LEGO Ideas - The Insect Collection 21342

What’s the big buzz with a bunch of bugs? Bzz Bzz!

The next LEGO Ideas set is here, and it’s a buzz of conversation about these bugs in the insect collection. Why? Well, the original LEGO Ideas submission was proposed with 5 insects. A Butterfly, Wasp, Mantis, Ladybug and Beetle. This time around, we eliminate two insect large builds and instead opt for three large insect builds and three bases.

So, what we have is a LEGO Ideas set with less insects, more display, and a cheaper price tag than most recent LEGO Ideas sets. Is this a story for success? Or is this a set that needs some bug-spray?

LEGO Ideas - The Insect Collection 21342

Hercules Beetle

The Hercules Beetle has to be one of the most visually striking of the three builds solely due to its colour. There’s a lot to love about this build.

The very clear aesthetic of the horn, the two display options and the most interesting base of the three models.

I’m a big fan of how the designers used subtle angles and organic shaped parts for the large iconic horn. The model also utilises a bunch of bucket handles for the very thin and frail feet that the beetle has in reality.

The model has two display options. Wings out or in. Unfortunately, the wings don’t fold in underneath the rear thorax of the beetle, but I cannot see any possible way for this to actually work. With this in mind, LEGO opted for removable wings. Which are in a nice striking orange and brown colour palette.

As much as I love the wings out version of the beetle, I do wish there was a way to ‘lift’ the beetle in the air to make it seem like it is taking off.

Blue Morpho Butterfly

The Blue Morpho Butterfly is probably the most basic of the three insects. With a somewhat simple build, that is no fault of the designers though. It’s a butterfly. A small body, big wings.

LEGO have introduced new printed elements for this build on the edges of the wings. But I can’t help but think that maybe the pattern would have been better completed across the whole wing edges.

The original submission for the LEGO Ideas set had a pretty parts-intensive build for the butterfly that I think pulled off this insect a bit better. But I can understand the overhaul for the set.

As for the base of the build, we are treated to a slew of the newer 2023 plant elements and some flower builds. These are a nice pop of colour to really encompass all parts of the colour spectrum in this set.

It’s also worth noting the micro build of a LEGO wasp, which is reference to the original LEGO Ideas submission that included originally 5 insects, including the wasp. Though at this scale, it could be interpreted as a bee.

Chinese Mantis

Easily the most technically encompassing and filled with character, the Chinese Mantis is easily my favourite. Although the whole build isn’t encompassed in one lime colour, the subtle mix of gold and sand green work incredibly well.

The Mantis’ head uses printed ball socket elements to convey the weird eyes of a Mantis, as well as using crowbar element for the antennae.

Adding to the mix of fun parts is the old Ninjago ghost weapons, now recoloured in lime green for the front forearms, and classic pistols recoloured for the feet. Phenomenal upgrade from the original submission.

There is a lot to love here. What outweighs the Mantis is unfortunately the base. There are a lot of coloured plant elements mixed in with a light coloured tree/twig build. I feel like there isn’t a significant enough contrast between the mantis and the branch they are on. I feel he looks better when you either have the build off the base, or posed up high to draw the builds apart.


I really like this set overall, and I’m a big fan of what you get for what you pay. Yes, some may call it dear, but the quality of the models are outstanding (but not without faults!)

The original submission did include 5 insects, and the sacrifice of two insects for three bases and larger insects is honestly a really good payoff.

Looking at the original submission compared to the final product is looking a night and day. No insect looks like the other version, which can be both good and bad, but it feels like an authentic original build.

I wish that some of the bases were done a little differently, as well as more than just a 1×1 printed round tile for the ladybugs, but I’m still happy with what I have here. It feels worth the price tag.


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