When LEGO announced that the Maze (21305) would be the next released LEGO Ideas set, there was a mixed reaction from fans. Some loved the nostalgia of the old school wooden Labyrinth Marble Maze game including me while others felt that another project would have been a better choice. LEGO has graciously sent us a review copy of the Maze and here is my official review of the set.
The LEGO Ideas Maze (21305) contains 769 pieces and retails for $69.99 which is so far the most expensive Ideas set although it does come in at a nice $0.09/piece ratio. The contents of the box include the instruction booklet, eight un-numbered bags, four black 8×16 plates, and a 32×32 gray baseplate.
The box is fairly large considering the amount of pieces that are in the set. The front shows the the Maze in the all its glory. The background, not surprisingly, has a maze design thoughout the outer part of the box. The back of the box shows off the play function as well as the 2-in-1 feature it has with the different designs of the maze. There’s also an image of some inspirational designs by Jason that you can use for your maze.
Unlike the previous LEGO Ideas instructions, the one for the Maze is not made out of the thicker paper but it uses the standard paper. The first couple of pages give a short description of the Maze as well as the designer of the project Jason Allemann, aka JK Brickworks. The instructions themselves is pretty straightforward. At the end, Jason gives you a closer look at some additional maze designs that you can build. Jason has mentioned that he will be posting those instructions over on his website in the near future.
The build starts off with the base of the set. A few steps in, you’ll be building the areas that affect how the wheels turn. This is acheived by the various uses of Technic parts to get the two-axis gimbal system to work. The bottom wheel controls the left and right movements while the right wheel controls the up and down movements. You’ll notice after the frame is completed that they don’t turn all the way on both axis. This isn’t a huge issue since you’ll be gently tilting the maze a majority of the time.
The Maze is held in place by the removable four-ball container on one end of the build which itself is held still by a 2×2 corner brick. The other part is on the opposite end of the Maze that also locks it in place so the controls don’t rock back and forth.
The last half of the build involves building the two Maze designs. The first design is essentially the original one that was submitted on LEGO Ideas. The only difference is that standard bricks are used for the walls instead of Technic parts.
The other Maze design is based on a medieval theme. It is much livlier than the first design as it has different structures like the castle, a bridge, and various houses. What’s nice is that LEGO also includes a brick seperator to remove the tiles easier. To make it easier to remove the mazes, push up from the bottom of the frame.
Furthermore, probably the main reason why LEGO is releasing this set is because it gives people an opportunity to create their own mazes using your own imagination.
Ever since the LEGO Ideas Maze (21305) was announced that it will be releasing on April 1st, I was a bit excited about it because it does give me some happy emotions of me playing the original Labyrinth Marble Maze game when I was a kid.
The build itself was pretty enjoyable and easy to create. The two-axis system for the tilting mechanism using Technic axles was effective. The one problem that I had with it was that I pushed in the Technic pins too tightly and the wheels wouldn’t turn as smoothly as I wanted. Once I loosened them up just a tiny bit, they work perfectly fine.
The other issue that I had wasn’t actually with the set itself but with the balls that were used. If you examine them closely, you will notice that they have small dimples due to the molding process. The issue will sometimes get the balls stuck in the maze. You would then have to wiggle the wheels a little bit to loosen it up again. I suggest replacing the balls with marbles to have a better play experience. If you want the set to completely be LEGO, there are some official steel balls for the MINDSTORMS EV3.
Overall I like it. There are small issues I had with it but nothing too drastic. The Maze is enjoyable on top of the fact that you pretty much have unlimited ways you can play the game. I am actually excited to see what maze designs others can come up with. I’ve completed a couple of runs for both of the mazes included included in the set however it took a couple of tries each. Along with the building experience, the game also trains you on dexterity and your patience along with other motor skills.
Thank you to LEGO AFOL Relations & Programs Team for sending in this set for me to review. The content above represents my own opinion and not the company.