REVIEW – LEGO Ideas: Ship In A Bottle [21313]

Manufacturer: LEGO
RRP: £69.99
Release Date: February 2018
No. of pieces: 962
Build Time: 2 Hours, 40 Mins approx.

productinfoContinue a nautical tradition when you build the LEGO® Ideas Ship in a Bottle, featuring a highly detailed ship with the captain’s quarters, cannons, masts, crow’s nest and printed sail elements.

Fan creator, Jake Sadovich, was inspired by an actual ship in a bottle that he had built a few years earlier when he decided to build a replica in LEGO brick form.

Fans of LEGO are proving more and more just how important they are to the brand; from valuable feedback to brilliant design submissions – just like this month’s LEGO Ideas: Ship In A Bottle set. It also speaks volumes about LEGO themselves that they have provided a dedicated platform for fans to create and share their creations, and actually have them considered for future sets.

One of the earliest surviving ships in bottles from 1784.

One of the oldest records of a ship in a bottle dates back to 1784, and featured a three-masted warship of Turkish or Portugese origin. In a lot of cases, they were made by members of the ships crew, and would be constructed from discarded bottles, whale bones, wood and netting. It became a popular maritime gift during the 19th century in Europe and the Americas, and to this day, still proves popular.

Enter LEGO fan, Jake Sadovich! In his own words, he wanted to create “a challenging build as well as the enjoyment of a beautiful display piece” – something we believe he and the official LEGO model design team have captured perfectly. Whilst the finished design is smaller and slightly different from Sadovich’s original concept, the heart and soul of the build is still there in the finished LEGO Ideas set.

The build was incredibly enjoyable, whilst challenging in places – namely getting the sails and masts onto the ship and in the bottle without knocking them over. In fact, there was a point when we genuinely didn’t think the ship would actually fit in the bottle, as the top of the masts rose slightly above the lip of the top of the bottle – such is the great deception and illusion of the concept! Thankfully – and this is where the design genius comes in – the small, tapered window piece, wraps around the top of the mast, allowing for a snug and secure fit.

There are a number of sections that are simple yet surprisingly detailed. The canons, for example, are formed from just 3 small pieces, but once attached to the side of the ship, look wonderfully effective. Other accents on the ship that we liked were the wooden paneling on the rear, the bottom panel of the bottle and the cork section of the bottle – complete with wax-effect seal. Not to mention the beautiful detail on the stand itself.

Speaking of the stand, it’s almost worthy of its own set due to the level of detail involved. There’s a plaque for the ship’s name (Leviathan), 2 globes, and even a moving compass – all of which tie in to the explorative theme of the set.

Bag 3 of the build has to go down in LEGO building history as both one of the shortest to construct and one of the most satisfying. In fact, there’s actually no construction involved at all in the 2 bags you get for this stage. You simply open the bags and pour all 284 blue studs into the bottle, then shake them around (once the bottle neck is in place) to distribute the ‘ocean’.

Build time was just under 3 hours, and we loved every minute of it (except the fiddly nature of the sails) 🙂 One of the fun things about building LEGO is when you’re working on a particular section that may not look anything like the finished item, but all it takes is a couple of pieces to transform and give you that “aha!” moment. The Ship In A Bottle set gave us many such moments!

Overall, a truly unique, inventive and visually stunning set. With an RRP of £69.99, the brick to cost ratio works out at £0.07p (thanks, in part, to the 284 blue sea studs), and is well worth the price tag. If you want something more unusual in your LEGO collection, this is a set that not only delivers, but looks awesome.





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