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Review of LEGO Ideas The Big Bang Theory

The #21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory set will be officially released on August 1st, but it has been available at the San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month and some people already had the chance to get it. This is one of the most anticipated sets of the year, so today we will look at it in detail. Besides my own review I will also include the video-review of Jason from the BrickShow, so you get a chance to hear different opinions. 🙂

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory

LEGO THE BIG BANG THEORY – DESIGNERS: As you probably know already, the #21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory set was designed by LEGO fans Alatariel (Ellen Kooijman) and Glen Bricker (Glen Wadleigh). Ellen and Glen became friends through the LEGO Ideas platform where the project was originally submitted. As a fan of The Big Bang Theory show, Ellen initially built the set for herself as a fun display. It was Glen, who – after much prodding – convinced her to submit the project to LEGO Ideas. The two collaborated throughout the marketing of the project, with Glen in charge of minifigure development and project promotion and Ellen taking care of the set design. It is interesting to note that this is the second LEGO Ideas project by Ellen that has become an official LEGO set, the other being the #21110 LEGO Ideas Research Institute, which was extremely popular and retired too early. It is also interesting that both sets include a telescope and a printed blackboard/whiteboard. Nerds rule! 🙄

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Designers

LEGO THE BIG BANG THEORY – DESCRIPTION: Build Leonard and Sheldon’s living room for display and role play! Indulge your inner genius and build this LEGO version of Leonard and Sheldon’s living-room as seen in the hit American sitcom The Big Bang Theory! This set was created by two LEGO fan designers—Ellen Kooijman from Sweden and Glen Bricker from the USA—and selected by LEGO Ideas members. Featuring loads of authentic details to satisfy all The Big Bang Theory devotees and including minifigures of all seven main characters from the show, it’s ideal for display or role-play fun. Includes 7 minifigures with assorted accessory elements: Leonard, Sheldon, Penny, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette. Features Leonard and Sheldon’s living room with all the iconic elements from the sitcom, including a telescope, whiteboard, DNA display model and various ornaments. Includes a booklet about the designers and the hit American sitcom. Measures over 3” (8cm) high, 8” (22cm) wide and 4” (12cm) deep. 484 pieces. Price: $59.99

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Details

LEGO THE BIG BANG THEORY – PACKAGING: As all LEGO Ideas sets, the #21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory comes in sturdy box with a flip-up lid. The box is in fact the same size and shape as the box for the #21301 LEGO Ideas Birds and the #21108 LEGO Ideas Ghostbusters Ecto-1, which is a nice detail for collectors who like things to be uniform. As the other LEGO Ideas sets, this one also comes with a nice and thick booklet, which talks a bit about The Big Bang Theory TV show itself, the characters, the designers for the LEGO version, and of course it also includes the building instructions to put together the set.

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Content #21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Review

LEGO THE BIG BANG THEORY – THE STORY: In case you are not familiar with The Big Bang Theory show, the booklet summarizes it quite well: “Drs. Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper are brilliant physicists – geniuses in the laboratory, but socially challenged everywhere else. Enter beautiful, street-smart neighbor, Penny, who aims to teach them a thing or two about life. Despite their on-again, off-again relationship in the past, Leonard and Penny have finally gotten engaged. Even Sheldon has found a female companion – entering into a ‘Relationship Agreement’ with neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler. In their free time, Leonard and Sheldon enjoy fantasy role-playing games with their ever-expanding universe of friends, including fellow scientists Rajesh Koothrappali, Howard Wolowitz, and Howard’s adorable microbiologist wife, Bernadette. Set in Pasadena, California, The Big Bang Theory was created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, who are executive producers along with showrunner Steven Molaro. The series premiered on CBS in 2007 and is currently in its eighth successful season.” On the next pages there is also a description of each of the characters, along with pictures of their minifigure form.

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Cast

LEGO BIG BANG THEORY – BOX CONTENT: Besides the booklet, there are number of bags inside the box; 2 bags numbered #1, and 3 bags numbered #2. There are also three large plates (two 6×16 and one 16×16), and a sticker-sheet with two stickers. And of course an orange bricks-separator is also included. Bags numbered #1 contain all the pieces to build the structure itself, the computer desk, and the bookshelf behind it. Plus three of the minifigures; Amy, Bernadette and Howard. Bags numbered #2 include the rest of the minifigures, pieces for building the furniture in the living-room area, as well as all the geeky paraphernalia.

LEGO BIG BANG THEORY – BUILDING EXPERIENCE: It took me about an hour and a half to build the set. It was a straightforward and easy built, but also engaging and interesting. I didn’t run across any particularly unique building techniques, except for one; the desk-lamp. I also really like the telescope, but we already got a similar built in the #21110 LEGO Ideas Research Institute. The furniture is nicely done, and is a good study for those who would like to learn techniques for interior design. My only complaint is that the directors chair should have been brown to blend in better with the rest of the set. The finished model is an excellent, instantly recognizable display-piece, and it is very similar to the original submission.

LEGO CUUSOO The Big Bang Theory Details

LEGO BIG BANG THEORY – MINIFIGURES: I would like to discuss the minifigs in more detail because they are the biggest drawing points of this set. All seven minifigures are printed front and back, and they all have dual-sided heads with different expressions. The graphic designers for this set obviously spent significant time on the details of each character to make them instantly recognizable. The final result is very impressive. An interesting detail is that Sheldon’s arms and Bernadette’s and Amy’s legs are using the new two color plastic technique introduced in the LEGO The Simpsons line. In addition, Bernadette’s legs are not just two colored plastic, but are also printed to mimic her skirt. So yeah, lots of work went into these minifigures. Another detail I would like to point out is that while Leonard’s shirt looks standard green on the box-art, it is in fact a light-bright green (I’m not sure what’s the official name for this color, but it similar to the lighter green LEGO foliage, but even lighter). Also, while on pictures Bernadette’s and Penny’s top looks very similar, Bernadette’s is actually a much darker magenta, while Penny’s is dark-pink. Howard also has a nice printed belt. These minifigs would be an excellent addition to any LEGO City setting because the printing is so nice. In fact five of them could even be swapped to yellow heads and hands, because only Penny and Bernadette has a flesh-colored neckline.

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Minifigs

LEGO BIG BANG THEORY – DECORATED PARTS: All of the decorations you see in the set are printed, except for the boxing-ring poster on the back door and the antique fuse-box on the front door-frame. The printed whiteboards and the old radio are particularly nice. And of course everybody’s favorite is the printed Chinese takeout boxes. If LEGO would have included a couple of more of these we would be in heaven. I don’t really like the two stickers, and I did not apply them to my set. The fuse-box is okay, but kind of unnecessary, and the boxing-ring poster just doesn’t look good. In fact most people who have seen the set couldn’t even identify what it suppose to be. It could have been done much better.

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Preview

LEGO BIG BANG THEORY – EXTRA PARTS: LEGO always includes extra of the smallest pieces in case you loose them. Besides the usual 1×1 plates and tiles that you would normally expect, there are some other interesting extras here. You get two extra tiny trophy figures (which represent action-figures here) – so all in all you will have two blue and two dark-red trophies. These are very rare and highly desirable pieces, and are unique to this set in these colors. You also get an extra white lightsaber hilt, which is not unique, but still fairly rare. And there is an extra green tap (used as the handle of the green lantern), which is very rare. And there is an entire package of four different color lipsticks (used as markers in this set), and a package of 17 light-orange kitchen utensils (only the forks are used here). Both the lipsticks and utensils are from the LEGO Friends line and they are normally packaged together – I guess LEGO decided it was not worth to separate them, so they threw them in as extras. A nice surprise!

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Extra Parts #21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Extras

SUMMARY – THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE: Number one negative is the price. If you are a fan of the TV show, I’m sure you will buy this set; $60 is doable for most people, and the set captures the show very accurately. It is a perfect display-piece and it is fun in every way. However if you are looking at this set just to get the unique minifigs and accessories, you will likely look at the price-per-piece ratio more critically. With only 484 pieces $60 is a lot. Yes, you get seven unique minifigs, but LEGO has been getting better and better at giving us great minifig designs, and you can get a good variety cheaper in other ways. So I would say that if you are not into the TV show, and you are not collecting the LEGO Ideas line, you may likely pass.

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Book Shelves

There are a couple of other minor details I didn’t like but thought to include for the sake of completeness: I already mentioned the two stickers that I find poorly designed and that the directors chair should have been brown. Also, I liked the original DNA double helix better. In the original submission the intertwining DNA helix was instantly recognizable even for non-science oriented persons. In the final design, unless someone is familiar with the show, and know what that blue and red contraption supposed to represent, it is really hard to recognize. Both of these design decisions would have required a recolor of current pieces, so that’s most likely why it didn’t happen.

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Building Details

In addition, I don’t like how on the bookshelves the books are perched on top of exposed studs. On most of the shelves the books are sitting right on top of the studs – which looks unrealistic and messy enough – but on the bottom shelf in the living-room (behind the couch), the books are actually suspended in mid air between the bottom and top of the shelf. Unless these are magic books, I don’t see how this could be realistic. With a few tiles to smooth out a shelves and a slightly different technique things would have looked better.

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Girls

Even though so much work and detail has gone into it with the two colored plastic and printing, I don’t like Bernadette’s leg design. The end result doesn’t look like a skirt at all, the flower pattern doesn’t look like flowers, and the white hip section is odd. While all the other minifigs look excellent this one just didn’t come together. Fortunately her top piece is really nice, so personally I will just replace the legs to fix her.

#21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory Box Back

SUMMARY – THINGS I LIKED: Besides the price and the few minor details mentioned above, all in all the #21302 LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory is a really nicely done set. If you are a fan of the show, this is an instant buy. If you are not a fan of the show you may still consider it for the minifigures, the printed elements, and other interesting parts. The set is also an easy and fun building experience, and looks great on display. I particularly enjoyed the construction of the furniture, the desk-lamp and the telescope. And of course I love all the printed parts and most of the minifigures. I generally stay away from using old clichés, but this is definitely a conversation starter, which is probably a plus for brainy, but socially awkward nerds – just like in the show itself. It would be really funny to see this set show up in the TV show! 😀

Shop LEGO Ideas Big Bang

As I mentioned at the beginning the LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory set will be available on August 1st. You can find it under the LEGO Ideas section of the Online LEGO Shop. So what do you think? How do you like the LEGO Ideas Big Bang Theory? Are you planning to get this set as soon as it becomes available? Or are you going to pass? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • TheBrickLot July 22, 2015, 11:10 AM

    “already had the change to get it” I believe you mean chance.

    • admin July 22, 2015, 11:25 AM

      Thanks for the correction. I blame the spell-checker. 🙄

  • hippyman July 22, 2015, 11:55 AM

    When I originally heard about this set, I was excited about it. Having seen it now, I’m on the fence about it. I like the show ok, but I may hold out for the Golden Girls set. Has there been any word on that set yet?

    • admin July 22, 2015, 12:07 PM

      No update on Golden Girls. I actually have a feeling that LEGO might see how The Big Bang Theory set does before deciding to approve or not approve Golden Girls as they are quite similar in nature.

      • Håkan July 22, 2015, 2:03 PM

        TBBT is still running, so it’s probably a safer bet. I doubt there really is a big enough market for the Golden Girls fanbase…

        • admin July 22, 2015, 2:05 PM

          That’s a good point. Although Golden Girls did get 10,000 votes, which means it is popular with at least that many people.

          • hippyman July 22, 2015, 4:50 PM

            The Golden Girls has a surprisingly huge fanbase. It’s somewhat of a cult classic, so I have a feeling it would do pretty well.

  • DarrellBricker July 22, 2015, 1:22 PM

    OMG, that would be awesome if they did the Golden Girls set – I’d park their house right next to the Big Bang Theory House – what a great sitcom mash-up that would be! 😀

    I like the Big Bang Theory set, planning on getting it!

  • BLProductions July 22, 2015, 3:22 PM

    Huh, I’m a bit more interested in this set now than I was before. But mostly because those extras: the extra faucets, mini-trophies, and accessories are sweet! As for the cookware, all the items were included because they are technically all one part: http://brickset.com/parts/6037810 .
    I’m actually pretty excited about the printed dual-color legs, as I was trying to design some custom SSB4 minifigs, and they all needed that type of detailing. So now I know it’s possible. However this set is going to be a pass for me. 😐

    • admin July 22, 2015, 3:33 PM

      It seems like LEGO is using dual color pieces more often, so you should be able to pick up some legs for your project. Yes, the cookware is in one pre-packed baggie, and it is always included as such. 😉

      • Håkan July 23, 2015, 4:24 PM

        I wonder why the cookware always has these bright colors. It’d be more useful if they were included in some more natural colors, such as black, white, gray or chrome…

        • admin July 23, 2015, 4:42 PM

          Yeah, that would be great. My favorite so far is the light blue set as that is pretty subdued.

        • BLProductions July 23, 2015, 5:27 PM

          Agreed. I doubt LEGO would ever do chrome (Silver Metallic is the technical name, right?), but Medium/Dark Stone Grey or white are doable. Red, I might add, is an appropriate color (some plastic-ware is red), and that has appeared twice.
          I think the reason for the bright colors is that the cookware is only used in Friends sets (with now 2 exceptions), and that theme tends to use bright colors.

  • Brad July 24, 2015, 1:27 AM

    I’m glad you put in the pic of the extra pieces, because you’re the first person I’ve seen that did that and I’m really excited that there’s an extra green tap piece. I’m planning on giving my Green Lantern, as well as my Sinestro, minifigure a lantern based on this design (the original lantern in that set is ridiculously huge), and I was thinking I’d have to go to Bricklink if I didn’t want to just use the lantern from this set. I still might have to go there, or to PaB or B&P, but not for that piece. I’ve gotten a few ideas for accessories for the characters that weren’t included in the set but that I’m going to include when I display them. I’ll give Bernadette an erlenmeyer flask and/or a pill bottle (white or trans orange 1×1 cylinder with a blue or white 1×1 round tile, respectively), Howard his rocket (from the set), Penny a wine bottle and glass, Leonard a lightsaber the same color green given to Luke in the Star Wars sets, Sheldon a white flag with a black or brown lightsaber blade for the pole and/or a sausage, Amy a brain and/or the chimpanzee found in the Zookeeper and Jungle Boy cmf, and Raj his dog (from the set). I’m a huge fan of the show.

    • admin July 24, 2015, 10:04 AM

      Brad, those are awesome ideas! And yeah, I found the extras of this set particularly good, so that’s why I included them in the review. Have fun with your customization! 😀

      • Brad July 24, 2015, 5:45 PM

        Thanks. They’re not all my ideas, I just thought I’d list them together here for easy reference for others. I got some of the ideas myself, some are from my parents, translated into Lego by me (they’re really into the show too, partly because my dad’s an engineer), and others are from the Eurobricks Big Bang Theory topic. I’ve got a bunch of posts in the last few pages and my user image is the same there as it is here, if you want to find me there.

        • admin July 24, 2015, 9:08 PM

          Nice that your whole family is into the show, that makes it so much more enjoyable. I don’t visit Eurobricks very often. It is an awesome forum, but it is so bug and complex and I just don’t have the time. But it is great to hear that they have an active TBBT fan group. 🙂

  • Roberta July 25, 2015, 8:13 AM

    Thanks for your review so I have a better idea what to expect! I can hardly wait and will surely head on down to the lego store next Saturday! After 9 months, I feel like I”m about to give birth!!!! LOL and thanks again!

    • admin July 25, 2015, 9:45 PM

      I think you will really enjoy it. It is very authentic to the TV show. 🙂

  • Roberta August 1, 2015, 8:43 AM

    4 hours and counting!!!!

  • Roberta August 1, 2015, 5:44 PM

    Whew! There were only 4 left by the time I got to one of the Manhattan stores! The salesperson that they had started selling them on Thursday, and probably sold around 40 already. Wow it was $65.99 there! But had to get it anyway. Only have had time to open the box so far! I’m just so thrilled!

    • admin August 1, 2015, 10:53 PM

      After all that wait you deserve it! Have fun building! 😀

  • M August 30, 2015, 12:29 AM

    I wasn’t planning to get this, but thinking more, it’s really worth it for the minifigs. The set is expensive when you consider piece count, but printed minifigs are very costly to produce. This is especially good for those who prefer to use fleshy figs over yellow…we even get 1 darker skinned fig w/ Raj.

    • admin August 30, 2015, 9:01 AM

      Yes, the minifigs are very nice and can be used in other settings as well.

  • Gavin August 15, 2017, 9:36 PM

    This is a great set. I’ve made some brickfilms about them. Enter “the Big Bang Theory lego.” It’ll pop up on Channels. Be sure to like share, and subscribe!

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