Review: 10243 Parisian Restaurant, part 2

Posted by ,

In part one of the review, I estimated that the model would take about 6 hours to build. Having completed it now, that time wasn't too far off: 2.5 hours for the ground floor, and an hour for the first floor, and about another hour for the roof.

It was pointed out in the comments to part 1 that 'Chez Albert' means 'Albert's Place' or 'At Albert's' in English, which makes it rather strange that it's 'Chez' and not 'Albert' that's embedded in the floor of the outside seating area, doesn't it.

Also in the comments, someone asked for a scan of the parts list, which I've now added to flickr.

Right, on with the conclusion of the review...

Bags numbered 3 build the first floor which is a one-bedroom bed-sit complete with fireplace, comfy chair, coffee table, standard lamp, bed -- which is hinged and folds into the wall -- and...

10243 Parisian Restaurant

.. a small kitchenette. It's a bit cramped but very cosy, and handy for the centre of Paris, no doubt :-)

10243 Parisian Restaurant

The front fascia is attractive and is built using some interesting SNOT techniques.

10243 Parisian Restaurant

There's no shortage of details on the back.

10243 Parisian Restaurant

Bags #3 also build the terrace seating area. Note the new 2x2 domes used, right way up this time, for hanging flower baskets.

10243 Parisian Restaurant

Here's the first floor attached to the ground floor:

10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant

Bags numbered 4 build the roof and attic space, which is an artist's studio. I don't think much of the artwork, though...

10243 Parisian Restaurant

The detail on the front, using feathers, shells and croissants is stunning

10243 Parisian Restaurant

Here it is prior to fixing the roof. Note the fireplace.

10243 Parisian Restaurant

The roof is made with alternating 1x3 and 1x4 curved slopes which give it an interesting texture. (The plates on the top are not pressed down fully in this photo, I've just noticed!).

10243 Parisian Restaurant

Round the back are skylights to provide the artist with good natural light. The 2x2 curved slopes, above and below them, are new. The front roof panel is fixed once it's been clicked into place, but the rear one is hinged and can be opened to reveal the attic space.

10243 Parisian Restaurant

At last, after 4.5 hours of building, the model is complete!

10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant

Overall opinion

I think I can safely say that this is quite possibly the best LEGO set ever made. Here's why:

  • The overall design of the building is interesting and well thought-out. Not only the front, but the back too.
  • It features an unprecedented level of detail throughout, not just on the ground floor and not just on the front.
  • Unique and clever building techniques which make use of parts in new ways.
  • New parts, and old parts in new colours, including 300 in olive green.
  • A long build, but not repetitive and I loved every minute.
  • No stickers (thanks azbadboy...)
  • The finished model is a joy to behold and is practical to display. I know that's the case with all modulars but it certainly isn't for, say, the Sydney Opera House.

That's not to say there isn't room for improvement, although I can't really think of much. The rat could have been dark grey to make it stand out better, and a few of the parts should have been different colours (e.g. the 1x2 brick with 2 studs on one side which is tan in the picture above on the side wall, used to mount a picture inside, should have been olive green) but of course budget will have dictated a few small compromises like that.

I suppose the only real improvement I would have liked to have seen is for the floors of the first floor and attic room to have been tiled to represent floorboards or carpet or something. I guess, though, that that would just add to the cost without significant benefit and, after all, I can always do it myself...

So to summarise, all I need say is that it's a fantastic model! If you like modulars and have others in the series then you'll love it. If you haven't bought any yet, make this one your first.

It'll be available in eight weeks. Start saving!

42 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Another contender for best set ever? High praise indeed! It looks to be well worth such praise however, the detail is incredible by the looks of it, I wish every set got this kind of treatment.

Would it be possible for you to photograph the model beside other Modular Buildings so we have an idea of how it fits in? Thanks for the review Huw!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Not easily as I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't built any since the Grand Emporium and they are currently broken down in storage :)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ No problem at all, I failed to notice the image on the back of the box which indicates it is about the same height as the Palace Cinema. What a lovely problem to have, too much LEGO to build it all :o)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for the great review, Huw! I completely agree that it's a brilliant set. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

14 reasons why the Parisian Restaurant (10243) not only the best Modular, but the bet Lego set ever to be produced:

Modular Buildings are a great display value and are always a blast to collect each year, large sets particularly Modular Buildings tend to be very repetitive; however this is not a repetitive build and gives it more scenery than the usual mirrored building e.g. Town Hall and Grand Emporium, this set even has full details on the back rather than the standard windows and doors. It also provides a new lay out for people who have become familiar to the Modular Buildings, and a full detailed pavement which are normally bare on previous Modulars. Normally you come across the modular to be empty but this has fully furnished flooring and the details continue to the upper floors. It contains a new rare Olive Green colour scheme and new elements for 2014. It contains no stickers unlike the huge amount in Palace Cinema, and the details are printed on the elements. It’s a draw for people like myself, who have been to France, let’s not forget the Ratatouille reference and the artist studio is a draw for me as I study Art and Design.

Don’t for get if a set is designed by Jamie Berard it will always stand out.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Thank you, I think you've nailed it, and added some points I'd forgotten to, particularly about the stickers.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Adzbadboy I agree. Jamie does create the best sets! Anyway, great review Huw! I will be picking up the set.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Very nice review- I have been thing (cautiously) about getting this. You may have swayed my mind to a decision... although I'm not sure which one. :-P It has very nice pieces, a very good thing for me. It has awesome shelf appeal- I don't care so much about that, but it;s still awesome. It could be converted into a sci-fi military bunker- My main taker. (:-P) It has lots of nice 1-by-X bricks- love that. Well, I guess I won't have to decide just yet. ;-) Thanks Huw!

Gravatar
By in Poland,

Is there this seagull or not? :D

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Not according to the parts list Huw posted :(

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Great review And looks a truly awesome set that I must have :)

Gravatar
By in Russian Federation,

escellent model and impeccable reviews of it!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Great review Huw I might have to get this set because that scooter piece is so cool.

Gravatar
By in Spain,

Agree, this is the best by far :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

Totally Awesome review!!! Love the Pictures.

I'm standing on line right now, just waiting to get my hands on this set.....An absolute must have for me.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

No seagull! Where are people getting the idea there's a seagull in it?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ The first set description had a line saying that it included a rat, two clams, and a seagull. I at least couldn't see the seagull in the initial pictures, and I suppose that was because there wasn't one.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Gah, I want this set so badly! Thanks for the review, Huw!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Thanks again for the review and pictures. I think Lego should use it as their flagship set, the first one on display anywhere they want to showcase their product and its possibilities, it's exquisite - fitting for a French restaurant!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Another awesome review Huw, thank you kindly! Am marking it in my calendar and counting down those (long) eight weeks.

@Ariela, another one to add to your modular collection. Was great to see you again this morning at Leeds store!

Gravatar
By in United States,

This set is certainly in my top 10 favorite LEGO sets, beautiful set!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

This set looks great;)
And another great review.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Excellent review. This set really is a thing of beauty and I might have to go out and get it on the first day it becomes available. Its nice to see new parts being used in a modular, hopefully a trend that carries on into the rest of the series.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I have to say, now you've mentioned it, those two tan snot bricks do rather stickout like sore thumbs in the olive green exterior walls. Checking bricklink it seems there are absolutely no brackets or snot bricks available in olive. That's a real pain. At least we can swap out those brown technic joiner bricks for LBG grey ones.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'm thinking the kitchen tan snot brick would be better changed to reddish brown, and it would look better if you replaced all three of those 1x2 bricks between the windows with reddish brown to match the window frames. As for the tan picture mount: I think an LBG piece would look better cos at least that would blend with the LBG bricks on the corners, even if it looks rather out of place. Job done.

Gravatar
By in United States,

It is safe to say olive green is my favorite LEGO color.

Thanks for the review. It looks great step by step. I can't wait to pick it up.

A lot depends on how you display your sets, for how much of the main color stands out. In this, the front shows very little olive green, but the back is primarily in that color. If one was to build it or extend it, you wouldn't really need that much olive green to give the same frontal effect. Just a thought. I've noticed that with all of the modulars. Most of the color is on the sides (that you won't see if next to other buildings) or on the back.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Great review Huw! I look forward to adding this to my Modulars collection. The amount of detail is just stunning in the model and as you said it's getting better and better with each release. Can't wait to have one set up beside my others.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

It's so tempting...

I don't have the space though, I would have to take apart one of my existing modulars to make room for this one. Decisions, decisions....

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^What are your existing modulars? Market Street would be an easy swap out... in fact come to think of it most of them would be! :P

Gravatar
By in Norway,

Thanks for the great review as usual Huw. I just can`t wait for this one! Will order the second it`s available. Impressive amount of details everywhere.

Gravatar
By in United States,

This'll definitely be one for the record books ( and my lego collection) one note, has anybody noticed the usage of quill/feathers/clippers in set, there seems to be quite a few on the front of the lower attic level

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

My existing modulars are Palace Cinema, Grand Emporium, Fire Station, Town Hall and Pet Shop. I think I'll swap out the Palace Cinema for this modular as the Cinema is definitely my least favourite modular.

Plus by the looks of things the Parisian Restaurant only really works as an end piece.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^^ Indeed there are, it's a nice detail.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^^I love the Pet Shop. From those five I'd go for either the Cinema or Fire Station to swap out. I reckon you're right about it working best on an end too, I'd be interested to see how it looks with something to its right.

Gravatar
By in Switzerland,

Many thanks for this great review. And you didn't give away how these first floor windows are constructed! :-)

Gravatar
By in France,

Excellent review Huw, of an excellent set.

(I don't claim to speak for all parisiens here, but I've been in this town for ten years now)

I love the roof - the colour and the texture made by alternating the curves is really excellent and truly reminiscent of a typical Parisien roof.

I love the artist's studio - and the artwork is great I think - its a rendition of something that could easily have sold for a fortune at some point in the 20th century (think along the lines of Rothko) and an aknowledgement of the limitations of lego, and what can be done with brick-built pictures - thus sheer perfection in my opinion.

The Chez doesn't bother me, simply because its an invisible detail, a wink and a nod during the building process, but soon out of sight - plus I don't think it would've been possible to squeeze an "Albert" in the same space - correct me if I'm wrong.
The only negative I would claim is that it doesn't really look like a Parisian building, apart fromt the roof, as it is so small - most buildings here are about six stories high (yes, cost prohibitive I know) - I suppose it could be in a provincial French town, or possibly in the more "villagy" parts of Paris, like Montmartre. Also the colour is designed more to cater to the AFOLs than to represent what a typical Parisien building looks like.

Anyhoo, overall a fine set, I'll have two please, if they're going cheap.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ An interesting perspective from a local, thanks!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Well, now I know what to start saving money for...

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

I would love to see that new inverted cone piece being used in an Iron Builder challenge! Perhaps a rematch between bruceywan and cmaddison? The piece does remind me of the dark red fez after all, since it has the same colour and a similar shape...

Gravatar
By in Portugal,

I think this is the best set of the collection not only for construction but also the for Parisian feeling that creates.
The big BUT for my wife who is French (and whose godmother lives in a building like this) is the color ... that olive don't do it for her. To me it does not make that much confusion. :)

Gravatar
By in Australia,

This is going to be a very very much eagerly awaited set for 2014...........

Commenting has ended on this article.

Return to home page »