Tuesday, October 9, 2018

REVIEW: LEGO 40320: Plants Made from Plants

It's been awhile since I've opened up any new LEGO to review (or old LEGO for that matter)!  However, I did make a purchase a month or two ago mostly because I wanted to get my hands on the "freebie" giveaway set:  LEGO 40320:  Plants Made from Plants.

For as long as I can remember, I've been a sucker for LEGO greenery - as a kid I always wanted to buy the classic trees and flowers pack (but I never did find it in a store near me).  Flash forward a couple of decades and I finally got the chance to get my own version of a plants pack - and as an added bonus, this time around the plants are made from plastic using sugarcane. 

LEGO claims that they will switch over to using all sustainable materials in core products and packaging by the year 2030 and this plant pack represents their first step in that direction. 

Enough of the packaging though, let's get into the box itself.  Now, I will admit that part of me cringed when ripping open this box (I imagine it will be a fairly good one to "tuck away" for a rainy day) but I'm not one for leaving my LEGO unopened.  Plus, this was my chance to finally get my own plants pack!

Inside the box, we find a pair of paper pamphlets and two plastic bags of pieces.  I'll get to the pieces in a second, but first the pamphlets.

For whatever reason, my box contained two pamphlets but they are exactly the same.  I imagine that I simply got "lucky" and scored two pieces of paper.  The pamphlet itself tells a quick story about LEGO's sustainability project and goals but otherwise is fairly nondescript. 

I should note that the nice tree you see in the image cannot be built with the pieces in the box.  In fact, only the lime green small branches are even included in the box (which is a shame)!  I keep most things LEGO related but I didn't find either pamphlet worth holding on to.  That's fine of course since it's the pieces that make or break the set so let's take a look at what you get.

Like I said earlier, there are two plastic bags in the box.  With only 29 pieces in total, neither bag holds a lot but I do think the overall mix was decent.  In the first bag, you get 4 of the aforementioned lime green small branches plus 16 of the three-leaf pieces.

In the second bag, you get a pair of small pine trees, three of the bushes, and 4 small palm branches.  I can never seem to get enough of the trees and bushes (in particular) so I'm obviously happy with this haul.  In fact, getting 29 plant pieces for free (with purchase) is a rather good deal in my book.  The box itself "lists" for about $5 which probably isn't all that much more than what it would cost you to get the pieces from a site like Brinklink (after shipping).

Overall, while I wouldn't necessarily buy a ton of these boxes, I am happy to have acquired one for my collection.  The new plant-based plastic seems to be virtually indistinguishable from the old ABS plastic plants - so much so that I'm going to simply dump these plant pieces in with all of my others.  That along makes me believe that LEGO will probably make good on their sustainability initiative!

The Bottom Line (out of 10):
Fun:  1
Play Value:  1
Kid Value:  2
Adult Value:  3
Overall:  2

In the end, this is sort of a tough set to review.  The price per part is a bit high (if you consider this as a $5 set) and there isn't really anything much that you can actually build with the included parts (no stems, sticks, or other pieces are included).  For kids, the play value is virtually nonexistent - there's nothing to actually do here.  I also think the kid value is definitely in the eye of the beholder (myself as a kid, I would have loved this box but I don't think most kids would feel that way).  For adults, the novelty is the fact that the pieces are made from actual plants...but in the end you can't really tell (which is the point) but it maeks for a slightly overpriced box of plant bits.  Even worse, the most common element (the three-leaf plants) seem to show up on the LEGO pick-a-brick wall fairly often...and you get can get a TON of them in a single cup for a lot less cost-per-part if you are so inclined.

That leaves me in a weird spot where the individual grades for the set are all rather low (as is the overall grade) and yet I personally still like the set (such as it is).  I can't recommend buying it, but for a freebie set from LEGO we could definitely have done much worse!

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