An Architecture Las Vegas skyline set was originally slated for release in January this year but following an incident involving one of the buildings in the city, it was cancelled and subsequently redesigned to omit it. The result is 21047 Las Vegas, which will be available from 1st September.
Also known as Sin City and the Gambling Capital of the World, Las Vegas is perhaps an odd choice of city for LEGO portray, although there's no disputing it's home to some interesting architecture.
Box and contents
The high-quality flip-top style box contains five unnumbered bags of parts and the perfect-bound manual which, as usual, provides information about the city and the buildings featured as well as building instructions.
The back of the box shows what they are, from left to right: the Las Vegas sign, Bellagio Hotel, Luxor Las Vegas, Encore at the Wynn, Stratosphere Las Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience.
Unfortunately, I've lost track of System parts to be able to tell you definitively which ones are re-colours, so we'll have to wait until the inventory is published when the set is released.
As usual, construction begins with the base. First two layers of plates...
...which are covered in a third layer of tiles and plates to represent pavements and so on.
The base accounts for a large volume of the set's parts and after it's been built it's mostly small parts that are left.
Construction of the buildings begins at the right with the Fremont Street Experience.
The main feature of the real building is a large semi-circular roof which has been represented here by a grey 2x4 curved brick. I think a transparent one would have been more appropriate and given the part has been cast in trans yellow and blue in the part I'm sure one could have been produced for this set.
Next, we turn our attention to the Luxor which consists of half a pyramid with a sphinx in front. Thus it does not require too much in the way of building.
The minifig pharaoh head covering that first appeared in the 1990s has been put to good use on the Great Sphinx of Giza's head. It's one one two printed pieces in the set.
The Stratosphere, the tallest observation tower in the USA, is added in between the two.
Flexible technic pieces have been used to good effect to recreate the curvature of the structure, although it is a little tricky to get them correctly aligned at the top.
The Encore at the Wynn is a 48-floor hotel and one of two similar buildings in Vegas, the other being the Wynn.
The building is curved, which has been modelled by sandwiching 1x1 round plates between square ones to allow it to be bent slightly. Stacking the 1x1s is the most tedious part of the set's build.
The most complex construction, the Bellagio, finishes off the strip.
From the front it looks fantastic, with plates positioned horizontally and vertically to represent the different sections of the facade.
The fountains in the front of the building have been reproduced using transparent 1x1 nipple tiles and light saber blades in 1x1 round bricks.
Such complexity comes at a price, though. Peering round the back reveals just how it's been achieved: bars and clips that look somewhat unsightly.
It's not really an issue, though, since the model will most likely be displayed on a shelf and only looked at from the front.
Last but not least, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, erected in 1959, is added to the left-hand end.
The printed 1x2 transparent tile is, er, fabulous. Having viewed the picture of the real sign below it looks as if I should have positioned it off-centre a bit to the right.
The completed model
The skyline comprises a variety of different buildings, colours, architectural styles and heights so as a result it's visually very appealing.
The loss of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and its replacement by the Bellagio may have denied us an opportunity to stock up on gold pieces (if that's what they were going to be, as many think) but personally I feel that the Bellagio is a far more attractive and interesting building.
With the exception of the rear of the Bellagio, it's quite presentable at the back.
This is another excellent addition to the Skyline series. As I said at the start Las Vegas is perhaps a surprising choice for a LEGO set given the city's reputation but it does present a good opportunity to model a good variety of buildings, which have been modelled using interesting techniques.
Visiting Las Vegas is still on my bucket list. Building this set and researching this review has pushed it nearer to the top...
When released on September 1st it'll cost $39.99 / 39.99€ / £34.99 which, for a 500-piece set, seems fairly reasonable.
At rhe LEGO fan media event I attended last week Kim, the company's community engagement manager, suggested that price per piece was not a particularly good way to quantify the value of sets and that weight should be used instead, or at least taken into account. So, with that in mind we will start to weigh the LEGO in the sets we review and calculate a price per kilgramme.
This one weighs 207g which thus equates to $193 and £169 per kilo. I've no idea how that compares with other sets but over time we should be able to make comparisons.
The set was provided by LEGO for the purposes of this review, which is an expression of my own opinions.