LEGO Ideas has been a home for unique and even eclectic content that is unlike anything that the LEGO Group normally produces in the standard product line. This has served as a source of delight for many fans with properties and sets that would never be released otherwise. 21313 Ship in a Bottle certainly continues that tradition in the same vein as 2016’s 21305 Maze did before it, offering a unique build that differs from a standard LEGO set. Unlike that product however, this is not really meant to be played with.
It seems that traditional, sea faring inspired sets are proving popular with LEGO Ideas users, as 21313 Ship in a Bottle is following fairly close behind 21310 Old Fishing Store. It is easy to imagine that this could sit nicely on the shelf alongside the rustic looking building that was one of the highlights of last year’s LEGO product portfolio. One of the positive moves that the LEGO Ideas team has made in the last 18 months is the increase in set size, as it allows for some very impressive models.
There are some LEGO sets that really need to be seen in person to make a valid judgement on them, and it seems that Ship in a Bottle is such a set. Some products look really great on paper but in reality are very different. Believe it or not, 6991 Monorail Transport Base, the object of plenty of 1990s LEGO fan desire, was such a set for me. I pined after it for years, but when it finally came time to own and build it, I was underwhelmed. Conversely, there have been other sets like the recent 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V, that did not really impress me until I held its sizeable bulk in my hands. In looking at these initial images I can not say for sure which camp 21313 is going to fall into, I am going to need to get my hands on it.
The aspect that it hardest to get a handle on at this stage is how the bottle will look, as although it seems to have a nice shape, where the bricks are connected may spoil the ability to see the ship inside. This is the key thing that only building and seeing the model in person will determine.
What can be said is that the LEGO Group has definitely preserved the essence of the original Ideas project from Jacob Sadovich, right down to the globes and the insignia on the sails, originally created using old Castle flags. The ship itself is of course smaller than minifigure scale, but is not in micro scale, making it look like a worthwhile build in and of itself. As well as the bottle, a stand for it is built from bricks designed to look as if carved from wood, so although this is not a low priced set, it does look like good value for money. Fans who voted on this set to bring it into existence are unlikely to be disappointed with the final product.