REVIEW – Do you love receiving fresh flowers? Who doesn’t? Well, I am going to be honest, I typically do not. It is not that I don’t love them and love the thoughtfulness of them, I just can’t justify the price tag attached to purchasing them. Not to mention the fact they will be wilting and going in the trash a week later. So, when the opportunity to review flowers that I can build and never die became available, I knew I had to see how the JMBricklayer‘s Butterfly Orchid building set stacked up.
What is it?
The JMBricklayer Butterfly Orchid (White) is building set #20106 and is part of their Botanical Collection. JMBricklayer offers less expensive, but comparable Lego-like building block sets.
What’s in the box?
- 581 pieces separated into 7 bags
- Building manual
- Coupons & bonus finger protectors
- Materials – ABS plastic
- Net weight – 0.50 kg
- Dimensions – 25.61 × 16.01 × 31.20 cm
- Recommended age- 14+
Design and features
I’m not going to lie, we are very much Lego snobs in our house and have never even tried an alternative building block set from any other company. This Christmas I was gifted my very first Lego set as an adult and it was the Lego Orchid set #10311. From building it to displaying it, I really do love this set. However, when I saw how much my family spent on it, I knew I wouldn’t be purchasing the other flower options that I so wanted to try out. Then the opportunity to review JMBricklayer‘s version for a fraction of the cost became available, I knew I had to see how it compared!
LEGO on left and JMBricklayer on right
Just like the Lego options, the JMBricklayer Botanical Collection includes sets from flower bouquets to various succulent sizes and colors to choose from. Unlike Lego, within the Orchid option, you can choose Red (#20177), Blue (#20118) and the one chosen in this review- White (#20106).
When opening your JMBricklayer box, the blocks are separated into 7 bags for organization. With that being said, however, the blocks were not organized by steps in the build process (like Lego does all their sets) and although while the bags seemed to be numbered, there was no correlation or reference to that in the instruction manual. I had to open and look through all the bags to find the pieces I needed throughout the build. This is definitely something I would recommend improving in the future, it makes it so much easier to find the pieces when they are organized in that manner.
Although you had to open up all the bags and mix up all the pieces to start building, the manual is well laid out with great illustrations. It was easy to follow and reminded me of what your Lego instructions look like. The steps are precisely illustrated and easy to follow for the most part. I will admit there were a couple of times I messed up, but I was able to catch my mistakes before it was too detrimental to the build.
Overall it took me about 2.5 hours from start to finish to build the JMBricklayer Orchid, with a good chunk of time on the 6 focal flowers. So, let’s talk about those flowers for a moment.
The 6 orchid flowers are very tricky. From steps 61-70, the last of the steps, it took a majority of my time to complete the build. The connection pieces do not snap securely and as you attempt to complete each flower, your petals and other parts would pop apart and you would find yourself rebuilding. My suggestion is to swap the order found in the instruction manual and save the 3 white petals (step #63) for last. Connecting your completed flower to the stems was also a very delicate process. It takes the right amount of pressure as to get it to stay on the limb and not crumble the whole flower. Be prepared to get a little frustrated and know it is a little learning curve to get it right. Due to this part of the build, I do believe the recommendation of 14+ is probably accurate.
One other part that I want to mention is the “dirt” step. These are just loose pieces that are poured into the base, which is no different than the LEGO version for reference. My recommendation would be to wait until the very end to add this final touch. The dirt ended up getting in the way when attaching some of the things in the final steps.
Once assembled, some of the parts of the JMBricklayer Orchid are rotatable and adjustable. Your petals, flowering branches, and stamens can be adjusted and rotated to fit the look you desire. However, you will want to be careful because the flowers, petals, and the pink innermost part of the flower easily fall off and aren’t connected as securely as I would like.
As if the sets by JMBricklayer weren’t already affordable, there were 14 promo codes to save 20% on 14 different available sets included in the box with the blocks and manual. Options of sets you could save on range from cars, to architecture sets and even a few of the botanical options. Note: you can only use promo codes on products that aren’t discounted in any other way at the time of purchase.
In that same little pouch was a couple of finger protectors. I did not use them and honestly can’t say I would, but they are an adorable little something extra that I wasn’t expecting.
Building my JMBricklayer set, all my pieces were in my set and in good condition. This may not always be the case. Therefore I did want to make sure to mention, if you do end up having lost/missing parts or any other problems with your sets, you can contact the company at [email protected] and they will make it right for you.
What I like
- Detailed instructions
- The final product
- Fun activity
What I’d change
- Organize the pieces by step in the build process
- Make the flowers easier to assemble and more secure
- Add a brick separator
This LEGO snob just added the whole JMBricklayer Botanical Collection to my wishlist! I think the JMBricklayer Butterfly Orchid turned out great and dare I say even better in some ways than my Lego version. For example, I love the flower buds on my JMBricklayer Orchid, but really love the flowers themselves better on my Lego Orchid. Overall, with the assembly being similar and the result, in my opinion, just as attractive as the name-brand option, why wouldn’t you go for the option that is a fraction of the price? If you are looking for an affordable unique gift for a special someone in your life, you should look at and consider a set by JMBricklayer.
Price: $29.99, currently on sale $17.99 to celebrate Mother’s Day!
Where to buy: JMBricklayer and Amazon (not this set, but other Botanical Collection options)
Source: The sample of this product was provided by JMBricklayer.