The #10270 LEGO Creator Bookshop – the latest in the LEGO Modular Building series – was released back in January, and I finally had time to tinker with it and add some upgrades. I figured I share what I have done, as it may give you some ideas for your own customization.
LEGO CREATOR BOOKSHOP OVERVIEW
But first, let’s start with some general thoughts on the set. The #10270 LEGO Creator Bookshop is the second in the LEGO Modular Building series with a split design (the first one was the #10218 LEGO Creator Pet Shop from 2011). This means that the 32×32 stud footprint is split into two sections, with two different buildings on two 16×32 baseplates. This makes the set exceptionally practical, as the two buildings can be put on either side of each other, or could be used next to other buildings by themselves.
Although the split layout is a huge plus, I feel that the #10270 LEGO Creator Bookshop is not as versatile as the #10218 LEGO Creator Pet Shop was. This is because the teal color of the apartment side is a bit too strong and can clash with some of the other buildings. So, you have to be a bit more thoughtful when placing it on your street. Another issue with the apartment is that it’s unusually short. Again, this limits where it can be placed in the layout. If you have a street with taller buildings, it might be worth getting a second set and double up the floors. This was even suggested in the official designer-video.
While the apartment side of the set can be a bit troublesome for the above-mentioned reasons, the bookshop first pretty much anywhere. It has a simple and elegant design, muted colors, and the same height as many of the other LEGO Modular Buildings. It can fit pretty much anywhere.
When the set was first revealed, I instantly liked the bookshop. I appreciated the design, the colors, and the subject, and I could see the potential for customization. I wasn’t too sure about the apartment though. I felt the colors were a bit too bold, and the building was too short. After getting the set, I can say that the bookshop turned out as I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised by the apartment. It’s a much more interesting build than the bookshop, the interior is amazing, and I fell in love with the colors. It’s a delightful little building that brightens up my day every time I look at it.
Speaking of interiors, the bookshop has practically none. It’s a bookshop with a single book in it, and a couple of very messy bookshelves that I didn’t like at all, and a giant checkout counter that only takes up valuable space. The second floor has a big recliner that also just takes up space, and the third floor is an apartment that didn’t make any sense to be there. However, the layout is wonderful. There is good size space at the bottom floor for more shelves, there is a lovely mezzanine between the first and second floors (reminiscent of old bookstores), and the second and third floors also have good size space (once you throw all the furniture out). Plenty of room for customization!
The apartment side of the set is actually much more developed. There is a crawlspace below the first floor. There is not much in here besides a bench and a ladder, but it could be customized. The crawlspace is not quite a minifig’s height, so they will have to hunch over to do anything. But anyway, the space has potential.
The living room/dining room combo on the first floor is very nice. And the bedroom on the third floor is lovely! It has the biggest bed in any of the LEGO Modular Buildings, and it’s quite pretty. Strangely, the apartment has no kitchen and no bathroom. I haven’t done this yet, but there is room for a small bathroom under the stairs between the first and second floors. Right now, there is a staircase there to go down to the crawlspace, but this could be blocked off and put a toilet and sink in there. The crawlspace has a second entrance from the back, so it’s not like minifigs won’t be able to access it.
Another feature I would like to mention that I really like in this set is that both the apartment side and the bookshop side has a split roof. Meaning, that you don’t have to remove the whole roof to access the interior. Instead, the back section and wall can be lifted off to access the inside. I especially like this feature on the apartment side, as it also gives access to the floor below. None of the other LEGO Modular Buildings have this type of access, but I think it works great and provide more options for play and display.
CUSTOMIZING THE LEGO CREATOR BOOKSHOP
Now, let’s talk about customization. On the apartment side, I didn’t do much on the inside, as everything is already so nice. Although I’m considering doing the bathroom conversion I mentioned above, and will probably put some “junk” in the crawlspace like boxes and forgotten items. And I did make two structural changes to the building. I didn’t like how the dome of the bay window was so small and was placed underneath an arch. I felt it was out of proportion. So, I pulled the dome further out, enlarged it, and closed the space behind it.
The other change I made is related to a pet peeve of mine. When there is a fireplace on a floor and chimney on top of the building, but there is no indication of a chimney flue in between them. Here, we have a fireplace on the first floor, and a chimney crown and cap on the roof correctly aligned with the fireplace, but in the bedroom directly over the fireplace there is no sign of the flue going through. As there is no room to put a flue outside or the inside (with that enormous bed in the way), I just added a textured 1×4 stud section to the wall to indicate the passage of the flue, and connected it through the rafters to the chimney top via a couple of 2×2 inverted slopes. I hope it’s acceptable to the fire department.
For the bookshop, I gutted out the inside as I didn’t like any of it and started anew. At the front of the building I replaced the small shelf with cheap books with a little bit better one. I should also mention that I took out an entire section from the birch tree. While I like the tree, I felt it was too tall. It was much taller than any of the other trees on my street, it had a tendency to topple over, and it made it hard to access the floors. In case you want to do this, the tree comes in sections, so it’s super easy to just remove a chunk.
On the first floor, the only thing I kept was the floor tiles, as I really liked the colors. Then I did some research on old bookstores and found some lovely pictures like the ones below (by the way, these pictures are apparently puzzles).
As we only have a 14×14 stud space to work with, I kept the bookshelves as thin as possible to be able to cram in as much as possible. I was also able to add an arch and a bookshelf with ladders – features that I really liked from the pictures.
As I mentioned above, I love the mezzanine that was built into the set, so I kept that as it is for the most part. And because it was so wide, I was able to add in a table and a couple of chairs.
The second floor also got more bookshelves and tables, and I took advantage of that nice printed 1×8 tile with Hans Christian Andersen’s name printed on it, which came from another set. I also added a printed tile in the middle of the carpet, which was already there. The grandfather clock is pet as is because it’s already awesome.
On the third floor, I took out the apartment, tiled and carpeted the floor, and made it into a children’s bookshop and reading room. The kids just going to have to be careful on those stairs!
LEGO CREATOR BOOKSHOP FINAL THOUGHTS
All in all this was a fun project. I enjoy modifying LEGO Modular Buildings, especially the interiors. I don’t have all the Modulars as I don’t like them all, but if the facade is nice and I feel like I can do something with the inside, I will get them and customize them. Some of the smaller Modulars like this one is especially great for customization as you don’t need that many pieces to make even significant changes.
The currently available LEGO Modular Buildings include the #10255 LEGO Creator Assembly Square, the #10260 LEGO Creator Downtown Diner, the #10264 LEGO Creator Corner Garage, and the #10270 LEGO Creator Bookshop. All of them are nice looking sets already, and have potential for further customization. You can find them at the LEGO Creator section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? Do you have the LEGO Creator Bookshop already? How do you like it? Have you done any modifications to it? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!
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