LEGO® Ideas often puts out amusing licensed sets that do not fall under other LEGO® themes. The latest offering is a throwback to many an AFOL’s early childhood memories. Sesame Street (21324) is based on the iconic television program of the same name. The series originally aired in November 1969 and has continued for over 50 seasons, garnering 189 Emmy awards and 11 Grammy awards. Now, the classic characters and locales get the LEGO® brick treatment. As I write this, the set is not yet out on the market. However, the LEGO® Group graciously sent over a pre-release copy for review. This week, I am excited to present an early look at Sesame Street!
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more) and provide my honest opinion.
SESAME STREET SUMMARY
- NAME: Sesame Street
- SET #: 21324
- THEME: Ideas
- COST: $149.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 1368
- MINIFIGURES: 5
- RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2020
SESAME STREET QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 93% (Great value-per-brick and a lot of build time for the price.)
- BUILD: 80% (Roof design is questionable, it is also dissimilar from the original fan concept.)
- MINIFIGURES: 71% (Many accessories, but not enough minifigs and not enough character detail.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 85% (Kids will like this more than adults, but it is too hard for them to build.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 82%
SESAME STREET (21324) REVIEW
Sesame Street costs $149.99 in Canada. Additionally, the set contains 1368 pieces. Consequently, the cost-per-brick works out to $0.11. That is incredibly good in my books. Comparatively, my average cost-per-brick is currently $0.14. Even if you are not a Sesame Street fan, you get a great assortment of bricks for a great price with this set. I rate value-per-brick at 90%.
This set took me four hours and 36 minutes to assemble (276 minutes total). At full price, the cost-per-minute of build time is $0.54. By comparison, my average cost-per-minute is $0.83. Once again, the value is excellent. Not only do you get a great number of bricks for price, you also get a great amount of build time. I rate the value-per-minute at 95%. Averaging this with the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value rating of 93%.
Sesame Street (21324) is a fun build. It fills a nice chunk of time, and there are a lot of new bricks to enjoy. I lost count of the number of times that I thought “I have not seen this piece before.” The kit consists of two buildings and some sidewalk. The main build is the iconic 123 Sesame Street building. However, you also get Hooper’s store as a smaller build. Hooper’s looks nice both inside and out, but it is not big. I like the amount of detail crammed into a small space though. Sadly, I wish that it were more than just a couple of walls set up on a corner.
Additionally, the set contains a lot of a detail and Easter Eggs for fans. My experiences with the show were so long ago that I do not get many of the references. However, even for me, the set brought back many memories. Included in the main building, Elmo’s bedroom is on the ground floor. However, above that is Burt and Ernie’s flat. Included in their room are two beds and Ernie’s signature bathtub with the rubber duckie. Outside, you find the familiar steps to the green front door. Additionally, the set has an Oscar the Grouch build on the side.
Sesame Street contains many Easter eggs for fans.
Sesame Street is a LEGO® Ideas set. Therefore, it was initially design by an AFOL. The final LEGO® set differs significantly from the original design. I must admit, that is a little disappointing. The original model featured a swing open design and a lot more interior detail in the main building. Additionally, the roof was complete. That is my biggest issue with the final LEGO® set. The roof consists of two triangular plates that do not properly cover the interior. The final model also lost a window above the front door, losing some authenticity at the same time. The original design did not have the small Hooper’s build either. I would have preferred if the final set had stuck to that and maintained detail in the main building.
While I do wish that Sesame Street had stayed truer to the original design, I still like it. Overall, the build is nice and features many Easter eggs and details for any aged builder. However, I do not like the roof design and I wish detail in the main building had not been sacrificed for the Hooper’s corner store. I rate the build for Sesame Street at 8/10 (80%).
Sesame Street (21324) comes with five Minifigures. Big Bird, Burt, Ernie, Cookie Monster, and Elmo. Of them, Ernie and Elmo have un-poseable legs. I often complain about these legs because they make child minifig arms look disproportionately long. However, these are Minifigure representations of Muppets, so it does not bother me as much in this case. All the same, the legs do not move. Cookie Monster and Burt have the shorter, poseable legs in this set. I see no reason why Elmo and Ernie could not as well. This set loses some minifig design points for that.
Otherwise, the characters are fun. Each one features a uniquely sculpted head. For that reason, none have double-sided faces. However, most have sculped features on the backs of their heads to make up for it. Big Bird’s head mold also features feathers that cover the torso piece. Only Burt and Ernie have any torso printing though. Cookie Monster and Elmo feature plain torsos, which is a shame. Printed fur would make their designs stronger. Of all the characters, only Big Bird has leg printing.
Elmo and Cookie Monster need more detail.
While the characters need additional detail in some cases, they also come with a lot of accessories. Sesame Street comes with a teddy bear, a teddy bunny, a carrot, some cookies, a book, a green sac, two small birds, a milk carton brick, a juice carton brick, a frog, a bat, a mini-minifig, a trans-pink wand, a rubber duck, a baby velociraptor, a pizza box tile, a garbage can, and a clear minifig head printed as a fish bowl. 19 accessories bring up the design score quite a bit. Overall, I rate the design of these characters at 88%.
Five Minifigures in a set featuring 1368 pieces is not great. It equates to one Minifigure for every 274 bricks. Comparatively, my average brick-to-fig ratio is 146:1. Consequently, this set does not even achieve a passing ratio score. It lands a measly 54%. A set this big needs to come with more Minifigures in my opinion. Averaging this score with the design score earns an overall Minifigure rating of 71%.
I wish Oscar was a proper Minifigure.
On a side note, Sesame Street also includes Oscar the Grouch. However, I did not include him in the Minifigure score because he is entirely brick built. His head is a round ball-brick with a face printed on. It attaches to a plain green minifig head with no arms or legs. This assembly sits loosely in a garbage can. I understand how making Oscar a Minifigure would be difficult. A minifig does not fit in a LEGO® trash can after all. All the same, I am disappointed that he is not a proper Minifigure.
The LEGO® Group markets Sesame Street as an 18+ set. However, I do not feel it should be. The open back design and roof structure are ideal for play. This set is difficult to display nicely because of the open back of the main building. Additionally, Hooper’s has two open walls that further limit placement in a custom city layout. For AFOL city designers, this set design is not ideal. The original fan design is easier to place or modify into a modular. For an 18+ set, I expect a modular, sealed design, not a playset. I have no issue with Sesame Street being a playset. Just do no market it as 18+. I rate the AFOL score at 4/5 (80%) for that reason. With that said, I still think it is a fun set that will take many builders down memory lane.
For kids, Sesame Street is amazing. It is a difficult assembly for smaller children who might really enjoy it though. It will require substantial parent assistance. However, the finished set is easy to play with and features familiar characters. Kids can place their own sigfig right into the show with this set. I will not rate it with a perfect score though. As I mentioned before, the age group this set will appeal to is too young to build this themselves. However, they will probably get a lot of play time out of it. In this case, I rate the KFOL score at 4.5/5 (90%). Averaging this with the AFOL score gives an overall entertainment rating of 85%.
OVERALL SCORE: 82%
I enjoyed the build experience provided by Sesame Street. Additionally, the trip down memory lane was fun. However, I wish the final design for this product remained truer to the original fan concept. Sesame Street is more playset than 18+ collector’s item. Yet, the LEGO® Group markets it as 18+. Additionally, the characters are fun, but some lack the detail I would expect from a collectable set. There are too few characters for a set this size as well. I think Oscar needs to be an actual Minifigure.
Overall, nostalgic fans will enjoy Sesame Street (21324), as will kids still into the show. However, the set requires parental assembly before play. I like Sesame Street for what it is, and I am happy to have it. However, it is not my favorite set this year. The set is a great value though, and the brick selection lends itself well to MOCs. I think there is enough here to satisfy AFOLs. What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
p.s. for more LEGO® Ideas reviews, click here.
What do others think?
Brick Insights is an awesome site that aggregates LEGO® set review scores from around the web. Based on their statistics, you can see what other reviewers think of the Sesame Street (21324) below.
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