“Lego® Group Releases Fan-Designed Winnie the Pooh Set”

Adult LEGO® enthusiasts can return to the Hundred Acre Wood with the new fan-designed LEGO® Ideas™ Winnie the Pooh.  The licensed set includes the Disney versions of Winnie-the-Pooh’s tree home, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, and Eyore.  This oak tree is complete with bees and beehives.  The attached house opens up to reveal furniture, the “Pooh-Coo clock,” a box of “Pooh sticks” (fans will recognize from the game Pooh sticks), and honey pots (both full and empty).  Pooh’s “thoughtful spot” (a log where he liked to sit and think) is in his yard.  The model measures twenty-two centimeters high, eighteen centimeters wide, and twenty-four centimeters long.

Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Rabbit are Minifigures™ while Eyore is a unique LEGO® element that is more like a statue in that his limbs do not move.   The accessories include a red balloon and a honey pot for Pooh Bear, an umbrella for Piglet (who is in his familiar red scarf), a sack on a stick for Tigger, and a carrot for Rabbit, a removable ribbon for Eeyore’s tail, and a hardcover book.  The set includes a freestanding “100 Acre Wood” signpost. Lego Fans of A.A. Milne’s works and Disney adaptations of them will be delighted to see the Mr. Sanders sign (with the last s backwards) over Pooh Bear’s front door and honey misspelt “hunny” on the honey jar.   Lego A/S (doing business as The LEGO® Group) made the announcement on Thursday, March 4, A.D. 2021. 

This is a LEGO® Exclusives set, meaning it will be sold exclusively at the online LEGO® Shop (formerly known as Lego® Shop at Home), LEGO® Stores, and LEGOLAND® gift shops.  The list price is $99.99 in the United States of America (U.S.A.), £89.99 in the United Kingdom (U.K.), and €99.99 in the European Union (E.U.).  The 1,265-piece set is marked “18+” so it for adults.  Small children will want to help older siblings, parents, uncles, aunts, or grandparents building the set, but if you get this set and a wee tyke (or tykes) offers you help, be prepared to keep a close eye on him, her, or them.  Honestly, I would keep the set, whether in the complete state or while under construction, out of the hands of children younger than six.

 The set will be available for LEGO® V.I.P. members to purchase starting on Thursday, March 18, A.D. 2021.  The public at large will be able to purchase it on Thursday, April 1, A.D. 2021.  Some A.F.O.L. social media influencers received early copies to review.

A.A. Milne’s tales of his son Christopher Robin’s imaginary adventures with the latter’s stuffed animals have been read by millions of people around the world over nearly 100 years, but they have reached millions more in mediated form through films and televsion shows produced by The Walt Disney Company.

This set is the brainchild of Ben Alder.  Fellow A.F.O.L.s (adult fans of LEGO® and T.F.O.L.s (teenage fans of LEGO®) submit proposals via the LEGO® Ideas™ platform and fellow A.F.O.L.s and T.F.O.L.s vote on them.  If a proposal reaches 10,000 votes, a team of LEGO® employees review it and determine if it can be brought to market.

In a press release, The LEGO® Group stated, “Based on Ben’s original designs, the set is the perfect project for adult builders to take time to relax and return to the halcyon days of youth, recalling the adventures of their favourite bear and his friends.”

Ben Alder stated, “I love Winnie the Pooh and remember my parents reading it to me as a child.  I now read the same Winnie the Pooh stories to my children, so it is certainly something dear to my heart.  I decided to make the set so that my children could bring to life our bedtime stories but never quite expected the positive reaction it has received.”

Federico Begher, Vice President of Global marketing at The LEGO®  Group commented, “Winnie the Pooh is a 95-year-old story that is loved globally, so seeing Ben’s design sparked a lot of nostalgia for us all.  Plus, his personal story about how he created the set for his family to play out the lovely Winnie the Pooh stories using LEGO bricks felt like a beautiful combination of family, LEGO bricks, and Winnie the Pooh that we wanted to share with others.  We also had the rare treat of being able to create all new characters for this LEGO Ideas set.  We simply had to see how the line-up of Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit and Piglet would look like in mini figure shape.  As well as creating a brand-new Eeyore figure!  The stories of the Hundred Acre Wood come to life with this set and there are plenty of intricate details for fans of both Disney and LEGO to discover.”

Figure 1 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the front and one side of the stylish box for LEGO® Ideas™ Winnie the Pooh (Set #21326). The 1,265-piece kit is marked “18+” so it for adult builders.

Figure 2 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the back of the box.

Figure 15 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a “lifestyle” photo that depicts the set as an owner might suitably display it the 100 Acre Wood signpost on one set of the model structure and Eeyore, Rabbit, Tigger, Piglet, and Pooh Bear off to the other side.  It is important to place a set like this that small children will want to touch high enough up off the floor so that a parent, uncle, aunt, grandparent, elder sibling, or babysitter must be the one to bring it down and is ready to keep the child under supervision or it will end up in pieces and the adult who built it must get out the instructions and re-build it.  If an adult acquires the set out of a sense of nostalgia and has no intention of letting a child play with it, the set still should remain high up off the floor, so a visiting child or pet does not knock it over.

Figure 16 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a “lifestyle” photo that is a closeup of the photo depicting the set on display by a lamp. The model structure measures 22 centimeters high, 18 centimeters wide, and 24 centimeters long.

Figure 17 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a “lifestyle” photo depicting a daughter touching tree leaves after the mother has built the set.

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The New York Public Library owns Christopher Robin Milne’s actual Winnie-the-Pooh toy. The Winnie the Pooh and Friends doll collection was formerly housed in the children’s room of the Donnell Library Center. The Winnie the Pooh and Friends doll collection of original Winnie-the-Pooh toys Christopher Robin Milne played with as a child in Ashdown Forest, inspired his father to write short stories and poems about the adventures of Christopher Robin and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood.

C.R. Milne donated the toys to his father’s American publisher E.P. Dutton in 1955, and the publisher donated the toys to The New York Public Library. Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Kanga, Eeyore, and Tigger have been on display at one N.Y.P.L. facility or another since 1987. 

In 1998, the collection of English dolls – Pooh Bear, Kanga, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet – kept in a bulletproof case became a cause-célèbre when Gwyneth Dunwoody, Member of Parliament, claimed she “detected sadness” in the dolls and called for their return to England. This resulted in Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani leaking a conversation he had with Pooh Bear, Representative Nita M. Lowey introducing a resolution in Congress to keep the stuffed animals at the N.Y.P.L., and Prime Minister Tony Blair saying on ABC’s Good Morning America, “I’m sure they’re perfectly well looked after where they are.”

The Winnie the Pooh and Friends doll collection and other collections were temporarily housed in other branches. After temporarily being housed in the History and Social Science Library at the Main Branch, the toy collection opened in the Children’s Room at the Main Branch in the spring of 2009.

This collection opened in a room at the Main Branch. Movie location scout Nick Carr documented how the exhibit was fairly Spartan, but after fantasy novelist, comic book writer, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman asked if the walls were still bare, Carr revisited the exhibit in 2011 and showed how the exhibit had been augmented by murals and a new stuffed animal Christopher Robin never owned, Lottie the Otter, a character from Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, a recent, authorized sequel.

END NOTES


[1] Valerie J. Nelson, “Shirley Slesinger Lasswell; fought over Pooh royalties,” Los Angeles Times, 21 July, 2007 (http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2007/07/21/shirley_slesinger_lasswell_fought_over_pooh_royalties/) Accessed 03/13/21

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Don Bluth led a group of animators who left Disney and formed their own independent animation studio.  Their first film was also their masterpiece: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1982).  They also made the video games Dragon’s Lair (1983) and Space Ace (1983).  Bluth teamed with Stephen Spielberg to make An American Tail (1986) and The Land Before Time (1988).  Bluth’s next films were All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), Rock-A-Doodle (1991), and Thumbelina (1994).  Before the turn of the century, he partnered with 20th Century Fox to make Anastasia (1997) and Titan, A.E. (2000).

[5] Valerie J. Nelson, “Shirley Slesinger Lasswell; fought over Pooh royalties,” Los Angeles Times, 21 July, 2007 (http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2007/07/21/shirley_slesinger_lasswell_fought_over_pooh_royalties/) Accessed 03/13/21

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] Valerie J. Nelson, “Shirley Slesinger Lasswell; fought over Pooh royalties,” Los Angeles Times, 21 July, 2007 (http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2007/07/21/shirley_slesinger_lasswell_fought_over_pooh_royalties/) Accessed 03/13/21

[10] Valerie J. Nelson, “Shirley Slesinger Lasswell; fought over Pooh royalties,” Los Angeles Times, 21 July, 2007 (http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2007/07/21/shirley_slesinger_lasswell_fought_over_pooh_royalties/) Accessed 03/13/21

[11] The Editors of TV Guide, TV Guide: Guide to TV. New York: Barnes & Noble (2004), p. 574

[12] Chuck McCann was an actor, comedian, and puppeteer provided the voice of Leatherneck, who represented the U.S Marine Corps on the G.I. Joe team, on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983-86) and the telefilm Arise, Serpentor! Arise! (1986).  He also provided the voice Scrooge McDuck’s butler Duckworth on DuckTales (1987-1990).

[13] Warner has played memorable roles from the horror film The Omen (1976) to the science fiction film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) to the historical fiction/disaster film Titanic (1997).  Possessing an authoritative voice, he provided the voice of Ra’s al Ghul in Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) and the Archmage on Gargoyles (1994-1997). 

[14] Burton has provided many voices for cartoons for Disney, Warner Bros., Marvel Productions before Disney acquired Marvel, and Lucasfilm before Disney acquired Lucasfilm.  He provided the voice of the villain The Lizard on Spider-Man (1981-82), not to be confused with Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981-86).  This cartoon was made by Marvel Productions and Toei Animation.  He also provided the voice of the villainous Shockwave, one of the leaders of the Decepticons, and other Transformers on The Transformers (1984-86).  This was a cartoon was made by Marvel Productions, Sunbow Productions, and Toei Animation that was a commercial for a Hasbro toy line.  Burton provided the voice of a heroic Autobot, Brawn, in the theatrical film Transformers: The Movie (1986). In 1986, he succeeded Bill Scott (1920-1985) as the source of the voices for Gruffi Gummi and Duke Igthorn’s comical right-hand ogre Toadwart in Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1986-1991).  Around the same time, he provided the voice of the villain Tomax Paoli, the co-commander of the Crimson Guard, in the animated telefilm G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987) and the syndicated animated series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1985-1986), which was called Action Force in the U.K.  This was another cartoon made by Marvel Productions, Sunbow Productions, and Toei Animation to promote a Hasbro toy line.  Marvel Comics also produced G.I. Joe comic book titles. He provided the voice of Dale on Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers (1988-1990).  Since 1987, he has provided the voice of Professor Ludwig von Drake in various cartoons. Between 1996 and ’98, he was the voice of the villainous computer Brainiac in the telefilm Superman: Last Son of Krypton (1996) and Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000).  He provided the voices of the villain Count Duku and other characters on Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2020).  Most of his work has been on television, but he also provided the voice of Gaetan “Mole” Molière in a Disney animated theatrical film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001).

[15] Roger L. Jackson is best known as The Voice in the Scream films and the voice of the villainous monkey Mojo Jojo in the animated television series The Power Puff Girls (2016-2019).

[16] Michael Fassbender would have been considered a rising star at this point in his career as he had already appeared in the H.B.O. miniseries Band of Brothers (2001).  His performance as Bobby Sands, a Provisional Irish Republican Army (P.I.R.A). member who died while on a hunger strike in prison, garnered him a British Independent Film Award.  He would become a star with appearances as young Magneto – the role played by Sir Ian McKellen in the original X-Men trilogy – in X-Men prequels, the cruel slaveowner Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave (2013), and the android David in the Alien prequels.

[17] Sir David Suchet is best known for his masterful performance as Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Poirot (1989-2013).  He first came to the attention of American audiences as the big-game hunter Jacques Lafleur in Harry and the Hendersons (1987).  In To Kill a Priest (1988), which is a roman a clef that tells the true story of the secret police in Communist Poland murdering a priest, he played a bishop.   Strangely, he was cast as Nagi Hassan, an Arab terrorist in Executive Decision (1996), which was a thrilling action film that starred Kurt Russell, Steven Segal, and Halle Berry.  In The Bank Job (2008), he played crime lord Lew Vogel.

[18] Valerie J. Nelson, “Shirley Slesinger Lasswell; fought over Pooh royalties,” Los Angeles Times, 21 July, 2007 (http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2007/07/21/shirley_slesinger_lasswell_fought_over_pooh_royalties/) Accessed 03/13/21

[19] Ibid

[20] Frank Cotrell Boyce wrote the screenplays for the heist film/comedic fantasy/religious family film Millions (2004) the hilarious metafictional comedy Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005).  He adapted Tristram Shandy under the nom de plume Martin Hardy, wrote the screenplay.

[21] Donhnall Gleeson joined his father, Brendan Gleason, who played Alastor (“Mad-Eye”) Moody in the Harry Potter films with his performance as Ron Weasley’s older brother, Bill, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 2 (2011).  Gleeson starred with Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy in About Time (2011), a romantic comedy (or “romcom”) about a young man who finds out from his father the men in their family have the superpower to travel in time within their own lifetimes, so he uses it to make sure everything goes smoothly in his courtship of his American dream girl only to discover after they start having children there are problems that cannot be fixed even with seemingly limitless do-overs.  He played a real person, Lt. Russell (“Phil”) Phillips in Unbroken (2014), a war film that was Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut.  Gleeson played another real person, Captain Andrew Henry, in The Revenant (2015).  However, the spy he played in American Made (2017) was not a real person.  He was at least nominally the hero in the science fiction thriller Ex Machine (2015), in which Swedish actress Alicia Vikander played an android he was supposed to test. In the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, eh played General Hux, who started out as a serious general and became a joke.

[22] Stephen Campbell Moore played the English abolitionist James Stephen (1758-1832) in Amazing Grace (2006), a film about William Wilberforce’s crusade to end slavery throughout the British Empire.  He played Kevin Swain in The Bank Job (2008), a heist film in which a group of friends get roped into robbing a bank as cat’s paws for a secret agent who wants something surreptitiously removed from a blackmailer’s safety deposit box.  He also played the priest Debelzaq in the medieval supernatural thriller/horror film Season of the Witch (2011).  In certain circles, Moore is best known because of his performance as Irwin on stage in The History Boys and the film adaptation The History Boys (2006). 

[23] Marc Forster’s previous credits include Monster’s Ball (2001), which starred Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, and Heath Ledger (1979-2008); the mind-bending drama Stay (2008), which starred Ewan MacGregor Naomi Watts, and Ryan Gosling; the surreal romantic fantasy Stranger Than Fiction (2006), which starred Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, and Emma Thompson;  the harrowing drama The Kite Runner (2007); the James Bond thriller Quantum of Solace (2008), which starred Daniel Craig, Giancarlo Giannini; Olga Kurylenko, Jeffrey Wright, Gemma Arterton, and Judi Dench; and the zombie horror film World War Z (2013), which starred Brad Pitt.

[24] Toby Jones is familiar to many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe because he played the villainous scientist Arnim Zola in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and the Season 1 finale of Agent Carter (2015-2016).  He also provided the voice of Dobby the house elf in the Harry Potter films.

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