If you've ever built with LEGO bricks before, you know they are an awesome way to relieve stress. Part puzzle, part artwork, you can lose yourself in a good LEGO set. If you’re really looking to find your zen, LEGO has brought their bricks next level with their new Botanical Collection featuring a floral arrangement as well as the ultimate in feng shui -- a bonsai tree.
Bonsai trees are carefully-pruned miniature trees that look like small versions of full-sized trees. They require a lot of attention and are both meditative exercise and an art form. Not everyone is cut out for this task, however (I was amazed at how quickly I was able to murder my first and last bonsai tree).
Don’t have a green thumb? That’s OK, because you can’t kill this set -- no water required, here. It’s just 800-plus bricks in your choice of green leaves or pink cherry blossoms. There’s even a pot and a stand.
The best part about this collection is that the bricks are made from plant-based plastic, produced using sustainably-sourced sugarcane, so hey, you do have a green thumb after all!
When you want pretty flowers that will last forever, the new LEGO Flower Bouquet, also part of the Botanical Collection, adds a beautiful and colorful burst to your space, minus the wilting. Over 700 pieces form snapdragons, roses, poppies, asters, daisies and different grasses that can be arranged per the builder’s wishes. Just pop in a vase and let your imagination dream up the scent.
"Harry Potter" fans also get two new types of sets. First, there are the Hogwarts Crests. Whether you identify as Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, you can proudly display a LEGO version of the house crest on your wall (and rearrange to one of the other three houses on a whim). Four of the 4,000-piece sets can be combined for one mega Hogwarts crest. Listen to a custom Wizarding World Soundtrack, full of conversations with experts on the films and LEGO sets, while you work. It’s like a spell for de-stressing.
Also new are four book-shaped classroom sets from the “Moments” collection: Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology and Potions Classes. These mini sets come with highly-detailed classrooms, mini figures and accessories, like the Herbology class, which comes with Professor Sprout, Harry, Ron and a mandrake. All four sets can be connected for a 360-degree experience.
The LEGO Super Mario sets, introduced this past year, have already been a fun way to make LEGO interactive. LEGO Mario can race around a series of courses, which interconnect, and collect coins and face adversaries along the way.
There are seven new expansion sets. First up is the Master Your Adventure Maker Set, which allows builders to customize their existing sets with fun new features. There’s also the Chain Chomp Jungle Encounter Expansion Set, the Piranha Plant Puzzling Challenge Expansion Set, the Wiggler’s Poison Swamp Expansion Set, Penguin Mario Power-Up Pack and the Tanooki Mario Power-Up Pack, plus a Series 2 surprise character pack, which contains one of 10 favorite characters from the Super Mario universe. All contain chips to integrate with the Super Mario Starter Pack Course.
Take that, screen time!
Even though this season of "The Mandalorian" has ended, if you’re still hungry for more Baby Yoda, er, Grogu, there’s a brand new LEGO set featuring our favorite green child. The Trouble on Tatooine contains Mando, Grogu, a speeder bike, a Tusken raider, a Tusken hut and missile-shooting ballista. This is the way, and the way is a blast.
LEGO certainly has the cure for our winter blues. If only the rest of our day was this satisfying!