LEGO 21343 – A Trip Back in Time
This latest 18+ LEGO Ideas set transports fans back to the Viking era with a chieftain’s longhouse, watchtower and blacksmith’s smithy. Designed by LEGO fan BrickHammer and approved after multiple resubmissions, it’s an excellent addition to the Ideas line.
Unlike most other Ideas sets, this doesn’t come with sticker sheets, which makes building a breeze.
The set consists of three separate sections that clip together to form the full model. Each section is designed to represent a different aspect of Viking culture including their forging skills, their meeting hall and their chief’s throne. The village also includes a longship, blacksmith and pier, as well as various accessories to help bring the scene to life.
Unlike many previous LEGO Ideas sets, this one does not include any stickers. This is a welcome change as it allows for the inclusion of much more intricate printing.
The set contains four different Viking minifigures including a blacksmith, a chieftain, a shield-maiden and an archer. They all feature impressive torso and leg printing and eye-catching wooden shields. They are armed with historically accurate weapons to match their roles in the village. They also feature decorative designs to reflect the Vikings’ rich culture. As a result, the figures are some of the most detailed and attractive to be released by LEGO.
The building designs in this set reflect the strong Viking connection to water and travel. This included the use of piers to facilitate trade and transportation as well as boathouses to store ships. The set features three connected buildings: a forge, the chieftain’s longhouse, and a watchtower. It also includes blacksmith, chieftain, and shieldmaiden minifigures as well as decorated shields.
While the LEGO Group does make changes to sets, it is often to improve the build experience or to make the set more commercially viable (for example, reducing the number and density of leaves in the trees in 21338 A-Frame Cabin to reduce the overall cost). 21343 Viking Village follows in this tradition by being very faithful to its winning entry into the LEGO Ideas platform.
Ole Kirk Christiansen started his company with a philosophy that would later become the LEGO Group’s motto: ‘det bedste er ikke for godt’, or “only the best is good enough”. Today, this still holds true in the thousands of sets released under the name Lego each year.
The set comes with four exclusive minifigures, including a blacksmith, a chieftain, a shield-maiden female warrior and an archer. They all come with interesting facial prints, unique torso and leg printing and eye-catching wooden shields. Despite the inclusion of some historical inaccuracies such as horned helmets, they are still very good.
The minifigure accessories are also strong. The smithy has a hammer and paintbrush, the warriors have axes and shields and the chieftain includes her own throne with some Elder Futhark runes written on its back.
The final design adopts a few elements from the runner-up and winner of the original LEGO Ideas Viking Village contest. The result is a highly detailed collection of buildings on rocky landscapes, surrounded by water as if they were on islands and packed with Viking iconography. The set also has a redesigned rope bridge with rubbery elements replacing string, and dark tan accents and uneven 1×3 tiles to enhance the natural feel of the design.
Take a trip back in time with this richly detailed LEGO Ideas Viking Village play-and-display model. It features 3 connectible sections including a blacksmith’s smithy, the chieftain’s longhouse and a watchtower, plus blacksmith, shield-maiden and archer minifigures to bring the scene to life. There’s even a forge with a fun flame-billowing function, and the model has plenty of other details to explore, including a cave underneath the watchtower where you can see mineral deposits.
It’s interesting to note that 21343 is actually based on two different LEGO Ideas projects, as BrickHammer submitted the first Viking Village as his 10K submission, but also worked on a more colourful alternative that he later submitted for Target’s poll. The final set is a fusion of both, which gives it a unique flavour. The instruction manual is also a standout feature, as it’s clearly laid out and easy to follow. That’s something we often miss in other sets from the mainstream line, so it’s a welcome change.