Showcasing the history of the natural world, from the age of dinosaurs to exploration beyond the stars, the Natural History Museum is a place for minifigures to learn about the wonders of the world. Featuring two floors of exhibits and encased in a classical architectural façade, 10326 Natural History Museum is the biggest modular building yet at a whopping 4,014 pieces.
There are historical displays of helmets worn in different battles and geological delights like crystals and rocks. Not to mention a giant brachiosaurus skeleton that stretches between both storeys. Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, is putting on a pith helmet and grabbing a magnifying glass to take a closer look…
Brachiosaurus or diplodocus?
Although the official LEGO description states that the dinosaur fossil included is a brachiosaurus, it is quite possibly a reference to the famous Dippy the dinosaur. Dippy was the first ever diplodocus fossil to go on display in the world and was the centrepiece in the grand entrance hall of London’s Natural History Museum for many years.
Read an exclusive interview with the designer of this set in the next issue of Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine! If you take out a subscription to Blocks, you’ll get each issue first and at a discount, plus other perks including a free digital subscription and the chance to win LEGO prizes every month.
Is that Charles Darwin?
Often considered the father of modern natural history because of his seminal work on the origin of species and natural selection, it could be that the minifigure statue in front of the building is a reference to Charles Darwin. It certainly looks like the scientist and London’s Natural History Museum does contain the largest collection of his works, including rare first editions of On the Origin of Species.
That’s not a whip, it’s an ammonite
On display in the fossils collection is an ammonite fossil ingeniously made from a LEGO whip element. Ammonites were shelled cephalopods – a type of mollusc – that existed throughout the age of the dinosaurs and into the Jurassic. They lived on the sea floor and are often found in cliffs or limestone quarries.
It’s been a really good year for LEGO and space related sets, including 21340 Tales of the Space Age in the Ideas range and 31134 Space Shuttle from Creator. 10326 Natural History Museum is continuing the trend with a whole section devoted to secrets of the universe, which might be inspired by the exhibits from the museum in New York.
Botanicals from distant lands
Discovering new botanicals was big business during the Victorian era as botanists travelled the world in search of new varieties. These often went to stately homes where gardeners competed to outdo each other, but many also ended up in hothouses at museums. Many plants came from the Orient and Japanese cherry blossoms became a firm favourite due to their early spring blooms.
An in-universe reference
While many of the Easter eggs in this set seem inspired by the Natural History Museums of London and New York, there is one reference that is completely LEGO related. In the history section is a selection of hats: a Viking helmet for the Vikings theme, a Forestmen hat for Castle, and and Admiral’s cap for Pirates. All real life parts of history and a very meta inclusion.
These are some of the amazing references spotted from the official images, but there’s sure to be plenty more to unearth when 10326 Natural History Museum hits shelves on December 1. Be sure to tag Blocks when you’re building because the team would love to discover all the secrets hidden inside.