Review: LEGO Magnets London (854012) & Empire State Building (854030)

LEGO has been expanding their line of LEGO Magnets that started with the Statue of Liberty (6296008) and the Eiffel Tower (854011) which I have yet to get.

I’m actually one of the few that like to collect fridge magnets whenever I visit a country so I’m kind of the target market here.

London (854012)

Let’s start with the LEGO London magnet. It features a selective skyline of Big Ben and the London eye. I’m not too sure if the bright green twig element is supposed to represent something significant but it does add a nice touch of colour.

Clocking in at only 27 elements, I can imagine that the design had to be very tight to make every piece count. I like how they use the tan grill piece to represent the vertical tower of Big Ben and the 2×2 octagonal frame for the London Eye.

In a bid to keep the cost affordable, the magnets have gone with stickers instead of printed parts which is a missed opportunity if you ask me (more on that later).

As this is a very small build, the adhesives need to be attached to surface areas as tiny as a 1×1 brick and if you’re someone like me with fat fingers, it can prove to be quite a challenge.

One tip if you place a sticker in the wrong position (like me), you can use the edge of a penknife to slowly lift it off the surface without damaging it.

Yes, I know my penknife is rusty…

Now here is the bit which I felt was a missed opportunity. These magnets are essentially souvenirs for would be travellers who happens to wander into a LEGO Store while on vacation.

I feel that ladening them with a bunch of hard to adhere stickers on minute surfaces is not the best way to induct them into the world of LEGO.

You have to do this four times!

Trying to center a sticker on a surface that is as small as one side of a 1×1 brick is bad enough, you need to do this an additional three times! Heck, even the sticker on the packaging art is not straight. The next LEGO Masters series should dedicate one challenge to just sticking stickers.

I honestly would not mind paying more for a souvenir that is a little bit more exclusive with perhaps a printed element or two. The Statue of Liberty Magnet had its own printed tile (granted that it was a re-release) and would it really be so hard to have the name “London” immortalised on a 1×8 green tile?

On top of that, the sticker colours do not match the LEGO colours so they do not exactly blend in with the surface that they are on. This is quite apparent for the tan colour as you can see above.

Empire State Building (854030)

This would be the second LEGO Magnet that is from New York City with the Statue of Liberty being the first in this updated series.

The build is primarily two-dimensional and it reminds me of Chris McVeigh’s LEGO Brick sketches. I thought using Unikitty collectible figures series display stand as clouds was a very nice touch to break up the lines in an otherwise blocky structure.

Again my main gripe is still with the fact that the stickers don’t blend in with the LEGO colours. The sticker for the Empire State building is of a significant different shade than the LEGO tile.

I still don’t understand why they would not print the Empire State Building name onto an element as they already done so for the Statue of Liberty with a unique New York 2×4 tile.

These will retail for USD$9.99 / SGD$$16.90 and for that price point, I would have expected something a little bit more like at least a printed tile.

Both the LEGO Magnet London and Empire State Building are on sale in Singapore already but the USA only has the LEGO Magnet London available and the Empire State building is listed as “coming soon”.

As much as I love these series of LEGO magnets, the stickers were a hassle to apply which is why the printed element route should have been a lot more welcoming.

“An iconic LEGO souvenir for travellers marred by the use of adhesives”.

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