Live Science Verdict
While the Lego Icons Bird of Paradise is undoubtedly a striking model – it’s big and eye-catching, and its huge, rounded leaves look great juxtaposed against the vibrant, butterfly-shaped blooms – it’s also twice as expensive as any other set in Lego’s Botanicals Collection sub-range... and we’re just not sure if it’s good enough to justify it.
A very nice display piece
Lovely colors on the flowers
Not as realistic-looking at other Botanicals sets
Why you can trust Live Science
Model number: 10289
Finished item dimensions: 18 x 5 inches / 46 x 13 cm
Recommended age: 18+
We’re not really sure why the Lego Icons Bird of Paradise carries a price tag of $99.99/£89.99 – literally double the price of all other sets in the Lego Botanical Collection. We can only imagine it’s because of the sheer number of huge, molded Lego pieces needed for its large, luscious green leaves. It’s a striking model alright, there’s no denying that, and we’ve had a great time putting it together too. However, it doesn’t really set itself apart enough to warrant its steep price tag.
Still, if you’re a fan of Lego’s Botanicals range – a sub-series now falling under the new ‘Icons’ theme – you’ll likely not want to miss the Bird of Paradise. You won’t be disappointed with it – we’re certainly not – but we’re not as impressed as we were with other sets in the range, particularly the Lego Icons Orchid.
You can see more great science-themed Lego sets in our guide to the best Lego sets for adults. Now, let's dive into the Bird of Paradise set.
Lego Icons Bird of Paradise review: Build
- A straightforward build with easy-to-follow instructions
- The stems and leaves are a little repetitive
Lego Icons Bird of Paradise is a plant, and so by its very nature it’s largely made up of stems and leaves. That means building a lot of poles, which can get a little repetitive. Thankfully, these are perhaps the quickest part of the model, with the pot (which displays the plant) taking up at least half of your time.
While you’d expect the pot to be hollow, just like a real pot, it’s actually rather solid inside. This gives a nice bit of weight to the model, meaning it’s not likely to get knocked over. The internal structure is made by layering circular builds on top of each other, with an outer shell then placed around its edges to make the pot itself. You’ll have to build eight almost-identical faces for each side of the pot, but built in two lots of four, so they’re not too time-consuming.
The stems of the leaves and flowers are secured into the pot using Technic pieces, and it means the whole thing feels rather sturdy when finished. As long as you don’t yank on any of the stems, they’re not going anywhere. The connectors are handily hidden inside the pot with a pouring of brown studs as the very last step, to represent soil. We were a little dubious, but the finished effect is rather nice.
Lego Icons Bird of Paradise review: Design
- Not as realistic as other Botanicals sets
- Effective use of color
There’s an awful lot of green, black, and brown in the Lego Icon Bird of Paradise, with the only pop of color coming from the oh-so pretty butterfly-like flowers on the Bird of Paradise plant itself. It’s effective, though. Sure, Lego could have designed a more colorful pot – it’s largely all black with a brown stripe – but it means your eye is instantly drawn to those pink, purple, and orange blooms. Quite frankly, it works.
Our biggest complaint with the Lego Bird of Paradise, though, is that it’s just not as convincing as some of the other Botanicals sets. The amount of detail in the Lego Icons Bonsai Tree, for instance, is incredible, especially when you’re glancing at it from a distance. The same is true of the Lego Icons Orchid which, in the corner of the room, can be mistaken for the real thing. There’s no fooling anyone with the Bird of Paradise, largely due to the Technic-style holes punctured into each of the leaves.
Is that a bad thing? Not really as it is Lego after all, and so there’s nothing exactly wrong with it looking like Lego. Yet it’s that touch of realism which makes the Botanicals sets so great, and this one doesn’t quite hold up. Given its more expensive price tag, it’s particularly disappointing.
Should you buy Lego Icons Bird of Paradise?
It depends. If you already have bought all of Lego’s other Botanicals sets and you’re desperate to bring another plant to life, jump right in. However, we’d recommend practically any other set in the range before this one. It’s the most expensive of them all and, in our opinion, not even the best-looking. If you find it on sale, however, go for it. It’s still a very pretty set and one that’s pleasant to build.
Other Lego sets to consider
At the time of writing, the Lego Icons Bird of Paradise is one of many ‘Botanical Collection’ sets available, and we highly recommend the others. There’s the Succulents ($49.99/£44.99), the Bonsai Tree ($49.99/£44.99), the Flower Bouquet ($59.99/£54.99) and, perhaps our favorite, the Lego Orchid (£49.99/£44.99), plus many more.
For those after a smaller and low cost build, there are the Lego Sunflowers, Roses (each $12.99/£11.99), and the even cheaper Tulips ($9.99/£8.99) to choose from – although none of them come with their own vase. Why not buy all three and create your own bouquet?
For something a little different but still sticking with a floral theme, how about the Floral Art set for $79.99/£59.99 which is a mosaic that can hang on your wall?
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.
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