LEGO Typewriter Review
By Kevin Hoskinson
For those of a certain age, a manual typewriter will always be something special. It was a more efficient and neater way to capture your thoughts on paper and acted as the precursor to the modern computer keyboard. While I had some experiences with typewriters growing up, it was never an essential part of my life. In many ways, they evoke the feeling of a simpler time when the words you typed were set in stone, and your thoughts could be captured more precisely. Sure, you would have to go back to edit it manually, but the words were out, and there was no second-guessing what you wanted to say. There is a mystique that comes with using a typewriter, and the folks at LEGO have created a set that captures the nostalgia perfectly.
Before getting into many of the cool details, let’s talk about who this set is for. It’s an 18+ set, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an adult to enjoy it, but it’s not the type of set that your ten-year-old will be playing with on the regular. It’s a beautiful set to display and admire, and if that sounds good to you, then you will love it. It’s sturdy enough to take out and show off the excellent functionality but probably won’t hold up to a daily pounding of the keys. At a very adult price of $199.99, it’s probably for the better that it makes for a fantastic-looking piece of nostalgia more so than anything else.
With that now out of the way, let’s get into it. The LEGO Typewriter is a stunning 2,097 build that will keep you busy building for days. Surrounded by a sturdy exterior, the interior has more going on than meets the eye. Having never built a Technic set before, this was a great way to get my feet wet in those waters. At times, it was challenging (and tedious), but the final product was completely worth it. As you could imagine, in order to get the typewriter to work at all, there is so much to do. There are no motors or mechanical parts included, so it’s all done piece by piece. It was fascinating to pull out a bag of parts that seemed random only to put together an arm for one of the keys or extension of those arms. As you are putting it all together, everything starts to click (mentally and physically) into place, creating a small miracle of engineering.
Once all the guts are put into place, it’s hard not to test it out and see how it all works. Feeling like a kid again, I was in awe that I made it work on my own (of course, I used the easy-to-follow instruction manual, but it was a sense of pride nonetheless). To be honest, when the outside shell was coming together, it was a bit concerning that nobody would see the hard work that went into the interior. As I got towards the end of the build, though, it was fantastic to show my family and friends that it actually works. With each press of the keys, the cartridge moves and gives that satisfying clicking sound. When the cartridge gets too far to the left, you have to move it back into place to start over again. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.
Going back to it being a great display piece, this set looks fantastic. There are a couple of sticker elements to it, but they are pretty big and quick to apply. The letter keys are printed on small discs that easily connect to the arms. The color and size of the final build make it the perfect addition to your favorite desk or shelf to seek inspiration from. While it’s true that you can find a fully functional typewriter for half the price, nothing beats building your own and being proud of what you have accomplished. You can’t write your epic novel using it, but you can get that creativity flowing and be inspired to write it. LEGO offers that kind of magic; they help spark creativity, and this set will do that no matter how old you are.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I really love this set! It’s one of the coolest functioning ones that I have ever built. While some of the processes were a bit repetitive, it was worth it every step of the way. It offered a challenge I wasn’t expecting, but it was far from impossible to complete. It’s a Technic set inside and a sturdy brick on the outside. If you are looking for something that will keep you busy for a while, spark your imagination and fill you with nostalgia, this is the set for you.