What is it?
This project is based on a multi-height, crawl playground set for elementary school kids and other ages in the Children's Museum, Manhattan. It's shaped like the Trojan Horse, and is located in the museum's Ancient Greek exhibit. A small number of photos are available online, if one searches up "Children's Museum (Manhattan) - Trojan horse".
It’s a playground set, so it naturally looks abstract, simple, and comical. Attempting to mimic this “childish” look was more of a challenge than I thought it would’ve been.
Why did you build it?
I first encountered this Trojan Horse playground back in 2nd grade. My teacher took us on a class trip to the Children's Museum, and we spent a whole day in the Ancient Greek exhibit. The largest and most memorable part of it was, of course, the Trojan Horse. My classmates and I chased each other across and between the levels, and had so much fun looking out at our teachers and chaperones from the eye windows and nets on the horse's sides.
Now, many years later, I decided to recall the memory of this horse by recreating it in LEGO, and preparing it as an Ideas submission. I worked hard on making it, so it only took a little less than a week to put together in a satisfactory manner. The LEGO build is heavily based on the real wooden horse in the Children's Museum, but is not a copy of it.
The entire project has a total of 434 pieces, including the horse, its base, 4 toddler minifigures, and 2 adult minifigures. The horse itself comes in 3 hues of brown: Brown, Dark Brown, and Reddish Brown. The LEGO horse itself has 3 levels: the base, a second floor, and a third floor. The enormous head is attached to, and hands off of the 3rd and last floor.
*The toddlers in the last render aren’t provided. They are simply suggested users of the playground set.*
The way you get toddlers or children minifigures inside the 2nd level of the horse is by removing its detachable tail. The tail is also big and blocky, and it's 4 studs wide. Once you remove the tail, you can move a toddler minifigure into the horse's second or third floor. The toddlers are much easier to put on the 3rd floor, because there's no roof for the horse.
2 kinds of 1 x 4 nougat fences are used to keep the toddlers safe inside the horse. The horse also comes with 2 choices of paired eyes: one is a normal and friendly pair of eyes, but this can be switched for a pair of warlike, angry eyes. The horse's mane is made of popsicle sticks. On its shoulders and above its legs are 4 eagle shields.
The real playground set is big and tall, but it's divided into 4 levels, which are only tall enough for elementary school kids to crawl around, and go in between through holes in the floors. A net above the second level protects kids from falling out. On the 4th floor, kids can crawl into the horse's head, and peek their head out its eye, which acts as a little window. This doesn't work on the LEGO model, but the toddler minifigures can nonetheless crawl around inside or under the horse on 3 levels.
The toddlers come with shirts of 4 different colors: green, blue, orange, and light pink. The 2 adults are LEGO employees who may either be the parents of the toddlers, or just store employees at the museum. It isn't really known. The base of the build is a 16 x 16 plate which has tiles on both sides: inverse tiles on the underside, and regular tiles on the top side.
Why do you believe this would make a great LEGO set?
For me, this set is great as a strong and now solid memory of childhood. For others, I think this playground Trojan Horse set can easily be added to any custom LEGO city, school, or community space with whole families and children socializing together. It would be an odd sight for a Modular town or even a CITY center, but it’s not impossible (we have the real one after all in the Children's Museum). Having this set in a custom LEGO museum is an interesting possibility as well.
Having this playground set in a LEGO City might add some culture, and showcase the residents’ knowledge of mythology to outsiders, and possibly add to the value of the space. More broadly, this set can be a fun addition to a LEGO collector who is interested in classical mythology in general.
If one isn’t interested in any of the above options, the set provides a good collection of not-very-specialized pieces which one can dissemble and contribute towards other builds of their own!
Still, I think this Trojan Horse playground set is best used the way it is in real life, albeit indoors: as a fun attraction for kids and families with (presumably) educational value.