LEGO Ideas Doctor Who 21304 Building Kit Review
Last October 2015, we managed to get a sneak peak at the 11th Lego Ideas builds, which included a build based after the iconic British TV show, Doctor Who. Doctor Who has been airing on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) since 1963. It follows the adventures of a Time Lord simply known as The Doctor, an alien who resides on the fictional planet Gallifrey. Each episode of the show features The Doctor and his human Companion(s) as they travel through the fabric of time and space, with the help of a spaceship called the TARDIS. Along the way, the Doctor and his Companion work together to help people in need and save civilizations, while battling several foes including the Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, and the Doctor’s arch-rival, a fellow Time Lord called The Master.
The show has been around for so many decades, and has become a part of British pop culture. It has also gained a cult following outside of the UK. Doctor Who has spawned several spin-off shows, including Torchwood, Class, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and K-9. A TV movie was released in 1996.
Much like all of the Lego Ideas boxes, this one comes inside a sturdy flapped box, which you can open up without the possibility of destroying it.
We have already seen photos at the front side of the box, but it’s still worth taking another glance. It showcases the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor (portrayed by Peter Capaldi in the series), holding his main weapon, the Sonic Screwdriver. His companion, Clara Oswald (portrayed by Jenna Louise Coleman) is quickly making a run towards the interior of the TARDIS, while being chased by two Daleks.
Meanwhile, there are other two minifigures included here: A Weeping Angel figure, and the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor (played by Matt Smith). The two of them are shown in a different panel.
The rear side of the box showcases the Eleventh Doctor working on several controls. It also showcases how the interior of the TARDIS build is connected to its exterior.
There’s a 127-page instruction manual that carries the exact same photograph as the frontal side of the box itself. It also includes plenty of info regarding the show, as well as the character in the front side. Also included here is information about the creator of the build, Andrew Clark, as well as the team of Lego designers responsible for making the set – Including Clark, Adam Corbally, and Samuel Johnson.
After reading the tiny blurb about the designers, it’s only right that Johnson was assigned to create a Doctor Who build, since he is actually related to actor Paul McGann, who plays the eighth incarnation of the Doctor (whose only notable appearance was in the 1996 TV movie, and the 2013 special episode, The Day of The Doctor).
After you open up the box, you will be greeted with heaps of brick bags, as well as plenty of instruction booklets. There are also six unnumbered bags filled with ABS goodness.
The 21304’s parts pack is just unbelievable. If you love dark blue (which is the main color of the TARDIS), then you’re in luck since you’ll find loads of bricks and parts in that color. There are also several elements that have not been seen in that particular color until this build: Namely the 1 x 4 and 2 x 2 plate hinges, the 1 x 2 x 2 window frames, as well as the rounded tiles measuring 1 x 1, to name a few.
The best part about this build is that there aren’t any stickers inside. All of the printed parts, aside from the Dalek tops, as well as a couple of other important parts are also new. There’s a transparent part that fits nicely on a minifigure’s head, and gives them two studs at the back. There’s the tiny Sonic Screwdriver accessory, as well as a new and transparent 1 x 1 rounded tile.
We now move on to the minifigures: Clara and the Eleventh Doctor’s costumes are spot-on. He wears a brown-checkered suit and his signature bowtie, while Clara has a tartan skirt on, paired with a cardigan and a white blouse. But we’re not too convinced with the Twelfth Doctor’s costume. In the show, he normally wears a long black coat or a black suit, although there was one episode in which he dons a crimson-colored greatcoat, which is probably the outfit that Lego was attempting to replicate in his minifigure. The shade of purple used here isn’t even the right one – Perhaps a dark red hue would have suited him better.
The three minifigures all come with printed backs, while Clara wears two-toned legs. Twelve doesn’t have an alternate expression, unlike the other two.
The Weeping Angel figure looks fantastic. She is the one who’s supposed to use the transparent neck bracket with the two studs, which are supposed to be where you connect the wings. She may look serene at first, but when you change the expression on her face… Yikes! She wears what is probably the scariest expression we’ve seen on a Lego minifigure!
It’s slightly weird that Lego has decided to include a Weeping Angel minifigure in this build, since it is mostly associated with Amy Pond and Rory Williams, the Eleventh Doctor’s previous two companions before Clara.
You have to build the interior of the TARDIS first before you can start constructing the Daleks. Two of these bots are provided in the 21304, and both of them carry the same design and color – Gold and dark tan. We feel like Johnson has done an excellent job of them carrying a rather distinctive look and feel. The dishes measuring 2 x 2 are used for the tops of the Daleks’ heads. The aforementioned 1 x 1 tile is used for the eyes.
Another thing we’re curious about is why Lego managed to use dark tan bricks for the Daleks, instead of one of the more vibrant hues used in the show, such as silver. Apparently the ones that came in the dark tan color showed up in 2005, and were officially phased out in 2010 when the Tenth Doctor (played by David Tennant) regenerated into his eleventh incarnation.
The Daleks also carry a different design as compared to the ones that appear in an upcoming Lego Dimensions minifigure pack.
We’re not really experts when it comes to this thing, but the 21304 seems like a very good replica of the TARDIS, especially in regards to the interior. It looks similar to the ones seen in series 7 and series 8 of the show, since it’s got hexagon-shaped control panels revolving around a middle column. There’s also a time rotor located on top.
Nothing much can be said regarding the TARDIS’ exterior, since it’s completely straightforward and deals mostly with window frames measuring 1 x 2 x 2, including the inserts. You need to place in some SNOT work to connect the 1 x 8 tiles to its corners.
To open up the sides of the build, the Police Box signs found on top of the build are connected to the hinges, so you can turn them around by at least 90 degrees. This allows the backside to be opened up. You will also notice the white door pane that’s been printed with the reverse side of the front door. We’re not pretty sure if this is accurate to the one found in the TV show, but it’s still an awesome thing nonetheless. The amount of detail thrown in to the hinged sections is quite impressive.
When we first saw the Police Box lettering right above the TARDIS a couple of days ago, we (since we’ve never seen an episode of the show) were wondering why the build needed such a thing. But now, the answer is plain and obvious – You can place one of the Doctors inside of it.
The exterior is then attached to the interior with the aid of a Lego Technic axle.
The Lego 21304 build is just fantastic – And we’re talking about every single aspect of the build here. The only downside is that the Twelfth Doctor’s coat doesn’t come in a correct shade, but we’re more or less okay with that. It also manages to capture the concept of the TARDIS being ‘bigger on the inside’ (one of the show’s many signature lines), since it belongs to the concept of the time machine. Both exterior and interior parts of the build are superb as well – Not to mention the Dalek minifigures are just adorable.
To those who feel like Lego Ideas are just a whole heap of spare bricks instead of forming a cool model such as this one, then the 21304 will surely change your mind, all thanks to the host of brand new parts that come in dark blue, along with a smattering of dark tan bricks as well. This is everything you could ever dream of in the first Lego Doctor Who build.