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An interesting new gift-with-purchase set will be available starting later this week; the #40690 LEGO Tribute to Jules Verne’s Books.

The 351-piece set measures over 4 in. (11 cm) high, 6 in. (15 cm) wide, and 5.5 in (14 cm) deep, and includes details from three of Verne’s most beloved novels; Around the World in Eighty Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Five Weeks in a Balloon. The set also features a Jules Verne minifigure.

The set should be available as a gift-with-purchase freebie between June 21st and June 30th, but it is not yet known what will be the minimum purchase requirement. So if you’re interested, watch for updates at the Online LEGO Shop.

I quite like these historical freebies. You might remember that we also got the #40291 LEGO Creative Personalities in memory of Hans Christian Andersen, and the #40450 LEGO Amelia Earhart Tribute (both released in  2018), and the #40530 LEGO Jane Goodall Tribute released in 2022.

What do you think? How do you like these historical LEGO freebies? What other historical characters and/or scenes would you like to see in the collection? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!

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(Written by William)

Normally, I’ve not been too keen on the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 sets. But for whatever reason, this year I’ve found myself picking up more of them than any other year before. Perhaps it has to do with how innovative the parts have become? I remember the days when LEGO Creator 3-in-1 sets were rarely more than standard bricks, plates, and slopes. But now they are a lot more interesting with a greater variety of parts and techniques.

I did find sections of the #31153 LEGO Creator Modern House rather simple. Place a giant window here, a skinny brick there, and another big window there, and most of the room is done. The good news is that this made getting to the interesting parts easier and faster. I came away with a sizable model that valued my time, which I found rather refreshing. I also found a couple of innovative building techniques, so let’s look at those before I give my final thoughts on the set.


One thing I learned over the years when building large display models is that making giant creations that are one solid piece is a bad idea. This puts a massive strain on the LEGO elements. This becomes especially apparent when you try to move the model. Plus, if you build dense, the model can get heavy.

The simplest solution to this is to build modularly. This is a different type of modularity than what you find in the popular LEGO Modular Buildings series. Those are built modularly for the express purpose of having access – or as I like to put it – for play.

The LEGO Creator Modern House gives us an example of using modularity differently. The model is separated into clearly defined sections. Once a section is done, it clicks together, usually with LEGO Technic pins at the bottom, and then the sections are sealed together at the top.

A nice feature is that this model demonstrates how to build solid connections with sturdy friction pins on the house and half pins and half axles on the front area. This is important since sometimes you might have large thin sections that do not have a lot of weight. In those cases, trying to line up and connect friction pins might be impossible and kind of unnecessary. Either way, you look at it, this model is a great example when you’re looking to upscale one of your own creations.


I absolutely love the furniture in this model. Mind you, it’s not a style I’d ever want for my home, but each piece is dripping with character. The bold color choices and the strong sense of geometric shapes really give character to the home.

This is important because if you take all these pieces away, the house is quite boring. It may have an odd design element or two, but in general, it’s a lot of glass and straight lines. The high visibility allows these interior pieces to play a much bigger role in the overall look. This is because these interior elements are chosen to draw the eye. Compared to many other buildings I’ve built, this one is actually pretty empty. However, it doesn’t feel empty.

In short, this is one of those techniques where less is more. By choosing bold interior elements that stand out, you can fill the space without crowding it. Many times, I try to cram as much detail as possible only to find that I’ve ruined the effect I was going for. Too many small details put too close together can make it very hard to appreciate anything much less see some clever design.


This turned out to be a much more interesting set than I was expecting. Although I wouldn’t call it a modern house, it feels more like a vacation home. There is just something about this building that doesn’t give off a home vibe, but rather a beachfront property you might rent. This is not bad, it’s just something I noticed.

As for the parts, this is a solid set. Sometimes it can be hard to source a good number of large windows, but this set has plenty of them. Pieces are also in a variety of neutral colors, for the most part, so it makes a decent parts pack.

And as for the build, it is simple. In fact, I think the age rating of 9+ might be set a tad high. However, there are some smart designs in the model. The lawn chairs feel fresh and new, clipping on the second-floor sidewall is interesting, and the palm trees are nicely done. Also, the model is a good size, so you feel like you’re getting a substantial building for your money. Overall, I wasn’t as disappointed with the building experience as I thought I might have been.

In the end, the impression I’m left with is that this is a classy place. It manages to do this not by being gaudy or over-elaborate, but by its simple choices. There are features in this home that I would shake my head at if this was a real building, thinking that they are totally impractical, but home makeover shows often feature such design elements and often cost a ridiculous amount of money. And for that silly reason, this set is pretty awesome. In the video below, I talk a bit more about the set.

There are also two alternate models; a 3-story city building with a hot tub room and rooftop terrace, and a forest cabin with an opening roof. For everything you get, I feel that the $99.99 price tag is reasonable. If you want to check it out, is already available in some countries and will be available in North America later this summer at the LEGO Creator section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Creator Modern House? Do you have this set already? Or plant to get it? And what do you think of the building techniques we discussed here? Are there any other interesting techniques you noticed in the set? Feel free to share your thoughts and own reviews in the comment section below!

And you might also like to check out the following related posts: