LEGO Art 31206: The Rolling Stones – You may not always get what you want, but it might be what you need [Review] – The brick of the brothers
LEGO celebrates the 60th anniversary of The Rolling Stones with a 3D rendition of their classic ‘Lips and Tongue’ logo. LEGO Art 31206 The Rolling Stones is a 1998 coin set that will be released in the UK on June 1, followed by North America on August 1, and will retail for US$149.99 | CA$199.99 | UK £129.99. It’s a big change from the other Rock and Roll icons we’ve seen in the Art theme… and there are surprises in store for the curious builder. Come and discover a preview of this unusual entry into the world of wall art!
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review does not guarantee coverage or positive reviews.
Unpacking Parts and Instructions
In an annoying turn of events, US Customs decided to closely investigate our review copy of this set. They skipped all tab stamps, and things obviously got moved. As such, please note that your unboxing experience may be slightly different.
This set comes in a large box with adult style packaging. That means a mostly black background, prominent logos, and a mandatory age range of 18+. Granted, the average Stones fan is probably way above the 18-plus mark, but there’s nothing here a young builder can’t handle.
The back of the box (normally) sealed with a tab shows the set mounted on a brick wall (which reminds me more of Pink Floyd than the Stones) with an inset plan showing the dimensions of the set ( 22″/57cm tall and 18.5″/47cm wide) and a prompt to upload the set’s custom soundtrack. (Unfortunately not yet available at the time of writing this review.)
The side of the packaging has the logo on the right side, adding some shelf appeal. Strange, however, they didn’t include a LEGO logo on this panel.
Inside the box is a second printed box and a number of loose parts bags. No idea if this is an “official” layout or not, but it matches what we’ve seen in other great art sets like the 31206 world map.
I suspect things have gotten out of place as there is quite a large gap between the top of the bags and the edge of the box. It was nervous for a while as I waited to see if all the parts had arrived safely. (Spoiler alert: they were all there.)
The secondary inner box is also sealed with tabs and probably contained more parts bags, loose Technic bricks and the instruction manual.
In total, there are 24 numbered bags covering 12 building stages. There are also three unnumbered bags, 5 loose Technic 16×16 bricks, a bag with instructions, and a small folded flyer. There are no stickers included with this set.
The front of the manual features the iconic logo, albeit heavily cropped to better fill the rectangular space.
Inside, the first few pages explain how this set is different from previous LEGO Art offerings. Fiorella Groves (Creative Lead and Head of Design for LEGO Art) and Annemette Nielsen (LEGO Art Model Designer) both have a little blurb explaining how they broke expectations for this set. This is followed by a few pages on the history of the “Lips and Tongue” logo, and a history of the Rolling Stones in general.
Although our review set contained the standard clear plastic bags, the included flyer suggests that later copies of this set will start to see the more eco-friendly packaging that LEGO has promised to roll out. I scanned the page for you to read for yourself.
The majority of pieces in this set are common, but there are a few rare pieces and new recolors. The 3×3 arc tile in white is a new color, with the red version having only one other appearance so far in 80035 Monkie Kid’s Galactic Explorer. The ingot item is also new in red – and there are 60 of them here. Finally, a unique 2×4 printed “signature” tile completes the cast.
The logo backplane uses a combination of Technic support elements and the 16×16 square brick used in the other Art sets. Things are firmly locked together with pins and a Technic plate.
Additional lock-in occurs when red and white detailing is applied on top. The designers made great use of the interlocking macaroni tile, the rounded plate and the angled plate to lock in the different curves. Soon the first quarter of construction is complete and things already look recognizable.
“Side B” doesn’t quite mirror the first section, but it’s still very similar. The same Technic framing continues around a single integrated 16×16 block.
The surface details for the right half are identical to those for the other side. The mix of plates and tiles adds texture to the construction. It’s clearly Stone’s logo, but it’s also clearly a LEGO project.
Joining the two halves together is a satisfying step. A few extra plates and tiles are added to lock the sections together from the front.
There are two mounting brackets built into the top half, one on each side. These wall brackets have proven their strength and functionality with larger mosaic-style Art mega builds, but you’ll still want to make sure you’re setting the nails into the wall at the correct distance. It’s a shame LEGO didn’t come up with a little brick tool to help you out, but you can make your own from a spare plate. Or, you know, use a level or something.
The lower half of the lips is constructed in one piece. Not splitting it in half probably adds some structural strength to the finished base.
Turning things over, the red edge of the tongue passes next. Several Technic pins are added to lock things together. Considering the layers of lock plate that will be applied on top, the low pin count is not an issue.
Fastening the halves together completes the foundations of the art. After applying a few more red tiles, the connections are solid and there is no excessive play between sections.
And then… suddenly… MOSAIC TIME
At this point in the build, we suddenly revert to the more established LEGO Art style. Bags of 1×1 round plates in an array of flame hues await. They are applied to the black center of the tongue area in bands of color.
With all in place, we get a tribute to the Stones’ 60th anniversary. Some people may want to stop building here, as this is pretty much a complete picture. I’m not super thrilled with the harsh lines in the gradient – it looks a bit clunky to me. The inner edge of the tongue area also looks unnecessarily sharp compared to the curves we see elsewhere.
Strangely, this version of the Model B isn’t highlighted on the box art at all – this surprised me as I was building my review copy. The only clue I had was those two blueprints at the start of the instructions – something I admittedly skipped over as I couldn’t wait to start building. The current product description on LEGO.com highlights this; maybe someone yelled at marketing after the box design of the set was complete.
And then… suddenly… NO MORE MOSAIC
I think most fans will probably keep building to have the most iconic version of the logo. The 60-year-old mosaic is quickly covered in large red patches.
The edges of the tongue area are smoothed with various curved slope elements. The white highlights are well integrated, using these interlocking curved tile elements to create gapless coverage.
The last bit of glitter is applying the 2×4 printed tile. It’s another reminder that this is a LEGO Art set – those 2×4 ‘signature’ tiles have been in the mix since the first set of Iron Man mosaics.
The finished logo (this time for real) is a perfect recreation of the classic Stones logo. The curved base and uneven weight distribution mean you to have to mount it on the wall for display, however. I couldn’t balance it on my own.
Conclusion and recommendation
The LEGO Art theme takes a bold step into the ‘non-mosaic’ areas with this interesting take on the Rolling Stones logo. While the overall build is very monotonous and eye-straining, the 60-year-old “hidden” Easter egg provided an interesting break. But do I like it? Will general LEGO fans like it? Will hardcore Rolling Stones fans like this? I’ll go with a qualified “maybe”.
Is it interesting wall art? Yes. Does it do a good job of recreating the logo? Absolutely a yes. But there are some significant downsides to consider. The weight distribution and curved bottom edge mean you’ll have to wall mount it to display it – you can’t just lean it against a wall and expect it to stay upright. And it’s quite large – that could be a plus or a minus depending on how much wall space you have to play with. As a more laid back Stones fan, I probably wouldn’t use my LEGO budget for the $150 USD price tag. Non-fans might consider it a coin pack at 7.5 cents a coin for a good selection of useful (and some rare) coins in large quantities. But if you’ve read this far, chances are you’re a Stones fan and just want to make sure you know what you’re getting into with this set. If that’s you, yes, you’ll probably be happy with the end result. And now for the obligatory final encore song reference:
You can’t always get what you want, but this set might just be what you need.
LEGO Art 31206 – The Rolling Stones will be available June 1 in the UK and August 1 in North America from the online LEGO Shop for US$149.99 | CA$199.99 | UK £129.99. It may also be available through third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review does not guarantee coverage or positive reviews.
Check out our full gallery of images