Lego’s new Lion Knights Castle for $ 400 is a love letter to my childhood

Last January, Lego promised that its 90th anniversary would be memorable: the company agreed to revive one of his classic Lego themes (such as Space, Castle and Pirates) with a new set of Lego for adults.

But it turns out that today we do not get just one bomb for nostalgia – the company has decided to return the classic Space and the classic Castle at the same time. First, Lego unveils Galaxy Explorer, an enlarged $ 100 version of the original iconic Lego spacecraft, which is ready for pre-order today. And second, he announces the castle of the Knights of the Lions, which … at $ 400 and 4514 pcs – It is easily the most sophisticated and impressive castle game kit the company has ever produced.

To see more about Lego Galaxy Explorer instead, tap here.

For days, I’ve been uploading high-resolution photos of each set you’ll find below, marveling at the details and hidden features of the game. But I didn’t have to do it alone: ​​I also had to talk to their leading designers, Mike Psiaki (see also: Titanic, Saturn V, Aston Martin DB5) and Milan Madge (Discovery space shuttle, Pirates of Barracuda Bay, Central Park). I even had to talk to Nils Milan Pedersen, a 44-year veteran who created Lego Pirates and Forestmen, worked on many classic space themes and designed many of the most iconic fortresses, castles and ships, including Black Knight’s Castleon The Royal Knight’s Castle I was lucky to have it as a child, and the legendary one Black Sea Barracuda.

And damn it, if the new castle doesn’t surpass them all.

Many rooms in the castle, including the royal bedroom, banquet hall, granary, stables, basements, armory and more.

You will want to touch and zoom in and otherwise blow it up to see each room.

Doors and secret passages. Lifting and lowering drawbridges and gates, now with hidden chains and counterweights built right into the kit, instead of the open strings I had as a child. The most fortified looking towers from Lego Castle to date, filled with arrow slots. A water wheel aimed at a grinder so that the baker can grind flour for his bread. Royal bedroom and a gunman, bristling with weapons and dungeon and a small banquet hall and enough stairs and staircases to actually connect most levels. Knights lions, black knights and forest people and mini-stables, ox and cart and open food stand.

“We really wanted to awaken the feeling you felt when you opened the catalog as a child and saw this huge landscape with the market town and the villagers,” says Madge. As a result, the set has over 20 minifigures, more than all but the biggest Star Wars, Marvel and sports kits.

Oh, and did I mention that a lady with a crown runs all her work a lot of these minifigures are women ?!

Closed, the castle is 17.5 inches / 44.5 cm wide.
Image: Lego

The drawbridge is attached to a counterweight that swings in a hidden pit below.
Image: Lego

But perhaps the most amazing part for me is how the whole set is transformed. I wish I had a video to show you, because it took me a second to wrap it around still images – it looks like a closed castle on the outside, even when the kit is open, and twice as much when it’s closed. As a mental exercise, look at the water wheel in the photos above. Does the river flow to the castle, or does the river flow through it? the answer is both.

Inspirations include hinges from the original Lego Castle …
Image: Lego via Brick

… asymmetrical design on the top of the hill and the hut of half timber from the castle of the Black Knight …
Image: Lego via Brick

… and the clever hiding place of the trees from the Camouflaged Outpost.
Image: Lego via Brick

One room in the new set seems to pay homage to the original yellow castle of Daniel Krenz.
Photo: Lego

Designer Milan Madge says that closed / open design has been the goal from the very beginning. Its minor major influences are the original 1978 yellow Lego castle. which similarly opened on hingesand on Castle of the Black Knight with its asymmetrical castle castle design. “We want it to be something you can play 360 degrees around it, we wanted to make it completely enclosed so you have walls on each side.”

But Madge and Psyaki also shared love 6066 Camouflaged post, the hiding place of the forest, and decided to hide the merry men and women in the new castle. And when I say “inside,” I mean literally:

It took me a few minutes to figure out where this room was. It’s inside the wall.

“If you’re on the drawbridge at the wrong time, you’ll be thrown into the dungeon, but the foresters have a vile little system of caves to break you – there’s a hidden net under the castle that you can only find by disassembling the model.” explains Madge.

“We realized that there is only one place in the whole model that is not occupied by any history,” he added. “Yes, there is very little space below, everything is used for something,” Psiaki said.

Talking to Nils Milan Petersen, who designed many of the kits that inspired the new castle (including Black Knight’s Castle and Camouflage Outpost), I get the feeling that the longest-serving Lego designer is quite proud – but perhaps a little jealous of what can make his colleagues with a budget for adult Lego fans?

“We would always invest so much in them that we had to take them out again,” says Pedersen. “Prices weren’t that high because people didn’t spend so much on toys in those days, and that’s always been a concern for us.”

“It was much more thought to be just for kids, because in those days, you know, adults wouldn’t admit that playing with Lego was a whole new thing.

The designers say that you can connect up to 100 of these kits in a giant castle (maybe in a scam?) Probably for this Technic holes on the side.
Photo: Lego

He remembers how one of his original castle models had a blacksmith and a small kitchen before he had to remove them. Another had stairs leading to the towers, which were considered too complicated and expensive – and he thought that the children would certainly be interested! “No, no, but they noticed that there was a chimney in one of the buildings and no fireplace connected to the chimney. That’s what they actually noticed! Children are sometimes funny this way – the figures can just fly to the towers.

The other things he had to give up in those days were catapults and demands, “because they were considered weapons,” but Lego designers slowly won the battle there. By 1989, he and the late Jens Nigaard Knudsen, creator of the Lego and Lego Space minifigure, had persuaded superiors to allow not only a pirate captain with his own distinct face (instead of a smile) but also cannonballs, though not in the United States. ), pistols and muskets and a pirate flag with a skull and bones. It was all battles with then-owner Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, he said.

“Cheerful Roger … he really didn’t want me to put a skull on this, that was the limit, he didn’t want to see that.” They tried countless versions without it, but it didn’t look right. “So Jens and I went to his private home one night, went for a cup of coffee and talked for a long, long time. He finally gave up and said yes, well, make your skull on this flag, but you have to make him smile somehow. ”

6090 Royal Knight’s Castle. Find the trebuchet just below the tower in the upper right corner.
Image: Lego via Brick

And they did. In 1995, he was allowed to leave and need: my childhood The Royal Knight’s Castledesigned by Petersen, there is a small scale of loopholes that you can click with one finger.

These days, the former fisherman is sculpting mostly new Lego parts for sets by other designers. He has designed minifigures like the original skeleton and more recently Muppet show figures such as the Kermit frog, as well as multifunctional items such as feathers in the hats of forest and knight’s helmets – which he says were originally designed as feathers for minifigures that can also be held. “In the old days, when you were going to make an element, you were required to provide that this element could be used for at least 10 years.”

The new Lion Knight’s Castle will go on sale on August 3 for Lego VIPs (this is free registration) and on August 8 for everyone else. Which, oddly enough, means you probably won’t get the new Forest Hideout kit (a remake of Petersen’s Hide and Seek) free with your purchase, as it is available until June 22. For now, here is one last image of the new castle.

Photo: Lego

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