In 2007, a new breed of LEGO set was released: the modular building. The first offering, the Cafe Corner (10182) was revolutionary: the subject matter of Lego City, perhaps set in an older, simpler time, but with a scale that was appealing to AFOLS. The design standard – specifying the placement of the technic bricks to bind adjacent models together, as well as defining the size of the footpath and alleyway at the back of the building – has inspired the theme as well as countless MOCs and LEGO cityscapes around the world.
That Very First Modular- the Cafe Corner had very little in the way of internal detail, but set a standard this has changed as the series has developed with detailed interiors for shops, homes and other miscellaneous businesses one of the highlights of the series. In those early days, the LEGO Factory site referenced design ideas for interior design .
For me, seeing these sets at a public show is what dragged me out of my Dark Ages. I remember constructing the Green Grocer, a year or two later, and discovering new (to me) parts usage as well as special secrets that only the set’s builders would know about such as….(but that would be telling!)
As a now annual New Year’s treat, there has been a steady roll of buildings to add to the collection: Market street (10190), Green Grocer (10185), the Fire Brigade (10197), the Grand Emporium (10211), the Pet Shop (10218), the Town Hall (10224), Palace Cinema (10232), the Parisian restaurant (10243), the Detective’s Office (10264) and the Brick Bank (10251). The majority of these sets have been designed by Jamie Berard, who has taken on the task of assembling an homage to the entire range in this year’s 10th Anniversary Spectacular: Assembly Square (10255).
Set up as three floors of shops/professional consulting suites, the businesses include: a bakery, florist and café; music store, photo studio and dental surgery and an upper level dance studio and an apartment featuring a rooftop terrace. Even at first glance, you can see some design cues taken from the older modular sets:
There are eight adult Minifigures and a baby included in this set. Like all Minifigures in the modular line, these feature the classic ‘smiley’ face. All of the mini figures have great characterisation, and there are lots of new elements to be found. One of my favourite figures would have to be the musician, with his receding ‘Peter Venckman’ hair line.
There are also some terrific new elements to be seen in the designer video including :a
Minifigure scale printed Cafe Corner box; 1×1 quarter circle tiles (black, tan and waffle); 2×2 and 4×4 quarter circle radii tiles in light bley; a mirror (4 x 6); 2 x 2 corner tiles, with the corner cut off in white, dark blue, light and dark bley; a 4×8 , diagonal door frame in black; and an exciting element with huge potential in MOCS, and in generating confusion when placing brick link orders: a 1×1 brick with 2 studs on adjacent sides.
Recolours include a 1×1 tile in nougat; a silver 2×2 radar dish; a curved window arch with spokes in black; and a new window for the dentist’s office: “Prevent yellowing.” Sound advice for those of you without ageing, sun damaged LEGO Bricks.
It is shaping up to be a huge set, measuring 35cm (13″, approximately 40 bricks) tall, 38cm (14″, 48 studs) wide and 25 cm (9″, 32 studs) deep. The additional 16 studs of width is reflected in its piece count, and the price tag. There are 4002 pieces: that’s 1200 more pieces than the largest previous modular (The Town hall xat 2766 pieces). Priced at $US279.99/ UK£169.99 this is a significantly greater investment than previous modulars (for example: Brick bank (10251) is priced at $US169/UK£119), but you also get so much more. It will be available at shop.lego.com on January 1 2017, and is recommended for ages 16 and up. Unfortunately, there will not be an opportunity for LEGO VIP members to order early.
Read on to see the details from the Official LEGO Press Release, see some more images and read about some of the easter eggs that designer Jamie Berard has tucked away in this set for us to enjoy:
10255 Assembly Square
Ages 16+. 4,002 pieces.
US $279.99 – CA $329.99 – DE 239.99€ – UK £169.99 – DK 2099.00 DKK
*Euro pricing varies by country. Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.
Celebrate ten years of Modular Building with the Assembly Square!
Take a trip to the amazing Assembly Square, developed to celebrate ten years of LEGO® Modular Buildings, featuring a wealth of unsurpassed, intricate details and hidden surprises. Easy-to-remove building sections provide access to the highly detailed interior, comprising a ground level with a bakery, florist’s shop and café, a middle level with a music store, photo studio and dental office, and an upper-level dance studio and apartment with access to a rooftop terrace with barbecue. The exterior of the building features a detailed sidewalk with outdoor café furniture, fountain, streetlamps and a highly elaborate facade with beautifully detailed windows and doors, three buildable shop signs, spired tower and a decorative roofline. Collect and build an entire town with the LEGO Creator Expert Modular Building series 10243 Parisian Restaurant, 10246 Detective’s Office and 10251 Brick Bank. Includes eight minifigures and a baby figure.
- Includes eight minifigures: a dentist, barista, baker, florist, music store assistant, dancer, photographer and a LEGO® fan, plus a baby figure.
- The three-level Assembly Square features an authentic, elaborate facade with detailed windows and doors, three buildable shop signs, spired tower, decorative roofline and a rooftop terrace, plus a detailed tiled sidewalk with a fountain, outdoor café furniture and two streetlamps. The highly detailed interior includes a bakery, florist’s shop, café, music store, photo studio, dental office, apartment and a dance studio.
- Ground level features a bakery with counter, cash register, shelves, opening oven, wedding cake and assorted buildable pastries and treats; a florist’s shop with counter, cash register, garden tools, flower arrangements, bouquets and a blue and yellow macaw parrot element; and a café with espresso machine, counter, bench seating and pie
- Middle level features a music store with a buildable drum set, two guitars and saxophone element; photo studio with buildable classic camera and adjustable tripod; and a dental office with buildable reclining chair, waiting area, telephone and a sink.
- Upper level features a dance studio with buildable piano and reflective mirror element; an apartment with buildable foldout sofa bed, detailed kitchen, toilet, micro LEGO® train, modular buildings and Eiffel Tower, and access to a rooftop terrace with buildable barbecue, table and a neglected plant.
- Accessory elements include a ballerina skirt, Chihuahua, pretzel, ornamental chicken and candy. Also includes a buildable telephone, grill, baby carriage and buildable lamps.
- Remove the building sections to acc
ess the detailed interior.
- Adjust the camera tripod and take photos all around the square.
- Recline the dentist chair and reveal those pearly whites!
- Open the oven door to remove your freshly-baked pastries.
- Fold out the sofa bed and relax while you admire
your modular buildings collection!
- Celebrate Modular Buildings with this awesome 10th anniversary LEGO® Creator Expert set!
- This set offers an age-appropriate build and play experience for ages 16.
- New decorated elements include a dentist torso, dentist window and 2×3 tile with the 10182 Café Corner box front.
- Includes lots of curved and cor
ner angle tiles, garage doors used as box windows and LEGO® Technic excavator scoops used as roofing elements.
- Collect and build an entire town with the LEGO® Creator Expert Modular Building series 10243 Parisian Restaurant, 10246 Detective’s Office and 10251 Brick Bank.
- Measures over 13” (35cm) high, 14”
38cm) wide and 9” (25cm) deep.
There are a number of interesting things in here, but one of importance for AFOLS looking to
complete their collection of modulars is that only three of the current five modulars on sale are mentions. The absence of mentioning of the Pet Shop and Palace Cinema makes me wonder if retirement is imminent for them, or if it is just to keep the box art current for a little longer.
Now, while the general details of the set are presented above, Jamie Berard has made available a list of features he has included as tribute to all of the Modular buildings that have gone before. These may include printed tiles depicting box art, microscale versions of the sets displayed on shelves, references to previous colour schemes, design features and Minifigures included in these sets. As is now the norm in ongoing series in other media, there appears to be an effort made here to depict a coherent Modular Buildings Universe:
10255 Assembly Square References to Past Modular Buildings
10182 Café Corner
- Café on corner of plaza w/coffee mug sign
- Yellow and white striped awnings
- Micro version of CC on apartment shelf
- Printed tile to represent CC Box
- Corner door built using turntables
- Cherries in trash
- Green Baseplates
10190 Market Street
- Micro version of MS on apartment shelf
- Bakery is linked to croissant sign from MS
10185 Green Grocer
- Micro version of GG on apartment shelf
- Rooftop BBQ
- Sand Green color of mid-building
- Updated baby pram (now including baby!)
10197 Fire Brigade
- Rooftop door access
- Kitchen in apartment
10211 Grand Emporium
- Detailing around roof above Dance Studio
- Wedding cake to go with wedding outfits in GE Window
10218 Pet Shop
- Parrot in flower shop & Chihuahua
- Sand Blue color of Music/Dance Studios
- Windows for Music/Dance Studios shared with PS
10224 Town Hall
- Tower roof style shared with TH
- Wedding cake for married couple in TH
- Flower shop for married couple in TH
10232 Palace Cinema
- Center of pattern in front of Cafe shared with PC
- Vertical line wall texture from PC is used for interior of Music/Dance studios
10243 Parisian Restaurant
- Black roof of middle building in similar style to PR
- White Croissants in Bakery
- Fold out sofa similar to fold down bed
- Greenery on pergola between café and flower shop
10264 Detective’s Office
- Candy/cookie source is Pastry Shop
- Nougat color of Dentist office
10251 Brick Bank
- Portrait of Bank Manager in photo studio
- Trans-Green and clear glass in Flower Shop
[Edit 19th October 2016: Australian pricing has been listed at shop.lego.com at $AU399.99]
So: start saving, and perhaps consider waiting until New year before you spend that Christmas Bonus!
So, what do you think? Is this a fitting set for a tenth birthday celebration? Will this be your first LEGO purchase for 2017? Why not leave comments below, or on the Rambling Brick Facebook Page.