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30 December 2020

LEGO® Botanical Collection review: 10280 Flower Bouquet

Thomas Jenkins (@thomas_jenkins_bricks) has been busy tending his LEGO® Botanical Collection sets, starting with the 756-piece Flower Bouquet Buying this 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.

I’m not a fan of plastic flowers, but after a quick glance at the box of the new LEGO® Flower Bouquet I’m already starting to change my mind.


10280 Flower Bouquet sows the seed for the new Botanical Collection, which currently includes one other set, 10281 Bonsai Tree, which I have also reviewed. They're an exciting new addition to the 18+ range, offering something quite unique: non-licensed, non-minifig, real-world scale display pieces. Plus, at US$49.99/ €49.99/ £44.99/ AU$89.99/ 449.0 DKK/ CA$69.99 they're among the least expensive of the new adult-oriented sets.

The Parts

Recolours in 10280 Flower Bouquet

There are a bunch of recoloured parts provided, creating a beautifully vibrant palette.


One exciting recolour is a mould only recently released in 2020: the 5-module-wide steering wheel. This set includes 7 of Steering Wheel with 4 Studs on Center in Earth Green/ Dark Green (6329283 | 67811). It was first seen in 10274 ECTO-1 where it appeared just once, in black. 

I’ve been meaning to pick some of the black ones up, so I’m really glad to receive a generous handful of them here. The reason I’m so excited about this new 5-module-wide variety is that its ring is an uninterrupted 3.18mm bar. Previous iterations of steering wheels have been smaller, meaning the curve is tighter and so attaching clips would stress the elements a little. 


Actually, the centrepoint of the bar has a diameter of 4 modules so the circumference of the outer edge of the wheel is actually just shy of 5 modules, but it can be clipped perfectly onto a 5-module-wide surface:


The 2x2 round centre is two plates tall with an axle hole through the middle, and the bar is raised above it. 


You can fit 14 clips around the circumference of the wheel. And you can even clip along the areas where the support connects the bar to the centre.


I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this element to make cylinders to create thrusters for spaceships but castle builders might find it useful to make the towering spires of a fortress. The set makes good use of the part’s functionality where it is used as an attachment point to clip the petals onto flowers.


Other parts to receive a Dark Green recolour are:

  • 65x Technic Driving Ring Connector Smooth (6330196 | 26787). Unsurprisingly, they are used as flower stems.
  • 7x Technic Axle and Pin Connector Angled #3 - 157.5° (6330688 | 32016).
  • 4x Plant, Bush 2 x 2 x 4 (6331498 | 6064). I was slightly surprised to find that this is the first appearance of the part in this colour as it seems like the perfect combination.
  • 3x Animal Body Part, Dinosaur, Pteranodon Wing, Left with Marbled Sand Green Edge Pattern (6311389 | 98088). Unfortunately, we only receive the left variant of the part as I’d quite like the complete set of right and left.

Light Nougat bricks are used to make the pale pink roses. Light Nougat is a colour that has almost exclusively been used to represent pale skin tones on minifigures, so seeing the colour appear on these elements took some getting used to. I hope more bricks become available in this colour, for better integration in MOCs.


The parts newly available in Light Nougat are:

  • 12x Vehicle Mudguard 3 x 4 x 1 2/3 Curved Front (6329296 |98835).
  • 12x Slope Curved 3 x 4 x 2/3 Triple Curved with 2 Sunk Studs (6329294 | 93604.
  • 12x Tile 1 x 2 with Groove (6330199 | 3069).
  • 24x Plate Special 1 x 2 with Clip Horizontal on Side (6343511 | 11476).


Parts newly available in Sand Green are:

  • 4x Large Figure Limb Cover / Claw / Spike Large with Axle Hole (6329298 | 13562).
  • 3x Sports Surfboard Standard (6330684 |90397) make the perfect leaves.
  • 10x Technic Axle 32 (6329299 | 50540) make excellent flower stems.
  • 4x Plate Round 2 x 2 with Pin Hole and 4 Arms Up (6329274 | 98285).


The other parts to round out the selection of new colours are:

  • Slope Curved 3 x 4 x 2/3 Triple Curved with 2 Sunk Studs in Bright Orange/ Orange (6329289 | 93604)
  • Wedge Curved 4 x 3 No Studs [Plain] in Orange (6329309 | 32803)
  • Wedge Curved 1 x 2 x 2/3 No Studs, Wing End in Brick Yellow/ Tan (37458 | 47458)
  • Plate Round 2 x 2 x 2/3 with + Axle Hole and 4 Leaf Extensions in Bright Reddish Violet/ Magenta (6097519 | 15469)
  • Brick Round 2 x 2 Dome Top - Hollow Stud with Bottom Axle Holder x Shape + Orientation in Magenta (6261620 | 60367c)
  • Brick Round 2 x 2 Truncated Cone in Bright Purple/ Dark Pink (6329278 | 98100)

Other noteworthy parts in 10280 Flower Bouquet

The Flower Bouquet includes a handful of parts that are new for 2020 (i.e. not exclusive to this set) and a few parts that I would consider rare.


First, the parts that were introduced in 2020:

  • Brick Special 1 x 2 x 1 2/3 with Eight Studs on 3 Sides in Bright Yellow/ Yellow (6310247 | 67329) appears twice in the Flower Bouquet. This SNOT brick made its debut in the Super Mario sets released earlier in 2020 where it appears in a variety of other colours. It can also be found in Yellow in 75978 Diagon Alley
  • Brick Round, Half 1 x 2 in Black (6308032 | 68013) is another new part for 2020 and currently can be found in just three other sets.


The parts I consider rare, appearing or having appeared in three sets or fewer are:

  • 3x Wedge Curved 4 x 3 No Studs in Sand Green (6284414 | 64225) which was previously only available in 75976 Wrecking Ball from the Overwatch series.
  • 3x Wedge Curved 16 x 4 Triple in Sand Green (6330215 | 45301) which again has only appeared in one other set thus far: 2019’s 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg.
  • 7x Plate Special 2 x 2 with Bar Frame Octagonal, Reinforced, Completely Round Studs in Sand Green (6223219 | 75937).
  • 2x Technic Axle Connector Smooth [with x Hole + Orientation] in Bright Yellowish Green/ Lime (6302735 | 59443) is a new recolour for 2020.
  • 3x Slope Curved 2 x 2 Inverted in Dark Green (6255896 | 32803).

I’m a big fan of all the sand colours, so I’m particularly pleased with the selection of Sand Green elements in the set.

With the parts out of the way, it seems things are coming up roses for the Flower Bouquet.

Instructions for 10280 Flower Bouquet


Each of the flowers gets a nice little introduction at the beginning of the manual. It provides a little insight into the choices made behind the flowers’ translation into LEGO form.


The manual briefly introduces the designers who contributed to the set, a feature that I really appreciate about the new style of instructions. There’s a nice note about an internal program in the LEGO company that helps employees “get back on track after a physical or psychological setback” and this set is a product of the work of the group. It’s awesome to see the LEGO Group looking after their employees in this way.


Another neat little addition to the instructions are these little annotations peppered through the pages providing a bit of background on the parts used. With so many new colours and unusual pieces there are quite a few notes. Most of these won’t be new to dyed-in-the-wool AFOLs, but I can imagine that they may elicit some surprise from more casual builders.

Either way, I can’t help but feel a little redundant writing up this New Elementary review.

Building LEGO Botanical Collection set 10280

 

LEGO daisies

First the instructions dictate that we build the daisies. 


The set provides the parts for two stems each with three flowers at the top. It’s a simple build that uses Plant, Palm Tree Top (2566) in Tan to attach the white petals of Plate Special 1 x 2 Rounded with 2 Open Studs.


From a distance it’s a pretty convincing version of the flower, but up close the open studs spoil the illusion. That said, I think the daisy is less of a focus than the other flowers and acts as ‘filler’ in the arrangement.

LEGO roses

The next flower is the rose and it’s a lot more impressive than the daisy.


The tan petals are placed first. using brackets. A 2x2 jumper plate helps nestle the white innermost petals snugly at a 45 degree angle in the centre. The perfect geometry makes the placement of those white petals super-satisfying.


The new Light Nougat outer petals are held on by the steering wheels we talked about earlier. In my opinion, the most beautiful part of the flower is further down the stem in the excellent parts choice for the leaves; those Pteranodon wings are just perfect!

The designers have certainly done well to recreate the complicated arrangement of petals on the rose. The press release accompanying the announcement of the new Botanical Collection states that we’ll get a set of roses in red as a LEGO Store exclusive from 1 January 2020 and I can’t wait to see them, I’m certain they’ll look stunning. 

The stems of these roses are a bit thicker than the daisies which used the long 32-module axles. The more robust roses use the Dark Green connectors. We get plenty of these elements as they also feature in a few of the other flowers: 65 in total. Perhaps they could be used to make a bamboo forest?

LEGO Californian poppy


A core made up of two of the new Brick Special 1 x 2 x 1 2/3 with Eight Studs on 3 Sides (67329) sits at the centre with petals attached with clip plates.


The curved wedges and slopes complement each other nicely under the petals, and the stamen are cleverly represented by four bar holder with clip elements (11090). It’s perhaps not the most complicated flower of the bough, and is one of my favourites.

LEGO snapdragon


Here we’re using the Sand Green octagonal parts to create the concentric blossoms of the flower.


The shades of pink in the model match the gradient of colours on the real plant quite well, and the shapes are pretty spot on too. 

LEGO lavender


This was the most tedious of the flowers to assemble. There are 18 of those little bunches of flowers to assemble that make the blossoms. That means 55 of those tiny Lavender 1x1s to thread onto stalks. In my opinion, the browns and golds are a little too pronounced on this LEGO version of the plant. I think replacing the gold parts with another shade of purple would look a lot better – and those crown parts in purple would be nice! – but otherwise I think making flowers from flowers is a neat idea. 


Although a little disappointing when viewed on its own, once in the bouquet it finds its place by adding some height to the arrangement.

LEGO aster


The final flower we assemble is the aster and it’s definitely my favourite of the bunch. 

The whole stock of 34x Plant, Plate 1 x 1 Round with 3 Leaves (6210460 | 32607) are used to make this spectacular blossom. It shares a similar construction to the rose and snapdragon with clip and bar attachments to create the concentric rings of petals. Curiously, the two black half-round bricks are hidden away inside – surely a standard 2x2 round brick would suffice?

LEGO foliage

The set also includes two types of foliage to tie the bouquet together, although these aren’t named specifically in the manual. 


We have two bushy (there’s no better word for it) sprigs that are each made up of two of the new Dark Green bushes, plus three long frond or leafy constructs.


The construction of the long leaves is a little more involved, requiring a few more parts. It’s hard to tell which surface is more visually appealing: the smooth surface of the slope or the contrasting colours of the underside, but it’s a bit of a shame about those exposed anti studs. The surfboards add a nice sharp point to the tips of the leaves.

The leaf has clip bar connection allowing some articulation but the leaf is a little heavy and has a tendency to fold on the joints with less resistance.

The completed 10280 Flower Bouquet


There are constraints to building with the library of LEGO parts and it’s often hard to recreate organic shapes well. The design team has done a really impressive job of creating distinct and easily recognisable flowers from pre-existing parts.

Brick-built flowers are a great opportunity for unusual parts in bold colours and I hope we get a follow up set with even more exciting elements. I think parts like large figure shoulder armour (21560) would work well as a petal for example or, as a Welshman, I’d love to see a Scala bucket (33178) used in a daffodil, our national flower. You can have those for free, LEGO!


Some may complain about the lack of a brick-built vase in the set, but I don’t mind it in the slightest. I’m sure the extra pieces required to make a vessel stable enough to hold the entire bouquet would raise the price of the set considerably, and it would surely be even higher to provide the parts to make one which is visually interesting. I actually quite like the juxtaposition between the brick-built replica flowers and real vase.

The lack of vase inspired some creativity in displaying the set. My wife has been studying ikebana for some time and the idea of creating an arrangement with the brick-built flowers received an enthusiastic response.


I set about to make a LEGO version of the kenzan – a tool covered in spikes on to which the stems of the flowers are fixed. The name translates to ‘sword mountain’, which is apt. Stepping on one may be even more painful than a LEGO brick. I used Technic connectors and ball joints to create the angles at which to arrange the flowers, doing my best to stick as closely as I could to the strict rules regarding the placement of the flowers, but at the same time minimizing the bulk of the construction.

Conclusion

I was very excited upon the announcement of the new botanical models. The press images teased some interesting recoloured parts and I was not disappointed upon opening the box.

I hesitate to call this a ‘parts pack’ as it does a disservice to the beautiful finished model, but there are certainly some fantastic and interesting elements in a variety of vibrant and unusual colours on offer, as well as some useful elements coming in large quantities.

I had a great time assembling the model, there’s a lot of nice parts usage to enjoy and the duplicate flowers make this a fun project to take on with a partner. If my wife’s reaction is anything to go by, I think this model will have wide appeal: it’s an excellent build made up of interesting parts and the subject matter will surely attract a new audience as well as fans. I hope it does, because I’d love to see the botanical collection flourish. 

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3 comments:

  1. RE: The half-round bricks in the aster. Maybe they were worried about the clutch power of both steering wheels + a normal round brick being too much? Either that or they just included it because they could and it's a cool thing for afols to get more rare parts.

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  2. Hi Tim, thanks for the great review. Would you be willing to share in more detail how you created the ikebana base for the lego flower bouquet? I am looking to create something similar but am a bit dumbstruck on how to go about that.

    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. That is Thomas Jenkins' work... there is a link to his insta at the start of the article, perhaps you can ask him there but I doubt he made instructions. They're a lot of work!

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