LEGO Welcome to Apocalypseburg! 70840 Review & Lighting Journal

Back in 2014, we got "Everything Is Awesome!" and of course the hit motion picture, The LEGO Movie starring Emmet and Lucy (aka Wyldestyle) - and indeed, everything was awesome. Fast forward to 2019 and after a slew of LEGO orientated films, The LEGO Movie 2 is set to hit cinemas around the world.

And what is a movie without promotional merch, right?

However you feel about the movies or the latest theme song, "Catchy Song" (has this song gotten 'stuck in your head' yet?), what you cannot deny is the awesomeness that is the Welcome To Apocalypseburg! (70840) set. 

Currently (as of this article) a LEGO exclusive only, this set was one of our "must have" sets the moment pictures were released on social media. I mean, just look at it, it's crazy cool!

Just like Ninjago City, it looks like a hot mess, and we mean that in the best possible way. There is just something about its asymmetrical features that really makes this set grab your attention.

So a little bit about this set.

Welcome To Apocalypseburg! measures at 52cm in height, 49cm in width and 33cm in depth. Unlike a lot of building based sets, this LEGO Movie 2 release doesn't use the standard 32x32 baseplates, but rather a series of LEGO plate pieces interconnected with one another.

The set measures in at a hefty 3,178 pieces. By no means the largest set, but enough bricks and pieces to keep you more than entertained for a quiet evening or two. And entertained you will be, as this set features a tonne of great build techniques and variety to keep you engaged and motivated.

But before that, let's take a look at what you get with this set.

Inside the packaging contains 30 polybags numbered from 1 to 18. On top of that, we get a massive 452-page booklet that has all sorts of interesting information about the designers that made the set and profiles for the characters in this set (and movie). Speaking about characters, Welcome To Apocalypseburg! comes with 12 colourful minifig characters. 

Welcome To Apocalypseburg! 70840 LEGO Minifigures

Of course, there is Emmet and Lucy, but other additions include Batman™, Scribble Cop, Harley Quinn, Green Lantern, 'Where are my pants?' Guy, Larry the Barista, Chainsaw Dave, Mo-Hawk, Roxxi and Fuse. Quite an eclectic bunch!

Unfortunately, unless we're dealing with LEGO Modular Buildings, sets of this size will undoubtedly come with dreaded sticker sheets. And this set is no exception. We hope you've got a steady hand and steely patience because there are over 55 stickers to be placed for this set!

Moving on to the set itself.

The hero feature of Welcome To Apocalypseburg! is certainly the broken down Statue Of Liberty. As a homage to the Planet Of The Apes, the set features a shanty-town like building built into the toppled over statue.

Additionally, the surrounding features give off a Mad Max-like feel, with it's chaotic and desert themed look. There is no sense of order, and the set design does a great job creating an atmosphere or impression that outcasts and rebels really reside here.

So how does that translate into the build?

Much like Ninjago City, the amount of detail and features make this a really fun set to put together. Even building the base, which usually boring and tedious task for most building sets, is quite enjoyable. This is because the base is asymmetrical and as you're piecing the foundations together, you're constantly wondering how this is all going to turn out due to the chaotic nature of this model.

The foundation is split into two sides. The main side features buildings like The Unchained Coffee shop and The Super Secret Police HQ, while the next "base plate" island features a campervan home for Chainsaw Dave. These two islands are built separately, but "click" together once complete. There is certainly something entertaining and truly satisfying when the two sections align and join together perfectly.

The base plates of Welcome To Apocalypseburg!

The next phase is the Statue Of Liberty herself. With the unmistakable sand green bricks starting to form the foundation, it's hard not to know what you're getting yourself into next. For us, although it is largely a mono-colour build, the statue section was the phase of the build we were most looking forward to - and it doesn't disappoint. 

To pull off the odd angle of the statue, a mixture of Technic pieces are used to form a frame/structural integrity for the statue. As you flip the pages of the instructions and complete each step, you can't help by marvel at the ingenuity and sophistication of the build to maintain sturdiness and of course the aesthetics of the set.

The base of the Statue Of Liberty for Welcome To Apocalypseburg!

Some would argue the torch is the best part of the statue, but we personally feel the face is what gives it character and when putting this section together, we couldn't help chuckle in glee with all the lighting possibilities that could be had. Because the crown is built to be open and exposed, we knew there were lots of great lighting options, using empty space and shadows.

Face from Statue Of Libery from Welcome To Apocalypseburg!

Overall, Welcome To Apocalypseburg is a super-fun build that surprisingly doesn't have a super-high piece count given its level of detail. Even if you're not going to see The LEGO Movie 2 or aren't a fan of the franchise, this set should be in every serious collector's edition. It's got so many features and visual detailing (not to mention Easter Eggs that we've purposely left out of this review) that you could not possibly get bored looking at this incredible set.

Complete build of Welcome To Apocalypseburg!

Like Ninjago City, we feel that LEGO has knocked it out of the park with this set!

Adding lights to the Welcome To Apocalypseburg! set

As we've mentioned in our review, the team here at Light My Bricks were salivating at the chance to build (and light!) this set from The LEGO Movie 2.

With all the different rooms and randomness of the build structure, we knew that lights would turn this amazing set into something truly extraordinary.

Our main concern heading into this build was how to conceal the wiring of our lights. Luckily, this LEGO set is quite hollow, especially in the base and middle section, which probably explains why its piece count isn't as high as one would imagine for this level of detail.

When looking at a completely built model, the first inclination is to light up the parts you want to see added with lights and for us, it was the Statue Of Liberty. From the get-go, we zeroed in on the face and crown to determine what could be illuminated. 

The Statue Of Liberty eyes are made out of two 2x2 round bricks. However, we felt that it would be a great feature to have these light up. So taking a bit of creative license, we swapped out these pieces for trans-coloured versions instead. We normally try to keep a LEGO set intact as much as possible, but given the fact that this set is for a post-apocalyptic environment, illuminated eyes would give an ominous feel to it, that we felt would fit the bill perfectly. 

Blue eyes for Statue Of Liberty

The main challenge was figuring out what colour the eyes should be. Using trans-clear bricks, we tried using our blue bit lights. But we felt it made the model look a bit cold and we were cognizant that the environment setting was a desert area. Next up was cool white, but we found the lighting too harsh. We finally settled using our warm-white bit lights, which gave the sense that the eyes were light sourced from fire - as if the inhabitants had lit up the eyes themselves.

Warm lights used for eyes of Statue Of Liberty

Ultimately, customers could opt out of replacing these parts with our lighting kit, but we're sure that if you give it a try, you'll love the end effect!

The crown of the statue was simple to light up as it was largely hollow and had great spacing to work with and two of our strip lights were more than enough to illuminate the rest of the head-piece.

Head of statue fully lit up

The next challenge was the torch.

Just like the real Statue Of Liberty, we wanted the torch section to light up as well. But LEGO does not release trans-yellow pieces for the brick types used in this area. However, we were adamant to make this happen. So despite the bricks being opaque, we experimented with our bit lights being placed in between these bricks and because the parts were relatively hollow and thin in certain sections, the brightness of our lights managed to project through the yellow bricks.

In fact, the opaque bricks helped mute the shininess of our bit lights, giving a softer glow as a flame might do versus an artificial light source. To make things more authentic, we connected the torch lights with our flicker effects board to simulate a fire effect.

Adding lights to Statue Of Liberty torch

For the building compartments, we wanted to build on top of the hideout/ominous feel. So rather than the standard white strip lighting, we opted for blue and red strip lights instead. This gave the rooms a "scary" look to them and gave the impression that this was a place that not anyone was simply welcome to.

The other major lighting effects that we wanted to point out in this article was the fire pit and water pipe feature. By adding a flicker effects board and coloured bit lights, it helped created an extra level of realism that added to the overall dynamics of this set.

Lights added to LEGO Welcome To Apocalypseburg! 70840

Overall, Welcome To Apocalyspeburg! is one of the most impressive and fun sets for us to light up. The end result, we're sure you'll agree, is fantastic and for those that are lucky enough to own this set will love what our lights can do to this impressive model.

For a better look of that lit up model in action, be sure to check out our YouTube video showcasing the final product.

The Light My Bricks Welcome To Apocalypseburg! light kit is now available on our online store.

Video Demonstration for Welcome to Apocalypseburg 70840

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