By Luke Comins (SAFOLs Member)
This delightful waterfall of colour began with the LEGO® Company’s design vice president, Matthew Ashton, initially creating this awesome set for his own desk at LEGO®’s head office in Billund.
Visitors to LEGO®’s offices noticed and commented on it to the point where he was prompted to make it an official set.
Other than one LEGO® Architecture set, 21045 Trafalgar Square, which includes a tiny 1×1 printed rainbow flag placed on the inside of the National Gallery, LEGO® has never represented the LGBTQIA+ community in sets. Until now, well the 1 June 2021 release date to coincide with LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, this is the first LEGO® set dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community in the company’s 72-year history.
One wouldn’t really get the main purpose of this set unless you are familiar with Gilbert Baker’s 1978 six coloured rainbow ‘pride’ flag. Red, orange, yellow, green, dark blue, and purple. Three further colours (pale blue, white, and pink) representing the transgender pride flag, and another two (black and brown) representing the diversity of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds within the LGBTQIA+ community are also included. All 11 colour stripes together are known as the ‘Progress’ flag.
The set number is 40516 and the set name is inspired by ‘Everything Is Awesome’, a song from the LEGO® Movie released in 2014. The song was performed by Tegan & Sara, both of whom are openly gay and vocal supporters of LGBTQ+ rights.
One wouldn’t know any of this though as LGBTQ+ (did I miss any?) is not mentioned anywhere in the accompanying instructions booklet.
The box design, being predominantly black works well as this is technically an 18+ set. The exception to LEGO® ®’s age rating system seems to be sets that are regarded as ‘collectors’ items and these adult-targeted sets, which the Everyone is Awesome set seems to share branding with are routinely rated 18+. A LEGO® spokesperson said “this set is intended to be a display model rather than a play set and was designed with our adult fans in mind. That’s why we have suggested the age-grade and used the packaging designed for our adults’ products.” I’m curious to know how many under 18’s felt/feel led to buy this set.
There are 346 pieces and the set includes 11 minifigures matching the 11 colours mentioned above.
All those alphabet letters aside, and I’m certain that this set is sure to have made the LGBTQIA+ folks ecstatic but, for plain old me I just saw 11 totally featureless MONOCHROME minifigures!
But let me first mention the display stand…
The stand, a superb way to display the monochrome minifigures, looks like a waterfall of colour paint flowing down and painting these minifigures. The top curves are really nice and give reference to a rainbow without it looking too much like one.
Other than the studs for the minifigures to be attached to, the build is entirely studless which will please SNOT (Studs Not On Top) fans. Construction is rather straightforward and most of the build can be accomplished without actually referring to the instructions and despite being rather simple, it’s extremely impactful and the perfect platform for a bunch of colourful monochrome minifigures. Only takes about 15 minutes to put together.
Yes, back to the minifigures! They are the absolute highlight of the set and, although this set is primarily designed to be displayed as depicted on the box and as instructed in the booklet, you can by virtue of them being minifigures display them in all sorts of different positions and poses. You can also choose where you want them to be using the studded 1×2 plates in a different arrangement and then rearrange the smooth tiles around them.
Being ‘monofigs’ all 11 are an excellent expansion to minifigure accessories even if you’re a veteran ‘monofig’ minifigure collector. Some of us (me included) haven’t got too much of a ‘monofig’ collection so this is a sure and cheaper way to boost the collection. These single colour minifigures are highly collectible but the task isn’t easy as not all the elements are available in every colour. The minifigures available in this set really push that especially as they also include hair elements. Most of these are not available in the colours featured here. The Bright Blue ‘Johnny Bravo’ hairpiece is also brand new. Some of the display stand parts also appear for the first time in Dark Purple, Dark Pink and Bright Green.
Whether you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or not, there is much to love about this clean, colourful… awesome display piece.
It’s the first LEGO® set to contain multiple ‘monofigs’ and a fantastic way to display the almighty LEGO® minifigure in all ‘it’s’ colour and glory and to help get a jump start on your ‘monofig’ collection.
Oh yes, it’s a splendid set to photograph!