Review of the Nanoblock Lion
As well as Lego I have a fascination with other brands of interlocking bricks. So; let’s Talk Nanoblock
Back in August of 2015 I'd recently rearranged my home office which meant that I’ve been able to focus on my growing Nanoblock collection. Nanoblock is tiny and amazing. Over the years I have been able to get my hands on several of the sets and each one is an amazing display piece that demonstrates a blockular and slightly cartoonish version of the real life object it is portraying. Nanoblock is fiddly; but that’s it’s glorious charm.
Compared to a Lego brick a Nanoblock is easily a 6th of the size which scales any creation down to a miniature level. A 2x2 Lego brick towers over the tiddly Nanoblock piece making every creation a challenge to put together. When you scale a few 4x4 Lego bricks stacked on top of each other versus the same stack with Nanoblocks there is a clear delineation which shows how fiddly Nanoblock is. But that is essentially the charm; the smaller the pieces the greater satisfaction when you complete a build.
This Lion is 150 pieces and all the smaller Nanoblock sets come in these zip-seal bags (which are great to store spare pieces). Each set comes with a vast quantity of spares, almost as if they know that some are going to ping across the table never to be seen again. I’m assuming that’s why these sets are a little overpriced given the market; the fact that they give you enough pieces to ping them around the room and still complete the model would dictate their comparatively high price.
In reality however they have to be imported from Japan and are reasonably priced given the miles they have to travel. I would however suggest that you shop around because good deals can be found without too much effort. I've provided some links at the bottom of this page but specialist stockists can be found throughout the UK.
This Lion comes in 5 bags, a base and an instruction sheet which are both included loose. It always seems that the companies who manufacture modular building sets aren’t really concerned about the bags they use. I say this because the Nanoblock bags are difficult to open, and my penknife could do nothing to them but poke holes. Lego on the other hand produces bags which have multiple points of entry instead of the zero we see here.
Excluding the base the bricks in this set are five colours; White, Yellow, Brown, Black & Light Green. The instructions aren’t easy to read if you’re not used to them but it is a relatively easy build compared to the other sets they produce.
The image above is the build at the end of step three which produces a slightly squished version of the lion before you add more layers to the main. There are relatively few steps to complete the each Nanoblock creation but there are part call-outs at each step to help along the way.
This is the finished model and shows the dexterity that these blocks have at this scale. What is odd about this model is that it’s two bricks too long for the base and has all four feet connected by one stud each instead of two. That does mean that you have to be careful with final assembly otherwise the feet and legs will fall apart if you apply too much pressure putting the lion down. Patience is required once you finish the torso so that the tail or legs do not fall off. But at the end of the build the lion does stand proud, gazing across a small portion of the Serengeti.
The spare pieces are an interesting mix because you get everything from a 1x1 to a 2x4 brick of multiple colours, they are all a welcome addition to my collection however I could reproduce a significant portion of the model just by using the spares. In consideration it is hardly a complaint. This Lion is a fun representation of the majestic animal given it's comical scale and is currently being displayed in my Brickcave. Thumbs up, would recommend this simple Nanoblock set.