LEGO explains why 21338 A-Frame Cabin’s trees changed so drastically

The LEGO designers behind 21338 A-Frame Cabin have explained exactly why the trees in the final product look so different to those in the original submission.


The latest LEGO Ideas set is based on a design by Italian builder Andrea Lattanzio, but – like almost every Ideas model – includes a few changes between concept and finished product. The most obvious of those is in the trees that frame the central cabin, which in the official LEGO model are not quite as bushy as those proposed by Lattanzio.

That change has drawn criticism from some corners of the community, but members of the LEGO design team responsible for bringing 21338 A-Frame Cabin to shelves – which was comprised of Justin Ramsden, Ollie Gregory, Woon Tze Che, Kenza Faten and Ashwin Visser – have now explained the rationale behind the final model’s trees.

“The trees bring up a lot of love and hate,” Ramsden told YouTuber Tiago Catarino. “We love them, Andrea loves them and most of the reviewers love them. For those that hate [the trees], feel free to buy more of this set and you can make bushier trees if you’d like. But we had to do what we had [to do], and it’s mainly because Andrea’s trees – although bushy – were slightly unbuildable.

“We try to rework things, but obviously with those reworks it brings up the price. Each piece costs something – would you rather have one sort-of-big tree, or more scenery and an environment, more animals and just more parts to build your own [models] at home?”

The design team then showed off a prototype model of a tree that looks much closer to those in Andrea’s concept model, which they apparently attempted to recreate during the design process.

LEGO Ideas design team 21338 A Frame Cabin tree prototype

“We really, really did try to get it through but it just wasn’t feasible,” Ramsden said. “So I recommend if you like bushier trees to pad it out with your own collection at home.”

There are plenty of techniques across the web for building your own LEGO trees – you’ll find dozens at Rebrickable – so even if you’re not minded towards coming up with your own alternatives, you shouldn’t have too much trouble building on 21338 A-Frame Cabin’s scenery.

21338 A-Frame Cabin is available now for VIP members, priced at £159.99 / $179.99 / €179.99. It’s due to go on sale for everyone on February 4. If you want to get your hands on a signed copy, check out the latest LEGO Ideas contest.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO using our affiliate links.

Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *