The release of Architecture sets appears to have settled into a pattern of skylines at the start of the year, then three landmarks or famous buildings released at a rate of one a quarter or so.
This year's three are a new version of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (21035) that we reviewed in April; 21036 Arc de Triomphe, the subject of this review; and 21037 LEGO House that will be available from the end of this month at the LEGO House in Billund.
So let's take a look at this latest offering of one of Paris's famous landmarks...
Box and contents
Like all Architecture (and Ideas) sets the box is high-quality, has a flip-top and is not destroyed on opening. Inside are 386 pieces packaged in several unnumbered bags and a 86-page perfect-bound instruction booklet that also contains information about the structure and its construction. I learned, for example, that it was commissioned by Napoleon I to commemorate his military conquests but work halted when he was defeated in 1814. It was finally completed in 1836.
Parts-wise, there isn't really much of interest worth mentioning: it's mostly standard Architecture fare -- small plates, tiles and SNOT bricks, as you'll see in the inventory.
About half the volume of ABS in the box goes into making the 18x12 baseplate, which, in common with other Architecture sets is three plates high with a printed 1x8 tile at the front.
Construction follows a logical sequence and there's not really much to comment on.
The round gold dish in the centre represents the eternal flame of remembrance that has been lit since 1920. It commemorates the victims of the world wars.
Grey jumper plates have been used with their bottom facing out to represent the sculptures at the top of the arches.
Until this point the construction has been all studs-on-top. Now SNOT and hinge bottoms (3937 Rocker Bearing 1X2) are used to provide detail at the top.
Overall 30 white Rocker Bearing 1X2 are used to good effect to replicate the textures at the top of the structure.
The completed model
The completed structure stands about 11cm high. The front and back of the model are identical, which is the case for the real monument, bar the sculptures.
Looking at Google Maps the top appears to have been accurately represented here.
This is a competent model of a well known landmark. However, as you've probably been able to tell from how little I've written about it, it's also a bit boring.
Construction is mostly linear, there's no particularly clever parts usage, and nothing of note in the inventory. On the plus side it's not full of tiny 1x1 parts that need careful alignment, so building it is quick and painless.
I predict it will sell like hotcakes in France but I'm struggling to see the appeal elsewhere. Die-hard Architecture fans will want it for their collection, of course, but I don't think it'll tempt many others in the way that, say, 21035 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum does, which is far more visually interesting.
Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review. The review is an expression of my own opinions.