The big news that came out this past weekend is the unofficial reveal of the #10246 LEGO Modular Detective’s Office. I’m saying unofficial because so far we only got a couple of blurry images, but what we can see looks exciting! The set should be officially revealed this weekend, so we should get better images soon. But let’s take a look at what we got. 🙂
The #10246 LEGO Detective’s Office is the latest in the highly popular LEGO Modular Buildings line. The series is especially a favorite of adult LEGO fans, as they contain very interesting building techniques and also make great display sets. As you will notice from the logo in the upper right corner, it is part of the LEGO Creator Expert Builder line – these are large sets that are particularly geared towards older LEGO fans. (Also interesting to note the new logo for LEGO Creator Expert Builder.)
As far as the building itself, we have a pool-hall in the bottom left, with a small detective agency on top. On the right there is a barbershop with a two-story apartment on the second and third floors. With the small and cramped spaces and different colors and textures the whole setup has a “shady-side-of-town” feel to it, which we haven’t seen in the LEGO Modular Buildings line before. From the viewing angle at the front of the box the set looks a bit too busy and shabby, but all of that is on purpose, highlighting the randomness of the whole construction, compared to the more deliberate and clean architectural style of the previous LEGO Modular Buildings. If you are a little worried that all this is a bit too much, look at the small pictures on the right-side of the box. I know it is hard to make them out, but if you blow them up a bit you will see them better (you can also click on the pictures for a larger version). The whole setup looks really good when you look at it straight on from the front, and also the back-view is really phenomenal! In fact I kind of like it better than the front!
If you look at the back of the box you can see how the #10246 LEGO Detective’s Office compares to some of the other LEGO Modular Buildings. I think it fits right in and looks especially good next to the #10243 LEGO Parisian Restaurant. In addition, at the back of the box you can see some of the inside action, including the barbershop, the pool table, the inside of the detective’s office, and some details of the apartments, the roof, and the little alleyway in between the buildings.
When I first heard about this set I spent one evening reading about the history of barbershops, how they got the iconic swirling barber’s pole and what was going on in these places. For example, did you know that the origin of the red and white barber pole is associated with the service of bloodletting and was historically a representation of bloody bandages wrapped around a pole? During medieval times, barbers performed surgery on customers, as well as tooth extractions. The original pole had a brass wash basin at the top (representing the vessel in which leeches were kept) and bottom (representing the basin that received the blood). The pole itself represents the staff that the patient gripped during the procedure to encourage blood flow. Barbershops were also an important meeting place for men where in the mornings they caught up on the daily news and gossip. In addition, barbershops have a darker side, but since we have some young readers here I won’t delve into it. You can read more about the barber pole here, and barber shops here (both on Wikipedia). It is quite fascinating.
Pools halls or billiard halls are other establishments with a dubious side. Yes, you can play pool and other games, but if you have seen enough movies you know there are other things going on as well. I’m planning to fill this section of the set with a bunch of shady-looking guys. Above the pool hall is the detective’s office, which looks quite disheveled – typical daily hell-hole for a small-time investigator. And this is probably the best feature of this entire set; the whole darker side of city life, without getting too much into detail. A really interesting and bold move from LEGO. I assume the set was designed by Jamie Berard, who is well known for his realistic yet playful designs and interesting building techniques.
Talking about unique techniques, there are plenty to find in this set. Take a look at the small ball-joints (that first appeared in the LEGO Mixels sets) used for the columns at the front of the pool hall. Or the round tiles with hole in the middle to spell out POOL. Or how about Unikitty’s tail in gray under the roof, or the handle of the paint-roller for hanging the lights? And of course LEGO fans will be very happy to get so many of those brick pieces, light yellow colored elements, and new accessories like the scissors (which will also appear in the LEGO Friends and LEGO Elves line next year).
All in all the #10246 LEGO Modular Detective’s Office looks like a fantastic set. While it is a large set I can’t imagine being bored building any stage of it (unlike the #10224 LEGO Modular Town Hall which – although I really like – was a pain to build). Again, we should be getting more details and have more pictures by the end of this week, early next week. The set should be available on January 1st, 2015 at official LEGO stores and the Online LEGO Shop. In the meantime you can check out the current LEGO Modular sets at the Online LEGO Shop.
And talking about the LEGO Modular Town Hall reminded me that there is another set I wanted to show you. This one is not an official LEGO set at this point, but perhaps it may become part of the LEGO Modular Buildings line. The LEGO Natural History Museum was submitted by LEGO fan tjspencer1 at LEGO Ideas about a year ago, and it has recently achieved the necessary 10,000 supporters for LEGO to consider making it an official set.
This is a very interesting development for both LEGO Ideas and the LEGO Modular Buildings line. So far LEGO Ideas sets have been kept under the $50 threshold, and this set is obviously won’t fit that range. Will LEGO allow such a large set coming from the LEGO Ideas program? The set is also designed in such a way that it would fit within the LEGO Modular Buildings line. It is about the same size as the #10224 LEGO Modular Town Hall, but with a lot more interesting features. Would LEGO want to share the profits on one of their most popular and most expensive lines? I’m really curious to see how LEGO will handle it. The response for the LEGO Natural History Museum has been overwhelmingly positive. The designer was obviously able to solve the problem some of the larger LEGO Modular Buildings had; too boring and uninspired on the inside. The LEGO Natural History Museum is interesting, engaging and comes with play features that can ignite the imagination of both children and adults. Natural History Museums are just plain fun, and capturing all of wonder and discovery in LEGO within a line that has already been successful has been a really good idea. Perhaps even too good? We should see in the next review results.
So what do you think? How do you like the #10246 LEGO Detective’s Office? Would love to hear your opinion on this set! Also, how do you feel about the LEGO Natural History Museum? Is this a set you would like to see LEGO approve in their next review period? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the LEGO Modular Houses section for more news, reviews and discussions, or select from the following posts: