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LEGO Elves 41180 Ragana's Magic Shadow Castle Building Kit Review

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We’re such huge fans of the Lego Elves series, but sometimes we feel as if this particular series was solely aimed at children alone. One of the latest builds to come out from this series is the Lego 41180 Ragana’s Magic Shadow Castle set.

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The set is beautiful, colorful, yet somehow carries a gothic and evil feel to it. It carries plenty of playable features as well, helping keep those young minds active and imaginative, making them create stories about living inside the gorgeous Lego Elve realm.

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The build contains over 999 pieces in total, three minifigures, and comes at a price of over $99.99. These prices are only taken from the official Lego online shop. It’s definitely worth remembering that when Christmas or Black Friday sales are just around the corner, you might be able to grab lots of Lego builds at a cheaper price, including this one.

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There are seven brick bags included in the build, pieces of fabric capes, a sticker sheet, and a huge instructional booklet.

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The first minifigure on our cast of characters is Aira Windwhistler. Her character is supposed to be able to summon the wind through singing. The prints on her face and body are excellent, and she also carries a brand new longer cape, as well as a molded head hood that is only exclusive to the 41180. We also like the hairpiece alternative, along with the hourglass accessory that she carries.

Next up is Nadia Riverheart, who has power over water. She’s got some amazing detail to her as well. Her accessory is a book, which contains a purple dragon – Interesting, since dragons are mostly associated with Aira’s character.

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To finish up the first bag of bricks, we need to construct the very first build item. The bricks are for Aira’s catapult, which are used by all of the Lego Elves characters so they can storm through the Magic Shadow Castle easily. One of the advantages that Lego Elves has over the Lego Friends series is the amount of detail and complexity that comes with each build. The sets in the Lego Elves series come with loads more Lego Technic pieces, not to mention everything is so much more complex here. It’s great for older kids to play with.

The next part of the castle build belongs to the second bag of bricks. This build begins when you lay out the foundation, alongside the tiny entrance mechanism, which we will explain in more detail later on.

The third bag of bricks continues the castle build, and also serves to complete the ground floor of the castle. The amount of colors used here are just outstanding, and definitely reminded us of the classic space that comes with green and yellow pieces. These are meant to represent the crystals decorating the castle. This combination of colors is purely gothic, that nicely represents Ragana’s evil witch powers.

The fourth bag belongs to the first floor of the castle build, as well as the tree branch walkway. The arched room provides the main setting for Ragana’s bedroom. We head on back to the main entrance of the build, and push its steps going in a forward direction. The door will swing open together with the walkway, connecting it to the internal lobby area.

The third minifigure is the star of the build and the main villain of the Lego Elves series – Ragana herself. She’s an evil witch that keeps a baby dragon locked up inside her huge castle (aka the build). She wears a nasty smirk on her face, that pretty much suggests that she’s not a person to be messed around with.

The fifth bag is for the aforementioned baby dragon, as well as the glittery blue egg that it hatches out from. The amount of detailing and contrast between the see-through plastic and the opaque plastic on the dragon is excellent and works really nicely. Meanwhile, the rest of the parts in brick bag number 5 finishes off the second floor, along with the balcony where the characters mix their potions in. The castle pretty much contains all the amenities that you can find in the typical Lego house build – Ragana has a bedroom, a lounge room, and a bathroom all decorated and fit for an evil witch queen like hers. The detailing here is just incredible, and the amount of stickers placed here will only contribute to the build’s finishing touches.

The sixth bag is meant for something that’s rather unique in a Lego Elves build – A jail cell. This segment of the build will be incorporated in a part of the castle, having been carved right into a bedrock positioned beside a running stream. This is surrounded by plenty more sickly crystals. The same cell is equipped with a cool trapdoor mechanism, that could surprise unsuspecting victims who are unfortunate enough to wander into it.

We move on to the final bag in the build, and now finish up the whole thing by constructing Ragana’s throne room. This is positioned right on top of the jail cell with the trapdoor. Making an appearance in the same bag is Jinx, Ragana’s beloved pet cat. It’s pretty much a Lego Friends cat figure that has a rune printing on it.

We really did enjoy building this set. For those who have kids, then you’ll be delighted to watch them spend loads of time trying to create brand new storylines for the 41180. Lego has done an amazing job here, since they managed to capture the whole concept of Lego Elves, containing plenty of playability elements together with the build. The color scheme might be a bit too garish and dark for some, but it still works nicely with Ragana’s storyline and her dark magic.

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The build is both fun to play and build with. There are several advantages and disadvantages that come with the Lego 41180. We’ll start with the advantages: There’s a gorgeous design on the sticker sheet that comes with the build, which makes the whole thing pretty to look at. All of the BURPs come in a lavender shade, and look nice on the castle’s dark theme. The same can be said for the amount of purple-colored pillars, as well as the huge trans-brick that will be utilized for the stain glass window. The whole thing might not even look as awesome if everything is solely constructed from bricks.

There are two disadvantages that come with the 41180. First is the amount of stickers that we have to plaster on the build once it’s done. Nearly every part of the build has a sticker on it. There’s also a good number of BURP pieces included here: Tall pillars, tall bricks, which a couple of inexperienced builders might not know what to do with. And lastly, the flag and banners that hang from the towers are all made out of plastic, giving them a cheap look (but that’s just our opinion, anyway). Some fabric would have been nice.

This seems like the most interesting and comprehensive build from the Lego Elves series thus far. However, based on the whole building experience we had with this one, we feel like we should purchase more builds that carry this certain theme. It’s nice to see that Lego has managed to churn out themes that cater to little girls, all thanks to this kind of complexity and the use of purely functional Lego Technic elements – But not that that whole idea would appeal to little girls either. The 41180 combines themes that come from the classic castle, a spooky haunted house, and even a Lord of the Rings build in a highly creative way. Here’s hoping that Lego is able to keep things going with the build.

We like the overall design of the castle. First off, it’s got a nice, gothic, vampire glam look and feel to it. There’s a row of spiky black teeth placed in front of a magenta background. The amount of lime green foliage beneath the pile of lavender bricks near the main entrance of the castle is a tad bit lurid for our liking, but we do enjoy the build’s overall color scheme. There’s plenty of dark purple and black, with lavender, grey, and lime accents. We also enjoyed the amount of trans bricks, including yellow, blue, and green ones. These are all used for decorative crystalline elements: They create some sort of gorgeous sparkle to an otherwise dark, somber build. It actually looks so much nicer when you see it in person, than it does in photographs. The pieces that come with the build would also be nice for those who aspire to construct an evil castle or haunted house build, or pretty much anything remotely creepy.

The castle is comprised of two parts. There’s the three-story main building, and an adjoining wing that’s two stories high. These are both connected with the help of a narrow bridge. There’s a huge cavern found below, as well as a tiny waterfall.

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