Geek Culture

Geek Review: LEGO Dragon Boat Race 80103

LEGO is known for releasing unique regional sets from time to time, and sometimes, they can be quite breathtaking to behold, and the 80103 LEGO Dragon Boat Race from Asia is a showcase of that high standard.

Released on May 1, the LEGO Dragon Boat Race was released in anticipation of the Dragon Boat Festival that takes place across Asia every year. And as with most other Asia-exclusive regional sets, this one is certainly a looker.

For the uninitiated, dragon boat races are a 2,000 year-old Chinese tradition, where paddlers on the boat steer the boat in coordination with a drummer via rhythmic beats.

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This set only has a modest 471 pieces, but boasts an impressive 15 (yes, fifteen) Minifigures. These include 6 paddlers, 2 helmsman, 2 drummers (these form two teams of 3 paddlers, 1 helmsman and 1 drummer), 1 stall keeper and assistant, 2 spectators and a judge.

The two dragon boating teams come in two regal-looking dragon boats (which do not float, by the way, the warning is even included on the box!) that sport striking red, gold and yellow colours.

Aside from the boats, there is a set of platforms that make up the prize presentation podium, spectator stand, as well as a traditional zongzi (steamed rice dumpling) stand.

This is actually a really nice interpretation of a typical setup of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, albeit greatly reduced in scope. There are generally five times the amount of dragon boating teams there, but we imagine 15 Minifigures is more than enough to convey such a scene.

The Minifigs themselves are really emotive, with each one displaying a different expression. This makes the set really flexible in terms of photo-taking opportunities.

The set is great for photography, with the sheer number of Minifigures giving you plenty of room for variance in setting up your scenes. You can get the dragon boaters to be paddling away on their respective boats, or set up a prize presentation scene, or even one where they queue up for zongzi.

However, the lack of moving and interactive parts (sans the wheels at the bottom of the boats) make for a set that will ultimately end up on your display shelf is the more likely scenario.

Also, if we were to be honest, the price of S$84.90 can be a tad steep considering the number of pieces. However, we get that it’s a regional set which is probably limited in number and hence the price. The sweet spot would be if it were S$10 cheaper, then it’d be a proper price for such a good set.

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Okay, we’ve been throwing the term “regional set” around quite liberally at this point. For those of you who reside outside Asia, fret not, LEGO has announced that they will be making regional sets available worldwide from this month onwards, which is fantastic news.

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In any case, the 80103 LEGO Dragon Boat Race set is a worthy addition to your display cabinet. But note the keyword “display”, as its playability is rather limited.

The pictures were taken using the new Fujifilm X-T30.

GEEK REVIEW SCORE

Summary

A solid Asia-exclusive set piece, the LEGO Dragon Boat Race 80103 is thematic, easy to build, and overall a great-looking set that looks really impressive on your display cabinet, or taken out to play with the kids.

Overall
7.9/10
7.9/10
  • Design - 9/10
    9/10
  • Playability - 7/10
    7/10
  • Value - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 8/10
    8/10
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