LEGO Elves – one of those themes that I Love, but the macho part of me stops me buying. Luckily I have two daughters and bingo I have my excuse to buy the theme. I mean look at the transparent and colourful pieces that are on offer surely I’m not the only guy who can’t resist? For this review I’ve jumped straight into the deep end and picked up LEGO Elves Ragana’s Magic Shadow Castle 41180.
The set is simply stunning in a gothic, colourful and evil way and incorporates a lot of play features to keep young minds active and imagining the fantasy Elve realm.
The set includes 999 pieces, 3 x minifigure dolls and retails at AUD $149.99 / USD $99.99 / GBP £74.99. Note – prices are based on the LEGO online shop and it’s worth noting with Christmas and Black Friday sales you should be able to pick this set up a lot cheaper.
The contents include 7 x bags, fabric capes, sticker sheet and a big fat instruction booklet.
First up we start with Aira Windwhistler minifigure doll (for those that don’t know she is the one that sings really badly to summon the wind). While I’m not a fan of the minifigure dolls, if it encourages my daughter to get stuck in I’m happy they have a place in the LEGO world! The printed detail is great and we get a new longer cape and molded head hood that is unique to the set. I also love the hourglass accessory and hair piece as an alternative.
Next off the rank is Naida Riverheart who controls the water. She has the same crazy detail printing and comes with a book accessory, which interestingly highlights a purple dragon more aligned to Aira?!
To complete bag 1 we have our first build item and It’s Aira’s catapult used by the Elves to aid storming the magic shadow castle. The one thing I like with Elves over Friends is the complexity associated with the sets. Elves utilises a lot more Technic pieces and is more complex – great for little minds!
Now onto the main castle build via bag 2. The build is started by laying out the foundations and a cool little entrance mechanism (more later).
Bag three continues with the main build and completion of the ground floor. The colour scheme is sensational and kinda of reminds me of classic space with the transparent yellow and green pieces (in this instance representing crystals). The combination is a sickly gothic mix that is a perfect representation of Ragana’s witch Elves powers.
Bag 4 and will progress to the first level of the castle and tree branch walkway. The arched room is the setting for Ragana’s master bedroom. Back to the main entrance and push the steps forward and the door opens with the walkway connecting the to the internal lobby.
Now onto the Ragana minifigure doll – the first protagonist in LEGO Elves. The evil witch Elve Ragana is keeping the baby princess dragon locked up in her castle. She has a great smirk face that kinda suggests don’t mess with me I’m evil, but not too scary to scare kids off.
Bag 5 and we get the baby princess dragon and glittery blue egg. Took a while to get this picture, as my daughter and son were fighting over the egg and baby dragon. The detail and contrast between opaque and transparent plastic on the baby dragon is brilliant and works extremely well.
Continuing with bag 5 completes the second floor and the potion mixing balcony. Reviewing from the rear and Ragana has all the modern amenities to live comfortable, Bedroom, lounge and a bathroom fit for an evil Elve. The detail is awesome and the inclusion of stickers adds to the finishing touches.
Bag 6 and what does every evil Elve need but a prison cell. This is incorporated into the foundation of the castle carved into the bedrock next to a running stream surrounded by more of the sickly crystals. The prison cell comes with a cleverly designed trap door mechanism to surprise unsuspecting victims.
Onto the final bag 7 and we complete the with Ragana’s throng room, conveniently placed above the prison cell and trap door. Ragana’s cat – Jinx also makes an appearance (standard Friends Cat with rune printing).
What can I say I really enjoyed building this set and loved watching the hours of enjoyment my daughter and son got from playing with it. LEGO have done a great job capturing the LEGO Elves theme and lots of playability elements within the build. The colour scheme is garish, but works well with Ragana’s story and magic. If all else fails and my children lose interest, just think of all the wonderful elements that can be incorporated into future MOCs!
Final Rating: 10 out of 10