The LEGO® Group recently announced the 2022 Chinese New Year sets. I’ve been rather remiss in that I have not yet reviewed the 2021 sets. In order to remedy that and celebrate the 2022 reveals, this week True North Bricks is reviewing both the Story of Nian (80106) and Spring Lantern Festival (80107). Today, we begin with the former.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. True North Bricks’ usual rating system applies (click here for more information).
STORY OF NIAN (80106) SUMMARY
- NAME: Story of Nian
- SET #: 80106
- THEME: Chinese New Year
- COST: $109.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 1067
- MINIFIGURES: 6
- RELEASE DATE: January 10, 2021
STORY OF NIAN (80106) QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 90% (Excellent cost-per-brick and good build time.)
- BUILD: 80% (This set looks great, but only from one side.)
- MINIFIGURES: 89% (Nice designs, load of accessories, but the set need one more minifig.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 80% (Looks nice only from one side, not city-display ready.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 85% (Good set.)
STORY OF NIAN (80106) REVIEW
The Story of Nian costs $109.99 in Canada and comes with 1067 pieces. Consequently, the cost-per-brick works out to $0.10. Comparatively, the True North Bricks average cost-per-brick is $0.139. As a result, I rate the cost-per-brick at 93%. Additionally, the set took me three hours and 22 minutes to assemble. Consequently, the cost-per-minute of build time is $0.74. Our average across all themes is currently $0.85/minute. Therefore, Story of Nian offers a fairly good build time for a set of this size, earning 86%. Averaging this with this with the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value grade of 90%.
This set has aspects I like, and one major issue that I don’t. Let us start with the bad. Story of Nian is merely a façade. It looks great on one side, but there is absolutely nothing to the other. You can only display this set on one side. Additionally, there is a large amount of white plate on the display side. A façade does not need that much front yard. I wish there was more behind this set. On the plus side, the façade you get is really nice. I also like the brick selection quite a bit. There are a lot of profile bricks. Additionally, the doorway employs interesting techniques I can see myself using again.
However, one of the major highlights of this set is the buildable Nian character. A few months ago, I reviewed Monkie Kid’s Lion Guardian. That design felt unfinished. Conversely, Nian looks great from all angles. Granted, it is smaller than the Lion Guardian, but it looks a lot better. The nice façade and Nian character certainly earn this set a lot of points. Sadly, the complete lack of an interior loses it some. I rate this build at 80%.
The Story of Nian includes six Minifigures. Two of them are stumpy children with unmoving legs. That is real shame considering smaller, moveable legs exist. With that said, the characters have really nice torso printing on both sides. Additionally, three of them have double-sided faces. However, none have any leg printing. The set has two elderly Minifigures, one more youthful adult, and two children. The final Minifigure is an adult wearing an ox mask for the Year of Ox.
In terms of accessories, I was pleasantly surprised. You get a small bucket, a crate, a shovel, a satchel, a scarf, two oriental-style lanterns, and two green mop ends used as plants. The set also includes a bag of flame pieces usually reserved for Superheroes sets. You get 10 pieces, but the set only uses two for fireworks. Additionally, two transparent, large snowflakes also appear as fireworks. Interestingly, they have 12 star wands attached to them. Finally, Story of Nian uses golden ring pieces as doorknobs. The set has two built in, but includes four. Nice designs and loads of accessories easily earn Story of Nian 100% in the Minifigure design department.
Six minifigs in a 1067-piece set yields a brick-to-fig ratio of 178:1. Comparatively, our average at True North Bricks is currently 170:1 across all themes. As such, I think this set could use another Minifigure. However, the ratio remains satisfactory for a set of this size. I rate the number of minifigs included in this kit at 78%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 89%.
Of the four Chinese New Year sets I have built so far, Story of Nian is my least favorite. That is not to say that I do not like it. I just don’t enjoy it as much. As mentioned in the build section, I wish there was more to it. Temple Fair also featured a façade as the temple front. However, it also had a whole market with nice trees. Story of Nian displays nicely on a shelf where no one will see behind it. However, it is not ready to drop into a custom city scene. I will adapt mine, and I will enjoy that process. But I also wish the set came more ready for incorporation into a city. I rate the entertainment score at 80%.
OVERALL SCORE: 85%
Story of Nian is a very good value set. One side of it is very nicely detailed. However, the other leave much to be desired. With that said, Nian is a wonderfully detailed creature. The set also includes some nicely detailed Minifigures and accessories. Overall, it is a nice set. But of the Chinese New Year sets, it is my least favorite simply because the building has no interior. What do you think of Story of Nian (80106)? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media. Also, be sure to check out the Spring Lantern Festival review tomorrow.
Until next time,
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