LEGO Botanical Collection 10281 Bonsai Review and Gallery

10281 Bonsai Tree might have been a gimmick, but it’s more of a LEGO Botanical Collection set that offers a captivating insight into a disciplined art form.

As a complex art form that requires discipline, culture and attention to detail, there are plenty of bonsai trees that translate perfectly into the world of LEGO building for adults. For years, fan designers have tried to capture the practice of growing small trees in containers in LEGO form, and with them evolving into more adult-oriented sets, it was somewhat inevitable that the LEGO Group would seek also to introduce the discipline into the LEGO world. .

This comes in the form of 10281 Bonsai Tree, a 2-in-1 model measuring 19cm tall (including stand), which – spread across 878 pieces – offers all the intricacy and contemplation you’ve come to expect from a LEGO bonsai tree. .

Theme: LEGO Botanical Collection Set name: 10281 Bonsai Exit: January 1, 2021

Price: £44.99 / $49.99 / €49.99 Rooms: 878 Frogs: 101

LEGO: Available now

Bonsai is considered an art form, where the artist/producer uses cultivation techniques to grow a miniature version of a tree in a shallow container or tray. The practice involves seeding, growing, cutting and shaping to accepted shapes and proportions and to the particular design tastes of the artist.

It is a practice that requires patience, ingenuity and commitment, and its purpose for viewers is that of contemplation. Although growing miniature trees means that no two bonsai trees are the same, all bonsai trees generally follow a set of five aesthetic principles for their design:

  1. Miniaturization
  2. Proportion between elements
  3. Asymmetry
  4. No trace of the artist (if a branch is cut, it cannot leave a scar)
  5. Poignant (expressing Wabi-sabi, the acceptance of appreciating beauty that is ‘imperfect, impermanent and incomplete’)

Considering the design that was used to create 10281 Bonsai Tree, as well as the builder’s experience in assembling the set and the final display model that stands in front of you when complete, there is has much to admire and appreciate. .

The LEGO set captures the look, style and overall aesthetic of a bonsai tree through a clean, angular and detailed construction. It’s not the longest building process, but it’s one that demands a closer eye both for the details included and for the rather hard-to-see difference between the two shades of brown from which the tree is built and the two shades of green, the main option for leaves is composed. If there’s one area to criticize, it’s that it’s not a colorblind-friendly set of instructions.

That aside, however, there are a number of steps along the way to making this model that will impress even the most seasoned LEGO fans, in part for the simplicity of how these effective techniques were put together. carried out.

All in all, assembling 10281 Bonsai Tree is exactly as you would expect – involved and smart, also requiring a bit more focus than you would otherwise expect. With the acknowledgment of fan-designed bonsai trees from previous years, the LEGO set also overcomes a particular sticking point for many – the sheer fragility of balancing the leaves as widely as possible while maintaining the intended slender shape. This is a solid model with adjustable (and removable) temples, but firm in connection.

This is a set that also comes with the added bonus of a 2-in-1 function, offering the parts and instructions to replace the leaves with a cherry blossom-inspired pink variety. Either option looks great on screen and switching between the two is very simple.

And the display is where this set will sit, whether on a desk, shelf, or coffee table. It is a subtle yet visually striking design, capturing the complex yet traditional form of bonsai, from the curvature of the main body, to the twists of the branches and the wide spread of the leaves as they tower over the tray and stand. For the way the model is seated, it carries much of the same aesthetic as real bonsai trees. The construction may not have been as involved or disciplined as is required to grow a real bonsai, but the end result is just as impressive when in brick form.

For what 10281 Bonsai Tree is a 1:1 scale construction of a bonsai tree, it is not suitable for minifigures. Put a minifigure next to it, though, and it’s the most complex life-size tree at minifigure scale.

Not a figure set, though.

10281 Bonsai Tree is an authentic LEGO model produced through an involved and intelligent construction process. It captures so much of the essence of a real bonsai on a believable scale, with the flexibility of two models to choose between and the care process far less involved than that of a real one.

A price tag of £44.99 / $49.99 / €49.99 for something relatively small might seem steep, but, for the complexity, respect for the source material and the amount of design expertise that has been invested in this set, there is more to enjoy and enjoy than just face evaluate. 10281 Bonsai Tree might not be the first set you buy in 2021, but it should be the first you won’t miss before it hits the shelves. It’s a one-of-a-kind LEGO set in so many ways.

10281 Bonsai Tree is going to be popular with LEGO fans and a wider adult audience. It captures the core values ​​and principles of bonsai growing in a LEGO set in a way that’s both accessible to new builders and engaging for seasoned fans.

It could so easily have been a gimmick of a set released to simply capitalize on the interest in bonsai trees and to attract those who would otherwise harbor only a superficial level of dedication and effort to what is an art form. While 10281 Bonsai Tree does indeed provide a much more accessible and time-saving experience of a discipline that would otherwise require a great deal of time and scrutiny, it’s also a package that reflects a well-researched and respectful design process.

Every aspect of construction captures details that should be appreciated and appreciated in bonsai. You can’t grow your own LEGO, but you can use it in smart, efficient and engaging ways, and The LEGO Group demonstrates how in the most appropriate way with 10281 Bonsai Tree.

It’s a model that cleverly comes together to create a touching final piece that pays a beautiful tribute not only to the look of a real bonsai, but as much as it can to the practice and art form. what is also the bonsai.

We highly recommend checking out the instruction booklet on what some of the LEGO design team came up with for more inspiration too…

This set has been provided for review by The LEGO Group.

10281 Bonsai Tree is available on from 1 January 2021 – support the work that Brick Fanatics done by purchasing your LEGO through one of our affiliate links.

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