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23 January 2021

LEGO® Ideas parts review: 21325 Medieval Blacksmith

Kev Levell (on Flickr) today reviews the 2164 pieces in 21325 Medieval Blacksmith, the new LEGO® Ideas set priced US$149.99/ CA$199.99/ 146.99€/ £134.99/ AU$249.99. Buying it? 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. Products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.

The LEGO Group is taking us on a journey in time. Back to Medieval times and, by association, back to the Classic Castle sets of the 1980s.

21325 Medieval Blacksmith is beautiful: this isn’t just a half-timbered house with a characteristically charming second-storey overhang, oh no, there is much more to it. The three floors are packed with authentic-looking details and clever features.

The included minifigures are a practical-looking blacksmith, an archer and last, but not least, a couple of updated Black Falcons. For those that are unfamiliar with them, a simplistic explanation is that Black Falcons were an opposing force to the Lion Knights of the Classic Castle sets I longed for in my childhood so I am fairly excited about their unexpected inclusion.

Additionally there’s a horse with a wagon, a pumpkin patch, a well, a bowed apple tree, a stocked wood store, a dog, a cooking pot on a swing arm… in short, everything a medieval smithy might need… except an out-house or garderobe perhaps?


Even just seeing the box warmed my cold metal heart to a more malleable state and workable temperature. It features the Adult Portfolio branding and some eye-catching, Gothic-influenced typography that looks like wrought iron.

Before a blacksmith could work his own brand of magic by creating ingenious wrought iron things, he would have to smelt ore to extract the essential element. Wes Talbot and Austin Carlson have used their brand of magic too: extracted the essential elements of Clemens Fielder’s original Ideas submission and wrought an ingenious LEGO® version, complete with a nostalgic kick from that pair of Black Falcons.

I could bang on about this all day, and will do so in part 2 where I examine the build and techniques, but today let’s take a look at the parts available in the set.

Parts in LEGO 21325 Medieval Blacksmith

New moulds

Just one new mould for 2021 appears in 21325 Medieval Blacksmith.


Brick Curved 3 x 1 with 2/3 Inverted Cutout (70681) was introduced in 10278 Police Station in Brick Yellow/ Tan (6328182) and Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6329117). Here you get 2 in Black (6328095), which also comes in greater quantities in the magnificent 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens.


70861 is an interesting element; it has much in common with the other 1x3 slopes but I don’t think it should be categorised that way. I’m going to call this piece ‘the shoe brick’ because that’s what it makes me think of, and it will be helpful to refer to its ‘toe’ and ‘heel’ for clarity. For example: the heel has a characteristic 1x1 plate cut-out.

Even though the part is called ‘inverted’ by Rebrickable and BrickLink (concave might be more accurate?) I think the family it most happily resides with is the 2-module-long bows. 


Here we can see it comfortably accommodates the 1x2 inverted bow, and therefore it will neatly sit with the other elements that share the same curvature.


I’ve pictured Brick Arch 1 x 6 Raised Arch (92950) too because it is very nearly the exact mirror image of a pair of the shoe bricks placed toe-to-toe. My convex inner construction of bows and inverted bows moves freely between the 1x6 arch and the shoe bricks.


Swap the shoes to the top of the arch and I can see how this might create interesting repeated features. 


Perhaps its nearest comparable piece is Brick Arch 1 x 3 x 2 Inverted (18653).


The shoe pairs nicely with a few other arches and bows; these are a couple I tried on for size.


Unlike many other slopes and curves, the shoe’s height at the toe is exactly one plate high which allows for flush interfaces with all manner of things.


The sole of the shoe brick reveals a potentially useful half-module offset connection.


It’s always nice to build something with new parts, but with just two at my disposal I was only able to take these new shoes for a short walk to break them in.


Gru’s Shoes. A despicable pair of Wincklepickers.

Rare or recoloured

There are a small number of recoloured and rare parts in 21325 Medieval Blacksmith.

  • 1x Minifig Head Plain [Hollow Stud] in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6201587 | 3626) has been available in three other sets.
  • 2x Brick Round Corner 5 x 5 x 1 with Bottom Cut Outs [No Studs, 1/4 Arch] in Dark Brown (6222942 | 24599) only seen twice before most recently in the enormous 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage and 41196 The Elvenstar Tree Bat Attack.
  • 4x Tile Round 1 x 1 in Dark Brown (6322813 | 98138) is available in three other sets, most notably in 31198 The Beatles where you’ll find 554 of them!
  • 2x Tile Round 1 x 1 in Dark Orange (6322840 | 98138) was only previously available (but again, plentifully) in 31198 The Beatles where you’ll find 85.
  • 20x Tile Round 1 x 1 in Sand Yellow/ Dark Tan (6322841 | 98138) - you guessed it, also featured in The Beatles again with 137, but these also appear in 10281 Bonsai Tree which Thomas Jenkins reviewed.
  • 2x Tile Round 3 x 3 in Medium Nougat (6326106 | 67095) which has only appeared in 71369 Bowser’s Castle before.
  • 2x Brick Arch 1 x 3 x 2 Curved Top in Reddish Brown (6299939 | 6005) surprisingly, this is only available in one other set from 2020 - 31109 Pirate Ship.
  • 4x Equipment Telescope in Reddish Brown (6310449 | 64644) is available in just two other sets.
  • 2x Plate 8 x 8 with Half Circle in Medium Nougat (6301315 | 41948) is appearing for the third time.


One other relatively new part introduced as Monkie Kid’s lightsaber-like hilt, Weapon Hilt Symmetric, is provided in two colours: 1x Dark Stone Grey/ Dark Bluish Gray (6296951 | 66909) and 5x Black (6331084 | 66909).

The Armoury

I thought it might be nice, given the subject matter, to highlight the fruits of our blacksmith’s efforts. 

  • 3x Minifig Helmet Castle Closed with Eye Slit in Silver Metallic/ Flat Silver (6327809 | 89520) which has not been seen in this colour since 2016.
  • 4x Weapon Greatsword in Flat Silver (6295400 | 66964) from Series 20 Collectible Minifigures - Tournament Knight.
  • 1x Weapon Pike / Spear Flat End in Flat Silver (4611883 | 93789). In order to build the halberd (or pollaxe) for one of our Black Falcons an axehead is needed, Weapon Axe Head, Clip-on (Viking) in Flat Silver (6292957 | 53454), which is missing from this picture as I overlooked it while photographing.
  • 3x Shields for the Black Falcons (6335631 | 3846) These are a new print on a trusted old element. The last iteration of a Black Falcon shield was seen in 2012, lurking in 10223 Kingdoms Joust! 
  • 3x Minifig Neckwear Shoulder Guards, aka Praetorian Guard shoulder pads, in Flat Silver (6327807 | 37614). Previously only available in red, this is a really cool part to have recoloured for all kinds of uses.
  • 1x Minifigure Neckwear Shoulder Guard in Flat Silver (6301362 | 65435) available in four sets previously, all from Ninjago in 2020.

Other parts of interest

Although there wasn’t much in the way of new parts to discuss, what 21325 Medieval Blacksmith does have is a fair few pieces in considerable numbers.


A total of 89x Brick Special 1 x 2 with Masonry Brick Profile (98283) are present and that breaks down into:

  • 18x Sand Green (6075617)
  • 48x Light Bluish Gray (6000066)
  • 23x Tan (6148262)

as well as:

  • 3x Brick Special 1 x 4 with Masonry Brick Profile in Tan (6232136 | 15533)

 


Some more useful parts appearing in high quantities are:

  • 15x Brick Special 1 x 1 with Studs on 2 Adjacent Sides in Sand Green (6223225 | 26604)
  • 41x Brick Special 1 x 1 x 1 2/3 with Studs on 1 Side in Reddish Brown (6201911 | 32952)
  • 30x Wedge Plate 2 x 2 Cut Corner in Sand Green (6233984 | 26601)
  • 29x Slope Curved 2 x 1 Inverted in Reddish Brown (6172922 | 24201)


A total of 116x Tile Special 2 x 3 Pentagonal (22385) are included and that breaks down into:

  • 17x Black (6245251)
  • 45x Blue (6245248)
  • 8x Sand Green (6245273)
  • 46x Earth Blue/ Dark Blue (6245268)


And finally, although their quantities are not massive, these elements are noteworthy too:

  • 11x Bar 3L in Dark Brown (6199910 | 87994) is the largest number of these in this colour available in a single set.
  • 9x Plant, Flower Stem with Bottom Pin in Reddish Brown (6269973 | 24855) – a number exceeded only by two sets: a regional promotional exclusive and the recently released 10280 Flower Bouquet as reviewed by Thomas Jenkins.
  • 6x Bars For Window 1 x 2 x 2 in Warm Gold/ Pearl Gold (6295686 | 38320) – these window lattices were introduced last year, and have so far only made it into 6 sets in this colour.
  • 4x Plant, Apple in Bright Red/ Red (6054438 | 33051) previously only available in a quantity of 5x in 41026 Sunshine Harvest and the educational set 45101 Story Starter.

Printed tiles

There are no stickered elements, which is my preferred state of affairs. Aside from the aforementioned Black Falcon shield there is just one unique printed part: the sign above the forge. Tile 2 x 4 Shop Sign, Black Hammer and Tongs in Medium Nougat  (87079 | 6337061) which I’ve pictured (upside down!) here together with the other, non-exclusive printed parts.

  • 8x Tile 1 x 4 with Wooden Board, Nails print in Medium Nougat (6329605 | 73937) previously available in 21324 123 Sesame Street and 41397 Juice Truck both including just one of this redesigned tile. For more about prints that have recently been updated see here.
  • 2x Tile Round 1 x 1 with Compass Print in Pearl Gold ( | 6287847 | 98138)
  • 1x Tile Round 2 x 2 with Bottom Stud Holder with Archery Target Print in White (6139454 | 14769) has appeared 11 times since it’s first appearance in 2016.
  • 10x (including the usual spare) Tile Round 1 x 1 with Tree Stump Print in Reddish Brown (6285623 | 98138), beating 60203 Ski Resort from 2019 and 41428 Beach House from 2020. The Falcon-eyed amongst you will count only 8 here, because I found the other two when I was building!


As I discovered later still, in my over-excited hurry to start building, I entirely missed another printed tile… not exactly rare, but in the interests of thoroughness here is Tile 1 x 2 in White with 'Once upon a time...' and Gold Scrollwork Print (6157985 | 3069).

Minifigures and animals in 21325 Medieval Blacksmith

The minifigures are just brilliant.


Each one has something to recommend it. The titular Blacksmith features a wonderfully appropriate new printed torso (6335769 | 76382).

An Archer (who my kids decided was “Robyn Hood”, the secret hero of our tale) features a sassy expression, a torso (6316918 | 76382) introduced in 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay and a pair of pretty rare dual-moulded legs in Reddish Brown and Dark Tan (6227249 | 21019).

Next is the first of our two Black Falcon soldiers. Aside from the breathtaking updated prints (6335192 | 76382 & 6335666 | 73200) that I hope to see in sets again, the main element of note is the Minifig Hair Bowl Cut and Parted in Center in Light Bluish Gray (6294194 | 38800) which has only been available in one other set.

Last but not least is the second Black Falcon soldier, another female character cast in an atypical role and, having watched my daughter playing, I appreciate  that this soldier allows further opportunity for inclusive play. Of the four minifigures, this is the rarest face print (6306191) although her hair (6220908) has been seen a number of times before.


Our cart horse, featured here in Tan for the first time with a brown bridle print (6343565 | 10509), is a mould introduced in 2010 but fairly rare in every colour other than Reddish Brown. There’s also a husky dog and a (seemingly obligatory) green tree frog! No, goat though, which I know is a big disappointment for many; my understanding is that the mould for the goat is now unusable

Now continue to part 2 of this review for an overview of the build. If you're buying this set, consider supporting us by using our affiliate links: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. New Elementary may get a commission.


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12 comments:

  1. The link for the comment "the mould for the goat is now unusable" takes you to a Jurassic World set review. Would you be able to share further details on what happened to the mould?

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    Replies
    1. The designer of the JP set, Mark Stafford wanted to use the goat in that set. Unfortunately, the mould was not in a fit state to be used again. Mark mentions the goat in the linked article.

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    2. Oh, thank you, I thought there was an article specifically about the goat mould. Too bad the mould cannot be reused, many of us out there are still hoping for the goat to appear again, I guess it may not happen anytime soon.

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    3. I believe the exclusion of the goat is simply to ensure that old kingdoms set retains its originality, that you can't simply collect the pieces and recreate the set.

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  2. I think the idea that it is "...simply ensure that old kingdom set retains it originality' is bunk. If LEGO likes a piece they will use it, or create a new mold for it. However there is always a cost involved (it is a toy COMPANY after all) and when that goat piece was new, it was not a cheap part, so I think it was more due to this point and to the molds not being cheap to remake.. Im guessing the same occurred with Cypress trees as well.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I agree. Lego doesn't really make any money on second hand sales on the collectors' market. Well, they acquired BrickLink, but I guess that's for assessing collectors' demands, and hence possibly recreating supply.

      That said, I believe a new goat mold is more likely than a cypress tree, since the design of the cypress tree made it prone to warp with regular usage. I figure Lego would have hoped for better payoffs for the expensive goat mold, but sales for the civilian-based Castle sets were allegedly quite bad, so they played it safe afterwards with simpler, conflict-based sets just before it wasn't deemed worh the effort, either, and they put the whole theme on hiatus...

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    2. Yeah, I expect a new cypress tree is unlikely if for no other reason than the majority of trees being brick-built these days, especially larger ones.

      A new goat mold would be nice. It'd be fun if it had removable horns like the viking helmets—that could both simplify the mold and allow the horns to be changed to reflect different types of goats (potentially making the goat easier to use in a wider variety of themes).

      That said, it's also possible that Lego might prioritize animals they've never made before like sheep over ones like goats in future farm sets.

      One thing that also occurred to me is that it'd also be nice if sometime in the next six years Lego came up with a new goat so that they could use it in the "Year of the Goat" Chinese New Year sets in 2027.

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    3. In the Chinese Zodiac, I think the goat may occasionally also be translated as sheep or ram. (The latter possibly as a mixup/ analogy with Aries.)

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  3. I LOVE the combination of the new inverted arch with the 1x3x2 arch brick! Would be fantastic for an Elves MOC...

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  4. Thanks for this! I think at least the archer's head features a second facial expression, are any of the other heads dual-faced?

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    Replies
    1. The blacksmith and the huntress have dual-faced heads. It doesn't look like a single head has new printing, though.

      https://brickset.com/article/57388/review-21325-medieval-blacksmith

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  5. The goat mold may have been damaged, but surely TLG has the records and prototypes necessary to re-release it at a fraction of the cost of a usual new mold (no need for costly R&D as all the design work is already done). I remember reading somewhere that the physical cost of a new mold is remarkably expensive, so it makes sense that they wouldn't recreate it for a one-off set such as the T-Rex Rampage, but I imagine that if a product line that could use it more regularly (i.e. castle or farm) were to appear it would be worth the investment. The demand seems to be there, if the AFOL community is to be believed! And really, what set isn't improved with the addition of a goat?

    ReplyDelete