Back in January this year, Mojang spearheaded a drive to make officially licensed Minecraft LEGO a reality. If you need to catch up, you can read more about how the project was given the green light, and then watch a clip of the guys at Mojang getting their hands on the first sets of the finished product.
Because we’re all massive Minecraft nerds here at NAG, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to own a LEGO set this awesome. Also, I was raised on a wholesome, geeky diet of LEGO, video games and Star Wars movies, which basically means there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to buy one of these.
What follows is a look at what the whole set entails, complete with delicious, home-made photographs taken on a crappy iPhone 4 camera. Enjoy!
One of the most pleasing parts of this LEGO set is that it’s not a rushed cash-in. That’s immediately clear before you even begin unpacking the actual pieces, because even the packaging exhibits attention to detail. The box that the whole shebang comes in is a cube! Hey, Minecraft is made up of cubes! And hey, the box that holds the LEGO that’s been made to look like Minecraft, has itself been made to look like a cube of dirt that makes up the Minecraft terrain! I’m sure this is deliciously meta on some level. It’s a really nice touch and I give LEGO and the team at CUUSOO two enthusiastic thumbs-up for going that extra mile.
The set contains 480 individual pieces split across six bags; it also comes with a LEGO brick separator, which I had to Google because I honestly had no clue what it was. I mean seriously, a LEGO brick separator? Back in my day we used our teeth and fingernails to pry those pesky little things apart. Kids today have it way too easy.
I must admit that I’m a little out of touch when it comes to LEGO so I cannot really tell whether or not some of the pieces have been moulded specifically for this set. That being said, the printed bricks for the Creeper’s face and for Steve’s face (which is actually made up of two parts) are obviously unique, and obviously completely awesome.
The Minecraft Micro World is modular, meaning once it’s assembled you can swap bits around to alter your surface level and underground level. There are four sections in total, and the top part of each section pops off so you can see the mine network underneath.
The little (quite literally) details are what really count with this set. There are layers of coal bricks hidden in the mountain; to see them you literally have to pull (mine?) the mountain apart. It’s silly, but for Minecraft fans it’s great just knowing thar’s coal in them thar hills. What’s more, there are layers of gold and redstone in the mines, as well as an underground river. Overhangs and passageways have that Minecraft look to them, and they’re just made out of ordinary LEGO bricks – it’s really very well done.
The surface is just as detailed with trees, a lava flow down the mountain and a river with see-through bricks to depict the cascades. The house is perhaps a little simplistic, but then again I’m willing to bet that your first in-game Minecraft house was just as Spartan. Now that I think of it, I think my first house was just a hole in the side of a mountain. What? The first night in Minecraft is terrifying and I was desperate.
My favourite part about the surface sections is the individual grass bricks; they’re made up of three separate pieces of LEGO, but they look so similar to the in-game blocks of grass despite the fact that they are lacking the pixelated texture. They’ve even added a one millimetre gap between the green grass level and the lower dirt level of each block, which adds to the overall Minecraft feel. If you had to give a LEGO grass block to somebody, they’d be able to instantly identify it as something from Minecraft. This would obviously double as a surreptitious and useful way of ascertaining just how geeky said person is, which is obviously the basis for any further social interaction and why I now keep a LEGO Minecraft block in my pocket at all times.
One minor setback is that the scale of the whole set is a little off when placed next to Steve and the Creeper. The two “Micromobs” (as they’ve been dubbed for this set) are really cool on their own, but they’re just that much too big for the rest of the Micro World. I mean, how the hell is Steve supposed to fit in that house? Not that it matters seeing as it doesn’t even have a door. Yeah, that Creeper is going to own Steve the moment I turn the lights out.
Aside from some scale discrepancies, the LEGO Minecraft Micro World is very well designed. It’s instantly recognisable and for a LEGO set based on an existing franchise, that’s all that really matters.
If you want your own LEGO Minecraft Micro World, then you can order one online via the J!nx website or via the official LEGO online store. I ordered this one in mid-February when J!nx started taking pre-orders. The package was dispatched on 20 June and took a week to get to me from the USA. In total, I paid $34.99 for the set and then an additional $17.38 for shipping, bringing the total up to $52.37. Of course, the package was charged an import duty of a further R60.91, which means in total I spent R513.65. Is it worth it? You can decide that on your own while I stare lovingly at this LEGO Minecraft Micro World I have sitting above my PC.