Starry Night (21333) Review
LEGO® Ideas has become quite the eclectic collection over the years. The theme covers it all, from blasts from the past, like Pirates of Barracuda Bay, to space exploration with the International Space Station. Now, the theme delves into art through a collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Today, we take a look at Starry Night (21333), the reimagining of Vincent van Gogh’s classic piece from 1889. Of course, like other Ideas kits, this set was the brainchild of a fan designer, Truman Cheng. Before the LEGO® Group and MoMA ever laid their hands on the concept, it achieved 10,000 supporters on the LEGO® Ideas platform. Subsequently, LEGO® set designers polished the concept in collaboration with MoMA. The result is a real stunner.
STARRY NIGHT SUMMARY
- NAME: The Starry Night
- SET #: 21333
- THEME: Ideas
- COST: $219.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 2316
- MINIFIGURES: 1
- RELEASE DATE: May 25, 2022
STARRY NIGHT QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 95% (Very good cost-per-brick and loads of build time for the price.)
- BUILD: 95% (Great techniques and parts usage, but hard to tell colors apart.)
- MINIFIGURES: 100% (Wonderfully detailed minifig.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Fun assembly process and amazing display piece.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 98% (Excellent set.)
STARRY NIGHT REVIEW
Starry Night hit the Canadian market with a price tag of $219.99. Consisting of 2316 pieces, the cost-per-brick works out to $0.095. For an Ideas set, that is fairly average. However, compared to LEGO® sets in general, the cost-per-brick is quite good. Comparatively, our current Ideas average is $0.099, while our average for LEGO® sets in general is $0.138. Considering both these comparisons, I rate the cost-per-brick at 89%. Additionally, the set provides quite a lot of build time for the price. It took 501 minutes (eight hours and 21 minutes). That is excellent, earning a solid 100%. Averaging this with the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value rating of 95%.
Part of the reason that Starry Night provides so much build time relates to the coloration of the build. There are a huge number of closely colored bricks. These come together producing the detailed and painted look of the kit. However, you will spend some time trying to figure out if you have used the correct shade of blue in certain places. The coloring is not always clear in the instructions. I had to fix incorrectly placed bricks more than once.
The build process is also quite different from what most people are used to. You assemble the kit in different sections. Additionally, the building plane varies from section to section. Consequently, there are times you will not be sure what you are building or how the section orients in the final model. However, that is not a complaint. It made the build process quite interesting. It also provides eureka moments when you finally see how bits fit together in the final build.
Unlike the original from 1889, this Starry Night is three dimensional.
Rather than the two-dimensional painting seen in a museum, this Starry Night is 3D. The sky background insets into the frame. The swirl of the Milky Way and stars stick out above it. The town and scenery beneath sticks out further still. Finally, the tree comes out farthest of all. Additionally, you have the option of adding the van Gogh minifig to the display on a removable arm.
One of the aspects I like the most about this set over the original fan design is the addition of the frame. It really makes the artwork look polished. Additionally, the rear of the frame includes a wall bracket. While the bracket itself comes from the LEGO® Art theme, designers modified it using Technic parts to suit the set design. Ultimately, Starry Night looks great on the wall, but also stands wonderfully on its own on a shelf.
Starry Night can be wall mounted, but sits equally well on a desk or shelf.
The final design for this set also looks more streamlined than the original fan concept. I much prefer the use of the satellite dish elements to the brick-built stars of the original. Additionally, the swirl of the Milky Way comes off much smoother. While my hat’s off to Truman Cheng for his initial concept, I have to say I am quite impressed with the smoothness and added frame of the final piece. Apart from the difficulty with determining the colors, this set was a great build full of interesting techniques. I rate the build at 95%.
Starry Night is not a Minifigure-based set. As such, I will not rate the brick-to-fig ratio. You only get one Minifigure, which by normal standards is not a lot for a set of this size. However, Starry Night is meant as a display piece on your shelf or wall. The van Gogh minifig is added bonus. While I love minifigs, I would have acquired this set even if it did not have one. It is that beautiful. However, the minifig you get great. While he does not have a double-sided face, he does features front and back torso printing, arm printing, and leg printing. Additionally, the printed patterns resemble little brush strokes, as you would expect from a van Gogh self-portrait. The character also includes a printed tile of the Starry Night painting, a paint brush, and a paint palette. This minifig deserves 100% for design.
The build process deserves another mention here. It added a level of entertainment to build a section in one orientation only to rotate it, figure out what it was, and then see how it fit the final model. Additionally, the finished piece looks every bit as amazing as the press release images. Starry Night did not disappoint. My wife is a van Gogh fan, and she loves this piece as well. We will find a permanent display for it in our home. From my perspective, any set my wife likes enough to display outside of my LEGO® room deserves major kudos. I think adult fans will enjoy assembling this kit. Additionally, you get a great display piece sure to create conversation with guests. I have no complaints here.
OVERALL SCORE: 98%
While I recognize that Starry Night might not appeal to all LEGO® fans, I do think all should give it a go. You get an interesting build experience with some great techniques. Additionally, the final piece is a wonderful display for any room in your house. Even if you don’t want to display the final set for long, you get bricks at a great price with a really interesting Minifigure thrown in for good measure. Some people might find distinguishing colors in the instructions difficult though. Starry Night (21333) is certainly one of my favorite sets from 2022 so far. What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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