40236 Romantic Valentine Picnic

In recent years, LEGO has had two types of holiday/seasonal sets: cute animals and vignettes. I didn’t buy a single one of the animals in 2016, but this little gem practically leapt into my hand when I first laid eyes on it.

Even the back of the box is sweet (if a bit heteronormative), with a simple narrative to explain the set’s romantic intent. If you look back, the box even has a spot to write a quick note on the front if you’re giving it as a gift.

Inside, all those colorful bits are on display. Love getting that 8×8 plate!

LEGO hasn’t been very diligent in publishing their inventories lately, so brickset wasn’t much use in helping me find the rarities. This is the first time I’ve gotten my hands on flower plates in dark green and bright orange. The former have been in a number of sets, but none that I’ve bought, and the later hasn’t been seen in a set since 2004. The bright green dots are welcome too and that medium azur round jumper.

Simple, high-quality minifigs. Torsos have print on the front and back, but nothing too fancy here.

The woman has an alternate face with sunglasses.

The set goes together in a number of tiny modules. This approach wins on a couple of levels: every few steps, the builder has a finished assembly to enjoy and when finished they can be arranged in whatever way looks best. There aren’t any particularly new techniques here, but still a nice showcase of fine details that any city builder could put to good use.

One of my favorite bits is the brick-built bird. Designers have been tucking animals like this into Creator sets for the last few years, and I always enjoy their tiny forms.

A lot of great extras in this set. These 19 bring the total up to 145 for a $10 set. That’s a great deal. One of the few problems I had with this set is all the flower plates in similar colors. It was often difficult in the instructions to tell the difference between the shades of green, orange, or pink. That said, I’m very happy to be able to add them to my own palette in the future.

This is a great little set. I’d recommend getting at least one while they’re available! I know I’ll be grabbing a couple more if I can, just for all the beautiful elements.

You might notice in the picture above, how easy it is to form the three largest modules into a heart. That’s a sweet little easter egg!

Keep building and enjoy!

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