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Saturday, February 3, 2018

LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle review 21313

This evening I completed my review of this beautiful, well-constructed, practically 1:1 realistic scaled collectible display piece.

To my utter shock, I'm seeing a lot of fan negativity towards this wonderful fan-inspired product.  While I agree that the ship in original Ideas submission looked much nicer, there were some pretty strong & inescapable factors that made duplicating it completely unreasonable to expect:
  1. Total ~1,800 pieces, which would have made it a $140+ USD set, twice as expensive and accessible to a fraction as many potential buyers.
  2. Bottle diagonal dimension of 9" (double) vs. this 4.5", and a similar (if not greater) difference in ship size
  3. Fully glued masts to cheat away the inherent instability of the design
  4. Use of numerous cut pieces (clearly illegal)
  5. Use of discontinued pieces (not available to use)
  6. Complex string rigging (completely out of the realm of allowed techniques for LEGO's techniques)
The original looked way better, unquestionably, but LEGO can't put just anything on shelves.  They have rules, standards, and basic logic & reason to contend with.

Regarding price, as I briefly explain in my review, the inclusion of 284 loose studs to represent water (per the fan designer's original idea) skews the overall price/part ratio.  However, if you pretend those 284 pieces don't exist at all, or have absolutely zero value, simple arithmetic generates a number of $0.10 USD/piece, the magic number that's been synonymous with good value for some years now (and probably overdue for an inflation adjustment).  There are indeed more 1x1 and 1x2 pieces in the set, but that's the case in most sets.  What's most uncommon, however, is the inclusion of four of the oversized and rare 6x6x9 double-curved panel pieces, which as of this writing have been averaging over $4.50 USD each.

I have to begin to wonder if I simply look at the world through rose-colored glasses in contrast to the deep negativity I see directed in so many directions from so many teen & adult LEGO fans, but even deep subjective bias can't change actual hard facts.  What am I missing?  Is the old addage, "You can't have your cake & eat it" a dying concept these days?


  1. Cannot agree more. One excellent set with, as far as I can tell: excellent value. The only reason I will not be getting is that I cannot use it in my city and that is where my money wants to go ;-). Haven't watched your review yet: scheduled for later today when the kuds are in bed .

  2. Honestly, most fora I see with afols tend to be very negative towards lego sets in general. A lot of overly cynical fans I think. It's particularly jarring when it's regarding lines clearly aimed at young kids.
    The redesign here was necessary, and successful. The boat is smaller and simpler but I think it works better at this scale.
    The criticism also reminds me of people looking at mocs that would cost hundreds of dollars, which they would never buy, wondering why lego won't do something similar .

  3. Well said Jang, and much needed. Too many folks these days would rather just trash something than be glad they have the ability to get such an amazing, beautiful and beautifully designed set. Talking trash is easier and, in today's world, more acceptable than ever, unfortunately. Based on the Lego Ideas rules, that set should ever even have been accepted, but it was, and it got 10,000 votes, and it was made. I'll bet the guy who made it is VERY happy.

  4. Don't let the haters get to you Jang. For every negative comment, there are hundreds or thousands of happy, pleased viewers who just don't bother to comment.