The live-action version of The Little Mermaid hits theatres on May 26th, and to commemorate the movie, Lego is releasing one of the most intriguing sets I’ve seen: The Little Mermaid Royal Clamshell #43225. Pre-orders are open for this $159.99, five-minifigure, 1808-piece set. VIP members can own this set on 5/1, with the general public able to snag it from 5/4.
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The clamshell scene comes alive with five minifigures and two character molds – all based on the live-action version of this story. Before highlighting all the beautiful prints and designs, I want to express my sadness that Flounder isn’t bright yellow. I understand that live-action remakes cannot have as vibrant a color palate as an animated picture, but it’s still disappointing to see Flounder as primarily black and white. Of course, this has nothing to do with Lego; they must make their sets match the licensed material.
My favorite minifigure has to be Ursula, with that fantastic leg piece. It’s an unusual and remarkable recreation. Her top half looks to have some great print details too. Her expression and make-up are on point for the character too.
The mermaid tails are beautiful. I adore how they have a flat bottom to stand with the fins fanning off to the side. Each mermaid has exceptional print detail, and I love how each has different colored fins. The torsos are as you would expect with matching printing, but nothing I’m overly excited about.
Oddly, we get two sisters. Including all seven sisters would make this set expensive, and the scene would be crowded. As I haven’t seen the movie, these two sisters might be the most prominent in the film and explain their selection.
King Titan is a stand-out minifigure with a unique ‘leg” piece, arm printing, and a striking molded hair piece with his crown. The way Lego designed his bottom – so he has fins but stands – is extraordinary and allows him to stand a bit taller than his daughters. I love his trident too.
While it is sad that Sebastian is a generic crab mold and Flounder isn’t the traditional color, they are lovely inclusions on the set. I doubt I could be as interested in the set if it weren’t for Flounder (yes, he’s my favorite character from the movie).
Whether you like this set or not, you cannot argue that it is a departure from typical Lego sets. Its individuality caught my eye and is what has made this set grow on me since the first images leaked. At first, it didn’t hold much interest until I saw the details and determined it would be a great feature in an underwater scene. For others, it is fantastic that this can be self-contained on a shelf. It does remind me of a Ploy Pocket from my youth.
Lego has included many elements – with considerable coral, flowers, and accessories that came up in the movie, e.g., sexton, a fork, and a teapot. Including a hairbrush is hilarious (as in the film, she brushes her hair with a fork).
The use of transparent mounts and rods gives this set a dynamic style, though I hope the rods are less evident in person as they draw the eye in the official images.
The design is compact, meaning almost every stud is decorated. Having Ursula’s den at the bottom and Tritan on top increased playability as you have two locations in one.
Part usage looks clever and exciting; surely, this will be a fascinating build where I will learn a lot.
While I increasingly love the look of the set, I may need to modify it with a few bright pieces to lift it from the background.
From the packaging, it is clear Lego is aiming this set at AFOLs, hoping to ignite our nostalgia. The 18+ style packing is gorgeous and helps consumers know this is a technical build unsuitable for junior builders.
It’s a wise marketing strategy.
The set is inspiring and shows me something different with Lego. I am constantly amazed by what Lego can create and adore being surprised by the innovation in these new builds.
While this won’t be a day-one purchase, as my underwater area doesn’t exist – I will pick this up once I start to create that scene.
Will you be picking up this unique set? Let me know in the comments below!
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