Classic: Opening the door to a Friendly City. [Review 10703]

Last week we looked at the 2×4 brick, and talked about the fact that it’s a bit harder to come by in new sets than it was back in the ‘olden days’.  I was a little surprised to discover it had made its natural home in the world of Minecraft, rather than in the Classic theme.

Classic become the primary non specific  ‘creative play’ LEGO® theme in 2014, following on from Bricks and More, Make and Create and in turn, early Creator sets. One of the things that has distinguished Classic from the earlier themes is the variety of colours in the overall LEGO® palette. Over 30 colours may appear in some of these sets (the creative building boxes have around 500-600 pieces each, and recently have featured latest 35 colours over the last few years.

Many Doors and Windows

I recently picked up a copy of the 2017 Creative Building Box 10703, with the box proclaiming ‘many doors and windows…’ Indeed, at least 29 windows, and 5 doors.(This is the volume otherwise occupied by 156 and 120 1×1 bricks respectively.)  Last year’s set was a little light on for these features, so I thought an opportunity to increase my supply might be a good thing. I thought this might allow me to rapidly deploy some buildings into my Town landscape.

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Many Doors and Windows. The window panes come in trans clear, trans yellow, trans light blue and sold white.

With 503 pieces, 37 different colours and a RRP of £19.99, €24.00, $AUD39.99 and yet to hit the US market at this stage – but 10702 from 2016 cost $USD29.99; this is certainly a colourful box, with all of the suggested models being buildings.  This is a set devoid of wheels or eye-tiles, both of which we had a variety of in last year’s equivalent set.  The majority of parts in this set are basic bricks, plates , sloped bricks and windows.  There are also a variety of doors – including two angled doors; angled bricks, greebly parts, tiles, fences and arches.  

And Many Other Pieces

The bricks come in a wide variety of sizes and colours, however bright yellow is the most frequently used color, accounting for 53 of the 200 bricks in the set. There are a generous number of 4×12 plates, in a variety of colours.

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1×2 Bricks and their variations

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2×4 Bricks are in relatively short supply in this set.

With this great collection of bricks, plates and miscellany, there are many options for small scale constructions.  The large number of 1xn bricks makes them ideally scaled for city and friends construction.  Indeed, with the variety of purples/ pinks and pearl gold, Friends style models are almost inevitable.

The Builds

I put together the 6 models described by the designers for this set: all buildings.  Only 3 of these building have the instructions included in the set: you will need to go online for some of them.  That said, most of them are simple enough to reverse engineer without needing to look up the answers.  I appreciate the variety of styles used: from relatively detailed corner store, to the apartment skyline views, the thanqilty of the pagoda, the small castle facade and the house that opens up: I almost want to build 2, and join them up while opened up, filling in the roof detail.  A shortage of sloped bricks might slow me down in this endeavour however.

So what do you think of these models? Are they geared more towards the City or Friends builder? While they are fairly light on as far as modelled detail, such as you might see in the modular buildings, they certainly convey the idea, using a minimal number of elements. As we have previously discussed, I thick that the distinction between City and Friends is more to do with the content and stories being told, rather than the scale of the models, and I think is is pretty reasonable to consider using any of these models in the context of either theme.  Of course, the best thing to do might be to pull them apart, and see what you come up with!

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The yellow house could work well for either minidolls or minifigures, and allows the other buildings the chance to add depth to this vignette

In summary

I really like this Classic box. Compared to previous years, the piece count is made up with elements that are truly useful.  Especially for constructing buildings of various types.  The absence of any wheel elements is interesting, but I think that this takes us back to the era of themed brick boxes, such were seen in in the mid 2000’s. Leaving the wheels and eyes, which have previously featured in this level set, and including them in the ‘Color’ Creative boxes gives you a good collection of parts now, plus an inexpensive way for your child to add to their collection with other moving parts.  There is indeed a generous helping of doors and windows, just as it says on the pack, allowing all of the models to be assembled simultaneously, with a few elements left over – a cunning ploy to encourage me to pull the building apart afterwards.  I give this set 3.5 Arbitrary Praise Units.  I was wondering about including a figure of some sort to live in our new buildings, however the inclusion of a basic minifigure or minidoll to live in the buildings might stop some from purchasing this set.

The included models/ideas give great demonstrations of the use of color blocking in this style of construction, and work well in the context of expanding your own LEGO town, be it populated with minidolls or minifigures. I wonder about the inclusion of a wheel base for a vehicle, but if you have a few sets, chances are one is for a building anyway.

I am grateful that the majority of pieces in this set are readily reusable, and only a small number of small parts are included, with many of them being flowers.

What do you think of this set?  Would you get it as a collection of basic bricks, or would you turn to Minecraft for a good mix of basic bricks?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Play Well!

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