LEGO 21116 Minecraft Crafting [Review

The current lineup of six minifig-scale sets is a valiant — but flawed — attempt at doing what the original set could not. It contains instructions for 8 different scenes (you can only build 1 at a time), and inspirational photos for other scenes.

Lego 21116 Review

I decided to build the second scene, since it seemed to be about the largest and most interesting. The instructions for assembling the scenes are all contained in book 1, but book 2 is full of building instructions for dozens of small vignettes and objects, which are put together in various ways to create the larger scenes. Consequently, building a scene is an odd mix of flipping back and forth between instructions books, as book 1 tells you it needs a certain sub-assembly, and then provides a page number for that sub-assembly in book 2. Each sub-assembly seems to have a unifying feature of one or two 2×4 bricks overhanging an edge by 2×2, which is used to connect the elements together.Since my scene was made up of 14 sub-assemblies of terrain, and most are connected to their neighbors by only a single 2×4 brick, the whole is very fragile. There’s no way the completed set could be picked up. They’re just a hodge-podge of colors and bricks; an earth-toned rainbow warrior of terrain. There are several aspects which violate the game’s rules, such as the instructions calling for trees to be placed on sand, or a red flower growing in the tilled earth in the garden (which is legal, but makes no sense). One of the inspirational photos has the skeleton in what appears to be a hot air balloon. The cactus is horribly ugly here, made of trans-green 2×2 bricks and green brackets (it looks better in the photos than in person).

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Some “blocks” are 3 plates (1 brick) tall, some 4 plates, and some 5 or even 6.

I understand this was done for simplicity, but it looks messy and makes it hard to actually recreate structures from the game. Ideally all “blocks” would be 2×2 studs and 5 plates tall. The creation of a new cubic head for the minifig is unnecessary and ugly. Instead, it just looks weird and inaccurate, and makes the pieces far less useful for other applications. For instance, both the mooshroom cow and the skeleton/player have cubed heads; the mooshroom’s naturally has a 1×2 plate footprint, while the others fit on a minifig neck. The heads are almost, but not quite, the same size . The sub-assembly feature is novel, but it’s too weak to be picked up, and looks bad when assembled. Minecraft fans will be better off ignoring the instructions and creating their own scenes with the pieces. Measures 3” (10cm) high, 12” (31cm) wide and 9” (22cm) deep. In this 21116 set, you can build both 21114 and 21115 together by using your imagination. And with the blocks else, you can build a mini mine as the underground world. He asked me to track it several times a day, and was extremely excited when it finally arrived.

I love that it came with an instruction booklet with 8 different projects. This will keep him entertained for a very long time. Amazon always beats the shelf prices locally for my family. Not that it is always easy, especially if you are color blind like myself. Then he has hours of play, both independently, as well as together. He is able to build higher level lego sets by himself (ages 9-14, etc) usually just fine, but the setup of this one was far more confusing. This set is seriously cool because it allows for different variations to be built from the same bricks with instructions for each!

This means it will be impossible to build in the game. Also, the models do not have many features which makes it hard to play with.

We will take a closer look at several of these new sets in the upcoming days (weeks?). The set features mainly square bricks but also some new molds, as we will show shortly.

lego image minecraft craftinlego 1

Below all this four (out of eight total) different models for which building instructions are included are shown in insets. All in all, despite the poor skeleton’s suffering, it is a fairly attractive scene. Possibly this is to emphasize that the set is indeed a ‘crafting box’ full of ‘raw materials’. Further below some models (there are ten in total, though only four are pictured) that are supposed to serve as inspiration are displayed. Finally, in the bottom right, a special ‘block translator poster’ is mentioned. No cardboard backing or plastic wrap was used for the instruction manuals and poster, so you’d better hope that the box was handled carefully before you bought it. The five bags of parts are numbered #1 and #2, with the #1 bag containing the parts for the minifigures and some smaller vignettes, and the #2 bags the various terrain ‘blocks’.

I have to say some of these are pretty inventive, especially the various ore ones. Note that some of these blocks have a different height, for instance the ore ones are four plates tall, while most of the other blocks are three plates tall. This might cause issues when trying to create your own scene (which is heavily encouraged by the inclusion of multiple ‘inspiration’ models). The same goes for the other minifigures you can spot in the distance below.

Lego 21116 Review

Nathan to hit him with the pickaxe for eating those carroty things?

The picture on the right shows the eight models in a bit more detail. Out of these, my favorites (going by the pictures) are the outdoor ‘beach’ scene with building and two trees (second model on the left page) and the scene with the tall gray and orange tower (third model on the right page). As you can see in the picture on the left, the second instruction manual is used to build smaller submodules and vignettes consisting of about thirty bricks at most. These submodules are then combined together to build the larger models described in the first instruction manual. The picture on the right shows two of the ten extra models which are pictured in the back of the second manual. No instructions are provided for these, these are purely meant as inspiration. As you can tell it’s a mostly colourful affair with tan, blue, bright green and dark bluish gray being the most represented colours among the larger plates.

LEGO 21116 Minecraft Crafting Box 8 In 1 [Review

For those looking to expand their collection of large plates, this set might be worth considering. These bricks come in all sizes, from 2 x 2 up to 2 x 10, with both opaque and transparent variants. Next up are a smattering of smaller parts, which are shown in the picture to the left. Quite a variety again, and in several different colours, which are fairly evenly spread over the parts. This set might turn out to be a decent parts pack after all. Now if only they could be melted down into more useful parts!

Finally, we take a look at the rest of the parts in the set, which includes the various minifigure molds. More interestingly however, the set also includes a very yummy-looking oversized baguette. The skeleton also has access to some spare body parts, probably in case he gets swallowed whole by rampaging piles of bricks again. Among the smaller parts are also included some new molds (finally!), which are shown in the picture to the right. The skeleton also has a new square head mold, both of them fit onto regular torsos.Nathan (our friendly cow) also has a new square head mold, but this mold is attached with a regular 1 x 2 plate footprint, and thus cannot be used for regular minifigures. The more observant amongst you will probably already have noticed these in previous pictures. As illustrated in the picture to the right, each construction step consists of first assembling a number of submodules, using the instructions in the second instruction book, and then combining them together. First of all, you are flipping back and forth between the first instruction manual and the second while building, which some people might find quite annoying. Secondly, the submodules themselves are very simple, resulting in a quite lackluster building experience, which may be boring for the more experienced builders. Finally, the submodules are usually joined together with a single two-wide brick, resulting in a very fragile model.

Some intermediate steps of the construction of the tower scene, and the resulting model.

I am not sure what the construction in the back to the right is supposed to be, it looks like some kind of smoke stack. Finally, some intermediate steps of the construction of the outdoor scene, and the resulting model.

I like the little garden with the flowers and the small pool in the middle, and the porch with the seats. It is kind of weird though that the trees seem to grow on sand, and that the furnace is right next to a extremely hot patch of lava (at least, according to the ‘block translator’ poster).

I bet he is giving his right arm a proper workout, lugging along that big pickaxe all day long. Though the modular approach is an interesting concept in theory, in practice it leads to simplified and repetitive builds, and disjointed looking and fragile models.

lego image minecraft craftinlego 2

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