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With the year coming to a close, it’s time for a final review in 2023. The insect collection is the 50th LEGO Ideas set released. As you’re probably aware, Ideas sets are based on fan designs submitted on the LEGO Ideas platform that reach 10k supporters. Fan designs will always be adapted for commercial release by LEGO designers. And as usual, there was quite some social media backlash on the changes made to this design. The fan design is featured in the set booklet and contained 5 full scale insect designs. This has become 3 full builds. The honeybee and ladybeetle feature as a small build and printed tile.

So what is featured? We get a Blue morpho butterfly, Hercules beetle and Chinese mantis on a decorated display stand. The stands are mostly based on treebranches and some other elements like flowers or mushrooms.

Parts selection

The parts selection for this set is quite good. Most bricks, plates, slopes and tiles are rather versatile and standard bricks. The colour choice is rather muted as well with a lot of (dark)tan parts. I consider this a positive because it adds versatillity for MOC usage.

Some bigger specific parts are used, like the dark green windscreens for leaves, but luckily the set doesn’t heavily rely on those.

Another great thing is the absence of stickers. All decorated elements are printed. There are quite a few parts recolored for this set as well, making their first time appearance. Like the rather recent leaf piece (3565) in bright green.

I wouldn’t recommend getting this set if you’re looking for a good partspack however. There are not really parts in bulk quantities present. So it’s not the best starting point for your own builds.

The building process

Like mentioned in a previous review, I prefer to use digital instructions over paper ones. This saves space on the table and makes building a set less messy for me. However, the quality of the online PDF booklets is not ideal. Because this frustrated me again, I decided to download the LEGO builder app. This was an even worse experience. I won’t rant about it too much right now, although I’ll no doubt get back to it in a future blog. It did impact my building experience so in the end this will be considered when grading the set.

The build itself was quite good actually! In bag 1 we start with the stand for the butterfly. This is quite a satisfying process. Wedge plates and modified tiles are used to great effect, fitting neatly to get the desireed shapes. The branch has a few neat tricks (like creating the angle towards the top and is quite interesting to learn new things for building terrain in MOCs.

Bag 2 continues with a rather lush Bromeliad flower. And before we get to the butterfly we first build an excellent little bee. The NPU choice to use a printed egg is a great pick!

The butterfly is mostly a mosaic style build. Not a technique that excites me, but once again, the combination of modified angled and curved tiles looks great in the end. Due to the subtle colour differences and shades, the instuctions were especially annoying here.

Bag 3 stars with the display stand for the Hercules Beetle. All 3 builds share the same basic shape for the base. But once you get building the branch or other decorative elements, all 3 are rather different so I never really got bored with repetition while building the set.

Underneath the branch 2 larvae can be found, with white croissants used for this.

We finish the stand in bag 4 with the blue mushrooms. These are representing Clitocybula azurea. After this we switch our attention to the beetle, building the main part of its body.

In bag 5 we finish the beetle with its limbs, wings and elytra. The set is designed in such a way that displaying is possible with wings spread out from under the elytra or having it closed.

The final model is the Chinese mantis. In bag 6 we once again assemble a treebranch for a display stand. This one is quite a bit more fragile compared to the others. Connections for leaves and flowers aren’t very strong and took me a few tries before everything stayed in place.

The large dark green leaves are added from bag 7. To be honest, I’m not really fond of the colour combinations with the leaves. Maybe having the smaller leaves in dark green would have improved this stand. The mantis itself is a rather simple yet elegant design. It features some of the funniest NPU choices like recolored swords and pistols on its limbs and eyes that are both fun and creepy at the same time. Which is true for most insects as well of course…

Display value

These are some great shelfsitters! The size is reasonable and they are a bit more easy to display in a cabinet or something like that. With the detailed display stands, it shows quite an impressive development in the way LEGO releases sets like this. More detail, more variation etcetera.

Value For Money

The set has been a LEGO exclusive in The Netherlands so far, which means no discount on this set (yet). RRP is €/$79.99 and £69.99. With 1.111 pieces, that’s a bit more expensive than I’m usually willing to pay (when considering Price Per Piece). It is however in a different price bracket than a lot of other Ideas sets over the last few years. I don’t have the budget or space for most of those so that’s a positive for me. And where I usually take sets apart within 24 hours for parts, this one was actually bought to keep on display. So what I’m trying to say, there’s some bias for me here. The set is right up my alley and because the things I just mentioned, I don’t mind the price. It’s not an irresistible good price, which is why it took me a few months after release to pick it up. It’s not terrible either.


This is a great set! Because of all the SNOT building and techniques, it reminded me a lot of the 21301 Birds set, one of my all time favourites for the building techniques. Only with an update in parts used. Where the birds used mostly traditional plates and bricks, this set has quite a lot of more recent (curved) parts to create more complex builds that have more decoration as well. Some of these new parts feel a bit redundant, but overall parts are used to great effect.

I think it’s the right choice to go for 3 big insects instead of 5. The ladybeetle might have been rather similar with the wings and body to the Hercules beetle so that doesn’t really add a lot to this set. The honeybee is done in such a nice way that I just wished there were 1 or 2 more, but I don’t miss a big one with these designs.

I’d recommend this set to anyone interested in nature builds. Also if you want to learn more SNOT techniques etc for MOCs this is a great set to get inspiration or ideas from.

So these are my thoughts on this set. So what do you think of this set? Are you buzzin’ to get your hands on it? Share your thoughts in the comments!


LEGO Ideas The Insect Collection (21342)



Part selection 9
Build Process 9
Display Value 10
Value For Money 8

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The Brick Post's Foreign Correspondent, AFOB from The Netherlands. 

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