Minecraft and LEGO: a match made in heaven? A very small heaven…
Ever since I can remember I’ve loved LEGO. Perhaps it had something to do with my mom refusing to let me get a game console until my brother and I had saved enough money to buy an Xbox, but growing up I was always drawn towards games that let me create. It’s no surprise that I was instantly hooked on Minecraft when the alpha was released, and it’s no surprise that the second the Cusoo Minecraft LEGO set went on sale, I pre-ordered it. Two quick points before I move on. First, for those wondering, LEGO Cusoo is a fantastic site dedicated to bringing fan LEGO creations to life for others to buy. Go check it out. Second, there are no such thing as “LEGOs”. LEGO is the plural form of LEGO. Yes, it’s a common nerd pet peeve, and not something I care much about, but I figured I would fill you in since I will only be using “LEGO” throughout this review.
I’ve always been annoyed when people compare Minecraft to LEGO, but I suppose for those that don’t understand the game, it seems like an easy comparison. They’re both blocky, and you use them to create stuff. Fair enough. Minecraft and LEGO have always seemed like a match made in heaven, so now that the rubber
has met the road and the Minecraft sets are being shipped all over the world, how did everything turn out?
The first thing that jumped out to me and my brother when we opened up the delightfully cubed box of Minecraft LEGO is how many tiny 1-nub pieces there were. My brother has the Star Destroyer and many other LEGO creations that require a lot of intricate tiny pieces, but even he was amazed at the over all smallness of included pieces. I really like that the set comes with two instruction books, each guides you to make two of the four different modular Minecraft world pieces. My brother and I were able to each use a different manual to double our efforts in building the set. If there’s one thing I can say about the manuals, it’s that you need to be extra careful when building. Because there are so many small pieces, it’s easy to miss something and not realize it until a few steps later. For any experienced LEGO builder, this is more of an annoyance than a real issue.
It only took us around 30 minutes to complete all four modules and put them together. The Minecraft world really does look cool when everything is connected, and the ability to remove the tops of the world to see the caves and wonders underneath is a nice touch. There are a couple gold smooth pieces in the set to represent gold ore, which aren’t very common among LEGO sets. That said, there is not very much room to move the creeper and Steve pieces around in the caves, or even on top, making this set a definitely collector’s display piece, and not something a child would really use to “play” with, unlike many of LEGO’s other offerings.
There is so much detail with this set, which includes lava pools, waterfalls, and even small black blocks spread throughout to represent coal ore. I was a bit disappointed when I found out the little house/shelter that is made on one of the modules cannot even fit Steve inside. In fact, there’s an odd smallness to the environment that makes the creeper and Steve seem a bit too big – as if they had arrived in a Minecraft world that was around 75% of the normal size. It’s not a big deal, I suppose, but it’s noticeable.
One of the standards for LEGO sets is the inclusion of extra pieces – particularly the small ones. As you can see by one of the pictures below, this set comes with a ton of extra pieces! I was quite presently surprised with how many smooth pieces were left over, which really shows that LEGO intends people to build their own mini-worlds with this set, rather than simply sticking to the pre-made guides. Oddly enough, all but one extra piece is included to build a second Steve, but any lego collector should be able to find a standard single blue block to do the trick.
Overall I found that, while not as exciting as many other LEGO creations, the Minecraft LEGO set really does well with showing off the small details of a real Minecraft world, even if those details are sometimes a bit too small.