Review: Belkin LEGO Builder Case for iPhone 5
A staple of almost any childhood, LEGO bricks are used to build all sorts of things -- including Apple device accessories. They've always been made by individuals, though, rather than by the Danish toy company or a partner. That changed this month with Belkin's introduction of the LEGO Builder Case for iPhone 5 ($40). The plastic and rubber case looks like many others from the front and edges, but the back stands out from the crowd thanks to LEGO-compatible brick studs, allowing users to come up with their own designs and creations. LEGO Builder Case comes in three color combinations: a red frame with a yellow back, a blue frame with a purple back, and a blue frame with a black back. All three have a blue plate.
Novelty cases often sacrifice overall protection in order to achieve something “different,” but LEGO Builder Case is better than most: it offers button protection, as well as a shallow lip around the screen. The one area that is left exposed more than we generally prefer is the bottom, where there’s a single opening from corner to corner. This means there’s a risk of dinging up the iPhone 5’s bottom edge, but does provide greater accessory and docking compatibility than more protective cases. Overall, it’s a pretty good level of coverage, but not the best we’ve seen.
The plate on the back of the case is just what LEGO users would expect—a 13 x 7 grid of studs, with an additional six off to the right of the camera. Any LEGO bricks or tiles can connect to the plate, although none are included. You’ll either have to dig through your own collection, or invest in a handful of blocks. LEGO fans won’t find this to be an issue, but we’d prefer to have seen at least a handful included with the case, allowing any user to get started.
While it’s somewhat more expensive than otherwise comparable iPhone cases, LEGO Builder Case is pretty cool. We’re thankful that Belkin didn’t take the easy way out by modifying a simple shell, but rather incorporated the LEGO brand and attachment functionality into a real case. We wouldn’t suggest it for everyone, but it’s easy to recommend to LEGO fans, and as such, it earns a B rating.