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Lego’s Steamboat Willie Set Is a Black and White Homage to Early Mickey Mouse

It could be the best-looking Lego set we've ever seen.


There are plenty of Lego sets tied to modern blockbusters. The Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Batman franchises have all gotten the Lego treatment at one point or another. “Steamboat Willie,” the hand-drawn short that featured the debut of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, does not fit that category — it’s a hand-drawn seven-minute film — but it is nevertheless getting its own Lego set. It’s also, one of the best looking, most distinct sets we’ve ever seen.

The first thing you notice about the set is that it’s in grayscale, far from the technicolor world of modern movies. It’s a bold stylistic move that we can’t recall ever seeing on a Lego set before, one that’s also true to the look of the original black and white film.

The 751-piece set includes the Steamboat Willie boat complete with adjustable crane and signs that read “S.S. Willie” and “1928,” the year the film was produced. The boat is five inches tall and wide and 10 inches long.

There are hidden wheels so you can roll it along a table, but that’s only part of their purpose. Thanks to an interior mechanism, when the wheels turn the paddle wheels on each side of the boat spin and the steam pipes move, brilliantly mimicking how the components of the boat move in the film.

The mini-figures, made especially for this set, are also amazing. Mickey and Minnie are included, each with the all-black eyes they were drawn with at the time. Accessories inspired by the film, including Minnie’s guitar and sheet music, a parrot, and hats for each character are also included.

This Steamboat Willie set is part of the Lego Ideas theme, a collection of fan-submitted designs that have been turned into real sets. It’s one of the coolest things the company has done, and it’s led to more offbeat fan-favorite sets like the Ship in a Bottle and Voltron.

Steamboat Willie will be available for $89.99 on April 1 on the Lego Shop.