Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck review: "Almost an in-game snapshot"

Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck stood on a table
(Image: © Future)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck is the ideal set for fans of the game, capturing the intricacies and detail of the franchise in brick form perfectly.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent details

  • +

    Impressive scale

  • +

    Simple instructions

  • +

    Surprisingly affordable for the complexity

Cons

  • -

    Little awkward to get the Tallneck on the stand

  • -

    Not that poseable

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With Lego starting to branch out more into gaming-themed sets, I was delighted that Horizon Forbidden West was getting its own. The striking yet graceful form of the Tallneck - essentially a robotic giraffe with a radar for a head - is a great fit for a Lego kit, and the final result more than lives up to the in-game original with its incredible attention to detail.

If you're a fan of Horizon Forbidden West, or the original Horizon Zero Dawn, this is an absolute must-purchase. Not only is the Lego Tallneck build itself a fantastic feat, but it stands proudly atop a stand that's adorned with little details ripped straight out of the series' world (whether it's an old traffic light that's been overtaken by vines, or the fact it's also got tiny model of a Watcher to nestle in amongst the foliage). Aloy herself makes an appearance too, in the form of a minifig that comes with her signature spear and bow. She's even got a tiny focus. 

Seriously, there's so much here to marvel at. It's easily one of the best Lego sets for gamers right now. 

Lego Tallneck: features

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Price$89.99 / £79.99
Ages18+
Pieces1,222
Minifigures1
DimensionsH: 13.5" / W: 9" / D: 6.5"
Item Number76989

Rather than being a 'toy' in the classic sense, this is a display piece or mini diorama; the Lego Tallneck isn't very poseable, but does come with a themed base featuring the post-apocalyptic world of Horizon. In fact, it's a bit more involved than other Lego centerpieces at this price point. (Like the helmets range, for example.) You're getting a complete scene here instead of a standalone figure.

To sell the Tallneck's size, you'll also find a minifig version of the franchise's hero, Aloy, inside the box. Alongside her classic outfit, she comes with a tiny bow and spear with which to fight off the Watcher that's included as well. In a cool twist, the latter can be given a blue, yellow, or red lens to show how alert it is.

How easy is it to build?

LEGO Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck under construction

While it's a bit awkward getting the Lego Tallneck onto its stand, this is an easy build overall (Image credit: Future)
  • Takes roughly 5 hours
  • Straightforward but satisfying
  • Hard to fit onto the stand

The Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck set is made up of 1,222 pieces, which are spread across eight bags. The instructions are brilliantly straightforward, with the first few pages of the manual dedicated to giving context to the world of the game, the Tallneck, Aloy (including comparisons between game concept art and the brilliant minifig replica), and some of the other machines of the Horizon series, which is a nice touch. You'll start with Aloy, and then move onto the Watcher. They're both quick and easy builds, but there's been lots of love given to their designs. Despite its size, the Watcher has plenty of detail that brings the little sentry robot to life and really adds personality to the diorama you'll eventually end up with. 

The base is the first major part of this build. It's oval in shape, and a fairly complex structure is overladen with terrain that creates your eventual finished piece. Rocky outcrops are added atop the textured grass, with a smaller section of dirt. You also get to create some flowers for additional detail along with a yellow-leafed tree, and the aforementioned reclaimed-by-nature traffic light. It all helps the set feel even more affiliated with the game, which is really satisfying for fans. 

It's one of those builds where it just gets more and more impressive with each step

The Tallneck itself is the final piece of the build, and took the majority of my time. I did it solo, and it took around five hours from start to finish. You start with the main torso and neck, before adding the legs one by one. The crowning glory that is its head is the final part, and it's one of those builds where it just gets more and more impressive with each step. The head itself has some stickers to attach too, which, as with Lego Optimus Prime, just add those lovely little finishing touches to the final build. 

Design

LEGO Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck base and Aloy minifig

That tiny scene at the bottom of the Lego Tallneck really elevates it (Image credit: Future)
  • Superb attention to detail
  • Impressive sense of scale
  • Not poseable

When you've got everything assembled with the Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck set, what you get is almost an in-game snapshot. Obviously, the Tallneck is the piece de resistance, but the added intrigue around its feet really adds to the overall effect - the Watcher weaving through the legs of the Tallneck, and Aloy able to lurk nearby, stand atop the Tallneck itself, or hang from the handholds located at the back of its head. The sense of scale really makes this set come together too, with Aloy's minifig against the Tallneck and the Watcher nearly exactly what you'll find in-game. And with the entire set coming in at 13.5 inches tall, it's impressive on a shelf.

Every time I look at the Lego Tallneck, I can't help but marvel at the smallest details. The way the design layers the Lego effectively mimics the robotic creature's in-game reality, with blocks elsewhere used to bring to life hydraulics and other mechanisms. The fins on the back of its body and head are all moveable, as are the golden stems erupting from its neck, so it's fun to move these around until they're exactly how you want them for your Tallneck. 

It still captures the essence of the game perfectly

The head is particularly impressive, using similar building steps to the base to make it flat and full of detail in its coloring. The use of stickers is also well done, to add the seriously tiny details that really finish off the model.

The only thing that I don't love is that the Tallneck essentially has one position on the stand, and it's pretty awkward to get all four legs to snap down at once without the more intricate extremities snapping off. You can have it freestanding, but it's rather top heavy, which means the legs have to be in a specific position to get it to stand up without aid. But, it still captures the essence of the game perfectly.

Should you buy the Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck?

LEGO Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck and base shot from above

You can have the Lego Tallneck freestanding, but it's quite top-heavy (Image credit: Future)

The Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck really is fantastic. It's a majestic set-piece to have in your home, and if you're even vaguely familiar with the game, it's easy to appreciate the level of attention and love that went into this design.

Buy it if...

You're a big fan of Horizon
If you love Zero Dawn or Forbidden West, this is a no-brainer; it's crammed with fan-service and perfectly captures the in-game creature.

You want a cool display piece at home
This kit is made for taking pride of place on your mantlepiece, shelf, or desk. It more than lives up to expectations.

Don't buy it if...

You want to pose the Tallneck
Unfortunately for us, this Tallneck seems to have arthritis; it can't be posed.

You don't have much space at home
As the name would suggest, this is a tall Lego set. At 13.5 inches high, it'll need plenty of headroom.

How we tested the Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck

I built the Lego Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck over the course of one summer's afternoon. It took around five hours from start to finish, including the slightly fiddly element of getting it locked into the stand.

For more information on our process, take a look at how we test products.


For more Lego, don't miss our guides to the best Lego Star Wars sets or these essential Lego Super Mario sets. You can also get some money off with these Lego deals.

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Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.