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LEGO Detective’s Office review & thoughts

by admin on December 29, 2014

in LEGO Modular Buildings

One of the most anticipated LEGO sets each year is the latest addition to the LEGO Modular Buildings series. These are expensive, top-of-the line products, catering to adult LEGO fans who like complex and large LEGO sets with advanced building techniques that also look great on display. LEGO has been releasing one LEGO Modular Building in January each year, and LEGO fans have been fond of collecting them and building a whole LEGO street. 🙂

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Speculation about what the next LEGO Modular Building is going to be usually begins in the summer. LEGO fans passionately analyze every little piece of leaked information they can find, and also try to guess what the next set is going to be by noticing patterns in the previous releases. Things like every third release is a corner building, and that there is a pattern of government, commercial and residential buildings following each other. However when things become this predictable, they also become boring. So it is time for a shake-up! And this is exactly what LEGO did with the 2015 LEGO Modular Building, the #10246 LEGO Detective’s Office that will be released in January 2015.

LEGO Modular Buildings Series

We have discussed the #10246 LEGO Detective’s Office previously, and you can read the full press-release and watch the designer-video with Jamie Berard here: LEGO Detective’s Office Pictures & Video! Because this set breaks the pattern in so many different ways, and is so different from the previous LEGO Modulars, I’m pretty sure it is going to be controversial. Some people will love it, some people will hate it, and some won’t know what to think of it. Since I had a chance to build the LEGO Detective’s Office already, thanks to LEGO’s community support team, I would like to share my own thoughts on this set, and hopefully this will help you to decide if you would like to get it when it becomes available on January 1st.

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Street View

Instead of writing a traditional review, I will focus on some of the key features of the LEGO Detective’s Office, especially the ones that differ from the previous LEGO Modulars. William is going to write a second review in his Brick Breakdown series about the interesting building techniques found in the set, and you can also read Huw’s review at Brickset, where he goes through the entire model in detail. So let’s take a closer look!

LEGO DETECTIVE’S OFFICE EXTERNAL LAYOUT: One of the first things you will notice about the LEGO Detective’s Office is its unusual layout. Most previous LEGO Modular Buildings are basically a big box on a 32×32 baseplate with a walkway at the front, and an alleyway at the back. Even the somewhat different corner buildings follow this pattern. The #10218 LEGO Pet Shop released in 2011 is the first set that is a bit unusual; instead of one big building, it has a split footprint with two 16×32 baseplates and two separate buildings. That was considered a radical step, but other than the split layout the LEGO Pet Shop is in line with the rest of the buildings.

#10246 LEGO Modular

The following two LEGO Modular sets, the #10224 LEGO Town Hall released in 2012, and the #10232 LEGO Palace Cinema released in 2013, were quite conservative. The next LEGO Modular where something unusual was incorporated is the #10243 LEGO Parisian Restaurant released in 2014. It has a wrap around porch that starts at the side and takes you to the back of the building. It also includes an attic studio-apartment that is only accessible from the back. Previous LEGO Modulars pretty much focused on the frontal view only, so this was a big step. But then comes the LEGO Detective’s Office that breaks the pattern of size and layout in several ways.

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Front

First of all you will notice that there are two different level roof-lines. The right-side of the building (blue and brown) is three stories high and has a roof that is just a tad higher than the LEGO Pet Shop and LEGO Parisian Restaurant. But the left side with the pool-hall and detective’s office is only two stories high and significantly shorter. While I think this looks great and adds an interesting variety to the pretty much standard roof-lines of the other buildings, it can also be a bit of a problem. I have my LEGO Modular layout on a shelf against a light yellow wall, and having a big gap in the middle of the roof-lines looks kind of out of place. So I ended up placing the LEGO Detective’s Office at the end of the row and I like it much better; it gives a nice finish to the street with the lowering roofs. I wouldn’t be surprised if people buy two of this set so they could add an additional floor. In the image below Huw shows off how the LEGO Detective’s Office looks next to a couple of other LEGO Modular buildings, and in the second image Brickset member Regimus adjusted the same picture to show an additional floor added in.

#10246 LEGO Modular Layout by Brickset

Another break from the pattern in regards to the layout is an alleyway between the two buildings. This is the first time we can have minifigs walking from the street at the front to the alley at the back without having to walk through the inside of a building, which really opens up the playability of the layout. The alleyway includes the entry to the barber-shop and also a stairway to the second floor above the barber-shop. You can add some shady alleyway activities here, if you like. 🙄

#10246 LEGO Modular Alley

A third aspect of the external layout that is unusual is that there is in fact not two buildings but three. At least that’s what it looks like from the outside. There is the side of the pool-hall and detective’s office which takes up half of the baseplate (thus making it similar to the LEGO Pet Shop), and there is the other side with the blue three-story building and a brown building that is set back a bit. Interestingly, on the inside the brown building is actually not separate but is simply a little hallway. This split between the buildings (which is also highlighted by the colors), gives the whole structure such an interesting look. Again, I think some people will love this, while others may be hesitant to introduce such features to their otherwise even LEGO Modular street. I should also add here that this set looks really good from the back!

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Back

LEGO DETECTIVE’S OFFICE INTERNAL LAYOUT: On the inside, the left side of the building is pretty straightforward. We got the pool-hall at the bottom floor, and the detective’s office on the second floor. The detective’s office can only be accessed by going up the stairs on the right side of the alleyway over the barber-shop, and then walking back towards the left, passing the bathroom. On the right side we have the barber-shop at the bottom floor, and then…

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office First Floor

I honestly can’t say what’s going on with the second and third floors. You walk up to the second floor of the blue building through the stairway in the alley. No problems there. But then the only thing you find here is a bathroom and the entry to the detective’s office. Is the bathroom a public restroom since it is accessible from the street? Or is it part of the detective’s office? Both are fairly believable, but then it get’s weirder because if you keep going up to the third floor of the building, there is a full kitchen. But who’s kitchen is this? Is it part of the detective’s office? But why would they need such a large kitchen, especially when the detective’s office is so crammed?

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Second Floor

Also, this kitchen (just like the bathroom below) is fully accessible from the street via a couple of flight of steps with no doors anywhere. When I first saw this set I was fully expecting that the blue side will be a separate, two-story apartment above the barber-shop, but instead it is a random building with a random bathroom and an even more random kitchen. Honestly, I’m very confused, and have been thinking about how to convert this layout into something more realistic. Or are completely randomly placed bathrooms and kitchens are really part of architecture somewhere in the real world? 😯

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Third Floor

LEGO DETECTIVE’S OFFICE COLORS: Another thing that you will notice right away about the LEGO Detective’s Office is the interesting color-scheme. People who first reported seeing this set said that the bottom floor where the pool-hall is located is bright-light-yellow (the lovely color that you can find in several of the LEGO Friends sets) and I was super excited. Unfortunately that is not the case and that side of the building is simply tan – it still looks very nice though, especially with the addition of some dark-green, so I’m not too disappointed. The top floor is mostly made up of nougat masonry-bricks, a dream-come-true for many LEGO fans. And that’s not all!

#10246 LEGO Modular Colors

On the other side almost the entire bottom floor is built up of dark-blue bricks – a gorgeous and rare color! Unfortunately LEGO has been having trouble producing this color in a consistent shade, and in this set I found at least three different versions – I’m not too happy about that. The top floors are two shades of light-blue that are absolutely beautiful! The brown building in between is just regular reddish brown, but so is the 32×32 baseplate, which is unique. I’m positive people will buy extra copies of this set just to get all the nice colors and unique pieces!

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Front

LEGO DETECTIVE’S OFFICE PIECES: The LEGO Detective’s Office is not just an incredible set in itself, but it is also a gold-mine of unique parts and colors. We have already talked about the nougat masonry bricks, but I wanted to add here that there are 64 1×2 and 21 1×4 masonry-bricks included! There are also two of the brand now 2×2 round tiles with stud and hole in the middle, both in white. This is an extremely useful piece that will also appear in some other 2015 sets. And there is also that beautiful reflective mirror that is included in the barber-shop. This is a true reflective-mirror, the first LEGO ever made. It is on a plain piece of white plastic, protected by a thin layer of paper that you need to pull off when building the set.

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Mirror

There are also 6 red 2×2 round tiles with hole (also called a doughnut tile) that are used for the lettering on the side of the building. Another notable and very useful piece is the 1×1 round plate with hole in the middle in black – 17 of them! Then there are two black paint-roll handles that are used for the lights at the side of the building. The black magnifying glass for the detective is actually a new piece – larger and thicker than the previous version. The scissors are new, and you will get three of them in this set. And there are four Unikitty’s tails in dark-gray that are used for building-decoration! Also, I should mention that all the decorated parts (door and window-panes, dart-board, etc.) are printed. There is not a single sticker in this set. 😀

#10246 LEGO Modular Pieces

LEGO DETECTIVE’S OFFICE PLAY-FEATURES: As LEGO Modular sets are designed for older LEGO fans they don’t usually have a back-story and play-features like the sets aimed towards kids. This is another area where the LEGO Detective’s Office breaks away from the norm. It in fact has an elaborate back-story that Jamie explains in the designer video (see below). It is centered around minifigs smuggling cookies and candy during the prohibition days. To facilitate this there is an elaborate system throughout the set: a hidden door behind the barber-shop that leads to a movable cabinet, that leads to another hidden door, that leads to a passage-way under the stairs in the alleyway, that leads to another hidden door in the pool-hall (Jamie shows all of this in the video below). The kitchen upstairs is also part of this whole smuggling operation.

In general I like LEGO’s simple and innocent play features. They are not too common in adult-oriented LEGO sets, but as long as they don’t take away from the beauty and realism of the model, and LEGO designers don’t start adding flick-fire missiles everywhere like on kiddie sets, I’m fine with them. While I really appreciate the effort of adding play-features to a LEGO Modular set to make it more fun, I believe it may have been a bit overdone here. For example, in the barber-shop a second chair could have been added for better realism, if not for that opening cabinet that hides the hidden door and needs a lot of clearance (thus takes up a lot of space).

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Barber Shop

Also, that whole strange placement of the kitchen we talked about before could have been eliminated and replaced with something more realistic. Another feature that caters to the smuggling operation is the balconies above the alleyway. They are there to facilitate chasing the smugglers and adding some parkour-type of action – which also means that they don’t really function as real balconies. They can only be accessed through a couple of windows, and they don’t have true floors, only bars that escaping minifigs can hang on to. In the review at Brickset I linked to before, Huw mentioned that he thinks this might be a fire-escape route, although I’m not convinced. They are usually at the back or side of buildings, not at the front.

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Kitchen

So while some of the features that facilitate play (the hidden passage under the stairs in the alleyway and the hidden sliding door in the pool-hall) are really well done, I believe that others take away from the life-like realism of the set that normally characterizes the LEGO Modular Buildings, and is so important to adult LEGO fans. Fortunately the good thing about LEGO is that you can always fix things that you don’t like. On my LEGO Detective’s Office I have converted the barber-shop into a small coffee-shop and modified some of the hidden passageways to make them more streamlined (see below).

#10246 LEGO Modular Alternate

LEGO DETECTIVE’S OFFICE BUILDING EXPERIENCE: William will talk about unique building techniques in this set in another review, but there were a few features I wanted to mention here briefly for the sake of completeness. The newspaper-stand at the front of the pool-hall is a really fun little build, and fully functional too! The pool sign at the side of the building looks excellent, and the lettering above the barber-shop is really well done (similar to what you see in the LEGO Pet Shop). The bathroom is a clever design, and so is the kitchen. The interior of the detective’s office is perfect in its glorious messiness, and the fan in the pool-hall is ingenious. And the decoration on top of both buildings (one with the Hero Factory hands and the other with the Unikitty tails) was really fun. But the most surprising build for both myself and William was the water-tank at the top of the building. It is an incredibly clever design – how it is done you will have to discover for yourself. 🙄

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Details

#10246 LEGO Detective's Office Pool Hall

There is one feature of the set I definitely don’t like, which is not exactly related to the building experience but more like the design of the set. On both sides of the alleyway between the buildings, the walls don’t go all the way up to the next floor. In otherwords there is a big gap on the interior walls (two bricks tall), that seems to serve no purpose and makes the buildings look unnatural. I have no idea what was the idea behind this; the gaps don’t serve the play-feature, or the functionality of the set, nor can I find any other reason for them. Fortunately this is all happening in the alleyway and is not too visible, and if you do want to fix it, it is very easy to do so by just adding in a couple of standard bricks and topping them with some tiles.

#10246 LEGO Modular Details

LEGO DETECTIVE’S OFFICE INSTRUCTIONS: I should mention that the instruction booklet for this set is different than the ones that comes with the previous LEGO Modular Buildings. First of all, it is packed in a sealed clear plastic sleeve that you need to cut open. There is no cardboard backing with the instructions inside the sleeve. The booklet itself is one very thick 175 pages long book, instead of the 2-3 thinner booklets that we are accustomed to. It works well and I didn’t have any problem with it. This may be the new way LEGO will present instructions for larger sets.

#10246 LEGO Modular Instructions

LEGO DETECTIVE’S OFFICE CONCLUSIONS: Ultimately, I really like this set, and it is my second favorite LEGO Modular so far (after the LEGO Parisian Restaurant). Yes, it is different, but it still blends well with the other LEGO Modular Buildings and it has such an interesting layout. In fact, if you take into consideration that the LEGO Modulars were first developed for LEGO Train fans (so they have something in scale to run their trains around), this is probably the most realistic set as far as what I have seen near train-tracks in real life; slightly dingy and shady building with a couple of small businesses and apartments. Like all of the LEGO Modular sets, this is an excellent model that will not disappoint. It also has a wonderful parts selection and beautiful colors. Below is a picture of my current LEGO Modular street.

LEGO Modular Street

The #10246 LEGO Modular Detective’s Office will be available on January 1st directly from LEGO, so there are only a few more sleeps until you can get one. In the meantime you can check out the currently available LEGO Modular sets at the Online LEGO Shop.

Shop LEGO Modular Buildings

What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Detective’s Office? Is this a set you are planning to get as soon as it comes out? Or save it for later? Or pass? And what do you think of the features we have talked about here? 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:

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Vedauwoo December 29, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Seems that the reason the kitchen is there is explained in the paragraph about the backstory for the set right above the video…..

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admin December 29, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Yes, we do know that the kichen is used by the smugglers to bake cookies, however having such an odd placement defeats the whole purpose of this being a covered operation. All the detective has to do is walk upstairs and wonder “Why is there a kitchen here?”. If the smugglers would do the cookie baking in a small apartment or something that would make sense, but having a whole building with a random kitchen would only bring suspicion. Ace Brickman would have to be a real brickhead not to figure this one out. 🙄

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Vedauwoo December 30, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Having lived in a few nutty apartments in old sections of American “downtowns,” I don’t find there presence strange at all. These old buildings are often remodeled several times and ways from their original intent leaving strange spaces and accesses. I once had a bedroom with a stairwell that went down to “nowhere….” I used it as a closet….lol

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admin December 30, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Yes, that’s quite possible. In fact, the building does look kind of chopped up, so I take your idea as the best answer. 😛

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jabber-baby-wocky December 29, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Can’t wait to get this set! I agree that the external layout and color combination looks excellent. I like your coffee shop version. The lettering worked out perfect!

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ninja of stealth December 30, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I’m getting it. No doubt in my mind that I won’t. 😀 Tomorrow I’m going to the LEGO store and finally buying the Ewok village! (yes!!!) I have a coupon from the LEGO calendar that can be used on the 1st January. Do you think I could use it tomorrow on the 31st?

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admin December 30, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Oh, that’s a VERY nice set! I think you will really enjoy it! 😛

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Kim December 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

It looks so amazing!!! I can’t wait to get it!

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Strider December 29, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I guess you could think of the kitchen and bathroom as the barber’s living quarters. But it’s strange that they are so accessible to the public. Anyhoo, I think this set is pretty awesome, but I would have liked a few more detective elements. Like maybe a waiting room for clients, or a secret cabinet in the pool room. But this set has a lot of detail on the inside already, I mean compared to sets such as the Grand Emporium, or the Pet Shop to an extent. This set sort of reminds me of the Fire Station modular, they’re both mixes of professions. and living areas.

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admin December 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

That would make sense, however it doesn’t seem to be the case. As I mentioned, both the bathroom and the kitchen are accessible from the street. Also, there are no living quarters, only a bathroom and a kitchen. The barber shop has no direct access to the second and third floors. Al would have to walk out of the barbershop and walk up the flight of steps just like everyone else. Also, the only way the detective can go to his office is through the floor with the bathroom, so it is definitely more of a public bathroom than part of someone’s private apartment.

You could take out the bathroom and make that into a waiting room for clients of the detective, or even with the bathroom in there you could put in a bench of something. There is quite a bit of room. And there is a secret cabinet in the pool hall. It is below the trophy. There where the whole smuggling operation ends up. 😉

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Strider December 30, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Oh my gosh 😀 Sweet.

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BLProductions December 29, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Wait… are you saying that all those yellowish bricks on the pool room are actually tan? Bummer, but now I understand why it didn’t look right on LDD. 😕 I agree that it’s kinda crowded, but LEGO did only have a 32×32 space to work with. But… they could have made it much bigger on the inside by stretching the building and eliminating all the extra space on the back. There’s a good 4×32 empty studs behind the building. I don’t think it would have taken that much away from the set, it may have helped it. Very nice review, though, and I’ll be looking forward to the Brick Breakdown. 🙂
BTW, I have almost 800 pieces of this built on LDD, once I have a parts page it will be much more. 🙂

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admin December 29, 2014 at 3:00 PM

The empty space behind the building is actually very large; 10 studs wide behind the blue/brown building and 6 studs wide behind the pool-hall. It is the widest back alley from all the Modulars that I own. And there is nothing in there besides a garbage can and the little doorway to the hidden space behidn the barber shop. Kind of surprizing.

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Kim December 29, 2014 at 4:41 PM

That’s where the back-alley cock fights go on….

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admin December 29, 2014 at 7:40 PM

LOL! Yeah! Haven’t thought about that! :mrgreen:

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Kim December 29, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I finally put together my Ex0-suit. Just in time for all those Blacktron sets. I got. I really enjoyed the use of the ball joints in this build and I’m trying to figure out ways I could use more.

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Håkan December 29, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Blacktron sets?…

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Kim December 29, 2014 at 7:37 PM
Håkan December 30, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Nice. 90’s stuff. My friend thought that since there have been so many easter egg references to Blacktron lately, a revamp of some kind doesn’t sound improbable.

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admin December 30, 2014 at 11:29 AM

I agree. The teasers have been there and Blacktron has been very popular. It could be just a reference type release like with Benny’s Spaceship and the Exo-Suit to Classic Space, or it could be a updated re-release like LEGO Ultra Agents is to Agents. Either way, I would look forward to it! 😀

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admin December 29, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Kim, I’m glad you enjoyed the set. It is one of my all-time favorites. In fact, I bought two more, so now I have three! 😛

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rainey December 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM

I think it’s adorable, imaginative and stylish. Counting down the days until I can buy it for my grown son.

I love the alleyway. I seriously love the variety it adds to the roof heights. I love the windows in the pool hall and the sign above it. I am crazy about buildings having the appearance of coming from different eras and socio-economic strata. It adds so much richness and diversity to the mini city.

I don’t have a problem with being literal about the use of space inside the buildings. Never have. This is play, after all.

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admin December 29, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Nicely said! 🙂

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Kim December 29, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Ooo question…….is the police officer’s hair piece new or has it been used in other sets? If it’s not new, which sets has it been used in?

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admin December 29, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Kim, that’s a very common hair-piece, available in many-many sets, in several different colors. You can see all the colors, minifigs and sets the piece appears in here: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=62810

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Kim December 30, 2014 at 12:47 PM

No not the detective. the female police officer.

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admin December 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Oh, that one! I guess that just shows you how often I deal with people of the law; they are all the same to me. LOL! Anyway, I think that’s a new piece for 2015. I’m sure it is not exclusive to this set, as Modulars never have exclusive minifig pieces, but yeah, it is the only one I have and it is not yet listed either on BrickLink or Brickset.

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Håkan December 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Has it got a “pinhole” on top? Then it might have been originally made for one of the mini-doll themes.

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admin December 30, 2014 at 1:36 PM

No, it is hard plastic with no hole.

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BLProductions December 30, 2014 at 1:32 PM

It’s not new for 2015. In fact, it’s new for 2013, but it is rare. It’s Padme’s hair from 75021 Republic Gunship, I’m pretty sure: http://brickset.com/parts/6038464
As it’s unique, you’d have to know where to look, and I happen to have that set. 😉

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admin December 30, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s it! Good teamwork! 😛

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Håkan December 31, 2014 at 9:48 AM

I thought it would count as a “licensed” piece, but maybe there was a surplus stock or something…

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admin December 31, 2014 at 9:57 AM

With generic hairpieces LEGO often ends up adding them to regular sets. Just look at Dastan’s hair! It has become one of the most popular hair pieces. 😛

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Will December 31, 2014 at 1:34 AM

That kitchen definitely feels like a left over remodel. Of course, if you turn the barber shop into a cafe you may want to rip out the kitchen and turn it into a public eating area. Then throw a little roof top garden together for the left side.

Although that may raise property values.

I was also thinking about the walls that are too low on the first floor. They may actually be play features, in that they allow people with big hands to reach into the pool hall and barber shop. This would definitely come in handy if you are playing around in the alley way.

I am hoping for more of that true reflection mirror piece. It fits perfectly in a door frame and it fits snuggly even though it has no tabs to hold it in place.

I also get a kick out of how they use small ball joints for purely decorative purposes right in front of the pool hall.

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admin December 31, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Will, that’s a really good point about the missing wall sections, and it is a possibility, and in fact would be a very thoughtful feature. If I were LEGO I would highlight this though, as otherwise the wall looks odd, and for people with smaller hands it is baffling. Yes, the mirror is very nice! I was surprized how good it is! And yeah, those pillars are really sweet! 🙂

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Clumsybumsy March 15, 2015 at 3:43 PM

Talking about shady ally activities, that lady in red suddenly is suspicious. 😛
More serious though, I can agree with you on the smuggling route which takes up a lot of space in the barber shop, a sliding cabinet would have been much better and it can be achieved with the right pieces and a little effort. However the smuggling route in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it is a fun take on the prohibition period. The two brick gap in the middle is quite weird too, but something that can be worked around, as you said. The third thing I don’t like on the ground floor is the tree which seems city-like. Besides that I also find it strange there is no door at the staircase at the alleyway or even a door upstair’s, that is kinda logical though due to space issue’s. I do however like the interior of the barber and pool hall. On the first floor I really like the design of the bathroom. However it is a bad thing that it is portrayed as public. The little hallway toward the detective’s office is nice too, the potted plant is a good detail. The office itself is cramped but it looks good, although I would switch the chair’s around. The fire escape/Park-our action looks good as well but it’s bad that the ladder’s don’t get all the way to the ground. On the second floor I find that the detailing in the kitchen is good. However I don’t like the kitchen taking so much space. I would rather have seen a 6 stud wide indoor area on top of the pool hall with space for a bed and a night table and a smaller kitchen with a couch and telephone on the other side of the room, making it a studio apartment with the bathroom downstairs(Ace needs to live somewhere). The roof above the detective’s office looks very nice though with the barrel and the skylight. The kitchen exit is well executed too, in all it’s simplicity.

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admin March 16, 2015 at 9:45 AM

Nice review, thanks for sharing! I have actually seen some people add a third floor on the pool-hall side of the building, making the third floor a full apartment. Looks pretty nice. 🙂

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Clumsybumsy March 17, 2015 at 12:02 PM

So that would mean you have second/third floor on the side of the pool hall and a third/fourth floor on the side of the barbershop? Or does it mean that the side at the pool hall gets on equal level with the side of the barber-shop. Both are interesting. What would be nice as well is a split level second/third floor on the office’s side, although that would interfere with the skylight.

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admin March 17, 2015 at 12:08 PM

I have seen both versions; when someone added an additional floor on both sides, and when someone built up just the pool-hall/detective’s office side to become level with the blue side. Both look really good. The split level idea is also a good one! The point is that this set looks great as it is, and can also be played with to customize. 🙂

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Clumsybumsy March 18, 2015 at 10:40 AM

Looks great as it is is great for persons who just want to build sets and customization is good for most buyers. After all that is what LEGO is all about.

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Karen April 3, 2015 at 3:21 PM

Hi. Ca you tell me approx how long it takes to build a set of this size please? Many thanks

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admin April 3, 2015 at 4:54 PM

Karen, it really depends on how fast you like to build, or if you like to take your time. If I remember correctly it took me four hours to build this set, which is pretty standard. There are however people who take much longer because they like to do things, like align all the logos in the same direction, including the logos on the window-panes, make sure every piece fits perfectly, presorting all the pieces before building, etc. So it just depends on how much a perfectionist you are. 😉

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Karen April 4, 2015 at 1:10 PM

Thank you. I was actually curious because of my daughter. It tuns out Lego is her favourite pastime. She has a number of the Lego Friend sets which she seems to put together in no time and no help from us. She has seen this set and as a challenge for her we let her have it – but he is only 8!! We are intrigued as to how she copes with it but didn’t know what to compare it to. 🙂

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admin April 4, 2015 at 1:21 PM

Karen, if she can put together that set at the tender age of eight, that’s extremely impressive! It is a set recommended for teen and adult builders! It’s not like the building instructions are hard to follow, but there are a lot of steps, and putting together the set takes a long time – not something usually young children have the attention-span for.

My suggestion would be to let her build the set by herself (if that’s what she would like), but encourage her to take breaks every hour. Play outside, get some fresh air for a bit, then come back and continue. This will allow her to have the best building experience. Even for me as an adult it can be frustrating to build for more than two hours. I built this set (and all other large modular houses) in a span of two days. She can do that too; spread out the building for several days.

Let me know how it goes. She is up for a big challenge, and that in itself is very impressive! She is already a winner! By taking breaks, and getting help if she needs it, will assure that she will have a memorable time and set her up to take on even bigger and bolder challenges in her life. 🙂

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Karen April 4, 2015 at 4:13 PM

Yes I will let you know how she does. She in on page 127 and spent 14 hours on it so far. We have encouraged her to take breaks – watched TV, planted seeds, ASDA shopping ha ha!! We told her upfront is was for age 16+ and that she was not to get upset or frustrated if she struggled but so far she hasnt asked for any help. She has had to ‘rewind’ as she calls it twice but thats it, and she is thoroughly enjoying it 😀

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admin April 4, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Wow! So she is on the top floor! Almost done! For whatever it’s worth, I’m very impressed! She is unstoppable! Awesome! 😀

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Bryan March 11, 2016 at 1:48 AM

I didn’t really know the story about cookie smuggling when I built this, although I thought the hidden cookies were odd. My assumption was that there was a shared bathroom and break room kitchen between the three businesses. It is all accessible to the public, perhaps, although I worked places where there was no door between the break room and the sales floor. Never had a random person come in.

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admin March 11, 2016 at 10:02 AM

The cookie smuggling actually also carries over to the Brick Bank. 😉

As far as the bathroom and kitchen/break-room, I do find it odd, but a number of people told me that it is pretty normal to have situations like this in large cities where buildings have been repurposed many times.

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