Tradition holds a special place in the LEGO BrickHeadz theme, with seasonal builds dedicated to annual holidays in various cultures – as well as a regular base structure that persists through every single model in the range, though is sometimes expanded.
The latest build to fall under the traditional banner is 40540 Lion Dance Guy, but can this colourful creation set itself apart from the rest, while still embracing its cultural side?
— Set details —
Price: £9.99 / $9.99 / €9.99 Pieces: 239 Minifigures: 0
— Build —
40540 Lion Dance Guy is based on the lion dances from Chinese culture, in which an actor or team of actors work to mimic the movement of a ferocious lion while wearing an elaborate costume. Frequently, multiple dancers operate the outfit at once, though the LEGO recreation opts for just one inside a single costume. However, it still features the distinctive BrickHeadz face with a variety of details that pay homage to the cultural icon.
Starting with the most eye-catching aspect of the build, the head of the lion uses plenty of interesting and curved bricks – from bowls to bananas – to recreate the ruffled appearance. Those who have built 80104 Lion Dance will likely recognise much of the model, as many of the techniques have undoubtedly been inspired by the now-retired set.
The same printed eyes from 80104 Lion Dance feature here again, and they very much do the job. Plenty of attention has been paid towards the face, even down to the snout of the creature, which is held in place with transparent bricks to add some shape to the traditionally square building system.
The detail continues onto the back and sides of the build too, with the ruffled look extending through the use of small curved tiles, combining with the yellow costume for an eye-catching design at any angle.
Bright colours feature prominently throughout the build, with the fiery colour scheme matching the flashy performance of the traditional lion dance. However, the LEGO designers have also managed to include a reference to the festival performance in the base with a pair of drums on the left and a lantern on the right. The former instrument is used frequently alongside lion dances to represent the vigorous nature of the animal.
— Characters —
Thanks to the ability to open and close the mouth of the colourful LEGO lion outfit, this model has more than enough individuality to stand beside BrickHeadz based on named characters, even though the human inside the suit is devoid of any major details.
— Price —
40540 Lion Dance Guy is priced at £9.99 / $9.99 / €9.99 and includes a substantial number of bricks for that price, with the weight and size making the build feel like good value – a feeling that continues through the addition of an expanded base.
Thanks to the bright colours, interesting pieces and unique subject matter of 40540 Lion Dance Guy, the asking price feels more than fair, though the base is comparatively bland when stacked up next to other seasonal BrickHeadz, such as 40466 Chinese New Year Pandas.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
LEGO BrickHeadz has a notably deep relationship with Chinese culture, anchored around numerous models based on everything from festivals to sculptures, echoing the LEGO Group’s newfound success in the region. Such a crossover has brought us increasingly colourful and unique builds, and 40540 Lion Dance Guy is no exception.
While its appeal may be somewhat limited to those not familiar with the festivals, the bright appearance and interesting design of 40540 Lion Dance Guy makes it one to keep an eye out for, with great value that should help put this set a bit higher up than you might think on your January 2022 shopping list. For those who own 40354 Dragon Dance Guy, it’s arguably a must-have.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.