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This LEGO Ideas project was inspired by the movie Coraline. The Laika movie studio released Coraline as their first stop motion feature film in February of 2009. The movie was directed by the same director as Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick. Coraline is based on the Neil Gaiman book of the same name.
We think this would make a great LEGO set because it has functions, lots of playability and it could even appeal to people who have not seen the movie.
Here are some of The Coraline Magical Garden features:
- Part count: 3,000 pieces
- Difficulty: Medium to Hard
- Size: 5.5" (14cm) high, 25” (64cm) long and 23” (58cm) wide
- Lush Victorian style garden looks like Coraline’s face when viewed from above
- Turn the gears on the sides by the ear shaped planters to watch the trees rotate as they grow up from the ground
- Search for the hidden frog in the garden
- Collapse the bridge to stop the praying mantis tractor when it is under the Other Mother’s control
- Fly Coraline and Other Father into the air on the praying mantis tractor
- Roll the tractor up and down the blue flowery hills of the garden
- Garden features: 2 trees that grow as they turn, collapsible bridge, multiple levels with curved stairwells, 2 giant pumpkins with water elements and spouting tops (non-functioning), dragonfly shaped greenhouse, golden gates, green grassy slopes, planters and a wide variety of plant elements
- Praying mantis tractor features: Unfolding rotor blades that spin around like a helicopter, steering wheel, stick shift (which can be removed like in the movie), headlights, driver’s seat, exhaust, posable head, legs, arms and antennae
- Minifigures include: Coraline with two face prints, Wybie with button eye face print and regular face print, Other Mother with button eye face print and regular face print, Other Father with button eye print and regular face print
- Accessories include: Coraline doll figure, flower bouquet, black key to the other world, green triangle viewfinder for seeing trapped souls, Wybie’s motor bicycle, Wybie’s telescopic mask, cat, frog, button eyes tile, Other Father’s white robotic gloves, snow globe with trapped parents print
This project took 3 months of our free time to design and render. There were many late nights, early mornings and all-nighters involved. I designed the set itself. My wife, LEGO Ideas user jiminyc, did the minifigure and accessory graphic design and has agreed to have her work included in this project.
There were many challenges designing this project, but one of the most difficult ones was figuring out how to represent Coraline’s blue hair in the garden. LEGO Ideas has a 3,000 piece limit for projects, so making the hair out of individual flower pieces would have been impossible. In addition to this, I didn’t just want it to look like Coraline’s hair; I wanted the praying mantis tractor to be able to roll on it. The scale of the set is quite large to accommodate the tractor, so I wanted to get as much playability out of it as possible. This version of the garden hair is the 5th one I came up with and is 583 pieces. The studs help represent the flowers, but also allow for driving the tractor over them without pieces falling off.
Deciding which minifigures to include was another challenge. While we wanted the minifigure designs to stay true to the characters that are seen in the magical garden scenes of the movie; we also wanted fans of the movie to have the most iconic minifigures from it if this set happened to be the only Coraline LEGO set that was ever produced.
Special thanks to Scrubs on mecabricks.com for adding the bob hair part to the parts library and for allowing jiminyc's custom decorations to be available so I could render the project using the site. Doing my renders on mecabricks.com saved me many, many hours/days of rendering time.
If this project is approved by LEGO Ideas during the review phase, then LEGO master builders design the final product.
If you want to get an even closer look at the set, high resolution images can be found at the below links:
3D Stereoscopic Main Image: https://ideascdn.lego.com/media/generate/lego_ci/a489e9b9-4544-4375-a874-d5e0097c0d0a/original:0:0