Elvis Presley “The King” Review

Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis is in the building. Elvis Presley “The King” (31204) is the latest LEGO®️ Art set and will be available on March 1st. First launched in 2020, the theme is aimed at adults and recreates images in a mosaic format. Each set one allows you to build 2 or 3 images from a set amount of pieces. And in some cases, 3 or 4 sets can be combined to make one large, super-duper design! This is my second LEGO®️ Art set after Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe. I was a quick convert to the theme after building that. The experience was fun and different, and I loved the look of the finished product. Let’s see if that magic continues with another iconic artist.

NOTE: This set was provided by The LEGO® Group to True North Bricks for review. This does not guarantee a favourable review and all opinions are my own. For a breakdown of the rating system, please click here.

SET SUMMARY

  • NAME: Elvis Presley “The King”
  • SET #: 31204
  • THEME: Art
  • COST: $149.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 3445
  • MINIFIGURES: None
  • RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2022

QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 95% (a perfect cost-per-brick value and an impressive cost-per-min value)
  • BUILD: 97% (unique but straightforward build with beautifully realized portrait options)
  • MINIFIGURES: N/A
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 90% (another great experience, but no soundtrack yet for the full effect)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 94% (a well designed set of images with lots of detail for music fans and AFOLs alike)

VALUE: 95%

Elvis Presley “The King” (31204) retails for $149.99 in Canada. With just over 3400 pieces, this gives us a very impressive cost-per-brick value of $0.04. It’s a total win from a cost perspective. LEGO®️ Art is a stellar theme from a parts-to-cost perspective. It’s certainly one of the few themes that routinely come in under the average of $0.10 – $0.13 per piece. The use of many repetitive and low-cost elements (tiles, dots) is the key factor in that great value. So it should come as no surprise that this latest creation gets a perfect cost-per-brick score of 100%.

My build time for this set clocked in at a very respectable 3 hours and 41 minutes, or 221 minutes. That translates to an awesome cost-per-minute value of $0.68 and a score of 90%. Again, LEGO®️ Art sets do well in this category as it’s a slightly slower and methodical build process. You can only go so quickly, no matter how organized you make yourself. I love when a build provides a lasting experience. And it’s just a better bang for your buck – hence why we calculate that score. With all that in mind, Elvis gets a hunka’-hunka’ burning value score of 95%.

BUILD: 97%

Elvis Presley “The King” (31204) comes in the traditional LEGO® Art packaging: a black square box with a flip-open lid and well separated compartments. Inside the box we find: 15 bags of coloured round tiles, 3 bags of traditional pieces (bricks & plates), a 111 page instruction book and nine 16×16 technic base squares. I’m still in awe of these box designs by the way – they’re fab. The instruction manual organizes the build into 4 steps. You can choose your portrait option and then proceed to the last few pages to finish the frame assembly. It’s very foolproof and makes for a nice condensed manual. Each page creates a 16×16 plate using the numbered colours which then come together with technic pins.

Like all LEGO®️ Art builds before it, once the 9 grids are connected, a frame is finally built around it. It’s very sturdy and easily adds to the finished 48×48 stud picture. A few 2×6 plates add some stability to the back of the frame between large plates. The frame easily comes apart if you decide to change the picture. For that you will need to make use of the handy industrial size brick separator.

Colour me Impressed

To get the best and smoothest build experience, you need to organize your colours for easy reference. For this set, I had an extra Advent Calendar box tray lying around. There’s enough spots for 24 colours. In my case I have 16 colours and a few spots for miscellaneous parts like technic pins. A new inclusion that I did not have in my Marilyn Munroe build is a reference grid/chart. Two 1×8 tiles have the numbers 1 to 8 and 9 to 16 printed on them. Place that on a 2×16 plate, match up the right colour tile beside it and voila! You have a very handy colour guide. It’s a small thing, but I think it’s brilliant! Great for any aspiring moc mosaic makers or as a teaching tool.

We Three Kings

For this review I created the cover portrait of young Elvis Presley. The other options are “Jailhouse Rock” Elvis and “The King” Elvis. Each image is quite famous so there’s no chance of mistaking who this iconic musician is. Each picture is really well done with great use of shading and gradient colour changes. The skin tones are very smoothly rendered and recreate a photo quite beautifully. The pops of blue, grey and white add the right amount of contrasts and variety. And I quite like the dark red background. If you grab 3 copies you can download instructions to make a large 48×144 stud vertical portrait of Elvis with his guitar.

LEGO®️ Art builds will probably not vary much between subjects. But a successful and simple base structure that you can alter easily with infinite images is a great way to keep things fresh and accessible. This was identical to my previous experience in the theme. And that’s not a negative at all. This is another great build and gets a solid score of 97%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 90%

Elvis Presley “The King” (31204) is yet another great example of chill, brick-building fun. And I am very much here for it. After my first experience with the theme, I was eager for more of the same. And once again, I set up my colours, followed along and really just relaxed. Over the course of the build I listened to Elvis’ music, had some snacks and even took a couple of phone calls. And through all that I didn’t miss a step or slow down.

Sadly my experience did have a negative that required me to dock some points. The curated soundtrack that accompanies the LEGO®️ Art sets is a big part of the entertainment. With the Marilyn build, there was quite a lot of fascinating info on Andy Warhol and pop art. For Elvis Presley, I expect something similar to be available. Sadly, because this is an advanced copy for review, the soundtrack is not yet up on the LEGO®️’s YouTube channel. But I made up for it with listening to The King’s top hits. Once the soundtrack is up I will give it a listen and maybe make an alternate portrait. Despite this, Elvis gets a nice solid 90%.

OVERALL: 95%

This set will most likely appeal to Elvis fans – of which there are MANY. I myself have no real connection to The King aside from knowing his most famous hit songs. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. A lot of that is how it happily changed up the aesthetic compared to my last LEGO®️ Art build. Marilyn was only a few colours and very abstract. This being a real photo and person brought a lot more depth and variety to the final image. Choosing from 16 total colours instead of 6 or 7 prior made a big difference in build time and a better end result. It’s also just a great piece of art that will have a broad appeal for AFOLs and non-LEGO®️ fans. This also makes a great gift for that music fan in your life. The King of Rock-n-Roll gets a darn great score of 95% overall.

I’m all shook up

If Elvis isn’t in your Spotify list, then you’ll likely pass on this. But if you’re at all curious about the LEGO®️ Art theme, then definitely pick one up soon. It’s a great product with a way bigger appeal than most people will expect. So far all reviewed sets have scored super well! I am beyond excited for the upcoming Jim Lee Batman Collection. And I will definitely be getting 3 sets for that ultimate image! What are you thoughts on this set and the Art theme in general? Have you made any of the available sets? Who are you eager to see in brick-built mosaic form next? Are you a big Elvis fan? Comment below and on all the usual social channels. And until next time, keep on brickin’. 🧱

-Frank

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