Review: 21042 Statue of Liberty

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View image at flickr

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable structures in the world, so it's no wonder that LEGO has reproduced it in a variety of scales over the years.

21042 Statue of Liberty is the latest, and most definitely the best. The 1685 piece set will retail for $120 in the USA and around 100€ in Europe when released soon.


Box and contents

The box has proportions unlike any other Architecture set and I think we can assume it's so that a decent sized image of the model can be displayed on the front of it. At 35x18x12cm it's much larger than I was expecting.

View image at flickr

The back of it shows the model against a background picture of the real thing which allows easy comparison. It does a good job of conveying how accurately the structure has been reproduced.

View image at flickr

The box opens in the same way all Architecture boxes do and we are invited to enjoy our building experience.

View image at flickr

Inside, ten bags, numbered 1 to 5, something I was very relieved to see. It makes construction so much less frustrating.

View image at flickr

The perfect bound 182-page manual contains information about the real-life structure in addition to the actual instructions.

View image at flickr


Construction

The model is built in five stages so I've taken photos after each.

The first few centimetres of the pedestal are packed with detail which sets the tone for the rest of the build. Boat studs are used to represent the circular protrusions from the wall. There should be ten on each side but it looks OK with six.

Above them, cheese slopes and the new 'PYRAMIDE RIDGED TILE 1X1X2/3' are used to create an interesting texture.

View image at flickr

The next section reproduces the central part of pedestal faithfully. The corner brickwork, formed from 1x1 round and square plates, along with some 2x2 corner plates, looks excellent, but is a bit tedious to construct.

As you'd expect there are a lot of 'x4' subassemblies to build throughout construction of the base, although most are small so it never gets too monotonous.

You might just see the door, represented by a 1x1 black tile, behind the pillars.

View image at flickr

The pedestal is finished off with more corner brickwork and the top viewing platform.

View image at flickr

The red Technic 16l rod poking out the top is anchored to the base with another two of them. It'll be used to prevent the statue from toppling.

View image at flickr

After three bags of tan building it's finally time to move onto the sand green.

First, a central core comprising bricks with studs on the sides is built, onto which the exterior details of the statue will be clad. You can see here the yellow Technic brick where the red rod connects, to anchor the statue to the base.

View image at flickr

The remainder of the build primarily consists of constructing small subassemblies consisting of sand green plates and curved slopes then attaching them to the cental core.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


The completed model

The final part of construction is the most fiddly and extreme attention to detail is needed if success is to be achieved first time.

This is because dozens of 1x2 curved slopes and the newer 1x2 curved slope corners are used to create the texture and if you're not careful it's easy to get the left- and right- hand corners confused, or even, as I did, use a straight slope when I should have used a corner, which resulted in being left with the wrong piece at the end. It took a good 20 minutes examining the model from every angle and going back through the instructions to find out where where I went wrong. I found it in the end, under the arm...

The finished model is a joy to behold.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The various versions of the statue that have been released over the years have blessed us with dozens of new parts in sand green and this one is no exception. Here you can see many of them, along with a hairpiece cast in gold to represent the flame.

View image at flickr

The new 1x2 curved corner slopes (29119 and 29120) have been used to great effect to create the folds in the cloth, which would have been pretty much impossible to achieve without them.

The tabula ansata (tablet she's holding in her left hand) has been particularly well rendered.

View image at flickr

Every part used in the crown is new in sand green.

View image at flickr

The broken chain at the statue's feet is represented using sand green handcuff elements.

View image at flickr


Verdict

This is pretty much the perfect Architecture set: based on an iconic structure, a challenging build, an excellent looking and accurate model, and dozens of new parts. The price is not too bad either, given the piece count and size of it.

At 44cm tall it's an imposing model which will make an excellent display piece, even in your front room (spouse permitting...)

Finally, here's a view of it next to my previous favourite rendition of the statue, from 5526 Skyline. Things have certainly moved on since its release 13 years ago!

View image at flickr

Overall, then, it's highly recommended!


Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for this review, which is an expression of my own opinions.

 

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60 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Looks amazing, I’m running out of space for everything.

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By in Netherlands,

That.. is an amazing build...

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By in Australia,

The comparison picture at the end was a good idea. How things have changed, eh?

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By in Singapore,

Just realised set 3450 does not have the base, so may not be comparable.

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By in United Kingdom,

This looks wonderful - thanks for a great review Huw! Wanted list grows ever larger...

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By in Austria,

beautiful

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By in Australia,

Looks good from a distance. An abomination up close.

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By in United Kingdom,

Aren't the horns on the crown the same colour as Queasy Kitty from the Sea Cow? And if that dish is new in sand green, does that mean we'll be seeing a new colour of Space Turtle soon?

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By in United Kingdom,

Isn’t the release date for this the 1st June not 1st August?

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By in Belgium,

Hell of a difference in just 13 years! Thanks for the review, I'm definitely picking this one up. The Nexo Knights face stands out a bit much for me, though.

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By in United Kingdom,

You could be right, I'm not sure.

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By in United Kingdom,

An excellent review! Nicely done.
I'm excited for all the new Sand Green parts with which to further refine Slave I...

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By in Italy,

Did they forget to make the face?

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By in Hong Kong,

An excellent abstraction of the real thing. Definite buy and keeper!

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By in Canada,

Fantastic set and a great review!

Also, what hairpiece is that? Captain Salazar's?

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By in Canada,

I’m glad that the build was enjoyable, but this is quite the departure from the earlier architecture releases and, combined with the continued skyline releases, seems sure to push larger, truly architecturally based sets further down the line. I’d be less worried if this was part of a “statue” sub-theme. Perhaps this is a test run for such a theme, but I’d rather get sets like Robie House, Imperial Hotel, and the Capitol than this.

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By in United States,

I need to buy this for the build experience alone.

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By in United States,

From the comments so far, I'm in the minority, but I think it looks awful. The piece used as a face is a particularly terrible choice.

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By in United States,

Brilliant set!!

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By in Australia,

This is a US $120 set.

A premium priced set.

Unless you are going to only look at this set from 20+ metres or so away, for me the lack of face is the dealbreaker and makes this set a complete failure.

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By in United States,

Just amazing! One of the best from this theme.

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By in United States,

Looks like a great set, although Architecture isn’t for me (at this point).

But I’m curious, if the face was detailed wouldn’t it make everything else look too blocky? I think the overall details is great but a face would be unbalanced.

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By in United States,

Absolute masterpiece. Brilliant choice for the face in my opinion. What would you have preferred? A sticker or constraction head? No no no, it's outstanding as it is. All of the previous statues were meh. I was even in its gift shop while on vacation when the huge first one (3450) was there. I was looking for a souvenir, but the Lego statue was just too blocky. You had to look at it with one eye squinted and from a hundred yards away for it to even pass as the Statue of Liberty. I'm sure it was a great achievement given the parts of the day, but it didn't do this beautiful monument justice so to speak. This new one does. Bravo!

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By in United States,

I think this set is about perfect. I’m undecided about the face though, asi don’t know if a detailed face would look any better.

I will get this, delete the doorways on the bottom and make it a monument in my LEGO City.

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By in Germany,

Wow.. just wow. Will buy this thing..

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By in Germany,

Very nice. I don't think there are many alternatives for a face at that scale (a sticker? Come on!), and Architecture sets are meant to be abstractions. Really nicely done.

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By in United States,

Not too sure about the face piece, but compared to the old version, there is no comparison how far LEGO has come to for attention to detail.

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By in United States,

The set looks to be designed quite well. I would’nt say Im a fan of the face. But options were probably limited as a green mini figure face might not cut it either. Eager to get it tho

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By in United States,

I love Captain Salazar's hair in gold, as well as the handcuffs in sand green!

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By in United Kingdom,

The Nexo shield for the face didn't bother me otherwise I'd have mentioned it.

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By in United States,

The sand green unicorn horns came in the Airjitzu Morro Flyer

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By in Belgium,

I'm definitely tempted by this one. Trying to stay away from architecture since there are only so many themes one do but tempted... Thanks for the review.

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By in United States,

Looks incredible, and the price is fantastic for so many new and useful parts. As far as the face goes - i agree that the shields not the best, but it seems silly to me to overlook the rest of the model for that one issue.

How hard could it be to take off the shield and MOC your own face? It’s not like people will think it’s the Empire State Building if it doesn’t have a face.

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By in Canada,

This might be the first architecture set I buy.

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By in United States,

I can agree that the Nexo Knight's Shield piece may not be the best look, but from a design perspective, how else would you model the details of a human face in roughly 2x2 studs worth of space using only existing pieces?

I think the designer had to make the best choice out of a range of not-so-great choices, and that gives me more respect to the designer. Designers don't think, "Oh, The Nexo Knight's shield piece can clearly represent the face of the Statue of Liberty" on the first prototype. They consider many variations and test different ideas. It is very clear that modeling a human face in 2x2 studs of space is very challenging.

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By in Australia,

I think I would've liked to see a constraction face for the Statue's face, just for the sheer unrelenting horror of another attempt at a constraction vaguely-human face.

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By in United States,

This looks great!!! I don’t typically buy Architecture sets as they aren’t minifig scale but I may buy this. The only real big nitpick I have is that her book is not at the right angle, which is somehat disappointing. Her arm is a little too upright too but that’s fine.

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By in United States,

When is the release date of the new Arctic sets?

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By in United Kingdom,

Really good review. I might get this. I think it looks great and I actually like the face.

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By in United States,

The main dealbreaker for me is the use of a shield for a face. That's just weird.

I still think the minifigure version is the best done.

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By in United States,

A practical solution for the face would be to use element 28220 'SHELL W/ 3.2 SHAFT, NO. 11' instead of the nexo shield. It is a few millimeters longer but is still within scale and does a better job of capturing the shape.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Jackthenipper
"What's that coming out of its nose?"

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By in United Kingdom,

I don’t actually see how so many people can criticise the face. This is a truly stunning build. I’m a huge fan of the architecture series and cannot wait to add this to my collection. Just look at the comparison shot for how far things have moved on. If someone wants it to look 100% scaled and perfect rendition at the scale it’s been built in, then maybe you need to buy a cast model and not a Lego version. If not, I challlenge anyone that doesn’t like it to do a better job!
Brilliant build, very excited to get it, hopefully on 1st June and not 1st August!
Great review Huw.

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By in Netherlands,

Would never have minded the face if others had not pointed it out. But I think the shield at least symbolically matches the statue and notions of grandure. Nothing is going to look right without increasing the scale a lot.

I think this is one of those sets that is going to look twice as nice in real life than in bricks.

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By in Sweden,

The comparison between different LEGO eras just shows the abundance of specialized pieces that have been created lately. I'm not sure that's for the better.

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By in Finland,

I don't care much about the statue itself, but all those sand green pieces will surely come in handy.

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By in United States,

noice

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By in Romania,

"The box has proportions unlike any other Architecture set" - in fact the box has the same length and width as the 21050 Architecture Studio set - just the thickness is different.

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By in Canada,

too american. hard pass

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By in United Kingdom,

looks good but could with we have the 3450 Re released about twice the size of original would be great, could definitely have very detailed face with that and what a challenge to build a base for it.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Non-Sequitor
In the inimitable words of Peter Venkman, "She's French; you know that."

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By in United Kingdom,

What is the height of the completed model?

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By in United States,

@bananaworld.. well played!

@Non-Sequitor.. Being from a "flyover state" it's too NYC for me =D

(I actually think the design is fantastic though...)

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By in Venezuela,

The best Architecture set to date!!!!

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By in United States,

@Dude45: Come now, that’s nonsense and you know it. The parts that make the new version look so good are way less specialized even than stuff that’s been around since the 80s like https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=4746 or https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=2336p35, let alone the many specialized bricks that had come out by the time of that skyline set. The fact that this new statue can use parts originally designed for cars and shields and unicorns and radar dishes ultimately proves how versatile and, consequently, non-specialized those bricks are! Take that selective memory elsewhere.

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By in Canada,

Very clever build, but except for the base, I prefer 3450.
I don't like the face, and she seems a bit skinny to me.
Still, I'd also like to know how tall it is, and how much it weighs. It may work well with one of my office displays.

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By in Canada,

@OscarWRG IMO, a vaguely architectural set is far from the "best...to date". Statues != architecture. This should be its own line.

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By in Germany,

@ Aanchir: Your belligerent white knighting is awe-inspiring and a true staple of this site, but it would be so much more stomachable without the mudslinging, arrogance and general condescending attitude, which ultimately just make Brickset an uglier place. A little respect goes a long way -- without it, I'm afraid you're actually doing your most-beloved toy manufacturer a disservice. Or as you might put it: Take your high horse elsewhere.

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By in Romania,

I hope they used that piece for the face so people discuss about it and not to pay attention to the complete disaster in proportion .

I don't like to criticize the artistic view of the designer but I was was struck when I saw it in Nurnberg in November, by a few obvious mistakes. Employees of LEGO encouraged me at the toy fair to write to the company and I did, but they didn't even bother to answer, at least to prove me wrong.
When you replicate existing building you should pay attention to proportions and because LEGO didn't produced all the shape you need, an error of 10-20% is understandable . But below are some obvious one.

Mistake 1. The left sleeve is double in width than the hand and they did it very small almost zero compared with the hand.
Mistake 2. There are 3 lines, 3 parts of the dress coming down on diagonals from the right to left.
The first part of the dress is very narrow compared with the other 2 bellow but they made it wider by using too more parts.

Mistake 3. There is no line of the dress coming down vertically from the book shoulderto the legs . They could have done it by raising the left part of the dress with a plate under the tiles.

Mistake 4. The 3rd and lowest diagonal line is starting from the middle of the dress and is going to the left side but they made it go too far right side by adding 1 more tile than it should be.

Mistake 5. They made a big hole which doesn’t exist in the middle of the dress.

Mistake 6. The little line on the dress near the book they made it wrong coming down on diagonal from right to left when in real life is from left to right.

Mistake 7. The book is too narrow compared with the real one. On the real statue the hand is “opening “ so you can see its cover.

Mistake 8. The neck is too tall because they used too many round 2x2 plates. In the LEGO model the neck is almost as the face size, comparing with the real statue's almost invisible small neck.

Mistake 9. The hand is too short . At the real statue you must put 3 heads on top of each other to arrive at the torch height . In the LEGO model only 2 heads.

Mistake 10. The torch is too taller compared with the arm. Just compare on the real statue the distance between the fingers and the sleeve with the torch.

In my opinion this are some mistakes (only speaking about front size) and they could have been avoided them by using the same parts used in 21042 and not a special new ones for me. So with the same parts, the designer could have done a better replica of the real statue in terms of proportion .

In November I compared only the front size by looking at the two pictures on the box.

Today I bought it and I'm not sure I want to open it.

I can send pictures with explanations of the Mistakes to everyone contacting me thru Brickset .

Like always, thanks Huw for the effort reviewing this set !

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