LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol review

77015 Temple of the Golden Idol
$149.99 at BUY NOW
may look like an ordinary LEGO Buy at Buy at Buy at Buy at Indiana Jones set, but with the 18+ moniker it’s altogether something quite special.

Following in the footsteps of the quite notable 7623 Temple Escape from 2008’s original LEGO Buy at Buy at Buy at Buy at Indiana Jones line-up, priced much higher than the other two sets it is releasing alongside in April 2023, given a 1,500+ piece-count, given the 18+ age recommendation on the box, and based on the most famous of all Indiana Jones action sequences, there feels like a lot riding on 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol
$149.99 at BUY NOW
.

So, for the price of two copies of 77012 Fighter Plane Chase
$34.99 at BUY NOW
and two copies of 77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb
$39.99 at BUY NOW
combined, is 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol a highly sought-after gem of a LEGO set worth traversing the various obstacles and traps of a typical LEGO Store for, or is it just a bag of sand?

— LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol set details —

Theme: LEGO Indiana Jones Set name: 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol Release: April 1, 2023

lego

Price: £129.99 / $149.99 / €149.99 Pieces: 1,545 Minifigures: 4

LEGO: April 1, 2023

— Where to buy LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol —

77015 Temple of the Golden Idol releases on April 1, 2023 alongside 77012 Fighter Plane Chase
$34.99 at BUY NOW
and 77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb
$39.99 at BUY NOW
at LEGO.com and in LEGO Stores, and likely at other select retailers too.

— LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol build —

Both the other 2023 LEGO Indiana Jones sets – 77012 Fighter Plane Chase and 77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb – have reviewed incredibly well and are sure-fire hits for the licensed theme’s return, offering authentic and fun LEGO sets true to both the film sequences that they are based on and to the play potential of the brick medium with which they are created. They are also very favourably priced for the amount of LEGO you get in the box and for the size of both models.

Initial comparisons on size don’t place 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol in the best of lights, twice over. Against the two sets it is releasing this year and against the first LEGO Indiana Jones set from 2008 also based on the same, very famous opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the 1,545 pieces in 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol seem to disappear across a relatively small model.

Fifteen years ago, 7623 Temple Escape was released for £46.99 / $59.99 and from just 554 pieces took up a much larger footprint, perhaps almost twice as long as 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol does here.

Yet, size matters not. 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol is reflective of how LEGO design has changed, and how within a more complex and concise structure is a remarkable creation that captures and celebrates the key moments of Indy’s journey through a Peruvian temple – and his booby-trapped escape back out.

Where 77012 Fighter Plane Chase and 77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb excel in smart uses of smaller piece counts to offer a brilliant balance between play and display, 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol leans into the opportunity to offer up a far more complex and involved build process to piece together a quite unexpected model, across three main sections that can pull apart even once complete.

Each section recreates a notable part of the long temple that Indy and untrustworthy Peruvian guide Satipo journey through, starting with the entrance and gigantic boulder, through the collapsing stone wall and deep pit to swing across, and into the central area of deadly stepping stones that contains the Idol itself. And not only is each section skilfully captured in detail and colour true to how it all looked on-screen 42 years ago, but each one also houses some of the most complex yet thoroughly satisfying play functions built into a display-first LEGO set we have seen to date.

Yes, we say display first, because everything about this set – the 18+ age recommendation, intricate designs of so many little details, the subtle black base that runs the length of the model, the stickered (should have been printed) Raiders logo and the selected character quotes – speaks to the expectation that older LEGO fans who will be attracted to this set will primarily have it sat on shelves or office desks, not playroom floors. But the LEGO Group also knows that LEGO is LEGO and at whatever age, if there’s something to touch, press or turn, a LEGO fan will touch, press or turn it.

So, alongside – and more accurately inside – such thorough and true-to-source-material design are four quite excellent and intelligent play features that perfectly capture the action of the movie sequence without compromising on the display-ability of the LEGO set whatsoever. Up to this point, we had believed that having credible play and display within 18+ sets wasn’t necessarily possible, for how anything requiring hands-on durability or design needed a little more bulk and chunkiness than a more sophisticated LEGO set could take and still look good after. 10302 Optimus Prime
$179.99 at BUY NOW
$199.99 at BUY NOW
began to change our minds in 2022, and 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol well and truly confirms in 2023 how wrong we have been to ever doubt the LEGO Group.

Three of the four play features in particular are so unusual and unique in how they have been constructed that they will have you guessing how they work even perhaps after you’ve completed piecing them together, before that first turn of one of the skull-printed dials at the front of the base. But once you turn one and discover how they work and see them in action, each play feature is then so immediately impressive and highly addictive that you’ll forget that a) this is an 18+ LEGO set and b) you are an 18+ adult. Each play feature is so fun, so different, so reminiscent of the action in the film and – even though they are clearly all play features – entirely at place within this more mature LEGO creation, that they manage to add an interactive element perfectly suited to what may still primarily find use as a display piece. 

For instance, the rolling boulder has been built into the first third of 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol in a way that it is suspended mid-air, ready to be ‘triggered’ by Indy running through – turn the skull knob to do this and watch the boulder roll down with such pace, and then once it has reached the bottom turn the knob back the other way and simply watch it reset to first position, ready for another go.

Such a simple play feature is so intelligently realised and foremost considerate of the more mature LEGO fan and their penchant to display this set – instead of including something like a loose ball that could be balanced and then released with a removable mechanism (and then lost), the complex gearing that allows for the effortless turning of the skull dial at the base of the model keeps hand interference of the set to a minimum. It’s not that you can’t treat it like a playset and do as you want with the minifigures, but the option is there to set it up once how you like it and then activate the boulder up and down without ever having to disrupt your layout.

And it’s the same approach to the three other play features along the rest of the model, all built into the base so as to allow simple, minimalist interactions with the set but that can create all sorts of complex and movie-accurate movements. While the swing action across the bottomless pit activated by one such play feature feels fairly straightforward, the ability to move the collapsing wall up and down with the turn of a different knob is quite unexpected.

But it’s the final play feature that absolutely takes things to another level, again all activated by just turning the one dial. Turning it will first activate a light brick to shine on the Idol as Indy approaches it. Continuing to turn it will then turn the light off and slowly drop the pedestal it is on down, and turning it even more will then collapse part of the wall behind it. That last bit does require a bit of hands-on action to reset after, but otherwise, this all happens by simply turning one LEGO piece clockwise – three separate, clever and fun actions activated through one simple interaction.

— LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol characters —

LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol comes with four characters, namely Indiana Jones himself, his treacherous guide Satipo, archrival René Belloq and a Hovitos Warrior. Each is excellently designed to more than credibly mimic their on-screen appearances during the opening segment of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and as a result each sits perfectly in situ or action across 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol.

The spiders and cobwebs across Satipo’s back and across Indy’s alternate head print are nice touches to the particularly creepy temple they have to make their way through, whilst Indy’s new hat-hair dual-moulded piece is a particular highlight across all three LEGO Indiana Jones sets, even if proportionally it is a little too large and may require a bit of getting used to.

It is tempting to suggest that maybe another Hovitos Warrior would have been appreciated to really flesh out the minifigure count, but for the design of 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol and where those characters come into the scene, there wouldn’t be much space for them. As things are, these four are excellent choices and each so well realised to add a further level of authenticity to the all-round experience of the set.

— LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol price —

Coming in at £129.99 / $149.99 / €149.99, LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol is the most expensive of the three sets released on April 1 and is up against some tough competition in 77012 Fighter Plane Chase and 77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb, both of which are way cheaper, just as excellently designed and represent truly remarkable value for 2023.

That being said, the price for 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol is also pretty good. It’s hard to outright state that any LEGO set priced over £100 represents ‘great value’ because it will always remain a fair chunk of change to spend. But, for how involved, interesting and thoroughly unique 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol is to build, for how there are over 1,500 pieces included and four excellently-designed minifigures, and for how the final model is one of the cleverest 18+ LEGO sets so far, there’s little to disappoint anyone who picks this set up.

We believe that the other two LEGO Indiana Jones sets are ones not to miss – frankly it’s the same recommendation here.

— LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol pictures —

— LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol pros and cons —

77015 Temple of the Golden Idol cements the return of LEGO Indiana Jones with success, not only for offering up a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging LEGO tribute to the franchise’s most famous and beloved scene, but for doing so in a way that manages to – yet again – take what we have come to expect from modern LEGO design and turn it on its head.

The LEGO Group could have produced a large playset at this price point, slapped the 18+ age recommendation on it and left it at that, for LEGO fans of any age to fumble across with various loose, simple or even juniorised play features. Yet the designers decided to focus their time and expertise into creating play features that are fun to fiddle with over and over again, but that through being designed in a more complex and engrained manner feel in-keeping with the tone and style of the set, and genuinely relevant to that more mature audience 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol is aimed at.

LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol perfectly speaks to the older LEGO fan and in a way that is quite new – for this alone, this is a set to add to the wish list.

LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol prosLEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol cons
Every key aspect to the movie sequence is hereHighly addictive play features mean the battery in the light brick will eventually run out
Play features are unique and intelligentAnyone expecting a traditional, younger playset may be disappointed
Looks great on displayPerhaps (for a higher budget) we could have had more to the exterior jungle where Belloq and the Hovitos Warrior are based

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO Indiana Jones sets through one of our affiliate links.

— Alternatives to LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol —

There’s very little to directly compare 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol to, but perhaps it sits best on shelves alongside the likes of LEGO Jurassic Park 76956 T. rex Breakout
$99.99 at BUY NOW
and LEGO Star Wars 75339 Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama, both the sorts of higher end LEGO sets that prioritise display but not at the expense of something quite fun.

— LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol?

Put aside at least a couple of hours to build LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol, as it’s a sizeable and very enjoyable task.

How many pieces are in LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol?

LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol comes with 1,545 pieces, including four minifigures for Indiana Jones, Satipo, René Belloq and a Hovitos Warrior.

How big is LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol?

LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol measures roughly 50cm in width, about 17cm in depth and – tree leaves aside – 20cm at its highest point.

How much does LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol cost?

LEGO Indiana Jones 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol releases April 1, 2023 for £129.99 in the UK, $149.99 in the US and from €149.99 in Europe.

Author Profile

Rob Paton
As one half of Tiro Media Ltd, I mix a passion for print and digital media production with a deep love of LEGO and can often be found on these pages eulogising about LEGO Batman, digging deeper into the LEGO Group’s inner workings, or just complaining about the price of the latest LEGO Star Wars set. Make a great impression when you meet me in person by praising EXO-FORCE as the greatest LEGO theme of all time. Follow me on Twitter @RobPaton or drop me an email at [email protected].

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Rob Paton

As one half of Tiro Media Ltd, I mix a passion for print and digital media production with a deep love of LEGO and can often be found on these pages eulogising about LEGO Batman, digging deeper into the LEGO Group’s inner workings, or just complaining about the price of the latest LEGO Star Wars set. Make a great impression when you meet me in person by praising EXO-FORCE as the greatest LEGO theme of all time. Follow me on Twitter @RobPaton or drop me an email at [email protected].

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