Ever since the LEGO Group decided they would expand the LEGO® product line to include sets aimed at adult builders, the LEGO Design Team has excelled at showcasing what is possible with LEGO bricks. In recent years LEGO elements have been used to craft real-world items including a typewriter, a globe, a Nintendo Entertainment System console and a Polaroid camera to name but a few. That’s not even mentioning the array of flowers and plants which form the Botanical Collection. This weird and wonderful off-shoot of LEGO replicas will soon be joined by a new addition to the Icons theme, with the Retro Radio. Ahead of its release on June 1st, here’s a closer look at this interesting new LEGO set.

Product Details

Set Name: Retro Radio | Set Number: 10334 | Pieces: 906 | Theme: Icons

Number of Bags: Bags x 8 + Loose Elements | Instructions: Paper booklet + Builder App Stickers: N/A | Insiders QR: Yes

RRP: £89.99/$99.99/99.99€/169.99AUD/1299.99CAD

Availability: LEGO Stores & LEGO Online from June 1st (Insiders) June 4th (General)


For those interested the set is entirely packaged in the new easier to recycle paper bags, which include the smaller bags inside the larger ones. The instructions also feature a brief history of the radio. But the real treat comes as you build. You’ll find interesting radio-based facts on various pages. This includes factoids about historic moments in the creation of radio as well as being connected to a certain section you are building.

The radio is built inside out if that makes sense. You begin by building the internal workings of the radio and what will later become the removable back plate of the radio. Despite the small size of the radio, a lot is going on inside of it. A system of gears, including the new worm gear forms a working mechanism which is controlled by two knobs but various ‘powers’ multiple functions.

Most of the functional aspects of the radio do not become apparent until the set is complete, but you will see the needle, which sits in front of the frequency band display. This is created from a couple of printed tiles which sit behind transparent panels. With much of the interior working elements in place, the exterior of the radio is built around it. The pale green/blue shell is connected in sections to the interior plate and the grille-like front panels are also added separately. To finish off the classic appearance of a retro radio, it also features an ariel and a handle, which is sturdy enough to allow you to pick up the radio.

The sound brick is a new addition and was first featured in the recently released LEGO Harry Potter Sorting Hat set. This unique new element is the same size as two 2×4 bricks. It has a small button on one side which, when pressed, plays a random sound. In this case, those random sounds are all radio-related. They include jiggles, weather and sports reports, plus a familiar tune synonymous with the LEGO brand.

When introduce into the LEGO Radio, it’s activated by switching the radio on using the lefthand side knob which then allows the other knob to play the sounds. With the radio off, the right-hand side knob will only move the tuning needle. It’s a genuinely impressive function. The mechanism needed for these to work isn’t the most complex I’ve seen but it certainly provides a clever function.

There’s also a section within the radio in which you can slot a smart device and then play your own music and sounds. Obviously, these cannot be played using the knobs on the radio but it’s still a fun feature.

Rather surprisingly, when the set was announced earlier this week, the reaction was fairly mixed. After building the set, I have nothing bad to say about it. There are no stickers just printed pieces. The inner mechanics of the set are super impressive and the Soundbrick is so much fun. For a true testament to how well the set manages to replicate a real radio, after building it and leaving it on a table in the front room, someone mistook it for a real radio.

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These were provided to BricksFanz by the LEGO Group for purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are those of BricksFanz and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group. Providing a set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.

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