LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31149 Flowers in Watering Can: Transformations and the conservation of studs [Review]

Traveling the yellow brick road from the savannah to the windowsill, we arrive at a home for some flowers and winged creatures. Today we take a look at LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31149 Flowers in Watering Can. This set caused us to sit back and reflect a bit on the nature of 3-in-1 sets and if more thought is going in to the secondary models than used to – and if so, is it working? Here’s our review of this 420-piece set, which is available now from for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99.

Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheet

As usual, the thumb-punch box shows small pictures of the alternate models alongside a large picture of the namesake build on the front. It’s very yellow! On the back, larger pictures show different angles of all three builds, slightly marred by removing the sticker marking this as a review set.

In the box are three bags – paper bags! – numbered 1-3, and of course three instruction booklets, one for each model. This is the first set that this particular reviewer has gotten paper bags in, and it was an exciting household moment. We did not take advantage of the apparent design energy put into making sure the paper bags can stand up, but appreciate it nonetheless.

The main build

Which build of the three 3-in-1 builds is most important? How is it decided how many pieces are left unused by the secondary and tertiary builds? Historically, it is our impression that the primary build was, well, primary, and the secondary builds did what they could with the available pieces – often very successfully and with great ingenuity. Building this set, though, gave us a distinct sense that the primary watering can build had been planned – or at least revisited – to significantly impact the other builds. Here is a sampling of what’s inside the watering can structure.

Alternate builds often contain funky arrangements, or combine small pieces to make up larger ones. But these are outright stashed for later use. The first construction hides the 2×2 triangle tiles, almost – but definitely not – making a Triforce design. Curved plates are stashed, then curved bricks and a disturbing profusion of eyes, then more curved bricks and tiles and finally the whole stack peers at you, multi-colored and varied.

Does any of this detract from the final build? On the surface, no – this is a well finished build, with 3 flowers and 3 butterflies hovering around them. Why we’ve given up on watering anything else and just put planting soil in the watering can isn’t clear, but that’s ok. The ability of nature to use something as a planter is undefeated.

The butterflies are pretty nice and clever builds, using lots of slopes, 2×2 corner plates, and some of the new d-SNOT (studs not on top) and expresso plate pieces to add details and antennae.

Ultimately it’s a polished build, but does it feel like 420 pieces? Well… not really? This set is in the mid-range of Creator 3-in-1 for 2024 so far, but the watering can, when you look at it, feels pretty small. It doesn’t have the presence of 31148 Retro Roller Skate, which is the same price but nearly 100 fewer pieces.

The alternate models

The alternate builds are flowers in a boot instead of the watering can, and a pair of birds that are … on a … hill? Sure, a hill. The boot is a fun concept, though basically the same idea as the watering can – we’ve put some flowers in something that they normally don’t go into!

Many of the pieces that were hidden inside the watering can are used here to make the sides and some of the sole of the boot. The flowers have limited petals, and not everything is fully finished:

The back of the boot also shows a limitation of LEGO’s current plastic, where the studs from a black plate underneath the curved slopes are clearly visible through the yellow slopes on the back. It’s pretty subtle in the photo, but much more noticeable in person.

The other alternate model is the two birds. Building the stand for them felt a bit like prototyping out the spacing of the insides of a train car or other build – there are things placed here and there just to get some studs arranged so other things fit.

The result is nice! But this is really the only angle that it looks complete from. It’s definitely a third model, despite the use of pieces that were stashed in the primary build.

Conclusions and recommendations

By price per piece ratio, this set should be a winner – $30 for 420 pieces – but so should most Creator sets. In the end, the main watering can build ends up feeling a bit small for that piece count. It’s a nice build, but we have to wonder – could it be nicer, with the same price and piece count, with less stashed inside for the alternate builds? The boot is a pretty comparable alternate, while the birds feel like something passably made up with most of the pieces. Either way, this set ends up feeling a bit less than the sum of the whole. It’s still approximately 7 cents per piece in the U.S., and with a good variety of yellow and pastel elements, so if it appeals, go for it! But overall, we think there are better options in this year’s Creator offerings.

LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31149 Flowers in Watering Can contains 420 pieces and is available now from for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Check out our gallery for even more images:

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