Sometimes, it’s overwhelming to find the right purchase in a world as big as LEGO. Whether it be for yourself or a loved one, having all the information about specific sets helps us know where to spend our money. I’m here to help you make a decision on whether or not to purchase a LEGO set which is relatively new that seems to be taking the LEGO universe by storm.
I want to talk to you today about the coveted LEGO Typewriter set. It’s true that this set really stands out amongst other LEGO options. It’s a build-to-display piece with moveable pieces, it’s super retro looking, and it even has historical roots in the LEGO legacy. And have you seen that color?
Released in 2021, the LEGO Typewriter is very difficult to find in stores and online, but is it worth the hype? Let’s talk about why it’s so coveted and whether or not this particular LEGO set is worth the scramble and the money to get your hands on.
The LEGO Typewriter History
Just like the LEGO sets inspired by movies, shows, and bands, this LEGO set is a recreation of something but unlike those, this actually existed. That’s right. This is a model of the typewriter once used by LEGO Group’s creator Ole Kirk Kristiansen. This might feel trivial, but I believe it’s one reason for a hardcore LEGO fan to purchase this set. By taking home the LEGO Typewriter, you’re bringing home your own piece of LEGO history.
Kristiansen founded his wooden toy shop, The LEGO Group, in Denmark in 1932. That seedling progressed through innovation, creativity, and listening to fans over the years until it became what we now know as LEGO.
Another interesting fact about the creation of this LEGO set is that LEGO didn’t conceive of it. A LEGO fan submitted this set as something that LEGO should make and LEGO agreed. The rest is (recent) history!
This isn’t the first time that LEGO has used the ideas of fans to create new pieces. In fact, they encourage ideas from fans with an entire section of their website devoted to submission from fans called Lego Ideas. Every year LEGO and LEGO fans vote on finalists and one winner, who receives a portion of profits from each purchase. Then LEGO makes their dreams come true with a new and unique LEGO set. Talk about listening to your fans!
So by purchasing this LEGO typewriter, you’re supporting another LEGO fan, just like you!
The LEGO Typewriter Breakdown
I always say that LEGO excels at the details, so let’s talk details.
The LEGO Typewriter is for ages eighteen and over with 2,079 pieces. It is aimed at adults, and while it has moving parts, is a built-to-display set, not a built-to-play set. This set rings in at $199.99, which isn’t a small sum, but it is a good price for what you’re getting.
What I love about this is that not only does the typewriter, once built, move — it also sounds like a real typewriter! Just like the real thing, the typebar rises when each letter key is pressed and is connected to the carriage, which moves along as you type. (Only the center type bar moves, different typebars do not move according to which key you press.)
And you didn’t think they’d stop there, did you? Once you reach the end of your line, you reset the typewriter, turn the carriage nob to move your cursor down to the next line, and continue ‘writing.’ You can even feed the machine real paper through its a platen roller. So aside from ink, this is very nearly a real typewriter, constructed entirely of LEGOs!
Speaking of ink, this is a LEGO first in that it has an element that is not actually LEGO pieces. This has a ribbon imitating the red and black ink spool ribbons on regular typewriters. (The material is similar to the fabric used on Minifigure capes.) Looping this through the LEGO pieces helps create the authentic look and feel of the typewriter. Some might dislike this touch, but I love it! It even has a clickable switch to opt for black or red ink. However, the switch does not actually impact the ribbon, as this does not actually have ink in it.
And you don’t have to worry about putting stickers on straight for all those letters (something I personally struggle with). Each key has the letter, word, or punctuation printed on it already. That means you don’t need to apply a ton of stickers! But you do need to apply some, two to be exact. A sticker for the fake brand ‘System’ is required on the front, and a sticker for the brand and serial number on the back. The sticker on the back is extra special, starting with the initials of the LEGO Typewriter’s creator Steve Guinness. It also includes Guiness’ birthday and the letters “NGUOYD” which appear to be a serial number, but actually stand for “never give up on your dreams”. Insert heartbreak emoji here.
On the same note as the keys though, LEGO opted to not include numbers, which is a little bit of a bummer. It feels like something is missing from the entire keyboard.
And just for added nostalgia, this set includes a booklet a letter written and signed by one of LEGO Group’s owners, chairman, and family member, Thomas Kirk Kristiansen. The letter is available in forty-three different languages. LEGO invites you to choose your language and put the letter in the typewriter for display. So you’ve just built a piece of the Kristiansen family history and now are placing more history in the machine you have constructed. If this doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what will.
The Reviews Are In
Reviews on this piece are overall positive, which isn’t hard to believe as LEGO tends to excel at giving the customer what they want. Something that I did often find while doing my research is that people complained about the difficulty of the build. This does appear to be one of the more challenging LEGO sets to put together, so consider yourself warned. This is definitely aimed at people eighteen years and older, and potentially more excelled builders as well.
Further and far fewer reviews complained about missing pieces, which comes with the territory. Every single complaint had an apology and a response from LEGO, directing the customer as to where to reach out for replacing their missing pieces. We all mess up sometimes. It’s important how we deal with those mistakes. From where I’m standing, LEGO does well.
One small complaint with this set is that LEGO does not include instructions on how to feed the included letter from chairman Thomas Kirk Kristiansen into the machine. You have to place it, upside down and facing away from you, into the typewriter from the back, then turn the carriage to feed the paper through to the front. It makes sense when you see it done, but short instructions should be included.
In order to create the amazing movement of this set, the pieces rely heavily on LEGO Technic pieces, which are LEGO products that have elements like gears and shock absorbers that allow for the completed sets to also move. Many of these options are cars that can often be controlled with an app! This might be a bit of a surprise if you make the purchase without realizing how much movement this set has. But trust me, the end result is worth it!
Most of the reviews I found on this set were very positive. People enjoyed the time and cared put into the model, and they enjoyed putting it together and on display in their home. This isn’t a large LEGO set, making it easy to find space in your home. The measurements are: half an inch high, ten and a half inches wide, and ten and a half inches deep. In fact, one reviewer pointed out that since this typewriter is not obviously a LEGO, it’s a great set to have on display without being obviously a LEGO for those shy LEGO builders.
Many reviews are so positive, I’d expect this set to continue to be difficult to find and eventually end up on many top LEGO sets of all-time lists soon.
Pros and Cons of the LEGO Typewriter:
- An authentic piece of LEGO history.
- Price. While $199.99 is a lot of money, it makes sense for what you’re getting.
- By purchasing this, you’re supporting LEGO Ideas and a LEGO fan.
- Amazing moving parts and sounds that make you feel like you’re using a real typewriter.
- Unique LEGO piece in its utilization of ribbon.
- Only 2 stickers, the letters, and symbols on the keys are printed.
- A smaller completed piece, at half an inch high, ten and a half inches wide, and ten and a half inches deep. This is easy to find a home for in your home.
- The high-difficulty rating and fact that this is very challenging make this a great gift for the LEGO enthusiast in your life.
- Difficult to find to purchase.
- The added ribbon is not LEGO bricks.
- This is built-to-display, but the moving pieces indicate more playtime than the set can keep up with.
- Since it is so small, people may want larger sets for their money.
- No number keys feels like a big detail is missing.
- Could use instructions on how to feed the typewriter paper.
- Has been reviewed as being too difficult.
FAQs About the LEGO Typewriter Set
Question: Can I give this to a child to play with?
Answer: I would only give this to a child who is excelled at building or an adult that is eighteen years or older. This is a challenging piece to construct, and while it does have moving pieces, it is not intended for play. Giving this to a younger child may be disappointing and frustrating for them, from construction to completion.
Question: Would you give this to a writer who isn’t necessarily a LEGO fan?
Answer: That’s tough. Some people just plain excel at challenges! I’d say to avoid giving this gift to anyone who isn’t into LEGOs, even a little bit. This is a very challenging piece, and a LEGO enthusiast will love putting it together regardless of if they are writers or not. However, writers who aren’t also LEGO enthusiasts might not be into this challenge.
Question: Isn’t $200 for a set of just over 2,000 pieces a little high for a LEGO?
Answer: Yes, that’s true. However, this set offers LEGO Technic pieces, which are often more expensive. It also has a lot of beveled pieces, as its intention is to look more like a typewriter than a LEGO typewriter. You pay for the accelerated pieces, and I’d say it’s worth it!
Question: Do you foresee it becoming easier to find this set?
Answer: I honestly do not. Though now that the holidays have passed, I’m sure it will find its way back to shelves and stockrooms, I believe this set will maintain its popularity and find itself ranked with other legendary sets like the Death Star and The Hogwarts Castle.
Final Thoughts on the LEGO Typewriter Set
When it comes to choosing the right LEGO for yourself, it’s always good to see what other people experienced. From what I read, watched, and witnessed, this LEGO Typewriter certainly will not disappoint the LEGO enthusiast in your life, whether it’s you or a loved one.
Overall this set offers a uniqueness in its moveable parts, its smooth edges, which make it appear more typewriter than LEGO, and minute details like the initials of the designer disguised in a serial number on the back. I love the storytelling element of making a nod to the LEGO Group founder’s typewriter, and I love that this set comes with a letter from his ancestor. All in all, I believe this set is a great gift and a great piece to purchase for yourself. It is innovative and completely unique.