Review: Doctor Who Lego Ideas Set (No 21304)

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Adding this after posting: I just realised the spare clear one by one stud I found on the floor after finishing the set when I’d put the spares away is still attached to the top of the console, that isn’t meant to be there.

I have a few Lego sets, I just find them so relaxing and fun to build and take apart, but I think this is the only one I have that’s actually a current one and I wanted to do a post on it. I guess it’s kind of a review but it may not be as in depth as other Lego reviewers as I’m mainly going on how fun it was to build and the final look of it rather than a more specification based one as I do not have a huge amount of Lego or follow the news from it. I have included some measurements at the bottom of the review though.

This is a Lego set that I was hoping would be made at some point, it’s the TARDIS along with three of the main characters; Eleventh Doctor, Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald along with a Weeping Angel and two Daleks which had to be built from standard Lego pieces and I really like. The TARDIS front itself is detachable so it can be kept as a smaller display if you want, how I’m planning on doing it, but it also attaches to the rest of the set that makes up the inside of the TARDIS. The internal part is based on the Twelfth Doctor’s TARDIS and is all greys.

The set number is 21304, has a total of 623 pieces and costs £49.99 in the UK. It was released in December 2015 and is still available on the Lego store here but I have seen it in other places too. I know my parents bought it on the Tesco website though it shows as out of stock at the moment and it’s probably in a lot of physical stores too.

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As I said I don’t have many examples of Lego but the ones I do the boxes normally open on the end and aren’t that sturdy, they do fold flat easily for storage if you want them to. This set opens on the top, the lid lifts and the instruction booklet and bags of pieces are inside. There are seven bags, some inside others that hold smaller parts, and some of the grouping seems slightly odd but it’s easy to organise. The booklet itself is pretty thick, it’s 127 pages including the inside of the back cover and there are some extras as well as just the instructions. As it’s a set that originated from the Ideas website (originally Cuusoo) where the public comes up with ideas and gets votes for them before they are put in front of a board before they are either made or declined. The booklet does include information on the original designer as well as the two Lego designers who modified it and a bit on the Doctor Who universe.

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The first thing I noticed in this set is the amount of minifigures included for the price, though the Daleks don’t really count they’re still characters that add a different dimension to it and I don’t think you could have a Doctor Who set, especially the first one released, without them in some form or another. These Daleks are the stand out part of the set to me, which seems odd considering they aren’t the main part, but the final look is close to the modern Daleks while still looking like Lego and being made from standard Lego parts. They do have a printed top which is a nice finish and the toilet plunger and egg whisk arms are fairly close replicas in Lego form.

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Second faces, and the Doctor with his fez which just looks odd on

The figures of the Eleventh Doctor, Clara Oswald and the Weeping Angel have second faces, they do give a range of looks but I think the Weeping Angel is the best as it changes between the peaceful statue and the scary look they have. The Twelfth Doctor doesn’t have a second face, which I was surprised by as his hair does cover where it could have been. Their outfits are pretty detailed, the texture on the Eleventh Doctor’s jacket and Clara’s tartan skirt are nice and the skirt goes down the sides of her legs too.

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Back print

There are two Sonic Screwdrivers included, though it’s meant as one for the Twelfth Doctor I put one in each of their hands and left the Eleventh Doctor’s fez off to the side as it just looks odd on him, he looks bald when he wears it and his hair is part of his signature look. I think these sonic screwdrivers are my favourite individual pieces in the set, though I do like the detail on some of the printed pieces used on the TARDIS console. There are no stickers in this set which is really good for me, I prefer it when I don’t have to worry about if my sticking is slightly off centre.

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Building the set itself was pretty fun, there were some parts that got a bit repetitive, the panels around the centre of the TARDIS were pretty samey and I knew exactly what I was doing by the fourth one, though they did give a nice final effect so I wasn’t too bothered and there are only eight. There are a lot of small parts, especially the one by one round clear flat topped pieces in various colours, you get a few spares in these in case some get lost. It’s definitely a fiddly and detailed build so I can see why it’s a 10+ set. I was surprised at how many parts went into the front part of the TARDIS, there are no tall pillar type pieces and the corners are made by stacking one by one pieces with the things sticking out of one side to attach the smooth pieces. It did take me a few days because of the amount of concentration and my energy levels but I think it was probably about four or five hours.

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I love the final look of the outside of the TARDIS, though it’s not to scale with the minifigures and looks rather large next to them the detail needs it to be that size. There are a lot of pieces to get this finish but it hinges open and the back two corners separate to open it so it attaches to the internal part. You do have to flip up the Police Call Box signs on either side to allow it to open but it works really well and I like how easy it is to flip them up to open it or flip them back down to add the roof on. You can stand one of the Doctors on the inside and have the back opened up which could make a nice display. The doors to the front don’t open and in the internal look at the doors is printed on white which doesn’t look, I think the same dark blue as on the external would have looked better, but it does make any figures stood at the top stand out as a silhouette.

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The internal part attaches to the external by a simple pin, it slides in and out with a bit of wiggling but it doesn’t take much. It holds it in place well enough to be able to carry the whole set in one piece if you want to move it but it doesn’t click in place and there are no pieces to click together. The walkway follows on very well and it’s not obvious where the join is. You could have the internal part as separate to play with if you wanted but I don’t think it works as well on its own. I like the detail on the console and the way the blue middle of the TARDIS was done. I think this part of the TARDIS is a good scale for the figures, the proportions work well and you can fit quite a few in there if you wanted to give the Doctor some new companions. There isn’t anything outside of this central walkway and the stairs off it, though this does mean that anything can go there and any additional sets could be played with alongside this as extra TARDSIS rooms if you wanted.

As I’m not actually going to play with this I am mainly going to use it for display and for that I do really like it, the dark blue external part and the Daleks especially will make a nice display though I think I’ll need another base plate to hold them all upright along with the minifigures. The internal part probably will be dismantled and put in the box in bags but I am definitely planning on having the TARDIS exterior and minifigures on display.

If it was bought to play with then I think the interior is fairly nice, there are a lot of details in the console and you can imagine either of the Doctors included running around and pressing buttons while the Daleks are outside. I can see there being a fair amount of playability but I think it would work really well with other Lego sets as the Doctor can land anywhere and have an adventure so anything from the Lego range could work well with it, even if the TARDIS would look rather large. I think if I’d had this when I was playing with Lego when I was younger I would have been very happy. I don’t know that there’s a huge amount of variation in what you can build but I’m sure if someone wanted to they could come up with different things to make, though the palette does kind of limit it a bit with it all being greys and the TARDIS blue.

Overall I think this is a good set, it probably is overpriced for what it is as a play set unless the child is really into Doctor Who but as a collector or grown up fan of Doctor Who I think it’s not too badly priced, but then I don’t own much Lego to do comparisons. I definitely enjoyed building it and I can see it becoming something collectable in the future as well as the fact that I do collect Doctor Who things. I would say that if it was £10 cheaper it would have tempted me more to buy for myself but I can see the amount of detail gone into the design and the amount of printed pieces in there, I guess it’s up to whether it’s worth the price to you.

I will say that I got this for Christmas but I know that my parents got it from Tesco and used the double your Clubcard points boosting offer on it so it was actually half the price to them. If you can find somewhere that has it on offer like that then I would definitely recommend it.

I really hope they bring out more of these sets with other Doctors, I can see that they might not with the Classics but having the internal TARDIS for the reboots would be good as it did change. I would love them to go back to William Hartnell’s Doctor eventually but there might not be the audience for those as sets like this appeal to both the kids watching Doctor Who now who want to play with the characters they know as well as the collectors so that could half their audience.

These are the measurements for the set, I took them from the Lego site, the link is at the top of this post:

  • TARDIS® measures over 4” (11cm) high, 2” (6cm) wide and 2” (6cm) deep
  • Console room measures over 5” (14cm) high, 6” (16cm) wide and 8” (21cm) deep
  • TARDIS with console room measures over 5” (14cm) high, 6” (16cm) wide and 9” (23cm) deep

 

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