Set 80112 Auspicious Dragon comes with 1,171pcs and will be released in January 2024 which will be the Year of the Dragon according to the Chinese Zodiac.
Let’s take a quick look into it before the official release
The set comes in the red theme that we are used to seeing for all the Spring Festival sets. Chinese paper cuts (剪紙) of the Chinese dragon adds some decorative flair on the corners of the boxart.
In the box, you will find 10 bags of elements and an instruction booklet.
There are no stickers as all decorative elements(the scales and eyes) are printed. The instruction book does not come in a cardboard envelope like in the bigger sets so it may come a bit crumpled like we did, due to the weight of the elements.
The Build Experience
The base of the set which comprises of the brick built sea and rocky perch is built first. The brick built sea utilizes a fully sideways build which may be something out of the norm for builders who are used to classic LEGO sets but it lends a good SNOT (Studs Not on Top) look to the set. You may see some gaps in the build due to this as evident in the bottom view of the set (normally hidden) but it doesn’t affect the stability in any way. Some white elements including some Unikitty tails are used to represent the rolling of waves. Three of the 4 claws are also built up at the first stage.
The second stage of the build would involve the dragon itself starting from the torso, the body and finally the head. If we may add, the the head is very well sculpted and the painted eye elements bring it alive. The dragon is snapped onto the base through some big ball joints. We were somewhat apprehensive that we might break the dragon while snapping it on but our fears were quickly allayed with each solid thunk of the connection.
The final claw isn’t connected to the base because it’s occupied by clasping a blue pearl. A symbol of the moon or spiritual energy, it’s closely associated with many depictions of the dragon in Chinese inspired cultures.
Overall Feel and Look of the Set
This set is probably made in the image of image of traditional tabletop dragon statues popular in Asian countries with heavy Chinese influence like China/Japan/Korea/Vietnam.
The dragon is set atop a rocky perch in the sea, succesfully clutching a blue pearl in its front claw; a popular depiction choice as it is a master of the sea in Chinese folklore. The scales and eyes are prints and not stickers.
The plaque with the words 祥龙纳福 (Xiáng lóng nàfú) in stylized 小篆/秦篆 small seal script carries the meaning of “Auspicious Dragon ushers in a life of ease and comfort”
As a footnote, there are no drum lacquered gold pieces in this set. All gold-like elements in this set are made of molded pearl gold pieces. Beginner builders may find the build slightly challenging as some part mating areas need to be guessed, but as the illustrations in instructions are very accurate, it’s not too hard getting to the correct build based on the subsequent images.
As such, we agree that the 10+ recommended age sounds about right.
This is the 5th straight year of LEGO sets released in conjunction with the Lunar New Year and we would honestly say that this is the one set that attracted us the most based on early set images released. We are indeed not disappointed with the build. This set will live long on our display counter. This set will release worldwide in Jan 2024.
The set used for the review was sent to us by The LEGO Group for the purpose of an honest review. Provision of sets do not in any way influence or guarantee a positive review.