LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football review

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football is another engaging LEGO set, but it’s still made of two halves that don’t quite add up to that sizeable price tag.

They say good things come in small packages, and LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football is certainly smaller than we expected it to be. Packed with a staggering 22 minifigures, this is a LEGO Ideas set like none before it, and a LEGO set like few we’ve ever experienced. Is that enough to justify the price, then?

— LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football set details —

Theme: LEGO Ideas Set name: 21337 Table Football Release: November 1, 2022

Price: £214.99 / $249.99 / €249.99 Pieces: 2,339 Minifigures: 22

LEGO: Available November 1, 2022

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football review 1

— Where to buy LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football —

21337 Table Football releases on November 1 and will be available from LEGO.com or in LEGO Stores. Expect selected online retailers to also run with the set, perhaps as an exclusive.

The stand used to display 21337 Table Football in this review is kindly provided by iDisplayitclick through to view their full range of display stands that offer a variety of heights and angles to showcase any appropriate LEGO set.

— LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football build —

Price is going to draw a lot of discussion around this set, for how relatively high it appears to be, and when measured against the original Ideas project how much smaller it appears to be. But to understand the balance of cost against value here, it’s important to focus first on exactly what 21337 Table Football is.

Considering 21337 Table Football from the perspective of the latest LEGO Ideas set, it is fair to say that it well and truly sits on brand with any number of recent releases from the LEGO Group’s most creative and diverse theme. On from Ideas offering up the likes of a work of art, a spinning globe and a light-up lighthouse comes a mini table football game, completely built out of LEGO and fully playable, albeit on a scale smaller than most of us were hoping for.

We were probably always optimistic to expect a full-sized foosball table built out of bricks – how many bricks would that require? How heavy would it be? Even if there is a Technic interior to the frame, would it be strong enough to hold together? Would there be Technic axles long enough and strong enough to run the width of such a table?

For those considerations (and perhaps a few more), 21337 Table Football comes in at a more reasonable, table-friendly size, scaled in fact to the width of the longest Technic axles that the LEGO Group can produce at the moment. At this size, the design team has been able to work in enough weight to the base and strength to the structure and mechanisations so that the model is fully playable and ready to withstand even those more competitive matches of table football.

For what is a fun and friendly game, table football is also a pretty hands-on and rough play experience, and it is very obvious in every way that 21337 Table Football has been designed to withstand that. The Technic axles with the players attached can rotate 360 degrees, but are also weighted so the players are always upright, while the side-to-side movement and responsiveness in play is just like regular table football in every way. The only issue is in the small Technic balls along the top of each end of the table, used to keep score. These are incredibly rigid, almost stuck in place – score a goal but concede the next four while you struggle to move one of these across.

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football review 25

Stylistically, 21337 Table Football may be small but catches the eye thanks to its black-and-white colour scheme punctuated with red and blue lining. The smooth shaping of the table’s exterior cleverly mimics design features of a football stadium, while the all-round aesthetic of the model is clean and modern, directing most focus to where it needs to be, on the pitch, which is created with four large printed tiles.

For all that 21337 Table Football achieves in design, this is a set that reflects where the LEGO Group is in 2022: a company able to provide such unique build and play experiences that at once offer up brick exploration into such a specific niche but, through the LEGO medium, open it up to a broader audience always seemingly ready for what’s new. Few LEGO sets in this golden age are not worth celebrating, and 21337 Table Football is no different – it’s worthy of your time and consideration as a neat creation, even if it’s an entirely different composition of the original Ideas project that inspired it.

That compromise on what the original Ideas project had envisioned in scale is perhaps one of the most dramatic that Ideas as a theme has had to make, but within that the set we have manages to still maintain the spirit that the original project intended.

At that smaller size and with that stronger build in place, 21337 Table Football crucially remains very playable, with a larger, heavier ball piece able to be fluidly knocked around the mini pitch, while the poles holding the minifigures can easily spin and move side to side just as you would expect. In essence, this is a LEGO set – the LEGO set – where the table football experience is spot on.

For that smaller size comes greater versatility in play and display, and importantly it is without losing the core functionality that we all expect from such a set. 21337 Table Football isn’t the table football we were all expecting, but it’s still one that we fully deserve and still holds true to a lot of the spiritual design of regular-size foosball tables.

How does it play? Racing Brick put the set through its paces below:

— LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football characters —

However, this is a game of two halves, and 21337 Table Football is much more than just the foosball table, and quite curiously so.

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football has space within its model for 10 minifigures, but as a set it actually comes complete with a staggering 22, with an almost unlimited number of player line-ups to create across the blues and reds (gooo sports team!) thanks to the inclusion of a total of 44 different heads and 43 different hairpieces.

There’s never been a selection quite like this in a LEGO set before and for the sheer novelty of that it places LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football well and truly in a league of its own. Likewise, the wide variety of expressions, skin tones (this is the first non-licensed LEGO set to include skin tone minifigures) and mix between genders that are included adds a level of diversity never before seen, including the first-ever minifigure representation of the skin condition vitiligo. The Ideas team has explained that the motivation behind the set was to offer that feeling of inclusivity, so that anyone could see themselves in a minifigure, and it is well and truly achieved here.

Minifigures, for better or worse sometimes, can make or break a LEGO set. In the case of LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football, they risk dominating and outright defining it. Purely in relation to the table football model included in the set, this selection of minifigures offers a level of customisation quite unexpected and completely incomparable with anything that has come before.

For everything eye-catching and interesting, though, we have to ask if they are needed in quite the quantity, or at least in this configuration. The set itself can hold two teams of five players, leaving a total of 12 minifigures quite literally sat in the stands, separate from the play experience. If LEGO is a tool for doing your own thing, creating and playing and rebuilding the world, why couldn’t the LEGO Group have taken the traditional elements of table football – the size of the table and the two-team structure – and where they were forced to embrace changing up the one, take the opportunity to shake up the other too?

We have a smaller table football set because of the physics, but instead of just two teams of 11, we could have had four teams of five-a-side footballers. Same number of heads and hairpieces, but four different football shirts, shorts and socks, opening up the play and display potential much wider. What’s a one-on-one game remains so, but could have become a tournament-based experience between friends as you each pick a team, swap out the players and battle. As it is, for all the diversity that this line-up truly offers, for the football fan who continually feels misspoken to by the LEGO Group, there’s a big open goal missed here.

Football fans see their teams as much as they see the players, and while blue and red are two of the most common kit colours, there is a world of football teams and nations out there that fans will not be able to see in this set that with some clever design they could have. Two teams of 11 players offer up a level of collectability and play around football minifigures that we’ve not seen in LEGO form for almost two decades, so cannot be written off as anything other than a win – let’s be clear on that – but off the back of a fantastic European Women’s Championship this summer and a World Cup coming in the same month this set releases, 21337 Table Football might have carried a little more appeal for football fans with a more eclectic kit selection, to match the wide variety of faces on offer in the set.

Or what about the LEGO Group’s partnership with Adidas? Could that not have opened up two or four Adidas-sponsored teams or at least kit templates here, for something a bit more authentic to football fans? 21337 Table Football isn’t exclusively for football fans, but it’s a market the LEGO Group has begun to target and including 22 minifigures suggests they’re trying again.

Likewise and a little more importantly here: for having 22 minifigure footballers in 21337 Table Football, their shirts are all numberless. If there were just the 10 minifigures included then it would make sense not to adorn the back with numbers, because you’d never remove them from the axles and so never see their backs. But we specifically have two full teams of footballer minifigures here. Without those numbers, something really is missing.

Whichever way you look at these minifigures, the balance seems off. The amazing choice and diversity in heads and hairpieces is not reflected in kit design, while the specific number chosen, which begins to speak to the wider LEGO football fan, is then completely undone with no shirt numbers. And for general LEGO fans more interested in the model than the characters included, these minifigures feel like the reason the set is priced so high.

It’s a wonderful collection of minifigure characters, just sat in football kits that feel only halfway designed (we’ve not actually even mentioned how the quality of the print on some of these feels a bit off, nor how they would have been much stronger with dual moulding to properly represent t-shirts and shorts). Great heads and hairpieces are not matched by great torsos and legs, and the conversation the LEGO Group is trying to continue with football fans feels half-hearted, or begun from completely the wrong angle. You could argue we are being harsh, but what’s harsher than pricing 21337 Table Football at £214.99 / $249.99 / €249.99?

— LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football price —

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football comes in at a remarkable £214.99 / $249.99 / €249.99, which for the size of the model included feels way, way over the top. If all you got in 21337 were the parts to build that model and the right number of minifigures required to fill it out, you couldn’t be happy with paying anything more than half that RRP.

But 21337 Table Football comes with two complete teams of 11-a-side footballer minifigures too, and an amazing selection of 44 different heads to play around with. This is a LEGO set that has seen its budget clearly go in a direction quite unlike almost any other set we can think of in recent years. Those minifigures are half-fantastic as a selection and have appeal to a much wider LEGO fanbase. They don’t just service 21337 Table Football for what it needs, but offer it up as a set to a much larger audience (even if there are financially wiser ways to do this).

Except for the football audience. This should be a set for them too, particularly for the collectability and versatility offered up in the minifigure selection, but not enough attention or thought has gone into the kit designs. This shouldn’t ordinarily matter in a LEGO table football set, except for the fact that 22 minifigures are included.

Likewise, where the LEGO Group is smart in at least trying to target football fans with this set, particularly in a big year for football, it can only do so at a price that is the same as the three stadium sets that have not resonated with this same market exactly because of how much they cost. Which is why we are frustrated with the kit design choices and consider ideas such as offering up four five-a-side teams instead. This set could be both a great table football experience and a meeting in play between two (or four) football teams, and then it can begin to justify that price, but just enough is missing that the best this feels like to football fans is a pre-season meeting between Chelsea and Charlton with a bunch of triallists playing with no numbers on their shirts.

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football is so interesting as a result. It’s way more than just a table football set and it’s positioned quite skilfully to begin to tempt that football market in a way we’ve not seen for over 15 years. Yet, it only begins to tempt, and it does so at a price point that for most is inaccessible and for football fans represents a huge opportunity cost.

You could buy LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football or you could buy the home, away and third kit for your team, at full price of £70 each, and still have a little change left to buy one Collectible Minifigure. Depending on who you support, you may just be able to pick up a season ticket for the same price as this set. This much money puts you halfway towards a PlayStation 5 and the latest FIFA game. £214.99 / $249.99 / €249.99 is a lot more than what’s needed to buy you a very decent pair of football boots, the sort way better than you should be wearing on a Sunday morning down the park.

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football is a great LEGO set combined almost completely unnecessarily with a very-good-but-not-great line-up of minifigures to result in something that perhaps prices out both types of fan this should otherwise be in the hands of. Great creativity in getting up to this point, but then an open goal missed.

— LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football pictures —

— LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football pros and cons —

Ultimately, LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football remains a set to be celebrated, if not one that many of us will legitimately own and build while at full price. The model is a complete and authentic experience of such a specific niche, realised in LEGO form in such a way that anyone who buys and builds this will find enjoyment – and that’s quite something to be able to say.

At the same time, the minifigure line-up is also remarkable, offering up an incomparable collection and something that also just begins to tempt football fans in. But for the price, the minifigures still had to be perfect, because the model by itself, even with 44 cool minifigure heads, is not enough.

This feels like a LEGO set that the Ideas team did indeed almost scrap before changing lanes and downsizing the model. The end result is a brilliant LEGO set and a truly engaging build and play experience, but at a price point perhaps pre-determined at an earlier stage in development when the intended model was much larger in size. The minifigures feel like a late, good idea to come in and help justify maintaining that higher price, but they just don’t offer enough value to LEGO fans or appeal to football fans, resulting in a total LEGO set that – truly unfortunately for how good the model is – doesn’t quite justify its price.

ProsCons
Interesting football-inspired buildWhy have two teams of 11 for a five-a-side game? 22 minifigures could have provided four five-a-side teams, and a couple of managers or referees
Hands-on playThe football shirt torsos come without numbers
Lots of new minifigure facesSo expensive

This LEGO set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes.

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— Alternatives to LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football —

What alternatives can we suggest to a completely unique LEGO build and play experience like that of LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football, other than to point to any number of other LEGO Ideas sets that offer just the same? Our favourites include 21333 Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night, 21332 The Globe and 21335 Motorised Lighthouse.

— LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football?

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football is an extensive build that will ask at least two and a half hours of your time.

How many pieces are in LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football?

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football comes with 2,339 pieces, including within that 22 minifigures for two complete teams of 11 footballers, as well as 44 different heads and 43 hairpieces.

How big is LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football?

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football comes in at 15cm tall, 41cm long and 29cm wide – it’s much smaller than a regular table football, but is just as tough and playable.

How much does LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football cost?

LEGO Ideas 21337 Table Football is available from November 1, 2022, and is priced at £214.99 in the UK, $249.99 in the US and from €249.99 in Europe.

Rob Paton

As one half of Tiro Media Ltd, I mix a passion for print and digital media production with a deep love of LEGO and can often be found on these pages eulogising about LEGO Batman, digging deeper into the LEGO Group’s inner workings, or just complaining about the price of the latest LEGO Star Wars set. Make a great impression when you meet me in person by praising EXO-FORCE as the greatest LEGO theme of all time. Follow me on Twitter @RobPaton or drop me an email at [email protected]

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