Since LEGO® Ideas launched it’s helped turn fan creations into LEGO sets, but the way it’s done this has evolved. A couple of years ago, the LEGO Group began partnering with US retailer Target to offer a new way for LEGO fans to get their ideas turned into a LEGO set. In 2022, a LEGO Ideas challenge was launched themed around families. The winner of the LEGO X Target – What Does Family Mean to You challenge was Ivan Guerrero’s Your Family Tree design. That concept has been transformed into the latest LEGO Ideas set by LEGO Model Designer Laura Perron and Graphic Designer Ashwin Visser.
Set Name: Family Tree | Set Number: 21346 | Pieces: 1040 | Theme: LEGO Ideas
RRP: £79.99/$79.99/79.99€ | Number of Bags: Bags x 8 | Instructions: Paper booklet + Builder App | Stickers: Sheet x 1 | Insiders QR: Yes | Fan Designer: Ivan Guerrero
Availability: LEGO Stores & LEGO Online
The inspiration for the set fan designer’s Ivan family tree. This is detailed in the set’s instructions along with a little background detail about the set’s LEGO design team. I like that family photos of the designers have been included in the instructions, as it ties nicely with the set’s overall theme of family.
The set is built in two sections, this is where the set differs the most from the fan design. Although the base is a similar style it’s been transformed into a storage section. Later on in the build, you can place some of the additional accessories, flowers and photo hooks in there. The new style base featured a stepped area, which adds a little extra detail to the build compared to the fan design. It also injects a little more colour into the set.
If you’ve built other sets featuring trees you’ll be fairly familiar with the design of the tree in this set. Various sloped pieces are combined to craft the trunk of the tree. The upper sections are mounted on turntable plates, which can be angled against the sections above and below. I have found with some past LEGO takes on trees, that the branches can sometimes be a little unstable. Thankfully, that’s not the case here, which, I think is mostly for practical reasons, as the branches need to be strong enough to hold the photo hooks.
I’ve seen some people are disappointed by the dark colouring of the tree. It’s worth remembering the original fan design features a black-barked tree and a red-leafed canopy. I quite like it, as it’s different and provides a nice contrast to the brighter base. I particularly like the use of the new reddish-orange elements, these look great against the other reds.
As mentioned there are several accessories included with the set. Some of these are added to the set as you build it such as the kite, toy plane and painting set. You can add other personal touches with the extra piece these include tennis rackets, food items and two extra paint boards.
The photos are hooked onto the branches of the trees by a couple of familiar-looking elements. The hoop pieces are recoloured rings introduced in the Sonic sets. The mount plate in which the photos can be slotted is a redesigned element introduced in the DOTS. Instead of being a 1x2x2 brick with the mount slot, the element is now a plate
It’s a nice little set and an interesting way to celebrate family. You don’t have to display any photos on it or you could choose to decorate it with other mementoes I can fully understand why it doesn’t feature any minifigures, as you’d need an awful lot of different pieces to allow everyone to recreate their family. This would push up the price a great deal, so much so that I think it would put people off the set. The LEGO Ideas Family Tree set will be available from February 1st and you can pre-order the set now.
If you are wondering where I got the small photos used to decorate the tree, I found a company called PostSnap. They offer mini photos, I went for the 2×3″ option which you can have as a full photo or with a white border. These are the perfect size to fit into the connector hooks which can be hung on the tree’s branches. You can get yours here.