Based on the South Africa-native plant also known as a crane flower, 10289 Bird Of Paradise continues the intricate design and finer quality of fellow Botanical Collection sets 10281 Bonsai Tree and 10280 Flower Bouquet, whilst being built to the largest piece count yet for this subtheme.
What do those 1,173 pieces combine for in this case? Three identical plants, a great many more leaves and a plant pot to stand it all in. But that’s an oversimplification of an otherwise very clever and specific LEGO model.
— Set details —
Price: £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 Pieces: 1,173 Minifigures: 0
— Build —
As boring as it sounds, one of the main design points to 10289 Bird Of Paradise that sets it apart from its closest-related LEGO predecessor, 10280 Flower Bouquet, is the buildable plant pot it comes in. It’s by no means the most interesting aspect to what is, yet again with a Botanical Collection set, an eye-catching and surprisingly really good (when compared with the box art) LEGO model plant, but it does give 10289 a more complete all-round appearance as well as, of course, an instant display option. No need to buy a vase or a pot of your own this time…
What’s it like to build a plant pot out of LEGO? Pretty pragmatic. The design is simple but effective, with slight detailing running around the lower section to break up the otherwise all-black design – it’s a small detail but does make a difference. The actual construction is that of a solid, octagonal shape, with a shallow depth at the top for pouring 300 1×1 rounded plates into. Representing the soil in the same way as in 10281 Bonsai Tree, it’s both the most unusual and most satisfying part of the build. Who doesn’t like mixing up loose LEGO and pouring it out?
Ultimately what is still just a base to one side, though, the main attraction to 10289 Bird Of Paradise is most certainly in the identical trio of Bird of Paradise flowers that, against the otherwise subdued colour palette of the rest of the model, offers the same vibrancy in colour as the real plant. Indeed, the mix of bright orange, flame yellow, pink, purple and white really catches the eye in a clever mix that wonderfully recreates the flower in all its glory.
It is also perfectly offset against eight large (and surprisingly highly poseable) dark green leaves to capture the same contrast between rich earthy tones and exotic multicolours of the real plant.
That balance of colour is importantly matched by some excellent usage of parts to recreate not only the very particular shape of the Bird of Paradise, but also the highly delicate nature of its structure. One particular example of building that is both smart and precise comes in how the rapier (fencing sword) piece is brilliantly recoloured and reimagined to act as the flower’s purple stigma, protruding out the front of the flower.
Meanwhile, the two-toned orange tepals stretching out across the top of the Bird of Paradise are simple-but-effective builds that do more justice to the real-life plant than you may initially realise. How straightforward and accurate these details are creates that enjoyment in putting it all together, and that – upon completion – truly allows your eyes to instantly recognise the LEGO flowers for what they are meant to be.
And ultimately for what is purely intended as a more mature LEGO fan’s display piece, that is what matters most. There is a remarkable level of authenticity to 10289 Bird Of Paradise, across shaping, detail, colour and posing to offer older builders and flower enthusiasts alike a completely unique experience in LEGO, yet one that stays true to the real-world flower it is based on.
— Price —
When the LEGO Group very kindly provided us with the set for early review, they withheld details on how much it will be priced at on shelves. So, we had intended on polling you guys on what price you’d be prepared to pay for it, with four options ranging from £50 to £80, based on where we thought the set would be priced at. Then, the LEGO Group sent through the actual prices a week later. Yikes…
For 1,173 pieces and for the quality of the build, £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 is still ultimately a fairly reasonable price, particularly for those who will be drawn to the set anyway – and for them there’s little about this set that will disappoint. However, it is also a price that for those uncertain few – perhaps who haven’t built a Botanical Collection set before or are measuring this set against something from another theme – will cause pause for thought. It’s a price that truthfully alienates a group of LEGO fans who otherwise could add something really fun and completely different to their collection.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
The Bird of Paradise is one of the most recognisable plants in nature, thanks to a striking array of colours and a quite unusual construction. These are core defining aspects to the flower that are the reason for its name and for why putting it into LEGO form will have been a particular challenge for the design team.
To make a LEGO set based on this flower any kind of success, such distinguishing features need to be captured just right for the eye to accept it, for the builder to enjoy putting it together and for anyone studying it sat on display to instantly tell what it is and to enjoy the finer points to what makes it so unique.
Thanks to some smart yet simple design techniques and an acute use of colour, 10289 Bird Of Paradise achieves exactly that, offering an authentic LEGO model that for the right builder will make for an incomparable experience.
Much like the other Botanical Collection pieces – 10281 Bonsai Tree and 10280 Flower Bouquet – 10289 Bird Of Paradise sits apart from the rest of the LEGO catalogue, representing a more artistic approach to building with the brick, and a far more interesting final model than by rights it should be able to deliver. A great and truly unique LEGO experience is somewhat let down by what feels like a high price. One for many of us to shortlist for when it hits the sales, then.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
— FAQs —
How long does it take to build 10289 Bird Of Paradise?
It takes just under an hour to put together 10289 Bird Of Paradise across five sets of numbered bags, including a final step which is just mixing different colours of 1×1 rounded plates and pouring them into the pot. Most satisfying.
How many pieces are in 10289 Bird Of Paradise?
There are 1,173 pieces in 10289 Bird Of Paradise, making it the largest Botanical Collection set so far.