41183 The Goblin King’s Evil Dragon is a bright example of the hidden ingenuity that younger ranges like LEGO Elves can still offer
Price: £24.99 / $29.99 / €29.99 Pieces: 339 Available: Now
Over the course of its almost three years of existence so far, LEGO Elves hasn’t been a range that has drawn me in. However, in looking to make a purchase to reach a certain threshold to activate one of the LEGO Store’s many promotions, 41183 The Goblin King’s Evil Dragon caught my eye, and I’m glad that it did.
In keeping with the rest of the Elves line, 41183’s most immediate feature is its use of colour, more so than what it is. If the packaging left you in any doubt, an Elves’ set’s liberal use of shades – in this case bright yellowish green and bright reddish violet – clearly indicates the target demographic. This is a range just like Friends, developed primarily to reflect how girls really do see in shades of colour where boys predominantly see primary colours (something we don’t grow out of).
As a result, Elves has offered a fantastic extension to the LEGO Group’s colour spectrum and, its easily identifiable colour palette has arguably been the biggest factor so far in defining it as a theme. However, there is much more to it as a range than just colourful fantasy, and 41183 The Goblin King’s Evil Dragon is a great showcase for why.
Continuing the particular bright green palette established in 2017’s 41188 Breakout from the Goblin King’s Fortress, 41183 The Goblin King’s Evil Dragon is, as expected, all about the Goblin King’s dragon, who is evil… Whilst there are more basic features regarding certain animals (real and fantastical) created for this Elves range and indeed for other lines such as City Jungle, the Goblin King’s dragon is a creature that, bar its moulded head and half its wings, is entirely brick built and all the more stronger a LEGO experience for it. From the hidden interior framework to support the legs to the gorgeously shaped tail, this is a dragon on a par – both in complexity and effect – with some of the very best dragons that the LEGO Group has built for NINJAGO, the theme that continues to innovate with their designs of such winged beasts.
The balance between brick-built and moulded features – perfected in recent years by NINJAGO – is strongly felt in 41183’s assembly, nowhere better than in the wings, where large moulded pieces are perfectly supported with skilful brick structure to attach them to the dragon’s body to offer limitless options in movement and pose, whilst maintaining that strong silhouette that any LEGO dragon worth its salt should possess. Equally, the dragon’s legs are solid in structure yet still built with suitable detail and vertical movement at the hip and ankle. It leaves you with a base that not only provides support sturdy enough for a variety of dragon poses, but a range of movement that can add further options to those poses. This is a dragon that can take a bow and, for that alone, it really should.
There is a subsidiary build to go with the eponymous dragon, which rather misinforms on how dynamite works – push it to active the explosion. Also included is one mini-doll, Goblin King, and one moulded goblin, called Jimblin.
These aspects, combined with the printing on the dragon’s head, do take the overall final aesthetic back towards the junior end of LEGO age classification. However, look beyond those and the distinctive colour scheme and you will discover a dragon well worth adding to any LEGO collection.