Live Science Verdict
The bigger of two playsets released in advance of the upcoming Indiana Jones movie, Lego’s Escape from the Lost Tomb perfectly balances play and display. This well-proportioned model has plenty of interactivity and fun secrets for younger builders to enjoy, and it looks great on a shelf, too. We just wish there was a little more detail on show.
Lots of fun interactivity
Lots of stickers
Stuck in between being a play or display set
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It’s been fourteen years since Lego last released an Indiana Jones set, but with a new movie on the way this summer it has dusted off the series, bringing three new sets to shelves. Interestingly, one of those sets is a designed-for-adults build, marked with Lego’s signature “18+” branding. The remaining two are playsets aimed at children and this, the Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb is the bigger of the two.
Model number: 77013
Number of pieces: 600
Dimensions: 6 x 8.5 x 8 inches / 16 x 22 x 21 cm
Recommended age: 8+
Yet, writing this off as a simple playset is a little diminutive. Sure, there are some excellent play features here – hidden traps and actionable levers – which we’ll talk about in more detail further down. However, just one glance at the set proves this makes a fantastic display piece, too.
We might wish it had a little more detail, but for a $40/£35 set, what you’re getting here is excellent. A 600-piece licensed set at that price point is almost unheard of in 2023, especially one that’s so visually appealing.
Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb: Build
Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb has an age rating of 8+, so adjust your expectations accordingly. This is a simple build and putting the model together is a logical process. Each stage of the instruction booklet asks for no more than four or five pieces at any one time. It’s still an enjoyable experience though, with neat surprises at every part of the build. Don’t be put off picking this up if you’re “too old,” because you’ll miss out on building an excellently-designed model that provides an engaging and entertaining hour or so as you put it together.
The bricks for Escape from the Lost Tomb are split over four bags in total. Bag one sees you build the base of the tomb and the plinths for the two focal Anubis statues. One of them contains the set’s first trap: a tilting platform. You’ll have to wait until the model is completed to see exactly how it’s going to work, but it’s worth the wait.
The model really comes together as you move onto the second bag of bricks. Here, you’ll build the majority of the wall, which forms the backdrop of the display, along with a small hidden room behind it. There are two more traps to be laid here: the first is a hole in the wall – pull a lever and a snake will come shooting out of it (bad news for Indy). The second trap is a collapsible ceiling in the hidden room. Pull on another lever and a plate comes falling down, revealing a ghastly mummy minifigure (providing you’ve stored it in the right place, of course).
Onto bag three, and it’s here that you construct the first Anubis statue. While we wish the statues had a little more detail, it’s hard not to be impressed by how much is achieved by so few bricks. It’s just a shame that their garb detailing is provided by stickers rather than printed bricks. It’s one of the only complaints we have about the set, but printed pieces in a $40/£35 kit is a little too much to ask for, we admit.
Also in bag three comes the central archway and tomb, both standing out in bright yellow bricks. Again, stickers are used to decorate these, although it’s hard to complain too much this time around as the “hieroglyphics” scribed onto the archway contain a wonderful little LucasFilm Easter egg.
The fourth and final bag is probably the quickest to put together, and the one that puts the best and most elaborate trap of Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb in place. Here, you’ll put together the second Anubis. It's identical to the first, but this time it stands on the booby-trapped plinth constructed at the start of the build. You’ll also put in the remaining section of wall, separated from the rest for a very good reason: push the lever on the statue’s plinth and it topples backwards, taking out the section of wall with it. It’s quite the showstopper!
Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb: Design
We have so much praise for the design of the Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb set. How could we not, what with all its wonderfully placed traps and gizmos? This is one of the most inventive playsets we’ve encountered in a while, bringing a smile to even our fully-grown, adult-sized faces.
The four minifigures included in the set are wonderful, too: there’s Indiana Jones, Marion Ravenwood, Sallah, and a mummy, all excellently printed. Indiana and Marion both come with double-printed faces, with two differing expressions. And, cleverly, Indy’s hat has hair molded to the back of it, which means his second face is covered up.
We would have liked to have seen more detail in the wall and the Anubis statues to make them feel a little more realistic. The wall is particularly basic, with a single layer of bricks haphazardly placed to give the effect of old, crumbling stone. Stickers have been used here to give some extra detail in the form of hieroglyphics, which work nicely, but, again, we’d have preferred printed bricks as stickers can be quite tricky.
That being said, these complaints are extremely nit-picky given the $39.99/£34.99 price of Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb – and the fact that it is primarily a playset rather than a display piece.
In reality, we couldn’t have really asked for more, especially when we compare it to the Lego Indiana Jones Fighter Plane Chase set that came out alongside it. There's no contest.
Should you buy the Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb?
If you’re an Indiana Jones fan, you should absolutely buy Escape from the Lost Tomb. There’s so much to love here, from the excellent minifigures, the cleverly-designed traps, and even the cute LucasFilm Easter egg hidden in the stickers.
For children, the set offers plenty of interactivity, and for adults, there’s just enough detail and careful design here for it to make a pleasing display set. There really is something for everyone... unless you hate snakes that is.
Other Lego sets to consider
If you like the look of Lego Indiana Jones Escape from the Lost Tomb, there’s a very good chance you’ll want to get your hands on the other two Indiana Jones sets, too. There’s the smaller and cheaper Fighter Plane Chase at $34.99/£29.99, and also the more adult-focused Temple of the Golden Idol diorama. It’s a little pricey at $149.99/£129.99, but it really is a showstopper thanks to certain technic mechanisms built into it.
If you fancy tackling a different sort of Lego set, be sure to check out our guide to the best Lego sets for adults, which includes the wonderful Vincent van Gogh - The Starry Night and the Orchid that looks almost as good as a real plant.
Kim is a UK-based freelancewriter who focuses on Lego, toys and video game-related content. She's the co-creator of GameSpew.com and ThatBrickSite.com, where you'll find most of her work. If she's not building with plastic bricks, playing a video game, or writing about doing either of those things, you should probably check she's still breathing. You can find her on Twitter at @ichangedmyname.