Although I’m now just a few screen taps away from watching nearly every Disney animated movie ever released, this new LEGO set, featuring a brick-built recreation of a VHS copy of The Little Mermaid, is making me nostalgic for a time when my shelves were stacked with plastic tapes of my favourite Disney films.
LEGO tends to always put its focus on the protagonists of its licensed properties, giving them the biggest and best sets (although it does have an odd affinity for the Empire from Star Wars) which is sometimes a shame, because Disney’s animated features are known for having some of the most memorable baddies to ever fuel a child’s nightmares.
For the first time, LEGO is finally celebrating Disney’s best antagonists with a new 1,540-piece set simply called, Villain Icons, which includes minifigure versions of Maleficent, Jafar in genie form from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston, and the disguised Evil Queen from Snow White.
Designed first and foremost to sit on a shelf as a functional bookend, Villain Icons includes a couple of VHS cases for Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty, the poisoned apple from Snow White, Captain Hook’s pocket watch from Peter Pan, a book copy of Beauty and the Beast, and a Queen of Hearts playing card referencing Alice in Wonderland, which are all full of secret compartments for stashing away the four included minifigures.
Without a doubt, my favourite feature of the Villain Icons set is a VHS tape copy of The Little Mermaid featuring Ursula on the label, complete with a lid that can be opened to reveal a filmstrip highlighting the best moments from the animated film. Sure, that’s definitely not how VHS tape technology worked, and opening the lid of a cassette outside of a VCR was not advised, but it was always impossible to resist, and is a fun Easter Egg for this set.
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