Model number: 21332
Number of pieces: 2,585
Dimensions: 16 x 11.5 x 10 inches / 40 x 30 x 26 cm
Recommended age: 18+
When it comes to unique and interesting builds, it’s safe to say that Lego Ideas is our favorite range. After all, where else could you find a Lego Typewriter (opens in new tab), a Tree House, a Lego replica of Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, and a Fender Stratocaster (opens in new tab) all next to each other on a store shelf? The range of sets to come from the Ideas program is phenomenal and we’re always excited to see what comes next.
One of 2022’s sets was The Globe, a brick-built spinning globe of the Earth. At 16 inches tall, it’s about as big as you’d expect a globe to be, complete with gorgeous wooden-effect antique frame, printed labels for each continent, and a somewhat hazy representation of the Earth’s layout. It’s a beautiful set, though as much as we enjoy looking at it now it’s built, it isn’t without its problems. Read on for our in-depth review of Lego Ideas The Globe and see if it’s a set worth adding to your own collection.
If it’s more Lego content you’re after, why not check out our best Lego sets guide? Or our many reviews including the Lego Icons Orchid and Lego Technic ATV review. Elsewhere, there’s the story of doctors who swallowed and pooped Lego minifigures for science.
Lego Ideas The Globe review: Build
- A repetitive and boring build…
- … though one that’s easy to share with others
The Lego Ideas Globe has a somewhat unorthodox construction. It makes it interesting to see it come together, though boring to build in practice. You see, to achieve the round shape of the globe (something tricky to do with bricks) numerous panels are clipped onto a frame, curving around to give the illusion of a sphere. It’s very effective, but it means that the construction of the plates – 32 in total, 16 for the top half and 16 for the bottom – is extremely repetitive.
Even building the central belt, an integral part of the structure, is laborious. This is made up of 16 squares that eventually join together, making the central part of the globe. After adding a column that will run vertically through the middle of the globe, you can then start adding those 32 plates.
They’re, thankfully, not all the same shape at least, with a couple of variations to allow them to sit together neatly. However, the building of them doesn’t vary too much. The only unique part of these plates is the pattern on top of them: green and brown tiles arranged to look like the Earth’s continents. Well, roughly. More on that later.
If you have another pair of hands around the house, it might be helpful to get another person (or two) to help with building the plates. We enlisted someone’s help, and it made the busywork much more enjoyable – not to mention quicker and easier.
Perhaps the nicest part of the build is the very first stage: the outer frame. This looks simply fantastic, thanks to an ornate base with brown and gold bricks arranged to look like antique wood. Even this is slightly repetitive, but that can’t be helped due to its construction. When it’s finished and the ‘Earth’ label is in place on the base, it really does look stunning.
Lego Ideas The Globe review: Design
- Overall a striking model
- But the layout of the continents leaves a lot to be desired
We understand that it must be hard to map out the entire Earth onto a globe made out of Lego that’s only 10 inches wide, but some placements here really don’t make any sense. The bigger landmasses – Africa and America – are recognizable at least, although Europe in particular is a bit of a mess. We’re really not sure what’s going on, and we’re certain something could have been done to offer a more accurate representation.
In fact, if you’ve got some green plates laying around in your spare Lego collection, you could probably do a bit of DIY to make it look a little more convincing yourself.
It’s a shame, because in the grand scheme of things it’s fairly minor, but it does let the whole model down. It’s not the only thing: the construction of the globe itself, with the clipped-on plates is innovative, but does leave some unsightly gaps. This is more forgivable, though, since it would be hard to create a convincing spherical shape any other way. It just means that its imperfections are easier to spot when you’re up close to the globe. From across the room, however, you’d easily mistake this for the real thing.
Away from the negatives, there is a lot to love here. As we’ve said, the stand/frame of the Lego Ideas The Globe is simply wonderful, making it look like a premium display item. With the addition of printed labels for each continent as well, it looks really great. Plus, as a fun bonus they glow in the dark too! There’s not a sticker to be seen here, which is always a bonus as they can be quite fiddly. Some nice finishing touches help make this feel like a high-quality model too, like the inclusion of rubberized feet on the bottom of the stand to keep it in place.
Should you buy Lego Ideas The Globe?
We can’t recommend Lego Ideas The Globe as wholeheartedly as some other models. While it has some flaws, it is still a very nice Lego construction. If you have space in your home, don’t mind that the globe isn’t geographically accurate, and don’t bat an eyelid at the $230/£200 price, you likely won’t be disappointed. However, it is a big lump of money, and there are better Lego models out there for around the same price.
The Lego Ideas Typewriter (opens in new tab), another real-world object transformed into Lego, shares a similar price point but, in our opinion, goes so much further in looking like the real thing.
Other Lego sets to consider
As we’ve just mentioned, we absolutely love the Lego Ideas Typewriter (opens in new tab), which packs in a ridiculous amount of detail for $250/£215. Also in the Lego Ideas range is the brand new Lego Ideas Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night, a recreation of the famous piece of art retailing at $170 (opens in new tab)/£150 (opens in new tab). This one can hang on your wall, too, so you don’t need to worry about finding space on a shelf to display it.
The Architecture series (opens in new tab) is also great if you want to focus on specific parts of the world rather than the whole thing. How about a skyline of Statue of Liberty ($120/£90)? Or go back in time and for $130 (opens in new tab)/£120 (opens in new tab) you can build a replica of the Great Pyramid of Giza.