Thursday, May 20th, 2021 at 5:55am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we have a review of a very unique and, for lack of a better term, awesome set: 40516 Everyone is Awesome. The set is a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer pride and diversity while also representing the people of color in the LGBTQIA+ community. This is the first time to my knowledge that The LEGO Group has made such a model, and I'm sure people will be lining up to buy it when it releases on June 1st. The LEGO AFOL Engagement Team was kind enough to send BZPower a copy of this set to review, and I will do my best to represent it accurately both as a symbol and a set. Read on!
Just a note as we begin. Like I mention in the above video, I do not identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. I've done my best to research for this review, but I apologize if I word something incorrectly or offensively. If I do, please feel free to reach out and I will gladly correct it.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Looking at the box, immediately you're struck by the bright rainbow of colors, which extends to the name of the set in the top left. The familiar 18+ branding stripe appears along the bottom, and makes me wonder why a 346-piece set needs to be marked as '18+.' Surely a set about inclusivity would have done better as '5+' (for safety reasons) or 5-500 for maximum inclusion? I'm sure there's some silly marketing reason, but it's a bummer. Anyway, the top and back of the set are equally colorful, showing off the set from several angles and highlighting the eleven monochrome minifigures it contains.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
At 346 pieces, I knocked out the build in under twenty minutes, which you can see above, sped up. It's a very straightforward and relaxing process, and once you get the pattern down it just sort of flows together. Sometimes simple is best.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
First things first, the color choices. Between my filming the review above and writing this, pictures of the set leaked online, and I saw a number of questions and comments ranging from, 'I didn't know this was a pride set,' to, 'but they should have been in this order.' I am no expert, but I tried to do some research to become better informed. After some initial changes in 1978, the gay pride flag settled on the widely-used six colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet in 1979, which have been present in most variations ever since. It seems the first widely used inclusion of black and brown was in the 2017 Philadelphia pride flag designed by Tierney. Light blue, pink, and white are used in the transgender pride flag and appears to have been around since 1999. That covers all eleven colors, and at the least, the order of the first eight and the last three make sense to me. I'll also mention that all eleven of those colors are also used in Daniel Quasar's Progress Pride Flag, although in a different order and design. I didn't see any flags that featured all eleven colors in a series of stripes like in this set, but given the difficulty in adapting the chevron design from the Progress flag into a model like this, I can see why LEGO Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton went with the layout he did.
All that is to say that this set appears to do a good job representing the LGBTQIA+ community in an effort to promote pride, inclusivity, and diversity. It looks great while doing it too, with clean lines, vibrant colors, and a nice effect of staggering the minifigures to make a visually appealing slant across the surface. It's all studs up and basic techniques, but that's not the important part about this set, really. I think it's important to look at the set for what it stands for, and while we talk about the parts and the minifigures, at the end of the day those are just pieces and it's the idea that's truly meaningful.
There's not a lot of variety of pieces in this set, as far as shapes go. Most of them are 2x3 bricks, 1x2 bricks, and 2x2 tiles. You get them in a wide range of colors though, including the more recent bright green instead of the classic green color, which was a good call. I wouldn't consider this set a parts pack though, since what it symbolizes is more important than the pieces themselves.
Should you be interested in modifying it to your own preferences, there are a couple things to point out. Certain pieces, namely 1x1 bricks and 1x4 rounded bricks, only appear in black and pink and are used on the sides of the back section. If you want any other color to be along the edge, you'll have to find those two pieces in the appropriate colors. Also, the stripes in the front are composed of 2x2 and 1x2 tiles and 1x2 plates in varying quantities to achieve the minifigure offset. Depending on how you want to rearrange the colors, you may need to supply some 1x2 tiles of your own.
There are eleven monochrome minifigures in this set with absolutely no printing, which is cool. I didn't check to see which pieces are new, but I'm sure some of them are. Maybe they'll show up in other sets and become widely available there, because I know for me at least I don't intend to take the set apart for the figures.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Awesome, unprinted minifig parts
- Everyone IS awesome!
What's not to like?
- '18+' branding comes off as exclusive rather than inclusive
You should absolutely get this set. Everyone should! I am so happy to see The LEGO Group supporting pride and the LGBTQIA+ community, and that progress should be supported and encouraged to grow! Let's see this message spread to all LEGO themes when it comes to the designs and minifigure and minidoll selections! I think this is a great step in the right direction, and I hope the company continues to extoll diversity and inclusivity more and more. 40516 Everyone is Awesome is already on display in my front hall, and it will stay there for quite a while as one of my favorite sets - for its message over the bricks themselves.
This set was provided by The LEGO Group. The opinions expressed in this review do not reflect those of The LEGO Group and were not influenced by them providing BZPower this set to review.
When the LEGO AFOLET offered to send BZPower this set to review, they only gave us the set number, so I had no idea what I was getting when I agreed to review it. I'd like to thank them for the surprise and thank Tufi Piyufi for making it all happen as BZPower's Ambassador. Hopefully you learned something from this review, I know I learned a lot just from writing it. Until next time!
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