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Guide to LEGO-compatible bows

by admin on June 11, 2011

in Reviews & Comparisons

Archers are essential to any castle or fantasy setting. And archers need bows! In all these years LEGO has given us only one bow and one cross-bow design. A longbow has been added recently, and there is also a very small bow in some of the LEGO Games sets.

Fortunately LEGO customizers and other LEGO-compatible brands fill the gap and offer much more choices for your LEGO archers. Here you will find a comparison of all the currently available bows.

Some of the bows have arrows attached in the fully loaded position. These are great for battle-scenes, but looks weird being carried around. All LEGO-made bows fall into this category. (You can click on any of the images for larger view.)

Other bows are unstrung – more realistic for carrying. Some of them have holes at the tips so you can attach a piece of fishing-line or thread, and use separate arrows to load them up.

BOWS MADE BY LEGO:

This is the classic LEGO bow, available since 1984. A real staple in LEGO battle-scenes. The bow is made of a softer plastic than LEGO bricks, and is pre-loaded with a non-removable arrow. Its size and design is very generic and can be used for various nations and fractions. Available in black and various shades of brown.

This is the new LEGO longbow released in 2011 and available only in the Series 3 Collectible Minifig Elf package. It is in the loaded position, and made of the same softer plastic as the classic LEGO bow. It is currently only available in reddish-brown. As the LEGO elf is extremely rare, your best bet to get this bow is through Bricklink.

The LEGO crossbow is a really nice basic design, made of the same softer plastic as the above LEGO bows. The crossbow is pre-loaded with a non-removable arrow. Although there are some other construction-toy brands that carry crossbows, in the USA this is the only crossbow readily available for LEGO-fans. The crossbow is available in several colors including black, brown (both old and new), various shades of gray and an odd color: medium-blue.

This small bow is available in the new Heroica LEGO Games, as well as one of the Kingdoms sets. It is made of a soft, rubbery plastic that makes the it hard to snap it into the hands of LEGO minifig. It is really not meant to be used by regluar minifigs anyway (although it could be made into a useful crossbow-like weapon by taking advantage of the attachable ends). This bow is pre-loaded with an arrow and is currently available in dark-bluish-gray only.

BOWS MADE BY BRICKFORGE:

Unlike the LEGO bows, the BrickForge longbow is made of regular ABS plastic, giving it a nice finish and shine. It is currently available in 13 colors including black, gray, brown, tan bronze, gold, silver and various translucent colors (great for fantasy settings!). The bow has holes at the end so you can string it with fishing-line or thread. As far as bow-designs, you can’t go wrong with this one! It is a beautiful bow in every way!

The BrickForge recurve-bow is very unique! I don’t know any other brand that offers a recurve-bow. And with its beautiful curves and smaller size it is great for your horseback-riding minifigs! This bow also has holes at the ends to attach a string. It is currently available in about 10 colors including black, gray, dark-orange, two shades of tan, and brown.

BOW MADE BY SIDAN TOYS:

The Sidan Toys longbow fits LEGO minifigures nicely. It is made of the lighter-weight and slightly stiffer plastic of Sidan Toys accessories. It is available in several colors including black, white, yellow, two shades of red and gold. It has holes at the ends so you can string it with fishing-line or thread.

BOW MADE BY BRICKTW:

From all the bows reviewed this is the most unique. It is called the Flame Bow due to its flame-like shape. I’m not sure if it is based on a real-life bow design, or it is purely the product of imagination, but it is certainly perfect for fantasy settings. The bow is made of regular ABS plastic and has a nice finish and shine. Although it has no holes at the ends, you can still attach a piece of string to it because of the curves. The flame-bow is available in 16 different colors including black, white, yellow blue, gray (same as LEGO’s old dark-gray), pink, red, tan, jade (really beautiful!), chrome gold, chrome silver, and several translucent colors.

BOW MADE BY OXFORD:

This longbow looks quite large, but it is actually the same size as the LEGO longbow, except that the arrow is somewhat longer and more drawn back. It has a simple and very functional shape, made of regular ABS plastic – which I much prefer over LEGO’s softer plastic bows. The bow is loaded with a non-removable arrow, and is available in brown – the same color as LEGO’s old-brown.

I hope this review will help you find the right bow for your archer minifigs! You can also check out my Guide to LEGO-Compatible Arrows. 😛

I’m aware that there are other bows made by companies less known in the USA – most of these being copycats of the ones listed above. However if you are aware of a sweet, LEGO-minifig compatible bow that I did not review here, let me know. 😉

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

brickhead June 11, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Great comparison! It is nice to see the bows next to each other for comparison! I really like the Sidan bow and the Brickforge recurve bow!

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admin June 12, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Thanks! Yes, when you see the bows next to each other you really get a better feel for them! 🙂

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BigShawn June 11, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Cool! I really like the Lego bows and I wish I would have the elves! I also like Brickforge!!!

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admin June 12, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Shawn, your best bet to find the elves is through Bricklink. There are available from several sellers and the prices have come down significantly. 😉

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Sith015 June 12, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I also like the regular plastic bows better. The soft plastic ones get scratched easily. I think brickforge bows are the best!

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admin June 12, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Yes, that’s my experience too! Just look at the image of the smallest bow! I have only used it a couple of times and it is already scratched up! 🙁

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peter shutter June 13, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Siercon & Coral made a terrific bow out of lego pieces, see their flickr page https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3334/5803377246_384d8d9aea_z.jpg

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admin June 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Peter, thanks for the link! That is an AWESOME bow design! 😛

LEGO Compound Bow by Siercon and Coral

https://www.flickr.com/photos/legocy/5803377246/

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admin June 28, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Here is an other bow-design made from LEGO pieces that looks really nice! (This one is by Nannan.)

LEGO Bow by Nannan

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nannanz/5877692412/

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K July 31, 2013 at 12:15 PM

purist…most..resist….temptation…..=)

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admin July 31, 2013 at 1:59 PM

He-he… good luck with that! LEGO customs are awesome! And since I wrote this article there are even more beautiful bows! 🙂

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Dynamo345 December 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I have the Brickforge Recurve Bow and I love it but I am hoping to get the Sidan Toys bow because it’s more realistic

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admin December 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Yes, both bows are excellent. I use both of them and they are beautiful. One note I would make on the Sidan Toys bow is that it is a little on the thin side. You have to use minifigs with new hands to hold them. Once the hands get stretched by holding other accessories, the Sidan box easily slips out. But changing hands is easy enough. 😉

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Silo May 15, 2015 at 6:15 AM

What about the brickforge compound bow?

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admin May 15, 2015 at 8:44 AM

Silo, I wrote this article before that one was released, but yes, that one is a very nice bow too. 🙂

Reply

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