As soon as I saw LEGO was coming out with this Snow White Cottage I knew I wanted to review it. Partly because Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a childhood favorite and partly because I really wanted to see if LEGO could take on such an iconic story and do it justice.

This review will focus mainly on the sets viability from a photographers viewpoint but I will touch on a few other aspects of the set. The set itself has 2228 pieces and comes with the standard LEGO instruction booklet. I found the build to be enjoyable and easy to follow although I did at times have some difficulty with the colors of pieces in the instruction booklet being difficult to differentiate colors. The slight difference of brown shades caused me the most issues. I believe this is a combination of printing colors and my aging eyes. Nonetheless the build was still a very enjoyable part of the process.

The LEGO Set

The set consists of the cottage Snow White and the Seven Dwarves lived in. The iconic wishing well where Snow White made her fateful wish to meet Prince Charming and, of course, the glass coffin where the dwarves placed Snow White after having dispatched the evil witch. This is also the location where Prince Charming first kissed Snow White, breaking the spell placed on Snow White by the Evil Queen and saving her life. The CMF contained within the set include just what you would hope for and will be discussed more in the next section.

Minifigures (CMF)

The CMF contained with this set are exactly what you would expect. Snow White, Prince Charming, The Evil Queen, and all seven dwarves, Happy, Grumpy, Doc, Dopey, Bashful, Sneezy and Sleepy. All ten CMF have double sided faces that can help in storytelling. I do wish Snow White and The Evil Queen had legs that were capable of posing instead of the standard lego ladies dress. It makes sense why they don’t considering Snow White wears a dress in the fairy tale and the Evil Queen wears a robe. Nonetheless it does limit how they can be used for photos. Prince Charming is a standard size Lego CMF and the most “posable” of the entire set. All seven dwarves have mini legs to help with the illusion of being dwarves. Once again, I find myself wishing Lego would put articulated legs on the small lego to aid in posing. In addition since the dwarves don’t have leg articulation they have to stand on the chairs at the dinner table in the set. Each dwarf comes with a tool such as. a pic-axe or hammer to use while playing/photographing. I realize there has been some who have been unhappy with the faces on the dwarves, but I, for one, think they fit the theme rather well.

Using The Set In Photographs

There are several positives and several negatives with the set in terms of being able to use it for photography.

The wishing well is a stand alone piece that should be able to be used in multiple photographs, not just with this set. I rather like the versatility of sets that are easy to use in multiple ways, both from a photography perspective as well as the joy of play.

The glass coffin will have its limitations in photographs due to the fact that it is clear plastic and highly reflective. This can cause some obvious issues when photographing. Additionally I found Snow White is difficult to fit in the coffin and then close it. While it is possible, it’s just a bit fiddly. The coffin is also a stand alone piece and I can see many uses for it in halloween photos and other monster shots. Just as long as one can work around the reflective issues present in clear plastic.

The cottage has an open back and hinged center section that allows access to the the cottage. In addition one section of the cottage roof is extremely simple to remove and replace. This should make taking photos in that section easier. Unfortunately the section of the cottage this allows access to is the dwarves sleeping quarters and there is not any way to get lighting in from the rear. Additionally, taking a photograph of sleeping dwarves seems rather limiting to me. I tried as best I could to take photographs with the original set in place and without tearing it down for the purposes of this review. That was a difficult task at best. Oftentimes I found myself either adding some pieces to the front of the cottage to make the forest lawn or considering tearing parts of the cottage down to allow better access. I elected not to tear the set apart for photographs since this review is supposed to be based on the ease of photographing the set, not building my own interpretation. Even when opening the cottage up or approaching from the open back I found getting just the right photograph difficult . I tried to get a nice shot of the dwarves having dinner at the dinner table. Unfortunately the way the table and chairs are situated within the cottage, coupled with the dwarves lack of articulation makes it very difficult to set up any type of group shot while maintaining the original integrity of the cottage. As is always the case with closed or partially closed in lego sets, lighting is a challenge with either too much light or not enough as well as flat lighting and accessing the area to photography without a probe lens is extremely limiting. While I truly love this set and will keep it in my display pieces, I found myself flustered by the limitations it presented for photography.

Who is this set for?

At $219.99 US this set is reasonably priced and I really enjoyed building and playing with this set. I can see use for all CMF in future photographs, just not with the cottage as it was designed and with the lenses I currently own. I believe if I had a probe lens I could get into some of the smaller areas and get some of the photos I wanted. Not having the proper kit is sometimes an issue a photographer must deal with. Working around that is often the mother of invention. If you don’t have a probe lens but are willing and able to deconstruct the set then rebuild into more of a MOC (my own creation) then I say this set is for you. If you are a fan of the fairy tale and want the set to add to your lego village collection then again I say this set is for you. If you want the set only for photography but are unwilling or unable to tear down the set to create your own photography sets then this may not be the set for you. If you are interested only in the CMF but not the set then I would encourage you to purchase the CMF on the secondary market at they are not available for individual purchase via Lego.