Just when you thought LEGO had reached the pinnacle of coolness with the recent release of their fanboy-tastic “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” LEGO playsets, they take things even further by adding the Disney Princesses to the mix as well.
That’s right, brick lovers, the Disney Princess LEGO sets are here. And though several of the bigger name Disney Princesses like Snow White, Cinderella and Ariel have appeared in hugely-popular DUPLO playsets over the years, this is the first time Disney royalty has appeared in a “big kid” LEGO set and the results are freaking awesome.
Seriously, even if I didn’t have a Disney Princess-loving daughter, I would want some of these sets. Beautifully detailed with rich, subtle colors you don’t often find in the LEGO universe, the sets are far cooler than you’d expect, especially considering how totally lame and borderline sexist the company’s previous girl-themed efforts have been.
I mean, no offense to the toothy lasses in the LEGO Friends collection, but, girls can do much more than run an ice cream shoppe, beauty parlor and/or brush their horse’s plastic hair all day long. Say what you will about Barbie, but at least she has career ambitions, while even the best of the LEGO Friends sets feel a marketing scheme that never really took off.
Whereas the new Disney Princess LEGOS are so cool and character-specific that they actually breathe new life into a franchise that most parents I know feel has lost a little steam in recent years. And, by focusing on the strengths and unique skills/talents of each of the Princesses featured in the LEGO sets, the powers that be present girl characters that, you know, actually do things.
The Merida set highlights her archery skills, Rapunzel’s set focuses on her skills as an artist and even Ariel — who many consider to be the most offensive and weak-willed of the bunch — gets a chance to focus on her skills as a “collector of human artifacts” in one of her two LEGO sets. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but, it’s better than nothing.
But the biggest surprise of all comes in the largest, showiest set in the series, Cinderella’s Romantic Castle. If you ask me, Cinderella was always the first truly modern-skewing of the Disney Princesses, but, rather than showcasing her skills at sewing and cleaning (both of which she obviously excelled at) Cinderella’s LEGO set goes out of its way to highlight her cheeky sense of humor by sneaking all sorts of hidden treasures into the castle. Her bed features a “secret drawer” containing a mysterious envelope (a souvenir invite from the Royal ball that started it all perhaps?) and another “secret room” upstairs hides a treasure chest behind a door that is only opened by a key hidden behind a trick bookcase downstairs. Forget romance, this castle is downright magical!
And in case you were wondering how long it takes to construct a 646 piece LEGO castle, I can tell you from experience — Greta got the castle from her Grandma Linda for Christmas — it takes forever. Just kidding. I didn’t actually log the hours, but, it took us a good two or three days to do it right. But, Greta and I had a blast building it and luckily, all of the big new LEGO sets come with very detailed instructions, so, we had lots of help.
And with my new “Lord of the Rings” Battle at the Black Gate LEGO set (yep, Santa heard my pleas as well!) due to start construction sometime this weekend, I forsee much cross-movie franchise bloodshed and turmoil in the land of LEGOS. Poor Cinderella will never know what hit her!