22 August 2021

LEGO® Disney review + MOC: 43189 Elsa and the Nokk Storybook Adventures

Eero Okkonen (@eerookkonen) takes a look inside LEGO® Disney 43189 Elsa and the Nokk Storybook Adventures, before using some of its new parts in an original creation. Buying this set? Consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop/for Europe 'Change region'. Products in this article were provided by LEGO; the author's opinions are their own.

LEGO® has recently shown interest in releasing sets that look like books, without actually being books. LEGO Ideas 21315 Pop-Up Book was released in 2018, and the first four Disney Storybook Adventures sets were introduced in early 2020. These lacked the advanced pop-up mechanism of the Ideas set, being simple cases fitting small playsets inside, easily closed for storage or travel.


These sets got a lone successor in January 2021 with 43189 Elsa and the Nokk Storybook Adventures. As the Frozen franchise is very popular, it is not surprising to see another storybook concerning it. I must warn you: the popularity of the franchise is the only thing I know about it!


The set is a simple and fast build. No instruction booklet is included, just a folded sheet showing how to build the separate sub-assemblies. The book clasps closed sturdily, and everything fits satisfyingly inside. It reminds me of a big (non-LEGO) truck I had as a kid; it opened to reveal a full micro city inside.

Figures in LEGO 43189


No. 8/Horse with 1 x 1 Cutout, Silver Eyes Pattern in Transparent Blue Opal/Satin Trans-Light Blue (6335728 | 77076) could look good as a minifig-scale magical pony, or possibly an ice sculpture of one. It has a medium azure curved slope filling the gap in its back. It looks alright in the photo, but the difference in plastic pattern is a bit jarring. I would have preferred opal filling, but I am not complaining - as the medium azure piece comes only in this set and 41931 Extra DOTS - Series 4.

The set includes three microdolls, which are slightly creepy. The head with closed eyes is the most interesting, and might appeal to people building minidoll vignettes given that the heads can be reused on those. And then for minifigure users, the hairpieces are the main attraction here. Little Olaf the snowman also appeared in 2020’s 43175 Anna and Elsa's Storybook Adventures. The delightful brick-built Earth Giant has a unique print and reminds me of Discworld trolls.

Parts

TobyMac gave a close insight into the book pieces in his aforementioned 2020 article, so I’m not diving deep into those. 


The aqua and light aqua spine piece is exclusive to this set, as well as the printed cover:

  • Design Plate, Book W/4.85 No. 8/Medium Azure Container Book Cover Half, 16 x 12 x 2 2/3 (Storybook Adventures) with Medium Azure Background with Lavender Beach, White Rocks and Foam Pattern in Medium Azur/Medium Azure (6333413)
  • Design Plate, Book W/4.85 Hole No. 2/Container Book Cover Binding, 16 x 6 x 1 (Storybook Adventures) in Aqua/Light Aqua (6337977 | 65200)


The rest of the new parts in this set (excluding the microdoll parts) are:

  • Flat Tile 2X3 W/ Angle, No. 115/Tile, Modified 2 x 3 Pentagonal with Earth Giant Face Pattern in Medium Stone Grey/Light Bluish Grey (6338446), 
  • Flag 5 x 6 Hexagonal with U Clips with Lavender/White Crystal Shapes print in Trans-Purple (6342727),
  • Tile 6X8, Circle, No. 7/Tile, Round 6 x 8 Oval with Dark Blue Nokk, Elsa on Medium Azure Background, Stars and Ice Crystal Pattern in Silver Metallic/Flat Silver (6333418),
  • 1X4, Inv., Deg. 45, W/Cutout/White Slope, Inverted 45 4 x 1 Double in white (6338001 | 32802) which has since been included in 76393 Harry Potter & Hermione Granger,

and, in Transparent Blue Opal/Satin Trans-Light Blue:

  • 2 x Rock / Ice / Flames, 1 x 4 with 2 Studs on the Edges (Flame, Rock) (6338003 | 70880),
  • 3 x Windscreen 6 x 4 x 1 Hexagonal with Handle (6337994 | 27262) which is also available in 43194 Anna and Elsa's Frozen Wonderland, 
  • 4 x Diamond, W/ 3.2 Shaft/Tile, Modified 1 x 2 Diamond (6337989 | 35649) which has since been included in 43197 The Ice Castle and a VIP promotional pack,
  • and Animal, Horse with 1 x 1 Cut Out with Stud and Blue Eyes print (6335728 | 77076).


The most interesting new mould is 70880 “energy effect wave” piece, which also appears in Transparent Bright Orange/Trans-Orange in three of this year’s City fire sets - not in actual builds but as simple energy effects, for playing with. They have two studs on sides and two antistuds on bottom; the middle part fits two studs, and very tightly a 3.18 mm bar in the gap. I suppose the gap can be used for play functions to knock the fire effect off. The clutch is looser than 4 antistuds would be, and the hollowness of this piece reminds me of parts such as the DUPLO grass. Lack of internal structures makes the translucent piece more appealing, and also enables stacking, as 60281 Fire Rescue Helicopter’s box suggests. (View on LEGO.com; affiliate link, New Elementary may get a commission.)


The parts in the image above appear only in a handful of sets. To see which, check out the set inventory on Rebrickable, Brickset or BrickLink.


And here are the rest of the pieces, including the extras. There’s 125 parts in this set, and I think almost all of them are fascinating, interesting or useful! I can see myself using all of them on my own models sooner or later. 


And let’s not forget the unused sticker sheet! All of them are applied to the book pieces, and I prefer that they are not printed, as this makes both the decals and the book halves more universally useful.

Eero Okkonen’s MOC: Valkyrie of the East Wind

The unique printed curved tile used on the cover was quite pretty actually, so I wanted to use it somehow! 


It ended up being a shield, as character builds – my speciality – rarely have any big flat areas. The Frozen theme suggested an icy aesthetic, and ever since I got my hands on plenty of white 1x12 curved slopes, I had planned to make an angel. The shield meant it would be a warrior angel, a Valkyrie even, and the little horse made an extravagant helmet crest! 

The energy effect wave pieces work as rather energetic loincloth. Their studs are entirely hollow, so a pair of Function Element Male/Bar 5L with Handle (Friction Ram) (87618) connect them sturdily!


And so, the little ice horse from a Disney micro set joins pneumatic hoses, KK2 armour pieces, minifig hands and Chima ultrabuild axe blade, in search of new horizons. If that’s not the beauty of the System, I do not know what is.

Conclusion

This little book is packed with unique things. If Transparent Blue Opal pleases you, look no further! The build is for babies, and the price US$19.99/ CA$24.99/ £19.99/ DE€19.99/ FI€24.95 for 125 pieces makes a pretty bad price-per-part, but then again, the ratio doesn’t feel very apropos on a set like this. If you are buying this set from LEGO.com, please consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop/for Europe 'Change region'

I do think 43189 Elsa and the Nokk Storybook Adventures includes several parts to inspire MOCs in their own right, and the rest of the inventory is commonly useful. There is no filler here. Only… chiller, probably. This is a bit like a high-class chocolate assortment box, compared to big sets with cheaper price-per-weight ratio. I like this set.

READ MORE: For more original builds inspired by 2021 pieces see our 5x5 fest: now Thomas Jenkins joins the fun

Help New Elementary keep publishing articles like this. Become a Patron!

Massive thanks go to our 'Vibrant Coral' patrons: Chuck Hagenbuch, Joe Fontana, Elspeth De Montes, Megan Lum, Markus Rollbühler, Mevits Bricks, Font Review Journal, Baixo LMmodels, Andy Price, Anthony Wright, Chris Cook, London AFOLs, Gerald Lasser, Big B Bricks, Dave Schefcik, David and Breda Fennell, Huw Millington, Neil Crosby, Antonio Serra, Beyond the Brick, Sue Ann Barber & Trevor Clark, and Kevin Gascoigne. Vale Iain Adams, a great supporter of New Elementary.

LEGO® Shop at Home
USA: Save up to 30%. See what's on sale!
UK: Free delivery when you spend £50 or more at LEGO!
Australia: Discover the latest promotions and offers on LEGO.com

All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.

9 comments:

  1. Good review! I love all the Trans Blue Opal parts!

    The new fire/energy piece is interesting and solves an issue I ran into many years back when I was making concepts for an Avatar: The Last Airbender MOC—how to convincingly make an imposing "wall of fire" out of Lego. Back then the easiest solution was to use individual tongues of flame, which was not particularly convincing or imposing. A larger piece like this with some thickness to it seems like a better solution.

    The new "micro-horse"/foal is also a great new piece. Once again, several years back, I was trying in vain to find a way to make a pegasus foal to go with the adult pegasi in the Elves theme. The previous Friends foal was larger and lacked any notch in its back with which you could easily affix wings without them looking like they were just attached to a bulky construction on its back. As you demonstrate in your last photo, this new version is much easier to add wings or similar features to, in addition to of course being able to be ridden by the "micro-dolls" in a set like this.

    Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how happy I am to see a new recolor of the "diamond tile" from the final year of Elves sets. That was such a fun part but has seen limited use since that theme ended, mostly appearing in a few sets in Trans Yellow. It looks great in an opalescent color that helps to mask the rigid understructure a bit more, and I love it as a part that works well with either System or CCBS parts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andrew! Looking back it now, the old foal looks quite odd, with almost distorted proportions. I think this new one is more pony-like, being stout and strong animal, like any old British heavy horse breed. But it is better as a foal too, and 1x1 symmetrical curved fills the slot perfectly, only if they came in the right colour.

      The diamond tile is fantastic! I tried to use them as eyes, but they're tad too large for my usual scale. Even so, they could make snazzy sunglasses. They're very versatile piece, with the bar making them perfect part to go with CCBS, as you mentioned already.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, the slope to match this one would have been lovely in Trans Blue Opal. But I expect that when this horse is released in a few more "realistic" colors like black, white, or tan, matching will be less of a challenge (it already comes in Dark Orange in 41683 Forest Horseback Riding Center, though sadly in that case too the slope for the back also has yet to come in the same color).

      Delete
  2. I also had a similar Micro Machines truck as a kid. I believe Galoob produced several similar trucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Super Van City" is the one most folks had and is most remembered, but they did make quite a few variations including a tank, a toolbox, etc.

      Delete
    2. Now you mentioned it, I checked it up - it was Micro Machines Super Truck City. Fond memories of it; recently it has worked as an attraction for kids of visiting families in my parents' home.

      Delete
    3. Looking it up, I realize the set that I owned was the Super City Toolbox. I never had a particularly extensive Micro Machines collection, though. (Although I'm quite a collector of many other things...)

      Delete
  3. Interesting parts for sure! For the record the back of the pony looks fine to me, I assumed it was a saddle! Maybe looking at like that will change your mind?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another stunning character build! Wings are superb!

    ReplyDelete