LEGO Ideas 40533 Cardboard Cosmic Adventures – One Gift Box With Purchase [Review] – The brick of the brothers

Back in February, LEGO Ideas held a contest to find an “Out of This World!” space built to be turned into a gift with purchase. Today, a little over a year later, the winning concept by Ivan Guerrero arrives in stores from May 16. You can request a copy of LEGO Ideas 40533 Cardboard Cosmic Adventures with a qualifying purchase of US$160 | $160 CAD | UK £160. This 203-piece set features an imaginative spaceship that really leans into the “box” concept. But is it an idea worth pursuing? Come take a look!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review does not guarantee coverage or positive reviews.

Unboxing parts, instructions and sticker sheet

This set comes in a small sealed box with the standard LEGO Ideas/Adult collectible theme. This means a solid black background, minimal logos, a colored stripe along the bottom edge, and a mandatory age range of 18+. As is the norm for these sets, this age range is just a marketing ploy – there’s nothing here that would challenge a much younger builder.

The back of the box shows how the spaceship can be removed from the diorama, while highlighting the included minifigure and cat. The right edge has a standard blurb “This is how the idea process works”, and there’s a small inset diagram that shows the overall dimensions. (7.3cm/2.8″ by 10.4cm/4.1″)

Inside the box are two numbered parts bags, a small sheet of stickers, and a staple-bound 76-page instruction booklet.

The sticker sheet for our review copy arrived with a lot of flex, but luckily it was otherwise undamaged. There are lots of fun designs here, meant to be a child’s take on futuristic controls and details. We will take a closer look at them as they are applied in the construction process.

Normally, there’s nothing special about small instruction manuals, but since this is a set of ideas, we’ll want to take a look inside.

Much like the larger ideabooks, there’s an inside spread that introduces us to the fan designer who came up with the concept for this set. In a short interview on the first two pages, Ivan Guerrero explains how playing with cardboard boxes is a pretty universal childhood experience. He also points out that LEGO bricks and cardboard boxes are recognized by the National Toy Hall of Fame, a fact I didn’t know before.

By the way, this is not Ivan’s first success in Ideas. You may remember his name as the fan designer behind LEGO Ideas 123 Sesame Street (21324)

The parts

There are no new item molds in this set, but there are some rare and interesting pieces. The 4×12 plate in Cool Yellow has only been seen twice before – at 60244 Police Helicopter Transport and, fittingly, at Ivan’s 21324 Sesame Street. The green micro figures also only have two previous appearances – 80105 Spring Festival Chinese New Year Temple Fair and 10766 Woody & RC. The dark tan colored helmet has not been produced since 2006’s Knight’s Kingdom II theme, and “Vita Rush” cans were first seen in the 2020s at 60271 Main Square, with only two appearances since.

The Teddy-Mech

Build begins with a mech suit scaled to a teddy bear. This little exoskeleton is filled with household accessories like a whip, two umbrellas, a hair dryer/ray gun and roller skates. The mech has a single-stud “seat” that fits on the teddy bear’s base and a roll cage made of robot arms and short bars.

The teddy bear fits perfectly in the cockpit and is ready for battle. Or maybe ready to make a soufflé.

You’ve probably noticed that the robot is perched on a 2×4 plate topped with 2×2 jumper plates in cool yellow. There is a reason for this. This mech isn’t exactly well balanced and can’t stand on its own.


This adventure takes place in a child’s bedroom – and it’s the first big build in this set. Three 4×12 plates in cool yellow create a lovely floor with unusual colors. The walls are blue with a white baseboard and a recessed window. Modified 1×1 bricks with a stud on the side provide mounting points for a space diorama.

Three flame yellow 1×1 star plaques adorn the walls, as does a small brick rocket. A round 1×1 plate with stem in cool yellow both adds a bit of color and allows it to be wall mounted.

Both sides of this flag clip have a sticker showing a hand-drawn version of a classic LEGO set – 19789 493 Space Command Center.

The finished piece makes a great diorama base. The single curtain over the window looks a bit odd (how about a matching set?) but that rug looks fantastic. The combination of blues works well to soften the color choice for the carpet/floor.

With the background in place, we can start filling the room with toys. Looks like our kid has created an army of little green hands, painting over their figurines. There’s also a pair of scissors lying around, remnants of the rocket construction, no doubt.

The rocket

The focus of this set is the Cardboard Rocket. The build here is fairly simple, although there is a touch of SNOT construction in the nose.

More decals are applied to the sides and front, with a “this side up” indicator on the nose. Is it just me, or do you feel like it should have been the wrong way around just for comedic effect? I considered “making a mistake” and applying it that way here anyway, but you readers deserve better. The bathroom plunger “thrusters” on the side look good, with a brick design offering a much longer handle than the figure accessory offered.

Two 1×2 cheese wedges get control panel stickers, and the flaps on top of the main cardboard box get hand-drawn comet designs. The rocket is complete at this point, and unfortunately it doesn’t look so good. The extensive use of light gray bricks means that the ‘cardboard box’ illusion is almost completely destroyed. I realize that LEGO may not have had the necessary dark tan parts in production, but maybe some changes to the rocket build could have bridged that gap, or at least concealed it a bit more grey. The half-exposed Technic cross on the front is another eyesore, but it seems to have been a deliberate design choice. There are two dark tan 1×2 bricks elsewhere in the build, and LEGO opted for a single Technic 1×2 brick instead of including a third.

On the plus side, from the rear, the Vita Rush cans are a set of fun homemade boosters. The hand-drawn controls also work very well. The use of stickers here also seems reasonable, as I doubt LEGO finds too many future uses for these designs.

By installing the driver in the front and his cat in the back, you are ready to go on an adventure. Both characters fit easily and comfortably into their boxes. I don’t know what the modified 1×1 round plate in the kid’s hand is supposed to be, though.

The finished model

The spaceship fits perfectly into the diorama, attached to the rider plates on the mat. The soda can exhaust could explain the single curtain – the ship almost touches the far wall, and there might not have been room for a full set of window decorations.

With the characters in place and the Robo-Teddy on patrol, the finished diorama offers plenty of play in a small space. There are fun details everywhere you look, and all the different parts work well together. The only weak point is the Robo-Teddy’s standalone base – they feel more like a guest star than part of the main adventure.

By comparing the published set with Ivan’s initial ideas submission, you can see some major changes that occurred when converting the items to the published set. Gone are the glow-in-the-dark stars and the LEGO logo on the side of the box. The child’s helmet no longer uses Benny’s “broken chin bar” design, and the Robo-Teddy was originally both a Robo and a teddy bear. In exchange, we got a much beefier room playset and a more imaginative robot. LEGO Internal Licenses sometimes have issues creating custom “cross-themed” molds, so changing the Collectible Minifigure robot and diver accessory may have been necessary to bring this set to life in the theme. Ideas.

The figure

This set includes two main characters. The first is a child figure with a double-sided head, short blue legs, and a Classic Space t-shirt showing the years 1979. 918 One Man Spaceship, previously released only as part of the Series 20 collectible figure line. (Could this be a younger space fan version of this set? If so, this shirt held up really well. Maybe they are siblings.) The second is a friendly orange tabby. A subtle nod to Captain Marvel’s sidekick Flerkin, perhaps?

Conclusion and recommendation

It’s hard to make recommendations on gift sets with purchase. After all, if you’re already spending $160 on LEGO, getting a free exclusive set isn’t a bad thing. But is it worth adding more stuff to your cart to hit the $160 threshold? In this case, I think so. This is a very cute set that will appeal to both Classic Space fans and LEGO fans who, like me, spent part of their childhood traveling through space through corrugated cardboard boxes. . Although all parts are available elsewhere, this is a unique combination for a minifigure assembly, and this dark colored helmet may be harder to find. There are a few questionable parts to the design (the overabundance and visibility of gray parts in the brown cardboard spaceship, mostly), but the overall look is super cute and whimsical. And, frankly, the world could use a little more of that stuff these days. So if you’re looking for a reason to go ahead with a bigger LEGO purchase, this might be the promotion that’s worth it for you.

LEGO Ideas 40533 Cardboard Cosmic Adventures will be available as a gift with purchase from May 16 in the online LEGO Store with qualifying purchases of US$160 | $160 CAD | UK £160. It may also be available through third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review does not guarantee coverage or positive reviews.

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