A LEGO City safari – spotting the new animals

With new lions, elephants and monkeys now in the brick, Peter Wilt runs through the new LEGO City animals that are introduced in the latest wave of sets

2021 is the year of the LEGO animal in City. The new City wave of safari sets brings so many new animals, you are either going to have to make room for a sprawling savannah or build a zoo. While versions of these animals can be found in LEGO Friends and LEGO Duplo, these system animals are designed to pair with your minifigures.

What do 30570 Wildlife Rescue Hovercraft and 60300 Wildlife Rescue ATV have in common? Both come with some of the brand new monkeys. 30570 only includes one, while 60300 packs in two. The small builds are nice, but the monkeys steal the show. Their bodies appear to be dual moulded, with dark tan being the primary colour. One arm is extended and ends in a clip, which can attach to bar pieces. The new curved tails seem to be designed to balance on bars to depict your monkeys swinging through the jungle.

Did you know the first LEGO monkeys appeared in 1989? They’re a classic element, but a bit oversized alongside minifigures.

60301 Wildlife Rescue Off-Roader features three unique animals to add to your collection. A snake moulded in olive green features some detailed dark brown printing on its slender body. Precise printing on such a curved and small surface is impressive. The lion cub is also a great new addition. It is molded in tan and has a nice, printed face. The cub is the perfect companion for the most desired animal in this set – the lion.  This marks the first ever male LEGO lion. The only prior LEGO lion came in Duplo sets – and that doesn’t count.

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Did you know the new snake element originated in the Harry Potter line? An unprinted version can be found in 71022 Lord Voldemort from the first series of Potter Collectible Minifigures.

60302 Wildlife Rescue Operation includes five (and a half?) new animals. There’s another pair of dark tan monkeys and a crocodile for the first time in bright green. Also included is a crocodile egg with printing to show an eye peering out – half a new animal, as the printing is new, but we have seen the egg mould before. The main draw will be the brand-new elephant and baby elephant molds. The baby seems to be a solid piece, but hopefully the adult will have some head rotation. Out of all these new animals, the elephants will by far be the most sought after.

Did you know the trunk piece used for the original elephant can be found in this very set? (Hint: look at the trees.)

Thought there wouldn’t be any more new animals? Well think again, because 60307 Wildlife Rescue Camp still has a lot to offer. The adult elephant is repeated in this set but has larger tusks. A pair of monkeys are also included, only this time they are moulded in regular tan. These variants can only be found in 60307. Up in the treetops, an exclusive brown eagle can also be found.

But the entire lion family included will put this set on the wish list of many LEGO fans. A tan lion cub is included, as well as one in white. This is because the lion is recoloured in white – together with the tan lioness included, they have two cubs of different colours. It’s a reminder of the Punnett square from high school biology class – not only will these animals fun to build with, they can be educational as well.

Did you know that the lioness was released previously in 60267 Safari Off-Roader?

This specific wave of City sets adds some freshness to the theme, along with a plethora of new animal moulds. Adult fans might not be too excited by more helicopters and off roaders, but they’ll be itching to significantly expand their animal collections.

Find all of the new LEGO City sets on the 2021 LEGO checklist.

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