Review: LEGO Animal Crossing - Julian’s Birthday Party - Is It Any Good?


Party of one

The LEGO Animal Crossing sets bring Animal Crossing: New Horizons to life in plastic brick form, featuring minifigures of some of the series' most beloved characters at home and around their island.

The first wave of sets launched in March 2024, with Julian's Birthday Party among them. This is the cheapest set in the range (at launch), and will therefore be an attractive option for Animal Crossing fans looking to dip their toe into this Lego pool without shelling out $180 to buy the lot.

But does this small set do enough to satisfy your Lego Animal Crossing cravings without buying one or more of the larger sets, too? Let's find out if Julian alone is enough to get the party started...

What's in the box?

Julian's Birthday Party consists of four small plastic bags, a small green base, the white bunting 'string' element, and the instructions, natch. It's a small set, although it comes with a surprising number of (teeny, tiny) pieces.

Julian’s Birthday Party build

Jumping into bag one, first up you build the host with the most — most tiny pieces of Lego, that is. Certainly not guests.

Now, we've got nothing against him, but does Julian have a hardcore following in Animal Crossing fandom? Quite possibly, but one of the perils of having so many villagers in the series is that there will inevitably be ones you're just not familiar with — even after playing the games for decades. We've never had Julian as a neighbour, and if we have encountered him on our travels, we don't remember. Sorry, Jules.

Obviously, Julian lovers will adore his minifig form, and the snooty unicorn does look great. He's also sporting full-sized legs — the only minifigure in the range so far to do so.

The attraction of this set hinges almost entirely on how much you like this specific villager. Because, despite all the presents and decorations and merriment, he's the only one at this party.

In the first bag, along with Julian himself, are a few presents with cute details — we especially liked how the heart pieces are used as the pink bow on the orange box. By the end of the bag, we already had 13 leftover pieces for our 'Miscellaneous' pot. (Actually, make that a dozen; we felt sorry for ol' Juli-no-mates and decided to gift him another Bell.) By the time we'd finished the entire build, we had over 30 pieces remaining. A good indication of how 'bitty' this build is.

Next up, it's time to lay out the birthday spread. Julian has whipped up a couple of cupcakes alongside his candle-topped cake. Not much else to report here — some pink mugs and a bottle of what we imagine to be a very fine vintage help distract Julian from the fact nobody can stand him and that's why he's blowing out his candle alone. Probably.

Bag three brings a radio and a pink tree, a lovely alternative to the other sets, although a peach or pear tree would have been nice to accompany the apples, cherries, and oranges from the other sets. Still, plenty of potential for the future.

The final bag contains a streetlamp (the same as found outside Rosie's House), some balloons, and bunting. What's a party without bunting, eh!? It connects to the rear of the streetlamp and the tree.

As with the other sets, each of the modules can be rearranged as you see fit, although here you'll need to keep the tree and the streetlamp appropriately distanced for the bunting to hang nicely.

It's all very pleasant and we're sure Julian fans will delight in the neat little details at his #cute #cupcake #party, but despite all the hashtaggery of this photo-friendly soirée, this is easily the least interesting of the initial Lego Animal Crossing sets. From a play perspective, Julian's got a skateboard and a bunch of presents, but there's nothing much to do otherwise — nobody to get the party started with.

Julian’s Birthday Party cost

And now to this set's saving grace. Julian's Birthday Party is the cheapest Animal Crossing Lego set on offer, retailing for $14.99 / £12.99 / €14.99.

The set includes 170 pieces, so in pure cost-to-piece terms, it represents excellent value for a licensed set. However, as we detailed at the beginning, the majority of the pieces included are very small. Don't get us wrong — there are a lot of cute details, but it's fiddly and not a particularly rewarding build.

Overall, Julian's Birthday Party feels like exactly what it is: a supplementary set. We wonder if another minifigure and, if necessary, a fiver on the price might have changed things for the better. The opportunity for play and posing would have made this much more attractive had someone else come to poor Julian's party.


TAGS: Reviews LEGO Animal Crossing Nintendo