LEGO 40590 Houses of the World 2 gift-with-purchase review

The next LEGO gift-with-purchase will be available from April 1, with 40590 Houses of the World 2 continuing the new series of microscale builds.

Back in January 2023 the LEGO Group revealed a new VIP GWP in the shape of 40583 Houses of the World 1. Confirmed to be the first in a series of such microscale models, the themed set offered members a small 348-piece Central American home free with spends over £220 / $250 / €250.

Now the next limited-edition model in the series has been unveiled, with 40590 Houses of the World 2 available from April 1 through to April 9 with purchases online and in-store of £180 / $200 / €200. The LEGO Group has confirmed that the previous price threshold has been lowered for the rest of the Houses of the World collection, following fan feedback regarding 40583 Houses of the World 1.

Update: a second source at TLG has suggested that the threshold will remain £220 / $250 / €250. Watch this space…

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This time around the LEGO Group appears to have taken its inspiration for the next microscale architectural set from traditional North African dwellings. 40590 Houses of the World 2 offers a two-storey modular build measuring approximately 11.5cm tall, 9.5cm wide and 9cm deep, with the rear of the set open for easy access. The model is constructed in two separate sections, which can be combined or removed as required.

The lower floor boasts sandy-coloured elements for the outer walls, with additional pieces in various shades of brown (and even teal) to complement the exterior walls. The front of the house includes a small plant and a balcony on top of a white archway, the latter offering a view through one of the nine Arabian-style windows dotted around the model.

The main door to the dwelling takes the One Ring element and repurposes it as a shiny gold door handle, plus there’s a tiny table complete with a lantern coffee pot and a cup filled with an exotic orange liquid that looks ready to be tasted. The overall appearance seems to accurately reflect the original architectural style, plus it’s not hard to imagine a slightly larger version of the set looking right at home with an Indiana Jones or Sallah minifigure.

Moving around the left-hand side of 40590 Houses of the World 2 reveals an impressive palm tree, which can be repositioned as required, as well as a creeping vine and leaves growing up the side of the building. The exterior of the lower floor is rounded out by decorative floor and wall pieces, which combine white and sand-coloured elements with patterned stickers.

The interior of the abode offers plenty of detail, especially considering the overall size of 40590 Houses of the World 2. The ground floor features a small brick-built cabinet, a tiny piano in one corner, two purple seats and a brown table complete with patterned sticker on top.

The upper portion of the build includes just as much detail as the lower section, with the exterior walls the same overall sandy colour and a handful of stickers used for simple decorations. More Arabian-style windows can be peeked through, and a golden lantern is hung on the left-hand side of the building. The roof area is decorated with white 1×1 double slope pieces, as well as a small flowerbed, tiled floor and even a few items of washing drying on a tiny clothes line, which is a fun touch.

Heading into the upper room reveals a simple-yet-effective lamp hanging from the ceiling, with a teal couch in one corner, a tiny plant pot, a brick-built bed and cabinet, and a stickered rug on the floor. Again, these are all subtle but well-thought out additions that reveal just how much content is being packed into what is essentially a confined space.

As a companion piece to 40583 Houses of the World 1, there’s no denying that 40590 Houses of the World 2 does make for a tempting GWP and is a fun little build, despite the spend threshold still being quite high for a set lacking any minifigures. There’s no word yet on which global locations the next two models in the series may visit, but all four sets combined together certainly has the potential to be an impressive complete display collection.

LEGO 40590 Houses of the World 2 is available from April 1 through April 9, whilst stocks last, and is free with any LEGO purchases of £180 / $200 / €200 (or potentially £220 / $250 / €250) or more in LEGO Stores or at LEGO.com.

This LEGO GWP set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes.

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Author Profile

Matt Yeo
From video game journalism to kids’ publishing, I’ve been there, seen it, done it and worn the T-shirt. I was also the editor of the first-ever official LEGO magazine way back when, LEGO Adventures. I have a passion for movies, comic books, tech and video games, with a wallet that’s struggling to keep up with my LEGO set wish list.

Matt Yeo

From video game journalism to kids’ publishing, I’ve been there, seen it, done it and worn the T-shirt. I was also the editor of the first-ever official LEGO magazine way back when, LEGO Adventures. I have a passion for movies, comic books, tech and video games, with a wallet that’s struggling to keep up with my LEGO set wish list.

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