I’m not ashamed to admit that I made gagging and retching noises when I first saw LEGO DOTS bracelets. The first set I laid eyes on included a hot-pink bracelet, which I liked, that came with little printed tiles of pink cats, which I disliked. But I was intrigued, and now I’m eyeing that hot-pink bracelet while fantasizing about trading the cat tiles for some emoji faces.
This review focuses on the bracelet sets, not the jewelry box, pencil holder, or picture holder, which are also part of the LEGO DOTS theme. It’s also written with LEGO stop motion animation in mind, as opposed to its intended purpose of making wrists look cool.
LEGO DOTS Bracelets for Filmmakers
I’ll keep checking hashtags and keywords for MOCs (My Own Creation, i. e. designs created by users rather than by LEGO staff). I’ve seen comments on forums and articles about how versatile the bracelets are, especially when used with Technic parts, but I haven’t yet seen that versatility in practice. One LEGO enthusiast’s comment: “Roofing, flowing water, flexible framing for rounded walls . . . And that’s just first thoughts. I can think of more experiments than I got parts and time!”
Most of the positive comments about this new theme indicate excitement over how the tiles will be helpful in the decoration of MOCs.
There are techniques to build curved walls and fences using older LEGO pieces, but the bracelets could be a faster, easier way to make something quickly for your set. How about a curved counter, say, for a bar or restaurant? Or a curved ceiling if you wouldn’t ordinarily already have all the parts you need?
If you’re making something experimental, why not have a minifigure walk around a bracelet either upright or upside-down? How about a race up a wall? Several LEGO competitors make flexible, adhesive-backed strips for a longer race or a loop-de-loop, and that’s great if you don’t need to remove the tape. These bracelets are more versatile and a good way to test ideas before you invest in the tape.
The bracelets can also be turned into abstract sculptures blurred in the background or turned into robots using the new emoji tiles as faces.
Emoji are not the only things printed on the tiles.
LEGO DOTS Tile Details
The tiles are the actual dots. Each bracelet comes with 33 dots, and each set has a different theme with an accompanying color scheme.
- 41900 LEGO Rainbow Bracelet
- 41901 LEGO Funky Animals Bracelet
- 41902 LEGO Sparkly Unicorn Bracelet
- 41903 LEGO Cosmic Wonder Bracelet
- 41912 LEGO Love Birds Bracelet
If you already have a LEGO collection, you probably have some 1×1 tiles you could use, but maybe you don’t want to rip them off existing builds, and maybe you want something more interesting than circles and squares, or new colors.
The dots are easy to attach to the bracelet and easy to remove without a brick separator. I was afraid that ease of removal would mean they would also quickly fall off the bracelet. After wearing a bracelet covered with dots for an afternoon of errands, I’m no longer afraid of losing them that way.
Removing the dots from LEGO plates isn’t as easy, and you’ll want a brick separator for that unless you want to risk splitting or breaking your nails. Or losing your sanity.
LEGO DOTS Tiles for Filmmakers: Set Design
The dots are going to make your set design more interesting. I’m experimenting with using them to suggest waves underwater. I’ve seen them in a vignette as a black-and-white tile floor and abstract paintings on the wall. They make a fun graffiti-style wall as well, or a mosaic as elaborate as you want it to be.
The risk is that the designs will be so eye-catching that they’ll draw attention away from your minifigures and the action of your brickfilm.
The raised, pearlescent pieces could represent coveted, perhaps otherworldly items instead of LEGO diamonds and other gems.
What’s something every LEGO set has but cannot be found with these particular items? Instructions! These products are geared towards children who love jewelry and crafts. The verb that goes with these sets is “to dot,” not “to build.” For those starting out with LEGO and LEGO animation, this is a quick way to add interest to your scene.
Where can you find these sets?
As of this writing, you can find them at the end of the toy aisles at Target. A bracelet set costs $4.99 (minus 5% if you have a Target debit card). Michael’s carries them. You’ll find them at Lego.com and Amazon.com as well.
Several reviewers agree that if you take the number of parts included in each DOTS product, the sets are a good value.
The LEGO DOTS bracelets encompass three things: bracelets, tiles, and accessory packs. Each bracelet comes with a little packet of tiles while the accessory packs are sold separately.
LEGO DOTS Bracelets Details
The bracelets come in 9 colors. There are 5 different individual bracelets, each with its own theme. Then there’s the 41913 Bracelet Mega Pack, which includes the Medium Lavender bracelet from Sparkly Unicorn, and 4 different colors. Here are the numbers for your set-identification pleasure:
The bracelets are made of a flexible, rubbery material. They are adjustable and can fit many adult wrists if you want to use them for their intended purpose.
You’ll have 28 studs to work with.
LEGO DOTS Extra Dots Packs
There are two extra-dots packs containing tiles and each one has its own color scheme. The one with teal and hot-pink tiles also has the round tiles, including emoji, while the one with lime and coral tiles has square tiles with designs, words, and the question and exclamation marks.
Unfortunately, each bag contains only a selection of special, printed tiles, so you could buy several packs and still not get the winking emoji–uhm, I mean the tile you really wanted. In theory, if you’re buying a pack in-store, you could try to fondle it, moving the tiles around while watching for your target tile in the small, transparent window on the bag. Feeling up packages is what people do with the blind bags containing collectible minifigures, so you needn’t feel like a freak.
LEGO DOTS Resources
I’ve created three resources for you:
- a LEGO DOTS Pinterest Board I made with different sections (bracelets, reviews, inspiration, and more) so you can see the graffiti walls and museum set I was telling you about.
- a YouTube playlist for more reviews and ideas
- a short list of some hardcore, detailed reviews of the bracelets and tiles. There you can see all the different colors and printed tiles. We’re talking details. Like a photo of the patent for the first design for the bracelet, ideas on how to use the bracelet holes (Technic and other specialty LEGO pieces), and how tall the dots are compared to studs and similar elements. The reviews are thorough, wonderful in their geeky passion, and highly recommended. Here’s that list:
- LEGO DOTS Bracelets – the bracelets only
- LEGO DOTS Bracelet sets – New Elementary
- LEGO DOTS Bracelet sets – The Rambling Brick
- LEGO DOTS Bracelet Mega Pack
- Extra Dots Series 1
LEGO DOTS bracelet products are a good value and hold great potential for brickfilms when it comes to building sets for your scenes. The bracelets can be used to quickly make curved surfaces, like fences and counters. The tiles can be used as artwork, floors and walls, and water, for starters.
And if you don’t like any of those techniques, use the bracelets for their intended purpose, right?