from the Harry Potter line has short legs.

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    3. I do suspect that they wouldn't want to use the shortest length of legs for Barney in case this set sells well enough to get a follow-up set with Bam-Bam and Pebbles, like how the Minecraft Micro-World set got follow-up sets with additional characters and biomes. After all, Barney is not THAT much shorter than Fred, Wilma, and Betty.

      Also, even if the designer had access to the medium legs introduced last year (which isn't necessarily a sure thing), from what we've seen so far, the mold for those legs doesn't seem to be a 2K mold that can make legs in two colors of plastic. That would make it harder to retain the barefoot look, which I think is just as an important part of Barney's design as his height.

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  2. the original - great. This final design, not so great. No Dino, No kids, no sign, etc. etc.... Just doesn't feel the same.

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    Replies
    1. Budget, I should imagine. They'll see whether it was a poor decision when sales figures come in.

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  3. Every set is given an X amount of so called frames in the budget for design. We can only guess what these frames were used for and how many were allocated to it in the first place. I just know minifigures and moulded creatures use up a lot of them. I think the mould for Rex from Toy Story would work for Dino, but would Disney be ok with that? Would Hanna Barbera? Would it go over budget and be too expensive to market? Would kids get frustrated if he doesn't fit in the house? Seems like a lot of hoops to jump through for a fan favourite, but supporting character.

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    Replies
    1. Completely disagree on Rex, wrong shape and size. Plus way to character specific so would have almost certainly been a no go on licencing agreements.

      Pebbles and Bam Bam could have been done with recolour of existing parts but I can see how they would be seen as less essential to the set when deciding where cuts needed to be made for price point.

      If people really want Dino, Pebbles and Bam Bam then this needs to sell through the roof to give LEGO a good enough reason to do another set, but honestly I wouldn't count on it.

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