Exciting new for today! Both the 6th and the 8th LEGO Ideas sets designed by LEGO fans will be officially released by LEGO beginning of August. The 6th LEGO Ideas set is the LEGO Exo Suit by Peter Reid, and the 8th LEGO Ideas set is the LEGO Research Institute (originally referred to as the LEGO Female Minifigure Set) by Ellen Kooijman. The LEGO Exo Suit set is going to be revealed in the next week or so, and a copy of the LEGO Research Project has been sent to Ellen and she reviewed it on her blog, so let’s take a look and discuss. 🙂
The LEGO Ideas Research Institute is a project that a lot of people wanted to see succeed (original submission shown above). It is a non-licensed set that got great public support (not an easy feat!) because it features female minifigures in prominent roles… or just because that T-rex skeleton is awesome! In either case, it is a well-designed set with three small vignettes; one for the astronomer, one for the paleontologist, and one for the chemist. Ellen is a scientist herself – she works at the Swedish Museum of Natural History as a senior researcher – and her comments on the set are very interesting to read; things that someone from a non-scientific background likely won’t notice. I highly recommend that you read her review at her blog.
The front of the box for the LEGO Ideas Research Institute shows the three vignettes included in the set in one picture. The back is a slightly different picture of each of the scenes. I really like how closely LEGO designers stayed true to the original submission; pretty much everything is the same, or better. The only things that were changed are parts and connections that were not strong enough for an official LEGO set.
The LEGO dinosaur skeleton turned out really sweet, although I can’t tell from the pictures if the skeleton was changed to white from the original tan. I would really like it to be tan as that would be more realistic. The astronomer’s telescope is a great design, and it is nice that they also included a blackboard with a new print with some constellations – just like in the original submission. The little lab is also excellent and includes everything a minifig chemist would need.
I would say that the only thing I don’t like about the set so much is the minifigures. I did like them in the original submission; Ellen’s design for the chemist’s lab-coat was ingenious. I’m aware that LEGO doesn’t want to make new moulds for LEGO Ideas sets, but an elongated torso could have been used in other sets as well. Anyhow, I do like the lab-coat printing on the torso of the chemist. The other two minifigs have regular torsos also available in other sets, and that’s what I’m disappointed about; a couple of more newly printed female minifig torsos would have been nice. Ellen mentioned on her blog that it was important for her to convey the message that most scientists wear casual clothing apart from safety clothing worn in labs. I just don’t like the ones LEGO had chosen. Having said that, the dual faces are great, and as Ellen mentioned “this is an awesome aspect of the figures because the alternative facial expressions of panic and frustration really tell stories”.
Ellen also writes that she was told that the chemist minifig was loosely based on her, although she disagrees with the hair color and style of glasses LEGO designer have given her. And most importantly, in the official set she is wearing make-up – something that she strongly discourages in the lab, because it may cause contamination of the samples. And she was also surprised that they didn’t give her minifig protective gloves like she had in the original submission. Safety is number one in a lab. LEGO should have consulted her in this regard – after all she is the scientist. 🙄
The #21110 LEGO Research Institute is going to be available in August. There is no official mention of the price as of yet, but according to what I have read it will be around $20. And stay tuned for the reveal of the LEGO Exo Suit coming soon! In the meantime you can check out the currently available LEGO Ideas sets at the Online LEGO Shop.
So what do you think? How do you like the LEGO Research Institute now that you had a chance to see the final model? Are you planning to buy it when it get’s released? Do you think it will be a popular set? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
How much is the exo suit set going to be
It has been said that it will be about £30.00. I don’t know how much that converts into dollars though….
I’ve said it before, I like this set and will pick it up as soon as I can. I hope it stays around the $20 price point. I also want the Exo-suit. I hope they don’t come out to close to each other. That will be an expensive month.
They will in fact both be released in August. Yeah, it will be an expensive month. 🙄
I like them both, but I can’t get any. I think the Exo-suit will be about $35.
I like the Astronomer and I’m fine with the lab worker, but the paleontologist has the worst face, torso, & hair combination I have yet seen. New prints would have been nice here. 😕
Also, I’m fairly sure the dino skeleton is white, which makes a newly colored piece. 🙂
And this teaser is great: http://brickset.com/article/11623/exo-suit-teaser-with-video . Zane the spaceman! 😀
There is some indication that the Exo Suit may also include a “turtle” and more than one minifigs! That would be so cool! 😛
Yeah, if there’s a turtle I will be getting it. And the other fig, most likely, will be the female seen in the background of the teaser vid. 😉
Definitely going to get the Research Institute. I wonder if it will get an early release for VIPs. I imagine that one will be pretty popular, but perhaps not. I heard a lot of rumble in the community about selling out o feminists for releasing that one which I thought was dumb of people to say.
It may be that LEGO is just taking advantage of feminists, instead of selling out to them. But either way LEGO wins with another new set on the market. 😉
SO COOL! And yes, LEGO should have consulted her about the figs.
I have to admit, that is one awesome T Rex! and as for the Minifigure for the lab, I’m glad that they didn’t use the idea that was the fan model, however, for the glasses and makeup they printed on the minifigure head, they should have changed that. and the other minifigures, I like the head pieces. But the torso and legs, not so much.
It’s nice to see Sharon Shoehorn’s face a second time.
Yeah, I think both of these minifig’s heads (except for Alatariel’s “avatar”) are older ones. I believe I have picked up one or two of them at the Lego Store in Copenhagen already…
I’m not sure about the gloves, but I guess the make-up was deemed necessary to “code” the head as female. It’s hard to simplify a face so much, and still make it (obviously) female.
That’s an interesting observation about make-up, so I actually went to BrickLink to see if all female LEGO minfigis have make-up and if they still look obviously female without make-up. The answer is “yes” to both. There are numerous female heads where no make-up is applied. The female look is mostly achieved by slightly more pronounced lips, eye-lashes, a cute-ish face, etc. And of course in case of the female scientist in this set, the long hair and contoured body. 🙂
So it’s Sharon Shoehorn’s face! I couldn’t put my finger on which TLM girl it was, I thought it may have been Ice Cream Joe’s. 🙂
@Håkan/admin, I think LEGO could make more female heads without makeup. It’s not entirely necessary. But lab-gloves are something Lego should be shamed about not including. 😕