LEGO Ideas #35
LEGO 21327 - Typewriter
Available from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores from 16th June for LEGO VIP and 1st July for all others.
The LEGO Ideas typewriter seems like a lifetime ago when it was confirmed. One could be forgiven for completely forgetting about it! However, we finally have our hands on the new model and it is time to crack open the box. Let's see if it is the nostalgic art piece we were all hoping for, or if it will quickly become a relic of the past.
One of the first things to note about the typewriter is the elegance of not only the box, but the instructions as well. The black box is new for 2021 and we’ve seen it on previous models before, but the older style font and simplicity really sets the tone. The instruction booklet is also incredibly sleek and pretty to look at.
Furthermore, our instruction booklet comes with an old-timey styled photoshoot with Thomas Kirk Kristensen, Chairman of the LEGO Group and the Great Grandson of the founder of LEGO. I’ve been ever so lucky to meet Thomas in the flesh during our time filming LEGO Masters 2020, and the photo is just as charming as the man himself.
This page of the booklet also points out a little hidden gem that nobody saw coming.h e paper message for the typewrite itself! Available in 43 different languages, the Typewriter gives us a message from the heart of dear old Thomas to place in the completed model. A detail that I personally wouldn’t have thought of and would have assumed fans would just have just added a blank sheet to their own models. It’s such a nice little touch, and the fact the message isn’t in just one, but 43 different languages, is quite impressive.
The build itself is stunning. Sand green all around and in the new moulds too! Stark blacks, greys and a little hint of red. The colour choice immediately sets the tone for being a period piece of art. The new elongated curved arches appear in the sand green for the first time. As well as being the largest LEGO model with sand green in the model. They even used the sand green long technic pins introduced with the Botanical Collection and threaded them from one side of the model to the other. Not only is this a structural needed for the key, but blends in with the outer casing. Sand green, sand green, sand green. Win! But also... For the first time in a while, SILVER CHROME!
This thing looks like an actual typewriter that could be easily mistaken at a glance. Add the special paper message from Thomas into the typewriter, and you’ve got yourself some art!
I do hope however that the paper is not easily subjected to fading from UV light. I feel like that this won’t be the easiest part to replace. Maybe use one of the 43 other languages such as French Canadian to test.
The keyboard part of the model uses the classic 2x2 round tiles but also now the 3x3 round tiles. A part that is slowly becoming more and more common. Here’s the part I do like. They are printed tiles. Oh boy, I would lose my damn mind if every single one of these darn things were stickers.
This was the biggest relief when putting this thing together. Round stickers are the trickiest to try and get right. You must centralise them, orientate them to the indentations on the underside, and not lose your mind to boot. These are all printed tiles, so I don’t have to worry about throwing this thing across the room. I like stickers. I just hate the round ones. Printed tiles were the right choice by LEGO today.
What Is Inside?
Now you’re probably asking what is on this inside of this thing. The answer is Technic!
Lots and lots of Technic. I mean A LOT. The first two bags are a little repetitive. But, Technic means functionality, which means this thing WORKS. Whilst I was building all this Technic, I was quite bemused by the fact that LEGO literally has instructions that say “Hey, make this like, 9 times, and throw it into a big pile”. And you do this more than once. At one point, putting this thing together I had a few dump piles sitting on the sidelines.
So with functionality in mind, how does it sound? Does the typewriter sound as clicky-clacky as I expected? Well, nothing could be as loud as the original typewriter, but you'll be please to know, all the mimicking sounds you would expect are there! The tapping of the keys, the clicking across of the platen with each letter, and of course, when you're at the end of the line, the clicks resetting as you move the platen manually back to the other side.
Do I understand how the mechanism inside the model works? Honestly? Barely, but it’s very intricate. Since building the model, I am stunned that there is someone at LEGO HQ that comes up with this design and how it works.
Overall, most of the hard work goes into the internals of the model and is very hard to appreciate from an outside perspective. This is a model you need to build to appreciate. Serious props go out to the LEGO HQ designers James May, Wes Talbott and Martin Fink. The internals of this build are absolutely amazing. I have never been so excited to turn the page in the instructions booklet, while also not wanting it to end. There we so many separate Technic components inside, that keep you guessing as to what their purpose is.
Of course, nothing is put on a set without reason. This includes the 'System In Play' sticker at the back. It displays 'SG/NGUOYD:030774 Billund'. Seemly random. But not quite.
SG = Steve Guinness - The LEGO Ideas fan behind this set.
NGUOYD = "Never Give Up On Your Dreams" - Steve's catchphrase.
030774 = Steve's date of birth.
Billund = Billund.
Thanks to Richard from The Rambling Brick for helping decode the message.
Clearly, this will be popular with the original 10,000 voters over on LEGO Ideas. I feel like this will desirable on a parts-level for those who enjoy that lovely sand-green, but I feel like this will hit an impasse with younger generations.
That being said, I have shown some of the people at my work (from older demographics) who have all taken an interest in the model, and they’re not LEGO people at all. They became interested in it, not because they themselves necessarily used it, but it reminds them of their parents and a “simpler time”.
That’s what this set is going to be for some people. A nostalgic period piece to put on display and reminisce on. And what could be wrong with that?
Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this please leave a comment below.
This article was written by Tim & Dannii.
Find them on Instagram at @legobuildingwithtimanddannii
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