Review: #77015 Temple of the Golden Idol
One of the most iconic scenes from the entire Indiana Jones series captured in a diorama for adults that’s still packed with play features — yes, please!
We have seen several adult-focused dioramas in the past year, including three small models based on classic Star Wars scenes. Let’s see what a much larger diorama has to offer, both in terms of playability and as a striking display model.
#77015 Temple of the Golden Idol will be available at LEGO retail stores and LEGO.com website starting on April 1, 2023. The set costs $149.99 (149.99€ / £129.99 / 199.99 CAD / 239.99 AUD), contains 1545 pieces, and is recommended for ages 18+. Not to worry, many older kids can build sets in the so-called “Adults Welcome” line without too much difficulty (and inexperienced adults may struggle as this is a fairly large and complex model).
It’s Amy here, and as a life-long Indiana Jones fan, I get to review the new set aimed at adult builders based on the second film in the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. This set focuses specifically on the first 10 minutes of the movie, where Indy and his sidekick Satipo are exploring a temple somewhere in South America, on a quest to locate and remove a golden icon. Colonialism issues non-withstanding, this is an action-packed opening, that I am very excited to see translated into a LEGO set.
Let’s hurry. There is nothing to fear here.
That’s what scares me.
There is a lot of movement and action in this sequence, so I’m really hoping to see some of that come through in the model. Specifically, I would love to see some of the various traps including poison darts, a giant, ominous pit opening in the floor, arrows that burst out of the wall, and of course, the famous, rolling boulder of doom! I think it would also be fun to see some of the “set dressing” from the scene included in the set, such as heaps of spiders and spider webs, creepy skeletons, and tiling on the floor to create a secret path to the idol. I am really looking forward to building this one!
The box is reasonably large, matching my expectations for a set with a 150$ price point. The box features the Adults Welcome branding along the bottom edge in 138Sand YellowDark Tan.
- Box Size: 58 x 37.5 x 8.1 cm (22 ¾” × 14 ¾” × 3 ¼”)
- Box Weight: 2277 grams (5.0 lbs)
- Box Density: 129 g/L
- LEGO Parts Weight: 1308.4 g (2.88 lbs)
- Weight-per-piece: 0.85 g/piece
- Price per piece: $0.097 per piece
- Price per gram: $0.115 per gram.
The relatively large is pretty full of numbered bags and the cardboard pouch which is now used to protect the instruction booklet and sticker sheet — a welcome change after receiving damaged instructions and stickers in the past.
- Bag 1: 1x extra-large bag (marked 603S3) and 1x medium bag (marked 503S3).
- Bag 2: 1x large bag (marked 603S3).
- Bag 3: 1x medium bag (marked 503S3).
- Bag 4: 1x extra-large bag (marked 603S3) and 1x medium unmarked bag.
- Bag 5: 1x large bag (marked 403S3) and 1x small unmarked bag.
- Bag 6: 1x large bag (marked 5403S3) and 1x small unmarked bag.
- Bag 7: 1x extra-large bag (marked 503S3).
- Bag 8: 1x large bag (marked 503S3).
- Bag 9: 1x large bag (marked 503S3) and 1x small unmarked bag.
- Bag 10: 1x extra-large bag (marked 603S3).
- Cardboard pouch (marked 6422734) containing:
- 284-page instruction booklet. 27.0 x 19.2 cm (10 5/8 x 7 5/8”).
- Sticker Sheet (marked 10077401/633789) containing 14 stickers. 7.8 x 14.5 cm (3 1/8 x 5 ¾”)
Bags 1-3: Left Module
The First Bag is pretty straightforward, focusing on creating a strong base that has some technic bricks embedded in the base. We begin building on top of the base with a 4×12 plate attached at an angle on the left, and a rocky outcropping on the back edge of the right side.
Bag Two is a quick and engaging build which manages to incorporate interesting techniques such as SNOT and off-stud building without feeling overwhelming to the builder. In this section, we build up more of the entryway, adding both height and detail. We also connect the front entrance to the back of the model , which were previously slightly separate and off-stud. Fun bits like spiders, a large web, plenty of plants, some nice tiles, and a skeleton add a richness and color to the scene.
The Third Bag is short but adds a lot of fun to the model since it focuses on the giant iconic boulder that chases Indy as he tries to escape. It is really cleverly built, using one section of ¼ round gear to turn the boulder as it rolls down the ramp. It is released using the small knob in the front of the model.
Bags 4-6: Central Module
Bag Four is the start of the next major assembly, specifically its sub-structure. We add two more long, rotating Technic pins which should attach to play features in future bags. One seems to be operated from the front, whereas there are two interlocking gears in the back whose purpose is not yet clear. This bag comes together quickly and the directions continue to be clear.
Bag Five adds some of the background to the base we built in the previous bag. SNOT techniques are used to add both some background texture and more nice blue and green triangular tiles. We also use technic beams behind the wall which connect under the floor to the right knob, which can be turned left and right. I hypothesize that this will be where India Jones swings over the pit, and that we will build the rest of this play feature in the next bag.
The Sixth Bag completes our central module by focusing on the left side of the assembly. That’s where we build up the wall a bit higher, install a wall that you can lift and drop using the second knob on the front of the model, and add some excellent foliage and roots that give the model a convincing ‘grown over’ look. My favorite detail is the rearmost statue head, which has really nice detailing in the ears and eyes, and the mouth is cleverly shaped using the underside of a 1×2 Palisade Brick (part 30136).
Bags 7-10: Right Module
The Seventh Bag is quick since it creates a very similar rigid platform to the first bag. We do have a different mechanism in the base, which was a bit confusing at first because it does not quite bend up to 90 degrees. It is finished off with some more printed tiles along the front edge.
In the Eighth Bag, we build up the platform which has a nice stair-stepped shape up to a central plinth where the Golden Idol will no doubt sit. The mechanism we built earlier sticks in place in both the raised and lowered position, similar to some of the earlier mechanisms. I do like the attempt to re-create the pattern of stones on the floor (which trigger traps when stepped-on in the movie), but I don’t care for the choice to have those stones raised up from the floor since they are flush with the floor in the movie.
The Ninth Bag builds the back of the module up fairly high and adds lots of fun face-like sculptures to the walls. The latter were especially fun to build due to different and whimsical ways that the bricks are used to construct the faces. For example, the mouth of one of the faces is created by using the back of a jumper. Noses are formed with hinges and another mouth comes to life using a ball joint. The pretty blue and green tiling is continued, as is the ample use of greenery. It is unfortunate that stickers are used for more of the sculptural elements instead of using printed pieces, a fact that really sticks out when compared to the very thoughtful brick built counterparts.
The Tenth and Final Bag adds two additional play features to the increasingly tall tower on the rightmost module. This module is attached to the other two at the very end of this stage.
The first play feature adds a light brick which is cleverly integrated into the knob on the front of the model to light up when you begin to twist it. The second is a large central statue head which is positioned carefully in the open space in the middle. Twisting the knob a little further causes the head to be pushed down towards our hero as he escapes. This is the most involved play feature in the whole model, and it is appropriately centered on the Idol which is a new element that is appropriately finished with the relatively uncommon 310Metalized GoldGold color.
Parts, Minifigures, and Stickers
Long-time readers know that Tom is not a fan of stickers, but he appreciates printed tiles when they are tasteful and feel necessary. This is the rare set that has both printed tiles and a fairly large sticker sheet, so we built the model without the stickers. My honest observation is that the stickers are largely optional, with the obvious caveat being the nameplate in the middle which I tend to agree adds to the display value.
As for the parts themselves, there is a diverse selection of parts in the set, but I did not notice any new moulds beyond the Golden Idol. That’s fine as far as I’m concerned, because it is really fun to see what LEGO designers can do using existing selection of parts. I have not taken the time to research existing parts which are debuting in new colors, but I suspect you may find some new parts in the variety of earthtones featured in this set.
I thought this was a completely new part, but it appears to be a new mould that is extremely similar to Peruvian Temple Idol (part 62713) which was released in 2008. I could not find a part ID on the Idol, but it is extremely likely that it is a new mould as The LEGO Group has indicated in the past that moulds are destroyed after 5 years out of production because it is more costly store the mould in a safe, climate controlled environment for 5+ years than the cost to produce a new one.
The minifigures add to the story nicely since the model is built to match minfig scale. Four minifigures is fewer than you might expect for a set this large, but they included all of the figures you need to tell the story. Indiana Jones has the same torso print as in #77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb, but with a different head print that has spiderwebs on his face. The other three minifigs are completely unique based on the 2023 sets.
This set offers a good build experience and a diverse selection of parts, but it also only includes four minifigures. The length and complexity of the build feels adequate at the price point, but it doesn’t feel like an exceptional value either.
|#31203 World Map||$249.99||11,695 pieces||$0.021 per-piece||4020 grams||$0.062 per-gram|
|#21056 Taj Mahal||$119.99||2022 pieces||$0.059 per-piece||1811 grams||$0.066 per-gram|
|#21058 Great Pyramid of Giza||$129.99||1476 pieces||$0.088 per-piece||1832 grams||$0.071 per-gram|
|#77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb||$39.99||600 pieces||$0.067 per-piece||530 grams||$0.075 per-gram|
|#10278 Police Station||$199.99||2923 pieces||$0.068 per-piece||2602 grams||$0.077 per-gram|
|#71741 Ninjago City Gardens||$299.99||5685 pieces||$0.052 per piece||3719 grams||$0.081 per-gram|
|#71043 Hogwarts Castle||$399.99||6020 pieces||$0.066 per-piece||4899 grams||$0.082 per-gram|
|#10292 Friends – The Apartments||$149.99||2048 pieces||$0.073 per-piece||1778 grams||$0.084 per-gram|
|#10297 Boutique Hotel||$199.99||3066 pieces||$0.065 per-piece||2380 grams||$0.084 per-gram|
|#10312 Jazz Club||$229.99||2899 pieces||$0.079 per-piece||2392 grams||$0.096 per-gram|
|#10270 Bookshop||$199.99||2504 pieces||$0.080 per-piece||2085 grams||$0.096 per-gram|
|#10282 Adidas Originals Superstar||$79.99||731 pieces||$0.109 per-piece||735 grams||$0.109 per-gram|
|#10316 Rivendell||$499.99||6167 pieces||$0.081 per piece||4375 grams||$0.114 per-gram|
|#77015 Temple of the Golden Idol (this set)||$149.99||1545 pieces||$0.097 per piece||1308 grams||$0.115 per-gram|
|#10305 Lion Knights’ Castle||$399.99||4514 pieces||$0.089 per piece||3265 grams||$0.122 per-gram|
|#77012 Fighter Plane Chase||$34.99||387 pieces||$0.090 per piece||285 grams||$0.123 per-gram|
|#10303 Loop Coaster||$399.99||3756 pieces||$0.106 per-piece||3189 grams||$0.125 per-gram|
|#60339 Double Loop Stunt Arena||$159.99||865 pieces||$0.267 per-piece||865 grams||$0.185 per-gram|
Note: Prices based on date of initial release. (The LEGO Group increased the price of many older sets in late 2022.)
It isn’t an exceptional value when we look at objective measures of value either. It is almost exactly $0.10 per piece, which is a common benchmark for value, but the price-per-gram reveals that the parts are smaller than average. $0.115 per-gram is almost identical to the newly released Rivendell set, which scored high marks for the excellent detailing and huge number of minifigures.
With a more modest selection of figures, this set feels like a moderate to poor value based on the parts alone. It sits between the two other Indiana Jones sets which were just released in this analysis, with #77012 Fighter Plane Chase offering a much worse value at $0.123 per-gram, while #77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb offers a much better value at $0.075 per-gram.
My first thought when I look at the completed set is, “I can’t wait to play with this!”. This set grabs your attention and holds it, drawing you in, rewarding you with a feast of details that take you right back to the movie it is recreating. Here is the golden idol, there is the wall about to crush your minifigure and the floor complete with lush greenery and loads of spiders, and finally, the boulder that rolls down, ready to squish anyone not fast enough.
The knobs on the front of the model invite further exploration. From left to right, the first releases the iconic boulder which rolls smoothly down a toothed track in built into the back of the model. I would have liked to see the mechanism hidden a bit more, even just with greenery, but the easy motion and quick reset keep you coming back again and again.
The second knob raises and lowers a section of wall, which almost prevents Indy from escaping the temple. The smooth action of the mechanism is almost enough to forgive the use of the LURP (Little Ugly Rock Piece) that’s used to over the join in the two platforms. Thank goodness the designers added lots of greenery and roots around it. The third knob swings a minifigure across a deep pit of unknown doom. This is the simplest of the four mechanisms, but it works well enough.
The fourth knob sets up the most complex action sequence. Turn it once to the right, and the light brick comes on, shining down onto the golden idol, and dropping it down into the well. A second turn causes the top of the wall above the idol and well to “cave in”. The wall piece doesn’t fall completely apart and is easily reset for further play.
In conclusion, this set is pretty easy to build, has excellent instructions, looks great, and has lots of playability. Is it perfect? No. I dislike the inconsistency of using stickers for some details and printed pieces for others. I don’t like how the “secret path” through the tiles in the third module uses raised tile pieces. It’s the most glaring discrepancy in the model, and I feel like there could have been a work-around. Finally, we needed about 10 more spiders to achieve the pure shudder sensation I have when watching the scene depicted by the first module.
However, these are small concerns and easy for me to overlook — I feel like the pros far outweigh any cons present. If you are a fan of Indiana Jones, buy this set. You won’t regret it. If you are only a casual fan or are considering this as a source of parts create other models, you will find a better value elsewhere.
At the end of the day, #77015 Temple of the Golden Idol easily earns our Recommended (4/5 Star) rating due to the sheer childlike joy packed into the set. It was clearly designed with care and a deep appreciation of the film it is based on..