Jarrod Fairclough – A few years back friend of the site Ivan Guerrero came to us and asked if we’d promote a submission he’d made to the LEGO Ideas website. The idea was a Sesame Street set featuring the classic 123 Sesame stoop and would spin to reveal some of the homes inside. If the idea got to 10,000 votes, LEGO would seriously consider looking at making it an official set. Of course we said yes, and through a tonne of campaigning, the set reached its goal, and LEGO eventually agreed to do it.
And so, after three years of waiting and wanting, last week I finally got to sit down and build the official Sesame Street Lego set! And what an incredible set it is. LEGO took Ivan’s concept and tweaked it enough so that his vision was there, but still had that LEGO touch.
Firstly, I wouldn’t suggest buying this for your young child for Christmas, unless you really want to sit and help them, because this thing is intricate. I had approximated around two hours or so to build – I finished after a combined 6 hours (and managed to watch almost the entire third season of The Office in the process!). With over 1300 pieces, most of which are small, there was a lot of sifting through and sorting, which, while fun, detracted a little from the enjoyment of the experience. Yes, it looks great, but looking for a small one stud beige piece in amongst 100 other same colour pieces became a little exhausting after a while.
That said, that was the only negative I found in the entire thing, and really, it’s not a big issue. The beauty of the thing is in the details, of which there are a tonne. Let me go through just a few of my favorites.
Biff and Sully get a huge billboard to themselves on the side of 123 Sesame. There’s a lot of very popular characters who don’t get any sort of reference in this piece, so for two now-brinking-on-obscure characters to get such a big spotlight is proof that this thing has been made for the older Sesame fan. They’re positioned above a poster of Abby Cadabby and her fairy garden from the newer seasons.
Cookie’s apartment is above Hooper’s Store, which I’m not 100% sure is true to the show these days (I couldn’t find any information on it). I know Bob used to live there but I wonder if Cookie does nowadays. According to an email from designer Ivan, the apartment is reminiscent of Monsterpiece Theater, and is filled with little tidbits, like a framed photo of his Foodie Truck, a portrait of The Count, and a television set featuring Guy Smiley. There’s also some VHS tapes, because apparently Cookie is still living in 1997. The statues on his shelf are of a man and a frog. Ivan tells me that’s to represent a certain man and a certain frog… I think he means Jimmy Buffet and a Caribbean Amphibian.
Big Bird’s nest features a LEGO version of the Mr. Hooper drawing and I think that’s brilliant.
Bert and Ernie’s basement apartment has been turned into a penthouse apartment for the sakes of this set. Utilizing the space means we get to see the main three locations (or at least an idea of them) usually featured in their sketches. We get the bedroom, we get a lounge chair, and we get a bath. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is an E and a B on their bedheads. In place if their basement apartment is instead home to a massive spider and web, which you can only see through a small window in the finished set. I’m not sure of the connection.
The minifigs are without a doubt the most impressive thing about the set. People seemed concerned that Ivan’s initial designs would be the final thing (Big Bird’s head was particuarly frightening) but the people at LEGO have made special moulds for each character (save for Oscar, who is more like a prop and not a featured character). Big Bird is the most amazing, standing taller than the rest (naturally) and having a real textured appearance. Cookie comes with a lot of cookies and has a nicely furry looking head, as does Elmo. The dimensions of Ernie and Bert can sometimes make them difficult to translate to figurine form, but I’m glad to say they’ve done a great job here. The Sesame Street sign, too, is incredibly effective.
People have (understandably) been asking where minifigs of characters like Grover and The Count etc. are, and while so far there hasn’t been any announcement, it’s possible LEGO may decide to create and release them if sales are high enough.
Look, you’d be silly not to buy this piece, especially for the price point (LEGO can be astronomically expensive). Again, expect a lengthy build time (meaning 6 hours, not 2 like me – D’oh!), but you’ll say more than once ‘Oh my god, look at that!’ when you come across a piece or a detail. You can buy the LEGO set here! Keep scrolling for a few more pictures of my finished set.