Lego had a theme back in 1970s and 1980s called Fabuland. A kids theme that features a village of cute animals. Well over 100 sets were released in those two decades. It was extremely popular in Europe, where they had their own TV show, puzzles, vinyl records, and all sorts of merchandising. There were two defining features of the theme, bright primary colors, and the Fabuland figures (bigger than a Minifigure, but not as big as a Duplo figure). Today, Fabuland is enjoying a long retirement. But, with the release of Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch there is new interest in the theme.
This Lego Fabuland Village is called “Bring back Lego Fabuland” and is created by Lasse Vestergård and Anne Mette. The neat thing about this creation, is that it comes in two parts. They have created a village using modern Lego building techniques and colors, and they have built an exact clone but using techniques and colors used in the original Fabuland sets. A lot of work has gone into making both versions the best possible.
Both villages have the same features. It is like looking into another dimension where everything is the same but different. The main street has cars, motorcycles, and a double decker bus. The town has a large collection of houses, including a windmill and a gas station. Everything is positioned around a crystal clear blue river with a beautiful Paddle Boat (Paddle steamer). There is even an airplane flying over everyone.
Reviving the Fabuland theme would certainly be a hit. The animal villagers all have a lot of personality and Lego made sure that a lot of them have a backstory. Each one is unique and has their own name. The elephants in particular are a favorite.
The video game Animal Crossing New Horizons has proven to be a popular theme for building with Lego. You start the game on a supposedly deserted island, but soon find yourself being the architect to a thriving community of animals. After upgrading your meager tent into a one room house, your goal is to slowly improve the island. Your main tool is a handy workbench where you can craft hundreds of items. From campfires to bamboo dolls. This Lego MOC is called “Animal Crossing: New Horizons Paradise” and is the creation of Tiago Catarino. They capture all the core features of the island in this scene. A fresh water river, beech (with shells!), apple tree, workbench, campfire, and a house. This build looks great. The house is nice and compact, and uses a really interesting off grid technique to angle the walls. The workbench even has a little Lego Carpenter Square. The scale works well, and seems like it could fit Fabuland figures pretty well.
Lego Fabuland has a storied past. The Lego theme ran from 1979 to 1989, and had over 100 official sets released. Not quite Duplo and not quite Lego, Fabuland was in this weird in-between space. They were one of the first themes to be licensed out to non-lego products. Including books, vinyl records, and puzzles. There was even an official Lego television program called Edward and Friends that aired in 1987 and 1988. The most recognizable part of the Fabuland theme are all the characters. There are well over 50 of them. They were bigger than Minifigures, and included sculpted unique faces/heads.
This collection of Lego Fabuland Maxifigs is created by Koen Van Der Biest. These MOCs are expertly made and really show off the personality of their Fabuland characters. It looks like Catherine Cat, Bonnie Rabbit, Wilfred Walrus, and Maximillian Mouse make up the first group. Then there is Hannah Hippo with a wheelbarrow. In the next group is Peter Pig, Freddy Fox, Charlie Crow, Clive Crocodile, Bianca Lamb, Peter Panda, and Edward Elephant. (I may have mixed up a couple of them…)
Lego and Animal Crossing seem like they would be a great fit. Depending on how you count there are almost (or more) than 500 villagers that appear in the video game series. One of which is named Octavian. In Animal Crossing he is known as a cranky octopus who is really into outer space and aliens. The octopus type of villager is one of the more rare types to visit, making Octavian rather special. This Lego Octavian is the creation of Dave Foreman. Everything is official Lego pieces, and on the purple cone is a custom star that probably took a lot more work then expected.
If you are looking for something similar, there is an old Lego theme called Fabuland, which shares a lot of concepts. Animal villagers living and working around town.