40503 Dagny Holm - Master Builder
The 40503 Dagny Holm - Master Builder set is the third in a series of sets available exclusively at LEGO House in Billund.
The set celebrates the life and work of Dagny Holm Jensen, niece of LEGO founder Ole Kristiansen. She was the company's first Master Builder. I confess I didn't know who she was. In my research, I saw that she designed the models that were on display at LEGOLAND Billund when it opened in 1968. Dagny continued to work at LEGO until 1986, at the age of 70. Undoubtedly a well-deserved recognition.
Speaking now of the set. A set with a lot to show and with an excellent construction.
We have to start by understanding that this set was made in a scale that is not usual in the sets on sale, the miniland scale (in this 1:20 scale the human figures are approximately 10 cm, just to give you an idea). In fact, I've only found another set that uses this scale, the 40115 LEGOLAND Entrance with Family, which was available exclusively in the parks during 2014. But those who know LEGOLAND parks are very familiar with this scale because it's the scale used in the buildings we see in these parks. . I hope one day I can see one of these parks live.
Returning to the set. We can find Dagny finishing a mega construction of a giraffe (the giraffe measures about 16 cm) on top of a table that has a touch that I found very interesting, as we can adjust the height of the table (by about 1 cm), something common in work tables. Then around, there is no lack of details. In the back area, we have a closet with several constructions and drawers full of bricks for new constructions. The mini constructions are very well done and the way they fit into the furniture was done in a very smart way, as they don't allow them to fall easily. Next to it, we have a wheelbarrow, with two buildings ready, perhaps to be sent to a LEGOLAND. I liked the touch of including the iconic duck on the floor, next to the table, which was built in a simple way, but with a very interesting and easily recognizable end result.
The base is big for the construction (there is a black border all around that I couldn't quite understand the need for it), but it gives a beautiful end result to expose.
I confess that the scene may have too many things, because the character seems half lost in the middle of everything. We have the feeling that the main character goes very unnoticed, when she should be one of the highlights. It may be the fact that the giraffe is too big that distracts us. Perhaps it would have been better to choose a smaller building.
In short, a very well-developed set that many fans will want to buy. I don't see this as a good set to play with, but a nice set to expose, and I think it will be most, if not all cases of those who buy this beautiful set.
Value and parts
The set has 1068 pieces and costs around €80 (depends on currency conversion). We can find 6 unique pieces (they are all 2x2 tiles): Dagny's graduation certificate, LEGOLAND Billund's original plan, the Tivoli Gardens train (which she designed), wooden hangers (designed by Dagny at age 19), a giraffe on graph paper (a nice touch, as this was the method used in the past in LEGO model projects) and finally some yellow sneakers (a personal touch from Stuart Harris who always wears yellow) where you can see some footprints, representing the path of all master builders following in Dagny's place.
Despite being a LEGO House exclusive, you can easily find it on Bricklink or Ebay, but in these cases you will pay more for the set.