LEGO BrickHeadz 40443 Budgie review

LEGO BrickHeadz 40443 Budgie gives avian admirers the chance to recreate the world’s most popular pet bird, the budgerigar. The previous three models in the Pets subtheme have been excellent, so this pair of birds will need to fly high to meet that im-peck-able standard.

Budgies were first imported to Britain way back in 1840 (a time so long ago that LEGO wasn’t even a thing), and they quickly became firm favourites thanks to their multi-coloured plumage, distinctive head shaping and compact size. That sounds like all the right ingredients to make a perfect LEGO BrickHeadz set, but will this popular passerine translate perfectly into the blocky, stylised form fans have come to love?

— Set details —

Theme: BrickHeadz Set name: 40443 Budgie Release: March 1, 2021

Price: £13.49 / $14.99 / €14.99 Pieces: 261 Minifigures: 0

LEGO: March 1

Lego brickheadz pets 40443 Budgie 17

— Build —

Every set in the BrickHeadz Pets subtheme features a fully-grown pet, in this case a budgie, as well as their young baby, here represented by a very adorable-looking chick. The build begins with the larger bird, and those familiar with BrickHeadz techniques will feel right at home. The body is constructed in the established way, with a central core comprising a variety of bricks with studs on the side around the front, back and sides.

The budgie’s face and features come together surprisingly quickly – around eight parts are all that’s needed for the bird’s face and beak. The tail is a separate sub-assembly using yellow, blue and green curved slopes to recreate the multi-coloured tail feathers of a real budgerigar. In fact, there’s a nice spread of different and unusual colours, which for parts collectors is quite a nice bounty. Stand-outs include blue 1×1 bricks with studs on opposite sides, 1×4 and 1×2 tan panels, sand green 1x1x2 bricks with studs on their sides, light yellow arches, curved slopes, wedge plates and a handful of yellow and black 1×1 quarter tiles.

Recreating the shapes and textures of the natural world is never an easy thing to accomplish with LEGO bricks, but the designers have managed to represent the ruffled, layered look of a budgie’s feathered head superbly through the use of the aforementioned 1×1 quarter tiles. These are used on the side and back of the head, and from certain angles it looks really effective. It’s a shame a similar technique couldn’t have been utilised on the wings. The wedge plates do add a layer of texture, but without the further detail they appear blocky in comparison.

The budgie is a fairly cute little design on the whole, but there’s just something about it that hasn’t quite captured the look of a regular BrickHeadz model. Perhaps it’s the rounded face, or the lack of texture on the front of the head and body, but it’s just not as stylised as some of the other models in the theme and viewed from the front it appears a little basic.

The chick, on the other hand, is compact, cute and really quite adorable. It’s a much, much simpler build than the larger budgie, but still follows the same basic technique, consisting of an inner core with parts attached around the side. The head is a lot blockier than the budgie’s, but actually looks better for it.

The final element to build is the small pen-like structure, which includes small branches for the birds to perch on. Tan panels form the structure’s outer edges, with the two wooden perches in the middle. It’s nice to display the final models in this enclosure, but perhaps tan wasn’t the best choice of colour – it makes the models feel a little washed out, and clashes with the multiple colours of the adult bird.

— Characters —

While the chick is a very sweet-looking thing, the budgie just doesn’t quite have the same appeal. When compared to the other three BrickHeadz Pets sets in this theme, including 40440 German Shepherd, 40441 Shorthair Cats and 40442 Goldfish, it’s definitely the weakest of the menagerie.

— Price —

The price seems more than reasonable, with two models to build, plus a brick-built display stand for just over the price of a standard BrickHeadz model. The build isn’t as engaging as some of the others in this subtheme and the final models don’t look as fun, so you might want want to spend your money elsewhere, but if you do decide this is a set for you then it’s still pretty decent value. 

— Pictures —

— Summary —

40443 Budgie is the most colourful of the four Brickheadz Pets, but as a result looks a bit muddled. The colours clash, the front of the budgie lacks any texture and the tan enclosure detracts from the two finished models rather than adds to them. From certain angles the models look great, but from others they are far too plain. The build isn’t as engaging as the other sets, and is over pretty quickly. This is probably only one for diehard fans of budgies or BrickHeadz – or both, if there is such a thing.

This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

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