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.

Elements in new colours

The most noticeable recolours of this set probably are the 32 big Technic panels in Earth Green/ Dark Green that make up the leaves. There are:

  • 8 x Technic Panel 5 x 7 #13, Side A (6346395 | 64394)
  • 8 x Technic Panel 5 x 7 #14, Side B (6346396 | 64680)
  • 8 x Technic Panel 5 x 11 #17, Side A (6346393 | 64392)
  • 8 x Technic Panel 5 x 11 #18, Side B (6346392 | 64682)

This is the second set with the most 5 x 11 panels after 70810 MetalBeard's Sea Cow and the set with the most 5 x 7 panels.

In addition to these panels, a few Technic connectors are recoloured, as well as several System pieces:


  • 30 x Technic Driving Ring Connector Smooth 3L in Sand Green (6348251 | 26287)
  • 3 x Hinge Cylinder 1 x 2 Locking with 1 Finger and Axle Hole on Ends in Sand Green (6348250 | 53923)
  • 6 x Technic, Pin Connector Round 2L in Dark Green (6349342 | 62462)

 

  • 3 x Bar Holder With Handle in Medium Lilac/ Dark Purple (6347780 | 23443)
  • 3 x Weapon Sword / Foil / Épée in Dark Purple (6346402 | 93550)
  • 1 x Hinge Plate 3 x 12 with Angled Side Extensions and Tapered Ends in Dark Green (6348239 | 57906)
  • 4 x Hinge Plate 3 x 12 with Angled Side Extensions and Tapered Ends in Sand Green (6348237 | 57906)
  • 3 x Hinge Plate 1 x 8 with Angled Side Extensions in Sand Green (6348241 | 50334)
  • 4 x Plate 2 x 10 in Bright Yellowish Green/ Lime (6151720 | 3832)
  • 16 x (plus 1 spare) Tile 1x1 Half circle in Medium Nougat (6349124 | 24246)

Other noteworthy elements

10289 Birds of Paradise also contains some parts that are particularly rare, or that come in high quantities that I thought were worth highlighting.

One element that falls in both categories is the hay bale brick in Brick Yellow/ Tan (6330903 | 71752). It was introduced earlier in 2021 (Aron discussed it in his review of 80023 Monkie Kid's Team Dronecopter) and comes 8 times in the set. There's also 8 (plus 2 spares) of the Minifig Ring 1 x 1 (11010) - a note in the booklet states that this is more than in any other set.

  • 8 x Technic Brick 1x8 in Lime (6132375 | 3702) - This element only appeared in Educational WeDo sets before, as well as the LEGO House exclusive set 40501 The Wooden Duck.
  • 4 x Tile Special 2 x 2 with 1 x 2 Vertical Plate in Medium Nougat (6313599 | 41682), which comes in only two other sets so far.
  • 2 x Cylinder Half 2 x 4 x 2 with 1 x 2 Cutout in Black (6251544 | 24593), available in three other sets.
  • 4 x Tile 2 x 6 in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6318584 | 69729), that was only available in 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System before.
  • 16 x Bracket 1 x 2 - 2 x 2 Inverted in Lime (6310277 | 99207)

We have seen above that several Technic pieces appear in this set in Dark Green for the first time, but there's also two elements introduced in 10280 Flower Bouquet that return here, namely 43 Technic Driving Ring Connector Smooth 3L (6330196 | 26287) and 15 Technic Axle and Pin Connector Angled #3 (6344177 | 32016). The first Dark Green Technic pieces appeared in 2004 with 8622 Nidhiki, and I find it amusing that since then every single Dark Green Technic piece was made for non-Technic sets.

If you like black slopes curved, this set might interest you: 24 slopes curved 8 x 2 (6296083 | 42918), 24 slopes curved 3 x 2 (6147790 | 24309) and 48 slopes curved 2 x 2 inverted (6211476 | 32803) are used to build the pot.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about a moulding flaw I noticed on several pieces. The tile 1x1 with a clip on top has been redesigned several times over the years, and it looks like design 15712 is getting replaced by design 44842.

Now the difference between the two moulds is almost unnoticeable, but in my copy of the set, ten out of the twelve tiles 1x1 with clip 44842 had an excess of plastic right above the injection point. Above, I've arranged them from the worst on the left to the best on the right.


And here's a comparison between the two most recent variants of the design and an example of a flawed piece.

I don't really know what is the cause of the issue - I've had several 44842 in recent sets and they were all normal, this is the first time I've see something like that. If you encounter it as well, please let me know if it occured on parts with the same colours (in my case it's Bright Red/ Red and Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange) and which sets have the issue, and of course make sure to report it to the Customer Service so LEGO will be made aware of the problem.

The build

In the box are 10 bags numbered from 1 to 5. With bag 1 we build the structure of the pot.

We begin with an octagon made of hinge plates, to which we attach a central column, and then we add several layers to this assembly. You can notice this is where the rings come into play; they are used to align the column to the very centre of the pot and secure the build. Indeed, due to the way it's built, the ring is off-grid:

The space between two opposite sides is 38.628mm, which is less than 5 modules (40mm), so it was impossible to use, for example, Technic bush ½ (32123), as you can see:

However it is just a little bit more than 4 modules and two plates (32mm + 3.2mm + 3.2mm = 38.4mm), so designer Chris McVeigh needed a part that had about the size of a ½ bush, but more importantly the thickness of a plate. This part is, you guessed it, the ring.

Bag 2 adds a structure in SNOT on which the stems will be attached, as well as the sides of the pot. 

Since the octagon is off-grid, everything that comes on the top of the pot is actually attached to the 12 studs of the central column only. Here we can see that a Technic axle 5 with stop (15462) goes through the top plate to secure the build. We can also see that the wedge plates 4x4 (30503) are perfectly aligned with the inner side of the brackets (99207), which is impressive!

At first I was worried about the many colours used in this assembly, but by the end of the build it's completely covered in Reddish Brown and Medium Nougat 1x1 round plates so you don't see it at all. Again we can see here that the Reddish Brown slopes (3039 and 3660) are perfectly aligned with the Lime brackets.

Finally the eight panels that make up the sides of the pot are assembled. You may want to wear gloves while building them so as to not leave fingerprints on the big smooth black pieces. Or you can come up with your own design. Once again the different modules line up remarkably.

After that the build is rather straightforward. Bags 3, 4 and 5 add the stems, the leaves, the flowers, and the earth of the pot.

And now the set is complete!

 

Conclusion

I like this set much more than I expected. It's an elegant model, and its size is impressive (the finished model is 46cm tall). The Technic panels make convincing leaves, particularly from afar. 

The only problem I see with that technique is that it only looks good from the front, when you're behind you see the structure of the panels, so it's best displayed close to a wall, or in a corner, but not in the middle of a room. 


While it causes the set to cost more than the previous models from the Botanical Collection, I think the pot is a welcome addition. It makes the building experience more interesting, the inventory more attractive, and the final model more classy than just a bunch of leaves and flowers on stems.

However it's hard to recommend the set as a parts pack. As a whole the inventory is rather rich, with some uncommon parts in high quantities, but also very specific, and I feel most builders will be drawn to one particular portion of the inventory - for example the Technic pieces in Dark Green and Sand Green shades are more likely to attract Constraction builders than Technic builders or anyone else. Some will prefer the lime green pieces, some will prefer the black slopes curved, and will rather buy the parts separately than the set itself, which is a lot more expensive than the previous two Botanical sets. Unless they're Batman.


10289 Birds of Paradise will cost 99.99 EUR / 89.99 GBP when released on 1 June 2021, 99.99 USD in North America where it will be released on 1 August. Buying it? Love New Elementary? Please 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'. 

READ MORE: Eero Okkonen creates MOCs using new printed parts in LEGO® BrickHeadz sets 40495 & 40496

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7 comments:

  1. Ha, I was just thinking of picking up a bunch of the One Ring parts for a particular build I'm futzing with. The only other thing I can think of that could take it's place is the minifig utensil box end wrench, but the handle on it made it less desirable for my use.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your 44842 defect doesn't look like it has too much plastic (that would involve a damaged mold), but maybe it was run too hot. The first bit of plastic that enters the mold cavity has to pass through the entire mold, and will be the coolest section of the part when it's ejected. The pip is where the last bit of plastic ends up, and is going to be the hottest section. If the part isn't given adequate time to cool, the hottest sections could sag under their own weight.

    If the deformities are 100% consistent in shape, then it could actually be a dent in the mold that just happens to be located right next to the gate, but if there's any variance in shape it's probably just that the setup was run too hot (plastic heated up too much before it's injected, mold isn't adequately cooled after injection, part isn't given enough time to cool before it's ejected).

    Regarding the rings, do we think these are One plus Nine, or the Three plus Seven? I suppose if the two extras don't count, they'd have to be the One plus Seven.

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  3. Are very, very dark grey slopes any cheaper than black slopes?

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  4. Thanks for those great insights, Victor! I like the set a lot, but don't see myself buying it - for the reasons you mentioned (too few parts I am actually hunting for). I do hope for more botanical stuff coming out in the future.

    I have a question: the Treehouse was advertised with "botanical elements are made from plants" but I haven't seen that same ad on other products since. Do you know if any elements of this or other sets are made from plants?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The parts made from plants are polyethylene plastic—a softer plastic than typical ABS, used for slightly flexible parts like the bamboo leaves, flower stems, 3x4 and 5x6 leaves, spiky bushes, and classic palm leaves (among various others, not all of which are "plant" parts). Unfortunately, hard plastic parts like the Technic panels and hinged flaps used in this set have not yet been able to be converted to a plant-based source. So yes, Lego is still using plant-based plastic, but unfortunately this set doesn't contain any examples of it.

      Delete
    2. @Andrew Barnick:
      I can't be 100% certain, but the three dark-purple fencing foils may be PE. If they're not, I see nothing else in this set that would be anything other than ABS beyond the chrome layer on the One Ring (the base of which would still be ABS).

      Even if the foils are PE, three pieces in a set with nearly 1200 parts is nothing to crow about, so advertising that it contains parts made from plants would almost certainly backfire on them if they tried.

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    3. I’m also not 100% sure that Lego has transitioned all of their PE pieces to plant-based PE…? Does anybody know what the status is on percentage of plant-based PE being used?

      In any case, I agree that the foils seem to be PE, rather than ABS. This set does seem like an oddly calculated risk in the “botanical” line, skewing heavily Technic over system, and eschewing plant-based parts entirely.

      All that aside, I’mma buy it.

      Delete

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