What makes a musical instrument so special, even beyond the sound? It’s the sheer complexity of it. A trumpet has valves, finger buttons, a mouthpiece, keys, and a bell to name a few of its components. It’s far more sophisticated than you might think, just like many of the LEGO Group’s models intended for adults.
Blocks has already covered three appealing sets that will have you singing with joy, but these sets in particular play differently. If you thought 21329 Fender Stratocaster had a complicated build, you just wait until you see the final entry on this list. Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine for fans, dives into three more fantastic music related sets designed for adult fans of LEGO.
21334 Jazz Quartet
As regulars to those smoky dive bars with a mastery of one of the most influential genres of music, the jazz quartet is ready to go on a moment’s notice. There’s a certain style to all four of the players – and a special beauty to every instrument – that sets this scene apart from your average entertainment. These are connoisseurs with a penchant for improvisation. Just you wait – this local pair of pairs will make a big splash someday.
How can you capture a beautiful dimly lit stage, four jazz players, and their instruments in a reasonably priced 1,606-piece LEGO set? It’s no problem for the toy giant, whose efforts to bring class and elegance to the LEGO medium always comes out on top. Just look at 21334 Jazz Quartet, a fan concept that won ten thousand votes of appreciation, and, after careful consideration, became an official LEGO Ideas set.
From the full drum set with shiny gold cymbals to the full piano that uses a wrought-iron gate in gold for the cast iron plate, nice parts usage (NPU) is the name of the game. The players are just as interesting as the instruments, of course, ranging from a jazz pianist in a lovely flame yellow dress to the trumpeter with his swaying red tie. The set doesn’t resort to cheap shaping or simple vertical building, either. Just look at that trumpeter lean.
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31206 The Rolling Stones
English rock band the Rolling Stones’ first line-up consisted of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. The band was at the forefront of the British Invasion (the cultural phenomenon and influence of British music and culture in the United States) alongside, of course, Beatlemania. If ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, ‘Paint it, Black’, and ‘Gimme Shelter’ ring a bell, then you know the Stones – and frankly, who doesn’t?
Less a piece of subtle décor than an expression of 60-plus years of rock fandom, this buildable masterpiece of music pop art is magnificent. Sure, unlike the Jazz Quartet, this is essentially layering plate after plate in a tedious fashion. However, even such a thin piece has its secrets. Beneath the buildable tongue is a flaming ‘60’, marking the band’s 60-year milestone upon the set’s release. That gives you two ways to display this 1,998-piece set.
Like all LEGO Art sets, 31206 The Rolling Stones is intended to be hung on a wall by its two included hangers. It’s the kind of statement piece that would look stunning next to a record collection, a few music posters, and even a guitar leaned against the wall below it. Most LEGO Art sets, including 31204 Elvis Presley ’The King’ from the previous list, come with a ‘soundtrack’, too – if you’re out of Stones hits (if that’s even possible) you can play it on YouTube and learn more about the development of this killer set.
This enormous instrument is stately, sophisticated and sublime. The keys are the vehicles to playing some of the most emotional, moving pieces of music ever created. Your modern grand piano has more than 10,000 moving parts, including its keyboard and hammers. So, how on Earth does something with so many small components play without anything falling out of place? That depends on if you’re talking about a real grand piano, or 21323 Grand Piano.
The answer for the LEGO version is dead simple – it’s a miracle. Sure, there’s a strong frame within and larger parts used where needed, but this enormous, 3,662-piece build is amazingly sturdy despite its piece count. It’s also gorgeous in that classic black livery. Every shape is captured perfectly here, from the opening and closing lid to the stunning gold plate made with LEGO flex tubing.
That luxe design isn’t just visual – it continues inside. This piano actually ‘plays’ and moves using gearing, a medium motor, a sensor, and a battery box. The sound is played out of your smartphone as you hit each key, albeit without recognising which keys you press, but it’s still one of the coolest functions to ever be included in a LEGO set. The hammers rise and fall with a pedal at the bottom, and the included stool can be raised or lowered using a Technic mechanism. Like a legendary pianist, no one wants this amazing set to retire. Everyone should have a chance to get one.