Back in 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark brought Indiana Jones into the world, introducing us to the iconic adventure as he puzzled his way through a series of booby traps to secure (and ultimately lose) a golden idol. Along the way, he survives tarantulas, a wall of spikes, poison blowdarts, a bottomless pit, and a giant rolling boulder, all of which are lovingly recreated in LEGO’s new Indiana Jones: Temple of the Golden Idol set.
The largest of the three newest LEGO Indiana Jones set timed to release with Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny — out in theaters on June 30 — this 1,545-piece Temple of the Golden Idol set is a blast to build and is chock-full of Easter eggs for the hard-core Indy fan. Details like the dart-blowing faces in the idol chamber and the corpse next to the spike trap will delight fans of the series, and the foliage throughout the build gives it an air of LEGO-style authenticity. And in addition to the Indiana Jones minifigure (which alone makes the set worthwhile), it comes with Sapito, Rene Belloq, and a Hovitos tribesman minifigures as well. (In case you forgot, Sapito was played by the one and only Alfred “Doc Ock” Molina. Meanwhile, the evil Belloq was played by Paul Freeman.)
But the main appeal of the set is in the four skull-printed knobs that line the base of the build. Each one controls a dynamic feature: The rolling boulder, the wall that drops, and Sapito swinging over that deadly pit all create a dynamic feel. But, as always, the real treasure lies in the deepest recesses of the cave. The final knob controls the pedestal of the golden idol itself. If you twist it to the left, the idol rises on its pedestal as a red light brick illuminates it from overhead. Twist it to the right, and the idol ominously sinks down and the huge stone face behind it falls forward as the cave structure starts to collapse, just like it did in the film.
All of these features come together to create a fun, compact representation of one of the most enduring scenes in film history, and it pairs well with the other two new sets, the LEGO Indiana Jones: Escape from the Lost Tomb and LEGO Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Fighter Plane Chase. The Sean Connery minifigure here makes this a must-buy. (What happens at eleven o’clock?!!)
And if you’re a completionist with a hefty bank account, you can dig into the LEGO archives on eBay and dig up some of the classic LEGO Indiana Jones sets from 2009, the coolest of which may be the LEGO Indiana Jones The Temple of Doom set, which recreates the insane mine cart escape.
The Temple of Doom set may be the only one that can rival the new Temple of the Golden Idol set in regards to the coolness factor, but while the mine cart race might set you back a thousand bucks, you can pick up the Temple of the Golden Idol is just $149.99 (at least until they discontinue it).
And, while this set is almost guaranteed to rise in value over time, it’s really the apex of an adult LEGO build: the perfect mixture of form and function. Most adult LEGO sets are meant to be built, then put away and admired. The Temple of the Golden Idol is a beautiful build, but its dynamic features are meant to be used, played with, and enjoyed. More than any other set, you’ll find yourself going back to this one to make to temple collapse, swing a panicked Indy over the chasm, or roll the boulder down its track. This may be the perfect set to make you feel like a kid again.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny hits theaters on June 30, 2023. Here’s where to stream all the Indy movies right now.