Coming in at 1,173 pieces and measuring 47cm tall, there’s no missing the third instalment in the LEGO Group’s Botanical Collection series of plant and flower-inspired models, 10289 Bird Of Paradise, which is available at LEGO.com right now.
Our in-depth review considers all aspects to this detailed depiction of the Bird of Paradise plant, but here are the real things you need to know about this set, complete with our verdicts on whether they are annoying, great, or a bit of both.
1 – It’s very realistic
Honestly, once complete and sat on a book shelf, coffee table, or – let’s face it – your table covered in other LEGO bits and pieces, there’s no denying the authentic nature of 10289 Bird Of Paradise. Walking past it or catching a glance of it will highlight how remarkably this model will trick the eye. Through the colours, composition and overall design, there’s a real authenticity to this LEGO set.
Annoying or Great? Great!
2 – It’s quite expensive
We weren’t expecting the set to cost quite so much. Even so, when measured against a piece count of 1,173, a charge of £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 is still fairly reasonable, particularly for those who will be drawn to the set anyway – there’s very little that will disappoint them.
For the rest of us, though, it’s a price that feels at least £10 too much, particularly during these early days for the theme where many will be considering this or a similarly-priced set from any number of more familiar themes. Plus, it’s twice as much as both previous Botanical Collection sets…
Annoying or Great? Annoying! This set deserves to find as many new builders as possible – it’s that good – but the price will stop a fair few.
3 – It’s best viewed from one side only
For the expertise that has gone into designing this masterpiece of a plant-based LEGO set, it is admittedly fairly limited in display options. The large leaves are placed in various heights around the sides and back of the three central flowers, purposefully arranged so as to accentuate that central multi-coloured trio.
It results in a model that is very heavily front-facing, with any other view looking a little less impressive, particularly from the back. That being said, surely there’s some similarity here with how the real-life plant can look and be arranged for display in a pot?
Annoying or Great? A bit of both…
4 – The build is a bit boring
Who imagined that a childhood of building LEGO fire stations, castles and Batmobiles would lead to an adult life building LEGO plant pots and stalks and leaves? Putting together sets like 10289 Bird Of Paradise is part of being a grown-up now, so you best enjoy the far more responsible way the LEGO Group has you sophisticatedly interlocking that system together, even if it makes for one of the more boring build experiences.
Annoying or Great? Annoying!
5 – The leaves wobble
Designer Chris McVeigh comments in the instruction booklet for 10289 Bird Of Paradise about one of his favourite features of the set, in how ‘the model sways just like a real plant when placed in a light breeze’. We’ll agree to differ on what a light breeze is, Chris, but generally speaking, there is some real flex in how the stalks of the model are built.
It means that, whilst it remains a very sturdy build, any nudge and the leaves will wobble around and move, just like the real thing. That’s if you nudge it. If you want the wind to move it, we’d advise something a bit stronger than a light breeze…
Annoying or Great? Great!
6 – There could have been more colour options
The model is very muted in colour until you get to the Bird of Paradise flowers themselves, where the palette really opens up. The flowers draw the eye and are the most immediately interesting aspect to the model.
For consideration of that, and the price and piece count of 10289 Bird Of Paradise, we can’t help but wonder how much more impressive the model could have been with the inclusion of some alternative colours of the flower pieces.
The orange, purple and red combination looks fantastic, but imagine being given the option to swap them out for the eye-catching colours of other varieties of the flower. Orange is the most common colour to see the Bird of Paradise in, but there are also varieties in white, yellow and red.
Annoying or Great? For the price of the set, annoying!
7 – It’s not real
We’re not getting existential here, there is a spoon and this is a real LEGO set. But as realistic as it may look, it’s not a real Bird of Paradise plant, and the benefit of not having to water it or worry about how big it can grow is pretty relevant.
Real Bird of Paradise plants require moist, well-drained soil and can grow anywhere from 1.2m in height to 1.5m, though there are variants that can reach 1.83m in height. That’s 6ft, which is 3in taller than the average UK male and 9in taller than the average UK female.
The real thing is taller than the average AFOL, that’s what we’re saying. Stick with the LEGO one that’s 47cm.
Annoying or Great? Great!
Overall, we have to say that 10289 Bird Of Paradise is pretty great. It’s an authentic and interesting LEGO model that continues to challenge what we know building with the brick to be. Plus, the leaves wobble.
You can read the full review and enjoy a complete image gallery here.