We recently reviewed the beautiful #10280 LEGO Flower Bouquet (see links at the end of this post) from the new LEGO Botanical Collection, and at that time I mentioned that there are also two other smaller sets with flowers that you could add to your bouquet; #40460 LEGO Creator Roses, and #40461 LEGO Creator Tulips. Today, we will discuss the two smaller flower sets in detail.
While the #10280 LEGO Flower Bouquet and the #10281 LEGO Creator Bonsai Tree are released in the 18+ line targeting adult builders, the two smaller sets are recommended for ages 8+. This is interesting because the building techniques for the tulips and roses are pretty much the same as in the #10280 LEGO Flower Bouquet. The bottom line is that if you have a child who likes the building experience of the smaller flower sets, they would be perfectly capable of building the larger bouquet as well. And if an adult like the larger set, the smaller ones are nice way to continue building in the same style.
The #40461 LEGO Creator Tulips comes in a slightly smaller box than the #40460 LEGO Creator Roses. The tulips set contain 111 pieces to build three tulips for the price of $9.99, and the roses contain 120 pieces to build two roses for the price of $12.99. The tulips and the roses are on the same scale, but because the roses have bigger and more complex flower heads, they need more and larger pieces – thus the price difference.
Speaking of scale, I should also mention that all the flowers in all three set are true to life size, so you can use standard flower vases for them, and pretty much use them the same way and in the same situations as you would use real flowers.
Amongst all the flowers – including the ones in the larger flower bouquet – I found the tulips to be the easiest and least finicky builds. The petals are firmly attached to a studded core, and then the flower heads are fixed to a long stem made up of LEGO Technic axles and connectors and re-colored LEGO Bionicle claw pieces for the leaves. The three tulips are identical, except for their colors; white, light-yellow, and medium-lavender (all with bright-light-orange centers). The stems are lime-green with bright-green leaves. I really like the soft colors of the tulips combined with the cheery colored stems and leaves. They remind me of spring!
It’s also worth mentioning that the tulip heads use only two different pieces; a 1×2 cheese slopes and modified 2×3 slopes. Both of these pieces are common and available in many different colors so you can make tulips of other colors as well.
Although the flower heads are not adjustable like in some of the other flowers, this assures that they stay together firmly and there is very little chance of anything falling off. The only movable parts are the leaves, which have a tendency to spin around the stem if you don’t push the Technic connectors together tightly. Just like in the larger flower bouquet, the height of the stems is adjustable. All three tulips are just about nine and a half inches tall, but by removing or adding Technic connectors, you can make them shorter or taller. This is useful if you want to make a more variegated bouquet, or if you would like to place the tulips into different size vases.
All in all, the #40461 LEGO Creator Tulips is a lovely set, and an excellent introduction to building LEGO flowers. As I mentioned, these are the easiest flowers to build, so it is suitable for younger builders as well as those who are new to the LEGO hobby. The set makes a nice gift to pretty much anyone, and when built, the tulips can be used the same way as real flowers; together in a bouquet, in a vase, or individually. And they don’t need water and won’t wilt! With the low price, you can even purchase multiplies for events such as LEGO-themed birthday parties, weddings, etc.
As I mentioned above, the #40460 LEGO Creator Roses set comes in a slightly larger box, and features two almost identical red roses. The only difference between them is that one of them comes with an angled stem, while the stem of the other is straight.
The red roses are built almost exactly the same way as the soft pink roses in the #10280 LEGO Flower Bouquet. The head of the roses is a fairly complex build with two large dark-green steering wheels stacked on top of each other, and then eight identical petals (made of 3×4 modified slopes often used as car hoods), attached with clips around the wheels. It’s interesting to note that while the soft-pink roses in the flower bouquet use two different types of modified slopes for the petals, in the red roses all eight petals are the same. This gives the flower heads a slightly different look. I like both versions, but you need to pay more attention to placing the petals around the lower steering wheel when building the red roses. It’s a little hard to explain in writing why this is, but it will be obvious when you build them.
The inner petals of the red roses are built the exact same way as that of the soft pink roses of the flower bouquet. The only difference is that in the soft pink roses, the inner petals add two additional colors (white and tan), while for the red roses all the petals are red. I think both versions are nice, but for different reasons. Having all the petals the same color in the red roses makes the pieces merge together better, giving the illusion of real flowers. And the different color petals of the soft pink roses add a bit of variety. It’s great to examples of both versions, so you can play with options.
The large modified slopes and other pieces used for making the flower heads for the roses do come in a few more colors that would be suitable for roses, so that’s another option you can play with if you would like to add variety.
The stem of the soft pink roses from the flower bouquet and the red roses are almost the same, but there are some slight differences. They are both made of dark-green LEGO Technic connectors and with a black LEGO Technic piece with four clips to attach leaves. In both sets, the roses with angled stems feature thorns, taking advantage of the holes in the angled LEGO Technic connectors. I like the addition of the bright-green sepals for the red roses – a detail that’s missing from the soft pink roses. And the pieces used for leaves are different, again, giving you different options and design ideas.
I mentioned in my review of the #10280 LEGO Flower Bouquet and I will repeat it here; the angled flowers with big flower heads feel top heavy and more awkward to handle. You really feel the weight of the flower heads and they tend to fall into a specific angle. However, they do look quite realistic and add variety. If you are having trouble with these angled flowers as you place them in a flower arrangement, you can always make the stems straight.
The roses are also more finicky than the tulips. Because the petals, sepals, and leaves are only attached by single clips, they can detach as you handle them. They give you more options for customization though as you can put these pieces as different angles. None of this is an issue once you place the roses in a vase or other permanent location, but if the flowers are going to be handled frequently (i.e. table decorations, people are going to hold them during an event, etc.), the tulips are a better option.
Another topic that is worth addressing is how #40460 LEGO Creator Roses, and #40461 LEGO Creator Tulips fit with each other and with the #10280 LEGO Flower Bouquet. As I mentioned, all the flowers are the same scale and they use similar or even the exact same parts and techniques, so there are no issues there. The deciding factor in how you mix the flowers primarily has to do with their colors. The flowers in the flower bouquet are already meant to look nice together with their carefully chosen colors for both the flower heads and stems. Note that the red roses use the same dark-green flower stems as the flowers in the bouquet, so they could fit right in. The soft tulip colors would also look nice with the flowers in the bouquet, but their lime-green stems don’t match anything and kind of stick out. You could potentially replace the lime-green stems with dark-green or sand-green, or you could carefully pair the tulips with some of the more compatible flowers from the bouquet. It’s pretty much the same as when you work with real flowers; finding that perfect harmony of colors, shapes, and sizes for the most beautiful arrangement.
In summary, the #10280 LEGO Flower Bouquet works as an already perfectly balanced fairly large centerpiece. The #40460 LEGO Creator Roses, and #40461 LEGO Creator Tulips can be placed in a larger arrangement, or you could also use them individually as gifts, single-piece decorations, etc. Just like real flowers, even a single piece can brighten up someone’s day.
What do you think? How do you like the new LEGO flower sets? Do you have any of them already? Which one is your favorite? And how do you plan to use them? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!
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