41184 Aira's Airship & The Amulet Chase Review
The LEGO Elves crew has taken to the skies before, but never like this. The designers have nearly hit it out of the park with a flying ship that is almost perfect
Price: £39.99 / $39.99 / 39.99€ (DE) Pieces: 342 Available: Now
Last year’s NINJAGO theme Skybound introduced a variety of zeppelins and airships. 41184 Aira’s Airship & The Amulet Chase picks up the mantle left by 70603 Raid Zeppelin and runs with it. The basic formula is the same as that previous set, a flying boat buoyed by a horizontal balloon, constructed of the new curved panels that were released recently, in conflict with a smaller glorified jetpack piloted by the opposing party. The LEGO Group took that concept to a whole new level with this gorgeous set, which has only one glaring flaw.
The High Points
The beauty of this set is hard to overstate: it is absolutely gorgeous. Multiple hues of purple are accented by a variety of curved pearl gold elements. It is a colour combination that is magnificent. Paired with the whites on the wings and balloon, 41184 is a delight for the eyes. Those pearl gold elements make this set highly desirable for MOCers who may not be fans of Elves sets normally. Acquiring the number of pearl gold parts that come with 41184 from third parties may very well cost almost as much as the set itself. The airship itself is also incredibly well balanced; decks, ladders, a spacious storage hold, and a variety of other details add a lot of depth to the model.
A lot of sets this year have included some sort of mechanical feature within its fuselage. Many of them have been poorly executed in that they consume so much of the set that the benefits feel like a waste due to the real estate consumed. Aira’s Airship thankfully does not follow this trend, and instead includes a well conceived and executed play feature that really adds to the set. The ship can transform from a flying craft to a boat by activating a lever in the back, which folds the wings perfectly to the side of the ship when pulled back and swings the wings out when depressed.
Two final points of excellence on this set: the minifigures and the small Goblin jetpack. Three figures, two mini-dolls and a new goblin, are included and Emily Jones includes her new independent amulet necklace component. This is due to the story this year centering around the Goblin King trying to steal her necklace. Forcing Emily to come to his castle for a confrontation is the whole reason he kidnaps her sister in the first place. The necklace is well executed and could be used on a regular minifigure as well. The Goblin’s jetpack is a great little model, which really adds to the play value of the set. A small safe in the back can be used to secure the necklace in the event he succeeds in his mission.
The Low Points
This set is almost perfect, designers came so close to making it so that a ‘The Low Points’ wouldn’t have been applicable. However, there is a huge, glowering, eyesore on this otherwise gorgeous set. It feels like the designer started from the front and worked their way back, running out of pieces right before completing the back of the airship. Here one finds the ship’s wheel, and a completely exposed red Technic axle that stands out like a sore thumb. Furthermore, the rest of the set’s decks are secured with a fabulous array of railings, but not the back of the ship. Here, where one would presumably always need to have a mini-doll stationed, there is nothing to prevent the captain from falling right off the back of the ship.
This omission and lack of covering feel completely out of character since the rest of the set is so excellent. It feels like just a couple more parts could have rectified the problem. Why the designer did not include them is a mystery.
Those who built last year’s Raid Zeppelin will be very familiar with the mode of construction on this set. The hull and wings are built first and the balloon and propeller are mounted above. Details are strewn throughout the set, mostly in pearl gold. This year, the idea that the crystals, which have been strewn around pretty much every Elves sets since the theme’s inception, can be used for power was introduced. Accordingly, the airship has them included on all propulsion related components.
Again, parts are a key aspect of 41184’s appeal. The pearl gold components are incredibly useful in a range of applications. The curved panels for the balloons also come in purple for the first time.
41184 is a treasure, whether one is a fan of the Elves theme or not. From the interesting model, to the useful parts, to the number of figures included for the price, this set is one that comes highly recommended from the team at Brick Fanatics.