LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King review

43247 Young Simba the Lion King is a faithful recreation of an iconic Disney cartoon character, providing a straightforward build experience and a solid, if slightly lifeless, display piece.

Of the two brick-built Simbas launching simultaneously on June 1, 43247 Young Simba the Lion King is by far the larger and more detailed build. In spite of its 18+ target age demographic, the build is fairly straightforward and not particularly challenging, and the finished model feels satisfyingly dense and sturdy. Some builders may find the finished model’s fixed expression and rigid pose a little offputting, but for fans of The Lion King, this set is unlikely to disappoint.

— LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King set details —

Theme: LEGO Disney Set name: 43247 Young Simba the Lion King Release: June 1, 2024

Price: £114.99 / $129.99 / €129.99 Pieces: 1,445 Minifigures: 0

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— Where to buy LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King —

43247 Young Simba the Lion King will be available to purchase from LEGO.com, LEGO Stores and selected third-party retailers from June 1, 2024.

— LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King build —

There’s clearly someone at the LEGO Group who has a soft spot for brick-built felines. In addition to the Creator 3-in-1 31150 Wild Safari Animals, June 1 2024 gives LEGO fans three different cats to choose from: 21349 Tuxedo Cat, the small 6+ set 43243 Simba the Lion King Cub and the larger 43247 Young Simba the Lion King.

Containing 1,445 pieces, 43247 Young Simba the Lion King absolutely dwarfs the smaller 6+ Simba, but is just a little shy of matching the piece count of 21349 Tuxedo Cat, which has 1,710 pieces. Nevertheless, what the set lacks in plastic, it manages to make up for in its expressive face. 21349 Tuxedo Cat looks relatively reserved, where 43247 Young Simba the Lion King is overflowing with emotion and expressive features – at least when viewed briefly.

Anyone who’s put together a brick-built display piece from LEGO will feel right at home here. 43247 Young Simba the Lion King starts with a sturdy base and plenty of Studs Not on Top (SNOT) techniques to create Simba’s torso, on to which his limbs and head are added one by one. The set doesn’t break new ground in its building techniques, and aside from a few head-scratching moments involving the alignment of some Technic pins, a seasoned LEGO builder isn’t going to find this one particularly challenging.

43247 Young Simba the Lion King goes together quickly, and is a pleasant if unmemorable experience. There are a few moments during which the build resembles a nightmarish animatronic from Disneyland that are hard to unsee after the fact, but by the time the build is complete, this stands out as one of the LEGO Group’s more faithful recreations of a cartoon character.

— LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King characters —

With a build that never really feels too challenging or particularly interesting, 43247 Young Simba the Lion King lives and dies by how much the builder enjoys Disney’s animated masterpiece The Lion King, and its various sequels, remakes and spin-offs of varying critical acclaim.

The upside here is that 43247 Young Simba the Lion King is tremendously faithful, and at first glance the set feels like both an engineering and creative marvel. That said, some of this allure begins to wear off fairly quickly as more time is spent with the model.

43247 Young Simba the Lion King is not the most posable of brick-built LEGO animals. Indeed, it’s not even the most posable LEGO Simba releasing on June 1. The finished model features just two points of articulation: a long and curvy tail, and a head that can rotate a full 360 degrees in a manner that doesn’t feel entirely natural.

The problem with such a locked-in, rigid expression on a set like this is that it quickly begins to feel unnerving, as if the spark of life one would expect from a Disney character is somehow missing. The eyes stare blankly forward, the jaw is stuck permanently agape, and despite the set’s charms, there is an intangible air of the dreaded uncanny valley to this build.

This is purely subjective, and different builders may experience it to a greater or lesser extent. It’s a testament to how faithfully the LEGO designers have adapted Simba that it feels so odd to see him sat motionless, and it’s hard to imagine how the build could ever have avoided this feeling.

As far as criticisms go, the fact that the build feels too smooth and the set looks too lifelike are minor quibbles. What one builder may see as a negative, another will praise as a coveted feature, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the physical presence of this set feels a lot different in person to how it looks in promotional images.

— LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King price —

At £114.99 in the UK, $129.99 in the US and €129.99 in the EU, 43247 Young Simba the Lion King is surprisingly not as expensive as it could be, all things considered. The Disney licence typically comes with a higher price tag for any LEGO set, and 43247 Young Simba the Lion King features a decent number of larger elements which also usually bump up the price of a set. The 1,445 piece count is approximately in line with the majority of other sets at this price point.

— LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King pictures —

— LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King pros and cons —

43247 Young Simba the Lion King is a pleasant if not particularly memorable build, and the finished model is impressively accurate despite looking slightly creepy when viewed from certain angles. The set’s appeal will largely come down to the individual LEGO fan’s fondness for the source material, but as an accurate recreation of Simba from The Lion King, this set does exactly what it says on the box.

43247 Young Simba the Lion King pros43247 Young Simba the Lion King cons
Tremendously accurateFeels slightly haunted
Build experience is smooth and simpleBuild experience is fairly forgettable
Decently big without being too bigNot hugely poseable

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

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— Alternatives to LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King —

The primary alternative to 43247 Young Simba the Lion King is the smaller, more affordable 43243 Simba the Lion King Cub. Despite (or perhaps due to) being aimed at a younger consumer base, the set is more posable and manages to capture a lot more of the playful energy that Simba displays in the original The Lion King.

For those looking for a similar large, 18+ LEGO building experience, a more appropriate alternative might be 21349 Tuxedo Cat, which also arrives on June 1. This set contains more pieces than 43247 Young Simba the Lion King, but is a similar size.

— LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King?

LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King takes around two and a half hours to build. This means you’ll have time to watch the original The Lion King, and get started on The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, before completion of the set.

How many pieces are in LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King?

LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King contains 1,445 pieces. Most of these are in orange and tan colours.

How big is LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King?

LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King measures 29cm tall, 17cm wide and 29cm deep, although much of this depth is due to the tail.

How much does LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King cost?

LEGO Disney 43247 Young Simba the Lion King costs £114.99 in the UK, $129.99 in the US and €129.99 in the EU. This is around the same price as several other LEGO sets with a similar piece count

Author Profile

Matthew Loffhagen
Matthew Loffhagen
When I was a kid, my bus ride home from school featured a daily stop at LEGOLAND Windsor. The bus drove all the way up to the front gate, let eager tourists on and off, then drove back out of the park and on its merry way. Maybe if I’d got on a different bus every afternoon I’d have ended up with a proper job, but then, there’s no way of knowing for sure.

Matthew Loffhagen

When I was a kid, my bus ride home from school featured a daily stop at LEGOLAND Windsor. The bus drove all the way up to the front gate, let eager tourists on and off, then drove back out of the park and on its merry way. Maybe if I’d got on a different bus every afternoon I’d have ended up with a proper job, but then, there’s no way of knowing for sure.

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