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LEGO Ideas Sailboat Adventures Review

One of the exclusive promotional items this month is the #40487 LEGO Ideas Sailboat Adventure set, free with purchases of $200 or more at official LEGO stores and the Online LEGO Shop.

You might remember that this set is based on a submission to a LEGO Ideas Holiday Contest that took place last year. The original model was created by LEGO fan Yan Chevalier (yc_solo on LEGO Ideas), and it appears that the final design is quite close to it! The unique feature of both the original model and the final version is that the sail is completely brick-built.

The set comes in a surprisingly large box for a freebie (about 10 inches tall, 7 inches wide, and 2 inches deep). Inside the box, you find two sets of numbered bags; three bag #1s and three bag #2s, one small sticker-sheet with two stickers, and the instruction booklet.

The first two pages of the booklet focus on the fan designer. Yan is a research scientist and engineer who has been always drawn by artistic creativity and aesthetics. He shares; “My passion for building with LEGO bricks, combined with toy photography, makes me feel like an artist telling stories through my models and photos. My entry to the LEGO Ideas competition was also inspired by a story of an adventure that my wife and I still have to experience. We have done a lot of traveling and living abroad, but we have never had the opportunity to go on a sailboat and set sails for the horizon.” Yan also shares that the sailboat is named Ëloïse after his daughter (which is the name you can find on the two stickers).

The original model submitted by the fan designer contained exactly 250 parts (216 for the sailboat, plus dolphins, minifigs, palm tree, and seagull). The final model is 330 parts, but it doesn’t include the palm tree and seagull. Still, this could easily be a $25-$30 set on its own. As mentioned above, Yan is also a toy photographer, and he took these beautiful photos of the finalized set.

Bags #1 are for building the hull of the sailboat as well as the small water platform. The hull is quite pretty with mostly dark-tan, dark-orange, and pearl-gold, and white elements, and a little bit of reddish-brown. The cabin is small, but it has a removable roof and a suggestion of a bed inside. All the dark-orange 1×4 tiles used for the deck are printed with a wood grain design (you get eight of these).

The two minifigs come with striped shirts and are printed both front and back. The female minifig’s shirt appeared in previous sets, but the mail minifig’s shirt is a new piece (perhaps exclusive to this set, or perhaps it will be used in future sets as well).

Bags #2 are for building the boat’s cabin, the sails, and the small stand with the two dolphins. I like the sails a lot. The white sails are built from standard bricks and slopes, and are attached to the black frame with LEGO Technic bricks with holes and pins. It’s a very effective way to construct sturdy brick-built sails. I just wish that LEGO designers added a seagull, or at least a flag on top. I should also note that the sail-assembly can be rotated as long as you detach the strings elements at the bottom corners.

The small stand uses trans-clear, trans-light-blue, and trans-dark-blue elements and provide an effective way to suspend the dolphins in dynamic poses. I’m not convinced about the way the crystal elements are used to mimic water splashes, but crystals are always great to have and the original designer also used them, so I won’t complain. And of course, the sand-blue dolphins are awesome.

Overall, this is a lovely boat in every way. In fact, it is probably my favorite small LEGO boat. The overall size is 11 inches long from tip to tip, and 10.5 inches tall, so it’s a properly sized sailboat for minifigs. Every detail is pleasing to look at on display and is also suitable for play. The only issue is that we have to spend $200 to get this little gem, but with all the new sets released, that shouldn’t be hard to reach – if your budget allows.

If you are interested to get your own #40487 LEGO Ideas Sailboat Adventure set, visit an official LEGO store near you, or the Online LEGO Shop. Remember that this free-with-purchase set is available until the end of August, although it will likely run out before that, so the earlier you make a purchase, the better. To see the full list of newly released sets, visit the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like the sailboat? Is this a set you are planning to get? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • yoladiel August 6, 2021, 10:38 AM

    What a beautiful little set! I was wondering though. Does the brickbuilt sail makes it top heavy? Like, does it topple over easily?

    • Håkan August 6, 2021, 1:10 PM

      It looks like it’s solidly attched to the plates on bottom.

  • T.T.T. August 6, 2021, 7:01 PM

    Beautiful, beautiful little set. But I rather have this as a regularly available set than having to pay $200 just to get it. They could have released it as a limited edition Ideas special.

  • Okosh August 6, 2021, 7:34 PM

    Fantastic set. I just wish they included the seagull and the captain hat. I hope it will be available on bricklink for reasonable prices.

  • Pepper August 7, 2021, 11:48 AM

    I love this set. Very pretty. But I agree with others that it should have been a regular Ideas set. I can’t justify spending $200 just to get it.

  • jabber-baby-wocky August 7, 2021, 12:03 PM

    I got it and built it this morning! This is a fantastic set and I love every detail. For those of you who were worried if it is top-heavy; the small waterscape underneath the boat keeps it very stable. I even removed the water, and it was still very stable. I love everything about it!

  • Henry August 7, 2021, 12:37 PM

    I wonder how heavy is the sail. Could this technique be used for larger ships with larger sails? I like the cleanness of it and that it’s all Lego. I never really liked cloth pieces. It’s kind of cheating.

  • John Oakes August 7, 2021, 8:21 PM

    My son and I just received this set as a GWP while buying the 1989 Batwing set, and we love it! It’s remarkably large and detailed for a gifted set, and fun to build. What a difference to have a brick v cloth sail!

  • mr. marmelade August 7, 2021, 10:38 PM

    Love, love, love this set! I really like they made it minifig scale and it fits nicely in a city harbor. Not too big, not too small. And like others said, the brickbuilt sail is great! I hope Lego hears our feedback and will make such sets available for purchase. Not every Ideas set has to cost hundreds of dollars. Give us some small ones like this!

  • xavier August 8, 2021, 10:34 AM

    Nice! Does the boat has any special parts or colors? Or can we build it from our own collection?

    • Thita (admin) August 8, 2021, 1:49 PM

      Hm… the only exclusive part is the torso for the male minifig, as far as I can tell. All other parts are pretty standard.

  • Bill September 1, 2021, 2:26 AM

    Guys check out Speedy BuildsAllThis on YouTube. He’s my friend’s cousin and he’s just getting started! His first two videos were really good

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