LEGO and chocolate are two of my favourite things in life, and it's a passion I share with my six-year-old who loves the two almost as much as I do.
When I saw The House of Chocolate creation by model builder Lepralego on the LEGO Ideas website, I knew I had to share the details here on Chocolatier.co.uk!
This set has been nicely crafted to introduce small-batch chocolate manufacturing to a wider, younger audience.
If you are familiar with LEGO's modular building sets, this takes a very similar format, although it doesn't look fully-compatible with such sets just yet.
It features a street scene with a shop and chocolate kitchen behind.
What is LEGO Ideas?
LEGO Ideas is a LEGO Group-owned website where avid fans submit designs for their own sets. If a concept achieves 10,000 supporters on the peer-reviewed site, it qualifies for review in front of an expert LEGO judging panel.
Sets that meet the exacting standards become official LEGO sets, with the creator receiving 1% of the total net sales of the product and notoriety in the LEGO world. It's a great incentive for a wider base of amateur set creators to come up with popular concept designs that compliment the existing range of LEGO products.
Previous successful projects include 123 Sesame Street, a Grand Piano, Pirates of Barracuda Bay, and a LEGO-sized take on Central Perk from the US sitcom series, Friends.
The House of Chocolate
This two-level creation by LEGO Ideas user Lepralego features a shop on the lower level and a chocolate kitchen on the upper level.
The creator has drawn inspiration from the business model behind small-batch artisan bean-to-bar chocolate makers.
The exterior of the building is clad in muted greens and blues. While the façade stretches from one side of the base plate to the other, the reverse opens like cupboard doors, revealing the intricate details inside.
Starting downstairs, there's a chocolate shop and café, stocking a range of micro-batch chocolate bars and bonbons made in-house. Branded The House of Chocolate and The Chocomel Shop, they both specialise in bean-to-bar chocolate treats, hot and cold.
Upstairs is where you'll find the heart of the operation. Cocoa beans are roasted before heading to the conching machine. This high-tech operation uses a machine to form the bars from tempered molten chocolate, before they are sent downstairs to be sold.
There's lots of detail hidden in this set which makes it a great contender for the next quarterly LEGO Ideas review. I'd like to see it upscaled to fit nicely amongst LEGO's other modular sets and to make better use of the dead space at the rear of the building, but otherwise, this is a cracking concept set that will undoubted be a hit with any chocoholic, young or old.
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When Will It Launch?
If successful, this LEGO set is expected to contain around 2,700 pieces with around seven minifigures. That would land it in the recommended retail price ballpark of around £150 to £200, although the final price would be determined if the set is green-lit by the judging panel.
The in-model LED lighting used in the photos above is unlikely to appear in the final set, although adult collectors may well choose to rig up their own lighting set-up to finish this set off nicely for display.
Fingers-crossed this concept set will become a reality by late 2021 / early 2022.
Does anyone else hope this concept becomes an official LEGO set? Let me know in the comments below.