If ever proof were needed that you can’t put too much stock in rumours, here are 11 LEGO stories that didn’t pan out as expected in 2021.
Whenever new rumours emerge around LEGO sets, you’ll notice that we always run them with a disclaimer that they should be taken with a grain of salt. That’s not only because we don’t want to get sued, but also because so many of them inevitably turn out to be false – even when they come from previously-reliable sources.
As part of our year in review series looking back over 2021, we’ve compiled a list of all the rumours that came our way this year, but never materialised as expected. It’s a cautionary tale in numbered form, and a timely reminder to not always believe everything you read on the internet.
11 – A new Fairground Collection set
In May, word hit the LEGO streets that product number 10291 would belong to a new addition to the Fairground Collection, following rather immediately in the footsteps of last year’s 10273 Haunted House. That felt a little out of left field, because that particular Creator Expert (now LEGO for Adults) subtheme is by no means guaranteed a slot in the annual calendar, in the same way as – for example – the Modular Buildings Collection.
Quelle surprise, then, when the LEGO Group revealed 10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft in September. Okay, yes, that set was genuinely surprising in its own right, but given rumours had already pointed to a price tag of $99.99, we weren’t at all shocked to learn this particular Fairground Collection set was not to be.
10 – A huge Harry Potter chess set
Among a packed summer for the LEGO Harry Potter theme – celebrating its 20th anniversary, no less – it’s easy to forget that we did actually get a brand new chess set. More specifically, 76392 Hogwarts Wizard’s Chess, an 876-piece build that retails for £64.99 / $59.99 / €69.99. But rumours originally billed it as something much, much bigger.
In March, a typically-reliable Instagram user conflated product number 76391 with 76392, attaching a potential $249.99 price tag to the chess set. That would probably have been enough to give us a minifigure-scale version of the giant wizard’s chess scene from the climax of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but in the end we got 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors’ Edition, which is arguably way more interesting.
9 – A new NINJAGO modular building
When the LEGO Group resurrected its dormant NINJAGO modular building subtheme in 2021 with 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens, the community consensus (after singing its praises) was basically: what next? Would the buck stop here again, leaving 70620 NINJAGO City and 70657 NINJAGO City Docks as the only other two sets in a near-perfect trio, or would we see annual instalments to match the regular Modular Buildings Collection?
And for a couple of months, signs looked positive that 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens would indeed get a follow-up set in 2022, albeit on a smaller scale. In July, reports surfaced of a $120 modular-style NINJAGO set arriving next year, containing around 1,300 pieces. A fresh list of rumoured NINJAGO sets then arrived in September, with no mention of that building. That’s not to say it couldn’t still launch later in 2022, but things aren’t looking promising…
8 – Elvis and Batman LEGO Art sets
If you can believe it, rumours of Elvis- and Batman-themed additions to the LEGO Art line-up first surfaced all the way back in October 2020, at the same time as initial reports of 31203 World Map. While the latter mosaic eventually materialised, however, we’ve seen nothing of the other two so far.
A separate rumour in September this year has now pegged the Caped Crusader’s first LEGO Art set for an early 2022 release, titled 31205 DC Collection Batman. So while this is one rumour that turned out to be false insofar as a 2021 launch, it could yet happen – although the jury’s still out on Elvis.
7 – Peach’s Castle
Even if these rumours all turned out to be false, it’s pretty easy to draw a connection between the early reports and the finished products in some cases – such as with 71395 Super Mario 64 Question Mark Block, which was originally thought to be a microscale rendition of Peach’s Castle.
In the end, that’s exactly what it is: but it’s also a whole lot more, recreating multiple microscale Super Mario 64 levels (including Peach’s Castle!) inside a giant, fold-away Question Mark Block. (One more twist in the tale: mysterious white masonry bricks were said to be a hint towards the veracity of this rumour, but eventually appeared in 10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft instead.)
6 – A new landmark
Back when 10294 Titanic was just 10294, the rumour mill churned out a suggestion that it could be a brand new landmark, in the vein of 10256 Taj Mahal or 10276 Colosseum. That conjured up all sorts of possibilities, from a remake of 10181 Eiffel Tower to something entirely new for the LEGO Group.
And, fair play, the final product was something genuinely brand new – but you probably can’t classify the Titanic as a landmark (unless it’s the two halves at the bottom of the ocean), so we’re chalking this one up as a falsehood.
5 – A Quidditch accessory pack
After years of only Gryffindor and Slytherin going to bat aboard broomsticks, the LEGO Group finally delivered some Quidditch representation for Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw in 75978 Diagon Alley. But procuring enough torsos to kit out an entire team is a pricey prospect at £369.99 a pop, so Potter fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when rumours of a Quidditch accessory pack (featuring all four houses) arrived online.
That joy was quickly extinguished, however, when 40500 Wizarding World Minifigure Accessory Set came along and spoiled the party. You can still stock up on Hufflepuff torsos in a book released this year (hey, it’s cheaper than 75978 Diagon Alley), but Ravenclaw fans are bang out of luck.
4 – A Star Destroyer GWP
The long-rumoured 75313 AT-AT arrived on Black Friday as expected, but its accompanying gift-with-purchase – available only to early adopters of the overwhelmingly large 6,785-piece walker – turned out a little differently. Initial reports described the freebie as a midi-scale Star Destroyer, complete with an Imperial officer minifigure.
Instead, the Ultimate Collector Series set launched with 40483 Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber, the second buildable hilt in a series established by last year’s 5006290 Yoda’s Lightsaber. To be fair, either one of those gifts would have made sense for the AT-AT, but we’d have liked to have seen a more easily-displayed flagship than 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer.
3 – New Captain Rex and Commander Cody minifigures
News of the first-ever LEGO Star Wars accessory packs set the internet alight earlier this year, even when we had absolutely no other details to go on. Just imagine the frenzy, then, when word popped up that two characters we haven’t seen in minifigure form for over a decade would be in the mix – especially when the LEGO Group had already passed up one chance to deliver one of them in 75309 Republic Gunship.
Ultimately, claims that Commander Cody and Captain Rex would arrive in 40558 Clone Trooper Command Station proved to be unfounded, although given both that set and 40557 Defence of Hoth are clearly intended as semi-replacements for LEGO Star Wars battle packs at their classic $15 price point, throwing in unnamed characters makes way more sense.
2 – A Creator Expert-scale DeLorean
In another rumour that could yet come to fruition in some form in 2022 – at least if recent reports are anything to go by – a Creator Expert-scale DeLorean was originally said to be arriving this year, with product number 10290. But as we now know, that product number belongs to 10290 Pickup Truck, the LEGO Group’s first unlicensed vehicle at that scale.
We could definitely envisage a brand new Back to the Future set (after 2013’s 21103 The DeLorean Time Machine) in the same price range, though, following in the tyre tracks of 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 – itself a supersized version of Ideas set 21108 Ghostbusters ECTO-1. Watch this space.
1 – An 11,000-piece Death Star
Remember January 2021, when (almost completely accurate) rumours of the LEGO Star Wars portfolio for the entire year landed online? Good times. But at least one of those initial reports was way off the mark, because as far as we know – and we’d like to think we’re pretty in the loop when it comes to LEGO – we haven’t had an 11,000-piece Death Star this year.
Instead, 2021’s $799.99 set turned out to be 75313 AT-AT, which weighs in at considerably fewer parts (6,785 in total). That’s probably for the best: can you imagine just how expensive an 11,000-piece LEGO Star Wars set would be? Still, we’d love to see another Death Star – maybe one that combines the play and display versions. It’d justify the part count…
We’ve already heard plenty of rumours around potential new LEGO sets all the way up to summer 2022, and we’ll doubtless hear plenty more – but as this list proves, best to take those with a pinch of salt until confirmed otherwise.