The Brick Fanatics team have been thinking back over the past year to select which LEGO sets stand out as the best of the bunch. Whether you are looking for a last minute Christmas present, deciding which LEGO set to treat yourself to, or just want to reflect on another LEGO year, enjoy this week-long look back at the best LEGO sets of 2016…
My favorite LEGO offering from the 2016 lineup is hands down 71040 The Disney Castle – this set took me by complete surprise in the best of ways. Historically I have not paid what was once called the Advanced Models sets much attention, outside of modular buildings and the glorious 10210 Imperial Flagship from 2010. Despite being an avid AFOL, some old-school part of me just doesn’t get excited about sets that are not designed for minifigures. When the first rumours about the Disney Castle surfaced I figured it would be a display model akin to 10189 Taj Mahal or 10234 Syndey Opera House. I was wrong.
71040 is a triumph. First and foremost it is a feast for the eyes; the level of detail is mind-blowing. Everywhere you look there are exquisite architectural features and gorgeous color schemes. Being able to use it as a showcase for the Collectible Minifigures line only adds to the appeal.
Furthermore, the Disney Castle is treasure trove of ingenious building techniques. There are certain sets which distinguish professional model designers from those of us who love to MOC – 71040 is one of them. The towers, archways, angles; over and over throughout the building process I stopped in my tracks to marvel at the ingenuity.
What really sets it apart in my mind though is the play potential. I live with Disney’s target demographic and the ability to interact with the set’s numerous rooms truly makes the castle something special if you have kids. I would have killed for a model this size to play with as a child – living vicariously through my three children is the next best thing.
In summary, if you can at all swing it, buy this set. I am not a rabid fan of the house of mouse like some, yet I was still thoroughly enchanted by 71040. Whether as a most impressive display piece or as the most fantastic playset your kids will ever have, this Disney Castle is my pick of 2016.
71040 The Disney Castle is a LEGO Store exclusive, available now – with a free exclusive Gingerbread Man minifigure, until December 20