Lego Animal Crossing is the cure to whatever ails you

Lego's new Animal Crossing sets are imbued with a pure delight and whimsy.
lego animal crossing review

Centuries ago, they would prescribe a visit to the sea for a variety of ailments, or perhaps bedrest and a warm cup of tea. I’m not a doctor, and this is far from clinically-approved medical advice, but in 2024, I’d prescribe Lego’s new Animal Crossing sets to cure whatever ails you.

Courtesy of Lego, I spent last evening building the Bunnie’s Outdoor Activities and Isabelle’s House Visit sets, and the feelings of pure joy they inspired have kept me in a state of whimsy all day. They’re just delightful in every regard.

Building Lego is something I’ve avoided for the longest time, because I recognise how addictive it can be. It’s fair to say Lego is an investment, and that one set may inspire the purchase of another, and another, and so on. Building out the Animal Crossing Lego set, I felt myself dangling on the edge of a precipice, facing a blast of wholesomeness so pure that I know I’ll struggle not to jump.

Cracking open bags and flooding my build table with the plasticky plink-plonk of Lego bricks immediately brought me back to the early 2000s, fossicking in my big Lego tub with my siblings. That tub was given away in adulthood, to be enjoyed by other children, but as I discovered, its absence did leave a hole. I must have a sense memory for handling Lego, because the moment I started building, I was reminiscing about the 1996 Lego Aquacessories Set with included shark and octopus.

Read: Animal Crossing Lego includes Nook’s Cranny, Island Tour sets

lego animal crossing build review
Image: GamesHub

Beyond this dizzying nostalgia, the quality and detail of the Animal Crossing Lego set was what immediately drew me in. The realisation of iconic Animal Crossing features in Lego form is very well done, and it was particularly nice to see familiar structures coming together, thanks to clever design. The roof of the villager house in Isabelle’s set was particularly lovely to build.

It starts out as vague orange shapes, before you realise they’re roof tiles, and before long, you’re hinging them to the front of your house with a perfect slope. Then you add your roof decorations, which are hinged in a neat triangle array.

With tiny clips, unique brick tiles, and the use of angled pieces for symmetry, the traditional blocky style of Lego works well to bring Animal Crossing to life. I will say the villagers included – Isabelle, Fauna, and Bunnie – do look quite strange rendered in Lego form, but they’ve got their own charming sense of cute that adds to the appeal.

Tiny details also bolster the Animal Crossing sets – holdables like nets, axes, and marshmallow sticks, and even tinier things like recipes, K.K. Slider album covers, and a mobile phone. Even the coins and fossils are tiny and adorable.

coins tree animals crossing
This coin tree is a nice reference to gameplay. (Image: GamesHub)

Everywhere you look in these sets, you’ll find a neat reference to Animal Crossing, and particularly to those “unprecedented” but still cosy times in 2020, playing New Horizons.

From a neat balloon present floating above an apple tree to a loose letter in your mailbox, or various tools hiding on a workbench, there’s so many strong inclusions. Seeing carrots and pumpkins in Isabelle’s House Visit is also a nice touch, as this feature arrived much later in the New Horizons life cycle.

Of the two sets GamesHub was given for review, I was actually most impressed by the cheaper Bunnie’s Outdoor Activities set, for its more dynamic features. This set is themed around camping and the early stages of your Animal Crossing journey, and that’s reflected in its multi-level diorama.

You’ve got the camping area on the lower level, and on the upper level, there’s a removable rock hiding a coin, a spider and butterfly lying in wait, a box full of tools, and – most importantly – a pivot point for placing a Vaulting Pole. Place this tiny piece into its moving receptacle, and you can create a neat, “actiony” part of the scene that adds a sense of liveliness.

lego animal crossing review
Image: GamesHub

Overall, there are improvements to be made in the set – trees do look a bit odd compared to their in-game style, and some of the roof elements in the House Visit set aren’t as cohesive as I’d like – but as an entire, wholesome package, these Lego Animal Crossing sets are products of wonder. They’re incredibly endearing, and look fantastic as set pieces or tools for daily play.

Personally, I put my creations in a glass cabinet – and every time I walk by, I can feel the colour and fun radiating off them. You can’t buy happiness or health, sure, but the Lego Animal Crossing sets are a nice argument against that fact.

Isabelle’s House Visit and Bunnie’s Outdoor Activities was provided to GamesHub for the purposes of this review. GamesHub has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content. GamesHub may earn a small percentage of commission for products purchased via affiliate links.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.