LEGO Creator Expert Botanical Collection 10311 Orchid review

LEGO Creator Expert 10311 Orchid is a beautifully-designed recreation of a timeless and elegant plant, and more than worthy of planting roots in the Botanical Collection.

Orchids are one of mother nature’s most beautiful flowering plants. Throughout history they have become a symbol of elegance, love, fertility, wealth and luxury, so it’s no wonder that for centuries they have been widely regarded and sought-after, with even the great philosopher Confucius dedicating entire poems to them. However, as any keen horticulturists will testify, they are also notoriously difficult to care for. 

Step forward 10311 Orchid. It’s not only an extremely well-designed set, complete with a stylish sand blue pot, but unlike the real thing, this LEGO model will flourish in low light (with no watering required!), and will guarantee a bloom all year round – perfect for those of us whose fingers are definitely not green.

The Botanical Collection has really expanded the types of models the LEGO Group can produce. It can longer be seen as just a toy company that adults enjoy, but a company that produces both fully functional playsets for younger fans alongside more mature models designed solely for the purpose of display. 

What does that mean for the overall enjoyment and longevity of these kinds of sets? How does 10311 Orchid compare to what’s come before in the fairly new Botanical Collection? And more importantly, does it make for a complete LEGO experience? 

— Set details —

Theme: Creator Expert Set name: 10311 Orchid Release: May 1, 2022

Price: £44.99 / $49.99 / €49.99 Pieces: 608 Minifigures: 0

LEGO: Available May 1, 2022 – pre-order now

LEGO Botanical Collection 10311 MAIN

— Build —

While some models that fall under the LEGO for Adults umbrella do feel more like traditional LEGO products – 21330 Home Alone, 10273 Haunted House and so on – the Botanical Collection is a very unique theme within the LEGO portfolio. It doesn’t really offer anything that you would expect from a regular set; there’s no popular IP to appeal to a larger audience, plants don’t really lend themselves to having many play features, and once built there isn’t much you can do with it, apart from admire it. 

All that said, there is something quite magical about creating a realistic, organic and natural-looking plant using nothing but LEGO bricks. It’s a testament to the designers that 10311 Orchid not only looks stunning – it’s possibly the most aesthetically-pleasing Botanical set to date – but is also an absolute pleasure to construct. It may not have the hallmarks of a traditional LEGO set, but it’s still just as engaging, entertaining and most importantly fun. 

Part of the joy comes from the inventive and enjoyable building techniques. The plant pot’s inner core, for example, borrows a technique first used in the construction of the large tower in 71043 Hogwarts Castle, while the outer layer requires 32 identical sub-assemblies to complete. It sounds repetitive, but it’s actually quite an enjoyable process, and the end result looks very modern and stylish. 

The orchid’s stems are constructed much the same as previous models, using dark green Technic elements, connected via Technic axles to create the various stems of the plant. It’s a technique first seen in the original 10280 Flower Bouquet, and has carried on right through the theme. It makes perfect sense as the technique and parts usage really work well – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This building technique also allows for the plant to be ‘trimmed’ or ‘grown’ depending on your preference, and is in fact something the instruction manual encourages.  

Techniques aside, the real delight is discovering the ingenious parts usage that is spread throughout the entire model. Some are completely unexpected, others are just jaw-droppingly brilliant, and some feel so suited to being used on a plant that it almost feels like they were produced especially for that reason. It’s worth noting that no new elements have been made for this set – a few have been recoloured, but 10311 Orchid is built entirely from existing parts. 

The flower petals are made from white shoulder pads used for large buildable figures, such as 75114 First Order Stormtrooper, while white ovoid shields (first introduced to the Castle theme in 1995) are used for the sepals. These are excellent choices as these parts feel wholly organic, recreating the shaping and curves of the orchid flower perfectly.

Elsewhere, olive green dinosaur tail elements are used for the plant’s air roots (these are the roots that are visible above the soil), white minifigure forks can be found spread throughout the model and, as a homage to 10281 Bonsai Tree, pink frogs are used for the centre of each large blossom.

Perhaps the most genius and unique element to be used though is the recoloured Demogorgon head piece. Already an organic element, with the new white and pink colour scheme it looks absolutely spot on and incredibly life-like once placed on to the model – although once you know what you’re looking at, it’s hard to unsee the Stranger Things monster!

Building cars or castles or spaceships of some sort or another is always a joy with LEGO, but it is a fairly common mainstay and something that we’ve all probably been doing since we were children. So having the opportunity to build something completely unique and unexpected is overall a very satisfying experience.

And let’s be honest, it’s not like many of us spend too long playing with the more traditional LEGO sets once we’ve built them (a few swooshes and pew pews aside), and as a display piece 10311 Orchid is simply stunning. It will no doubt cause a few double takes when anyone comes to visit, as from afar it is very hard to distinguish it from the real thing. 

— Characters —

There are a few ingenious minifigure parts spread throughout the build, but as is the case with all the sets in the Botanical Collection, there are no actual minifigures included. 

— Price —

10311 Orchid feels like it’s priced perfectly. It’s only slightly more expensive than a real orchid, but has the advantage of never needing water, light, plant food or any kind of tending to for that matter. It’s also going to last a lot longer than an actual plant ever would. 

It’s a fairly unique set and pitched at a retail price that makes it a very tempting buy for those who have yet to indulge in the Botanical Collection, or indeed any of the more unusual LEGO for Adults sets. 

It’s an enjoyable build and an incredibly stylish model, making it a great display piece for the home, office or anywhere that needs a splash of colour and vibrancy. 

— Pictures —

— Summary —

LEGO Botanical Collection 10311 Orchid is a set that is understandably not for everyone, and that’s mainly to do with the points already raised throughout this review. Some LEGO fans want to build recreations of their favourite TV or film locations, cars or similar, while others love a LEGO set that offers great play value or exclusive minifigures. 10311 offers none of those, but is still a very solid model.

The build is ingenious and shows just what can be achieved using LEGO parts, and the final model feels elegant, classy and stylish. It’s not the most involved build in the theme, yet is possibly the best-looking model so far under the Botanical umbrella. It also has one of the lower piece counts of the range too, making it quite an attractive and accessible entry point for anyone wishing to dip their toe into the world of LEGO

It’s certainly not a conventional set by any means, but then that’s the beauty of LEGO for Adults and the Botanical Collection: it’s opened up a whole new world, redefining what it means to be a LEGO set.

LEGO Botanical Collection 10311 Orchid FEATURED

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by growing your Botanical Collection using our affiliate links.

— FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Botanical Collection 10311 Orchid?

10311 Orchid’s pieces are spread across four bags. It’s not the most involved build and will probably only take around two hours to finish, but that’s not bad going for the price tag – and it’s a very enjoyable process from start to finish.

How many pieces are in LEGO Botanical Collection 10311 Orchid?

10311 Orchid has one of the lowest piece counts of the larger Botanical Collection sets, as just 608 pieces are needed to construct the plant, the flowers and the plant pot. 

How big is LEGO Botanical Collection 10311 Orchid?

10311 Orchid measure an impressive 39cm tall and 30cm wide. This can be altered, though, by simply modifying the length of the Technic stems. 

How much does LEGO Botanical Collection 10311 Orchid cost?

10311 Orchid is available from May 1, 2022 and will cost £44.99 in the UK, $49.99 in the USA and €49.99 across Europe.

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