LEGO DOTS is an interesting theme: each set offers up an initial build that’s typically simple and straightforward, like 41953 Rainbow Bracelet with Charms or 41948 Cute Banana Pen Holder, but also includes a multitude of smaller parts that can be used to decorate the item, allowing for builders to express themselves in whatever way they see fit.
41952 Big Message Board is another DOTS set that does what it says on the tin: it’s a big message board(!) that’s effectively a blank canvas on to which you can add your own design, messages, pictures or whatever else you can think of. The set does come with three ideas for you to follow, as well as tips designed to encourage your imagination to run free.
There’s a lot of possibilities for creativity to be found within 41952 Big Message Board, but will it still offer up the same satisfying and inventive build experience we’ve come to expect from across DOTS, and the wider LEGO portfolio?
— Set details —
Price: £34.99 / $39.99 / €39.99 Pieces: 943 Minifigures: 0
— Build —
Most of the 943 pieces contained within the set are small 1×1 tiles, 1×1 corner tiles and plates and, unlike most regular sets, each bag has been divided into colour. This is akin to the LEGO Art theme and makes finding and then building with each colour so much easier. There’s also a bag that contains all the pieces that are required to construct the message board itself, which comes together in a conventional way.
Four blue 16×16 base plates connect together to form the message board. Around the edges are 1×4 double curves and 2×2 sloped corner pieces, and to hang the board to the wall, the relatively new 2×6 modified plate with coupling has been included. All of these elements appear in dark azure for the first time.
The message board can either be built as a horizontal or vertical rectangle or be reconfigured into a square. Whichever configuration you prefer, there are three suggested images to fill the board with. There’s the bold and inspirational ‘The Future is Ours’ for the horizontal rectangle, a colourful and patterned ‘WOW’ that can be built on to the vertical rectangle. and for the square design a Space Invaders-themed ‘I Need My Space’ message.
Each message comes together in the same way a LEGO Art set is assembled. 1×1 tiles and 1×1 curves are placed on to the board in a mosaic style that slowly builds up the image. It’s very different to a conventional LEGO set, but it’s still a satisfying and enjoyable process. Unlike the LEGO Art sets, however, aligning each tile is made slightly trickier as not every stud is covered. The tiles do have a tendency to be a little skewed if you’re not careful when placing them on to the board.
41952 Big Message Board is in no way as complex as a LEGO Art set, but then it’s aimed at a much younger audience, so that’s to be expected. In another departure from the LEGO Art range, the design also isn’t shown in stages in the manual. Once the board is assembled there is just one large single picture of the design to follow. It’s not that big of a design but it does require a lot of concentration to replicate the design. This is fine for older builders, but perhaps could be trickier for younger fans.
Each design is full of colour and personality and offers three very different looks. ‘The Future is Ours’ utilises a number of different typeface techniques, with multicoloured letters making up the design. The larger ‘OURS’ has a multicolour drop shadow added to it, which looks very stylish and creates an almost three-dimensional effect. The ‘WOW’ design is a lot more patterned and ‘I need my space’ has small UFOs spread around the board.
Each design makes for a great display, but there are a lot more designs included within the manual to have a go at, alongside inspiration for builders to create their own.
The set is aimed at builders aged eight and older, and a real plus point is all the life-affirming and positive messages the set suggests as other alternatives. ‘Be the change’, ‘You are a great human’ and ‘Awesome’ are just some examples. At the back of the manual is a guide showing you how to construct each letter of the alphabet in a number of different styles. This is a brilliant touch as it really opens up the possibilities to create any messages, words or phrases that you can think of.
Once complete, the message board is large enough to be eye-catching, without it being too big that it dominates a room. It can either be placed on to a shelf or tabletop, or hung either vertically or horizontally depending on the board’s design. The colours are bright and vibrant and make for a really fun display piece.
— Characters —
If you’re looking for some new and exclusive minifigures then this isn’t the set for you, as no minifigures are included.
— Price —
41952 Big Message Board contains 943 pieces, and while they’re mostly small 1×1 parts, that alone already makes the price seem fair. Take into account the fact there are limitless designs to be made (well, as many as you can think of), offering incredible replay and longevity, and the already-reasonable cost of the set becomes even more attractive.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
While 41952 Big Message Board’s core designs are eye-catching, inspirational and fun to put together, the real beauty of the set is how it gives you the basics and then leaves it up to you to see what you can come up with, which is really LEGO creativity at its most fundamental. It’s pitched at a fair price, contains a wealth of colourful and useful parts and offers more replay value and longevity than most sets on the market.
The only drawback is the time it takes to take off all the individual parts in order to start again. It may lose younger builders’ interest fairly quickly, and will certainly feel a little bit of a chore even for older fans, so how many designs you’ll end up making depends on how much you enjoy putting on and taking off small LEGO pieces.
Of course, this won’t be to everyone’s tastes – but as a set to encourage younger builders’ creativity, it will make for a really enjoyable purchase.
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
— FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO DOTS 41952 Big Message Board?
Putting together one of the suggested designs of 41952 Big Message Board won’t take very long at all – maybe around 60 to 90 minutes in total. However, the possibilities are almost endless when it comes to making your own messages and designs, so it’s hard to put an exact time limit on the set overall.
How many pieces are in LEGO DOTS 41952 Big Message Board?
There are 943 pieces in 41952 Big Message Board, although many of them are small 1×1 tiles, curves and plates.
How big is LEGO DOTS 41952 Big Message Board?
The larger of the board designs (the rectangular build) measures 51cm wide and 14cm high.
How much does LEGO DOTS 41952 Big Message Board cost?
41952 Big Message Board is available now and retails for £34.99 in the UK, $39.99 in the US and €39.99 across Europe.