If you're an adult, Lego is probably something of a solitary activity. You don't want kids getting their grubby little hands all over your precious bits of plastic. And you probably don't want your partner stepping in, ruining all the fun either. Let's face it; unless someone is demoted to "brick finder", on most models you're just going to get in each other's way. But that's where Lego Voltron stands out. The £160 set released as part of the Lego Ideas range this summer makes one giant robot when put together, but it's actually made up of five smaller, standalone models that can be built completely separately from one another.
With 2,300 pieces altogether, Lego Voltron is pretty impressive. He stands at over 40cm tall, so you're going to need a decent amount of storage space if you want to have the completed thing on display. What's most impressive about Voltron, though, is that he isn't one solid build. Five individual lion-shaped models make up his body; when rearranged into specific poses, they'll join together, forming his arms, legs and torso.
Handily, each individual lion has its own instruction book – five in total – with a sixth book with instructions to build Voltron's sword and shield, and very detailed instructions on how to fit each piece together. Four of the lions are very similar in size and scope, which makes them perfect smaller builds to enjoy with friends or loved ones. They're pretty complex for their size, though, so may not be suitable for really young children. The box advertises age 16+, but able children of a younger age should be able to put one together with minimal help. The fifth lion, the one that makes up Voltron's torso, is much larger than the others, so expect a bit of squabbling over who gets to do the "big one".
But providing we can all be adults about it and get along, it means Voltron is great for a group of friends to join up and build together. Not only does each piece of the mech have its own instruction booklet, they each have separate bags of bricks too. The four smaller lions – the ones that make up Voltron's arms and legs – each take just under an hour for one person to make, but you'll need a little longer for the bigger torso lion. There are a lot of technical pieces and a few fiddly bits in each, allowing for them to be posed and folded in varying ways (very important for constructing the full Voltron!). Perhaps four of you can compete head-to-head (-to-head-to-head) to see who can build their lions first, or perhaps you can simply take your time and enjoy snapping plastic bricks together in good company.
It's worth noting that none of the lions are identical. Each has its own nuances and slightly different constructions, but they're similar enough that they'll take roughly about the same amount of time to build. Well, providing you're building with people at the same competency level as you. If you're a Master Builder (TM), and you've invited your Lego-noob friends over, they're obviously going to need more time than you, you show off.
At £159.99, Lego Voltron is one of the more expensive Ideas sets to be released, but it's also one of the most striking. Even if you're not familiar with the original cartoon from the 80s, it's hard not to be impressed by the sheer size and detail of Voltron, even as nothing else other than a Lego model. If you enjoy building with a partner or a friend, then this model certainly won't disappoint.
Featured image: The Brothers Brick