September 29, 2023

Sailboat Adventure (40487) Review

Back in May 2020, LEGO® Ideas launched a contest called Build that Holiday into THAT Holiday. The goal was to design a holiday themed set in between 150 – 250 bricks. The grand prize included a number of amazing LEGO® sets. However, it also came with the coveted opportunity to have your design turned into the next gift-with-purchase (GWP) set. A year came and went, and now we see the realization of the contest winner’s design. Sailboat Adventure (40487) comes for free with purchases over $265 at the LEGO® Store from August 1 – 29, 2021 (or while quantities last). The GWP coincided conveniently with the August 1 release of summer 2021 sets in Canada. Consequently, I acquired one with my recent haul. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the set.


  • NAME: Sailboat Adventure
  • SET #: 40487
  • THEME: Ideas
  • COST: GWP with purchases over $265 ($34.99 CAD value)
  • BRICK COUNT: 330
  • OF INTEREST: 2 dolphins
  • RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2021
Sailboat Adventure (40487)


  • VALUE: 100% (Hard to beat a free set.)
  • BUILD: 90% (Good design and build techniques for such a small set.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 87% (Good number of characters with great designs and accessories.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Great GWP with display and play potential right out of the box.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 94% (Excellent set.)
Front view of Sailboat Adventure (40487).


VALUE: 100%

Sailboat Adventure is a GWP. The price point for acquiring one is high. In fact, it is one of the highest I have seen. However, it coincided with a slew of purchases I intended to make anyway. As such, reaching the purchase limit was easy. However, I think many will find the $265 limit inhibitive. All the same, since it was free, I will rate the value at 100%.

Sailboat Adventure (40487) rear view.

Just for fun, let us assume that I bought this set. My LEGO® Store receipt indicates that Sailboat Adventure has a value of $34.99 in Canada. With 330 pieces, the cost-per-brick is $0.115. Based on sets I’ve acquired over the years, that is satisfactory for an Ideas set, but more expensive than average. Sailboat Adventure fares better in a general comparison across all LEGO® themes. By those standards, the cost-per-brick is actually quite good. Considering both factors, if I had bought this set, I would rate the cost-per-brick at 79%.

Sailboat Adventure took me 58 minutes to build from start to finish. At $34.99, each minute of build time costs $0.60. No matter how you look at that, it is a lot of build time for the price. Even if this set was not a GWP, it easily earns 100% in terms of assembly time. Averaging this with the cost-per-brick score gives Sailboat Adventure an overall value rating of 90% as a purchase. However, once again, it was free, so I am just bumping that up to 100% overall.

BUILD: 90%

For a free set, Sailboat Adventure is remarkably detailed and cleverly designed. It employs 3x8x2 shell pieces in the construction of the hull rather than traditional ship elements. SNOT (studs not on top) techniques abound to attach the shells. The whole thing assembles on top of a stand made to look like water. However, you can remove the boat from the stand after you assemble it (the stand provides structural stability during assembly). Additionally, you build another small water-like stand to hold the two dolphins aloft as if they were jumping from the water.

The ship looks good from every angle. I like that Minifigures have the space to walk around on deck. There are also a number of 1×4 tiles printed to look like wood boards. I love those. However, there are a couple of little issues I have with the build. The first is minor. The cabin is too small to really accommodate a Minifigure. On the plus side, the cabin roof easily lifts off. The second problem I have with the set is a little larger. The rods off the bow pulpit are super fragile. They fall off practically on a glance. Consequently, this set functions well as a shelf ornament. However, using it for anything more than a dust collector will require removal or redesign of the rods.

Sailboat Adventure (40487) has some loose bits.

Overall, I like the design of this ship. The printed boards alone would entice me to buy this if it was a set for sale. It has some issues, but for a set originally designed to contain between 150-250 bricks, it does well. Additionally, you pick up a great new design for a small ship hull. I rate the build for this set at 90%.


Sailboat Adventure includes two adult characters. Each one has a dual-printed torso with sailor motif. However, neither one has a double-sided face nor leg printing. The set does include some accessories though. Each minifig has a life vest and the kit includes two dolphins. Additionally, three trans-blue crystals simulate water splashes around the dolphins. In terms of design and accessories, I rate Sailboat Adventures at 90%.

Two Minifigures in a kit containing 330 pieces equates to 165 bricks per Minifigure. Consequently, for a set of this size, you get a good number of Minifigures. Compared to LEGO® sets in general, the offering is right on the average. However, compared only to other Ideas sets, it is quite good. I rate that ratio at 84%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 87%.


Sailboat Adventure makes a nice shelf display, and the building process is enjoyable. I like that the boat comes off of the stand as well. Consequently, you can easily display it in a custom marina or beach scene. Ideas sets typically cater to the 18+ crowd. However, this one has play potential. You just have to remove the front rods first. They will not hold up to play at all. I rate the entertainment value at 100%. I might rate it a little lower if it was not free though.


The LEGO® Group churned out a number of nice GWPs this year. We have seen the Vintage Car, Amelia Earhart (which I have but have not built), and the Mini Adidas Originals Superstar. Sailboat Adventure certainly joins the ranks of the top GWPs. The price point for getting one is quite high, but it coincides with the release of large new sets. As such, it was easy to meet the price with purchases I was going to make anyway. I do worry about the precedent this sets though. $265 is too expensive for a GWP in my mind. It is borderline that I did not take off points for that. However, the build is nice, the minifigs are fun, and it is a great display piece. Overall, Sailboat Adventures is a wonderful set. What do you think? Leave a comment below or reach out on social media.

Until next time,


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4 thoughts on “Sailboat Adventure (40487) Review

  1. Nice review. Ordered mine about a week ago so it should be on its way. I’m looking forward to it.
    Don’t like the high threshold for this GWP either or the precedent it sets though. $265 is a lot of money.

  2. I like this set. I was looking at the Lego boat in the bottle for a gift for one of my sons but was struggling to get something similar for my other son. I think I might look for this one. Thank you for sharing!

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