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Building The Latest LEGO GWP - Tribute To Jules Verne's Books (40690)


photograph of Jules Verne and his books, hot air balloon and Nautilus

“Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real. “

Jules Verne, Around The World In Eighty Days

LEGO Jules Verne figure and set

Jules Gabriel Verne was born on 8th February 1824 in Nantes, France and spent 81 years as quite a prolific writer. He wrote plays, short stories, songs, various kinds of studies, autobiographical accounts, and best-selling novels. Verne created Voyages Extraordinaires (a collection of short stories and novels) with his publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel. These became a classic bestselling series and included the now iconic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (1870), Around the World In Eighty Days (1872) and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (1864). Verne’s novels are predominately set in the second half of the 19th century and take into account some of the latest technological developments of the time.

Jules Verne is thought to have had a major influence on literary avant-garde and surrealism. He is the second most translated author in the world, making him above Shakespeare but below Agatha Christie. His work has been adapted for many different platforms, including theatre, TV, comic books, and video games.

Jules Verne's books

LEGO 40690 Tribute to Jules Verne’s Books is exactly what it says it is: a homage to this acclaimed French writer’s bestsellers, Around The World In Eighty Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and his first published novel, Five Weeks In A Balloon. This set is a Gift With Purchase for LEGO Insiders with purchases of £135 or more. This offer is valid from 21st June 2024 to 23rd June 2024 - so you'll need to be quick!

LEGO mini steam locomotive and carriages

The train part of the build is related to Around The World In Eighty Days. Phileas Fogg, the book’s protagonist, accepts a wager for £20,000 that he can complete an around-the-world trip in eighty days due to the opening of a new railway section in India. As with stories, it is not a straightforward path, but we shall let you read the book and not give you any spoilers.

LEGO Nautilus and sketch of Nautilus

The floating vessel depicts the golden Nautilus from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. This submerged vessel is piloted by Captain Nemo, a self-exiled man on a quest for scientific knowledge and a yearning to escape civilisation as we know it. A lot is going on in this book, and the story doesn’t end here; it is continued in The Mysterious Island.

LEGO hot air balloon and LEGO book

The hot air balloon is a homage to Verne’s first published novel, Five Weeks In A Balloon. It's a novel about Dr Samuel Fergusson and his two-man crew attempting to travel across the African continent in a hydrogen balloon.


The LEGO Tribute to Jules Verne’s Books is a microscale diorama comprising 351 pieces (including a LEGO Jules Verne minifigure). The set is divided into four bags and includes one sticker. Completing this awesome LEGO homage involves 97 instructional steps.

LEGO instructions and part build of 40690

We start by building the great author himself and then move on to constructing one of the book's covers. It's all very simple and straightforward.

various steps of LEGO 40690

Nice use of the sand green slopes for the protruding bookmark. Bag two consists of a lot of blue pieces! These are the sky and ocean bases. Good SNOT techniques are involved in these mini-constructions that come together to form a bigger piece.

LEGO steps of LEGO 40690 front and back covers

Opening bag three is like opening bag one; we have the loose in-box pieces in this section. That’s right, we are forming the other cover (presumably the back if the bookmark is in the correct way up). We used the SNOT technique more, and the one and only sticker was used in step 67. We really enjoyed how this was coming together, with the parts slotting into places (and we got the sticker straight on the first attempt!).

LEGO micro train track and bridge build

Bag 4 is for creating the elements from the books, so we start off with the hot air balloon. The balloon looks like it's floating because it uses clear pieces. The train track and bridges are next. This is an excellent design, and we are considering recreating it for a winter display. It is a simple yet effective use of pieces.

LEGO Nautilus in the four stages of building

Next up is the iconic Nautilus. This is made up of four micro sections. We love the tiny propeller at the rear. The Nautilus is built from mainly nougat and tan-coloured pieces, with a few gold and translucent blue parts to break it up.

finished build of Jules Verne tribute.

The last parts of the build are the micro train carriages and locomotive. We never get fed up with the many uses of the LEGO roller skate; in this build, they are the train wheels. A knight's white plume creates smoke from the locomotive chimney.


completed Jules Verne tribute build

This was an awesome build which involved some great building techniques. The intricate details on the GWP model truly bring the creation to life, capturing the essence of the famous author's adventurous spirit. The final result serves as a conversation starter and would look great on any bookcase. It could sit nicely alongside LEGO IDEAS Pop-Up Book, LEGO 40291 Creative Storybook, and LEGO Charles Dickens Tribute. This build has inspired us to read the books this set is paying homage to. Have you read these books? Let us know in the comments what you thought of them.

Our Score: 9/10

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