Review of the Nanoblock Sloth; is it worth it?
Over the holiday season I received this; the Nanoblock Sloth which comprises of 120 pieces with spares and a medium difficulty level of two out of five. I’ve talked about Nanoblock and how it compares to standard brick brands in a previous article but the long and short of it is that they are a fraction of the size of other brands. In fact this entire build is only about four to five inches long and crams all 120 pieces into a small build.
The packaging for the sloth is the usual clear bag with a zip-seal lock at the top and descriptions in Japanese & English. The top of the packaging has small cuts in it ready for you to tear open gaining access to the zip lock with the Nanoblock logo front and centre. There is a window in the front to show you all of the pieces and instructions included while a sticker shows the model the bag contains.
Inside the main zip lock bag are three bags containing the bricks to make the sloth and an instruction sheet. No stickers are included nor are there any printed elements because all of the details in this set and brick built meaning no decoration is needed. In a previous review I lambasted the materials used for the bags containing pieces and I’m unhappy to see that the same, shoddy, lacerating materials are used here. Luckily however one of these bags is not like the others and is pleasantly easy to open (top right) which is a welcome improvement. A pair of scissors will easily cut through the bags, I just wouldn’t recommend using your fingers.
I’m glad that they have kept the zip lock feature in their packaging because I can now use this bag for other means to tidy stuff up around the house. Another handy feature can be found on the instruction sheet; each instruction includes a ‘parts call-out’ to help you identify what type and colour of brick you need with each step. Given the abundance of identical parts and muted colours on the printed A4 instructions the call-out section is useful so that you don’t use an incorrect colour.
The instructions begin at step one of five by building the first three layers of the sloth’s torso. The first two layers are unstable by themselves and the third layer helps to lock the lower two in place. The model at this stage is a little flimsy and could easily fall apart if you handle it too much so it’s worth moving on to step two and topping the torso with the final three layers.
After building the head, arms and legs of the sloth you finish up by constructing a stand and a branch for your sloth to hold on to. The finished model is presented on a clear stand made of 1x4 bricks with rounded edges and a ball joint. The stand itself is not sturdy and cannot correctly hold the weight of the model. It just doesn’t add enough stability to the inherently top heavy model because the sloth is attached by a ball joint that allows the structure to move under its own weight. The stand is flat at the bottom but it just isn’t wide enough to hold the sloth above unless it is perfectly balanced. The only way this set will stay in the correct position is if you have it balanced on a completely level surface, which is a disappointment.
The ball joints themselves may not be able to cope with the entire weight of the structure but they are more than capable of holding the arms and legs of the sloth in position. All of the sloths appendages are holding onto a branch apart from one which is bringing some freshly picked leaves to its mouth. There are three sets of ball joints used in each limb which have more than enough friction in them to stay in place but not too much that they can’t easily be moved. Nanoblock have used these pieces perfectly in this situation which is what it baffles me that they would use the same pieces in the stand.
All in all this is a perfect recreation of a sloth by Nanoblock who have done a great job capturing the essential features of the animal, it's just a shame that it let's itself down in a vital place. This would be a great set for an adult builder or as a desk ornament amongst some plants. In the past I’ve said that Nanoblock would be fine for older children who might want to try something new but, if I’m honest, this is not a children's toy; this is for adults only and the product blurb on the packaging agrees with that statement. Nanoblock is a micro sized building block designed “especially for grown-ups” so I wouldn't give this to anyone under 14 for example.
This would however make a perfect gift for an adult builder because they aren’t a popular product within the fandom and they aren’t available in any major high street shops. If you would like to get your hands on some here in the UK you could try the toy department of Harrods, this website or this online retailer.
If you know of some international stockists then please let us know by using the comment section down below and tell us if you have different thoughts about the sloth. You can speak to us on social media by using the CONTACTS page or share the link with the buttons below