LEGO finally proves that its 18+ packaging is ‘open to exceptions’

10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft ditches the LEGO Group’s black 18+ packaging, making good on last year’s promise that the company is ‘open to exceptions’.

Back in May 2020, the LEGO Group announced that it was retiring the Creator Expert brand. From there on out, all adult-focused sets were to be unified under a consistent 18+ banner (later renamed ‘LEGO for Adults’), with black boxes across the entire range. However, Global Marketing Vice President Federico Begher confirmed to Brick Fanatics at the time that the company would be ‘open to exceptions’.

The first of those exceptions is now finally here in the newly-revealed 10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft, which has a predominantly white box, flipping the script on previous 18+ or LEGO for Adults sets. But does this set’s box art mean the LEGO Group is now beginning to move away from black packaging?

The short answer is ‘probably not’, particularly given 10293 Santa’s Visit is due to launch on the same day (October 1), and sticks to the predominantly black box design we’ve seen for most LEGO for Adults sets over the past year and a half – across themes including Star Wars, Ideas and Technic.

However, this year’s Winter Village set does still show hints of the LEGO Group’s graphic design team getting a little more creative within those constraints, from the model’s orange glow to the starry pattern in the ‘night sky’ (we’re being generous here).

On the other hand, 71395 Super Mario 64 Question Mark Block – also launching alongside 10291 and 10293 on what’s set to be an expensive day for many of us – is as plain as it gets for LEGO packaging, suggesting that 10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft really is just a one-off.

That’s bad news for fans who miss the classic, creative and colourful packaging for the company’s biggest and best sets, but the real proof will be in the 18+ sets that follow towards the back end of 2021 and in early 2022.

At the moment, they’re rumoured to include 21330 Home Alone, 75313 AT-AT and 10294 Titanic – any and all of which could feasibly stray beyond black boxes.

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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.

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