In 2008, Disney and Pixar released a film called WALL·E and it instantly became not only one of best animated movies of all-time, but one of the best movies in general. In July of last year, the LEGO Ideas project by Angus MacLane hit 10,000 supporters and a few months later, it was announced that WALL·E would become an official LEGO Ideas set.
That brings us to a few days ago when I received the LEGO Ideas WALL·E (21303) at my doorsteps and I couldn’t wait to build it. The set contains 677 pieces and retails for $49.99 which is a very good price per piece ratio. The contents of the box include nine un-numbered bags and the instruction booklet. What’s more important, no stickers!
Like with other LEGO Ideas sets, the box has the premium packaging with the folding lid and tabs. The box is larger than previous ones with the increased height and width. The set image on the front and back are displayed height-wise instead of length-wise as we’re used to seeing. The flap side of the box shows off some scenes from the WALL·E movie.
The instruction booklet is made of the thicker paper we’re used to seeing in the LEGO Ideas sets. The first couple of pages talk about who WALL·E is and a little bit of what the movie is about. The page after that gives some details about the set designer, Angus MacLane, who was also the Directing Animator for the movie.
As I mentioned before, all nine bags includes are not numbered which means that I went back to my LEGO roots and poured all the pieces in a large pile. The build starts with WALL·E’s body. There’s nothing too complicated about this section as it only comprises of stacking bricks to create the cubical body. As you’re building, you may find that there are a lot of elements in bright orange. On the sides of the body, you also create the arms which are able to slide back and forth. There are rubber connectors that give the arm some friction so it doesn’t move easily.
Up next is the building of the treads. The core of the wheel assembly is created with mostly TECHNIC parts. There are four “wheels” that run on the treads and looks pretty accurate to movie version. The treads used are the newer and larger kind which were released this year.
Following that is the building of the neck and head area. The joints are connected through click hinges pieces and each section is created with some neat techniques. The eyes were some of my favorite moments in the build. There are a number of building techniques which give them the SNOT look and it results are very well done. If I recall, there were 68 total pieces used for each eye so they do have some weight which I’ll get to later.
Finally, you build the arms and the hands for WALL·E. They are attached to the body with a ball joint. The fingers on the hands are created with just some simple flag pieces which work pretty well.
As I said before on my Instagram page, the LEGO Ideas WALL·E (21303) is probably one of the best and most fun builds of 2015. The whole build is extremely detailed and very accurate to the 2008 movie down to Hal, his cockroach friend, which is just made with a 1×2 plate with an antenna piece. The head is my favorite part of the build because that’s where WALL·E stands out in both the movie and the set. You can get a lot of expressions just from the eyes itself and even more with the pose of the arms and hands.
As much as I like the build, there are some criticisms with the set. I mentioned earlier that the eyes were somewhat heavy after they’re completed and attached to the neck. When angling the head up or down, the top neck joint is pretty loose and doesn’t keep the head in position. Even making WALL·E look up-left or up-right is a chore as the eyes are front heavy and the head will tend to swing backwards. You might have to do some finagling but a majority of the time, the head won’t stay in place. I’ve heard that others also have this same issue. The only way that he can look left or right is to keep the top joint in a neutral upright position. I’m pretty sure there will be some modifications people will post online to rectify this issue when the set is officially available.
The other issue isn’t as big as the swinging head one but it is worth noting. The treads don’t work as well as intended. On carpet, they do roll but not much. On hard surfaces, they don’t work at all as he just slides around.
Despite those shortcomings, there are other parts of WALL·E that have some great details. The arms have a fairly wide range of movement but cannot turn inwards. Note that there is no stripes on the arms like in the movie which is a bummer given there are other small details that were included in the set. The wrists have articulation as well as the hands and fingers. The fingers are even double-jointed to so he can grab things easier. There’s also a TECHNIC pin that you can attach the plant to.
Finally I haven’t mentioned this but the front of the body can open up to show the trash compactor. The top of the panel has a printed piece to show his solar charge level. The panel itself also has some nice printed pieces for his name. On the back, there are some details of the hydraulic presses.
I’m very pleased with the LEGO Ideas WALL·E (21303) set and I would like to thank the LEGO CEE team for sending one in for review. Although there isn’t much playability with the set, it does make a great display piece as well as a subject for LEGO photography.
The retail price of $49.99 is an amazing price point given what you will be getting with the set. I totally recommend it to any Disney/Pixar fan or any LEGO fan in general who wants a very fun building experience. I expect this set to sell out pretty quickly on release date at LEGO Stores and on [email protected] so if you really want one on September 1st, I recommend having a plan to acquire one. The set will also be available at various Toys R Us locations and some stores have already started selling them.