Reviewed by Thys Brits (SAFOLs Member, jhbLUG Member)
2019 saw several regionally released sets cause a lot of hype in the AFOL communities. Some of the sets that caused most of the uproar, were the sets released only in the East for the Chinese New Year. These are sets 80101, 80102 and 80103. I managed to get my hands on all of these sets and thus thought to do a review on the last one in the line, released on 1 May, mostly because it is the only one of the three I have had time to build J
The Dragon Boat Race set, 80103, is the smallest of the 3 Chinese New Year sets, at 642 parts, but it makes up for this with a whopping 15 minifigures. The majority of these minifigures make up the boat crews, 5 per boat. The other figures are the race judge, a male, female and boy spectator and a stall owner. The set has a green and red dragon boats, harbour with a stall selling fast food, and the judges’ stand.
When I opened my set, the sticker sheet was all crumpled, so I took a chance and reported it to LEGO® Customer Service, who were as always very helpful, and within 6 days I had a new, perfect sticker sheet replacement in hand. Due to this, the photos were taken without stickers applied, apart from the last one which was taken after I received the sticker sheet.
The two boats make up the most of the build and are put together very similar, however the heads and tails of the dragons differ, with some very interesting part usage for this, like using a car front for the heads of the dragons, a phone for decoration on the green dragon, a croissant on the red dragon and diving flippers as fins. The builds are not very complicated but make use of a few interesting techniques. A nice feature is that the dragons have wheels at the bottom, so they can actually race, which is a very nice feature when you have a 7 year-old son so he can actually play with the set. We have had several boat races since finishing the build.
The docks section is built in three separate parts and put together in the end. The first is the stall to sell food to the spectators. The decorations on the docks are very well thought out, to fit in with the theme of the set. The smaller printed parts also make the details of the set better, such as seaweed sold in the food stall. The second part is a bridge to the judges’ stand, a simple section to connect the two edge sections. The judges’ stand is raised, so the judges can have a better view of the boat race. Below is just some landscaping and plant pieces, with some of water and plant parts too. The upper section contains a table with a golden table cloth holding the winners’ trophy. Again, the decoration of the stand is very original, using sausages as part of the make-up of the banners.
All in all, the set is a very interesting and colourful build, with lots of playability, as well as making for a very nice display set. Not the most complicated build, but still a fun build. After all, it is LEGO®!