History has always served as inspiration for the LEGO Group, but the focus has always been on Castle and Pirates, with Vikings something of an afterthought. The LEGO Vikings theme lasted for just three years and produced only a handful of sets. After the theme’s cancellation, Vikings were all but forgotten by the LEGO Group for the better part of a decade. A few Vikings appeared in LEGO Collectible Minifigures, but figures were all they were.
Then, in 2022, 31132 Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent arrived on shelves, breaking the drought of Viking sets. Now, a year later, LEGO Ideas is adding the next Viking-themed set to the LEGO world in the form of 21343 Viking Village. Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, examines some of the best of what LEGO Vikings has to offer.
7018 Viking Ship challenges the Midgard Serpent
Long before 31132 set sail to battle the Midgard Serpent, 7018 Viking Ship challenges the Midgard Serpent set out on the same quest—although doing so quite differently. Released in 2005, 7018 suffers from an overreliance on specialized pieces, an issue that plagued many LEGO sets from this era. While the specialised pieces used for the serpent, figurehead and sails look great in isolation, they lack the LEGO charm that makes building a LEGO set worth the effort. Even if it doesn’t quite hold up today, it’s still a well-designed Viking longship.
851861 Vikings Chess Set
Far from the typical LEGO set, 851861 VIkings Chess Set released in 2006 to go alongside the rest of the LEGO Vikings lineup. The board is about as simple a build as a LEGO chessboard can be — where the set shines is in the chess pieces. 24 Viking minifigures are included, from regular Viking soldiers to Viking kings and queens. The variety of figures not only makes for a fun game of chess, but also for a great Viking army builder for fans looking to get a large collection of the famous raiders.
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7019 Viking Fortress against the Fafnir Dragon
Vikings may not have built castles like the rest of Europe, but they still required fortresses to defend themselves. 7019 Viking Fortress against the Fafnir Dragon does a great job of creating a fictionalised version of a Viking fortress. Rounded bricks make up the bulk of the construction and give the fortress nice texture, while horns and shields dot the walls, adding some threatening details. Massive catapults and an armoured door make the fortress a challenge for any enemies to siege. The included dragon doesn’t quite live up to modern standards but still provides a fearsome opponent for the included Viking minifigures.
31132 Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent
The LEGO Group’s first Viking-themed set in over a decade is also its best. 31132 Viking Ship and Midgard Serpent may be remarkably similar in concept to 7018 Viking Ship challenges the Midgard Serpent, but the construction of both boat and beast differs drastically between the two. 31132 doesn’t rely on specialised pieces, rather it uses clever building techniques to create the unique shape of the Viking longship. SNOT is put to good use on the sides of the ship, the brick-built sail is satisfyingly smooth, and the figurehead is a wonderful assembly. The serpent is by far the less interesting of the two builds but is a nice throwback to 7018. Four Viking minifigures complete the set, making it a great value for Viking fans — the fact it’s a 3-in-1 set is just icing on the cake.
The original LEGO Vikings theme came and went without much fanfare, but it seems like the topic is making a comeback, even if only through a few sets scattered in other themes. 21343 Viking Village is available to preorder now and will be released 1 October 2023.