Review: 10264 Corner Garage

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View image at flickr

When it's released on 1st January 10264 Corner Garage will be the 14th modular building to be produced since the series started in 2007. They all have their own unique style and colour palette but they all take inspiration from a bygone era when buildings were more than just a steel frame and plate glass.

Like last year's 10260 Downtown Diner this one takes inspiration from 1950's USA but unlike the diner, buildings with garages like it probably don't exist any more.

Before I start the review, I should give a big thanks to the LEGO AFOL Engagement team for getting the set sent out in time for me to review it on the day it's revealed. The press release was distributed last Wednesday, the set was sent on Thursday and I received it on Friday afternoon. I had a family commitment away from home over the weekend so had to take it with me and build it while my wife and daughters were off watching Mary Berry rustle up something tasty at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham.

Anyway, after something like 6 hours of building, another hour or so photographing and post-processing and a couple more writing it, I'm pleased to be able to bring you this review so soon after its reveal.

Find out if all that effort was worth it and what I think of it after the break...


Box and contents

The box is about 58x47x9cm in size and shows the front of the building on the front and, on the back, it sitting at the end of a row of the currently available modular buildings along with details of the interior.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Parts are packaged in numbered bags, from 1 to 6. There's also a tan 32x32 baseplate, a couple of loose 6x16 plates and of course the instruction manual inside.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The perfect-bound 235-page manual contains 293 building steps. The QR code in the bottom right corner of the cover can be scanned from within the LEGO Life app but doing so now unsurprisingly results in a 'unknown set' error, so I can't tell you what it does. Show information and images about the set, presumably.

View image at flickr

Here are the first few pages showing how the bags relate to construction.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

There's no sticker sheet -- everything is printed!


Parts

There are dozens of recoloured parts in the set: sand blue windows, dark orange tiles and many more.

There are also two parts that are making their debut in this and other 2019 sets.

It's not immediately obvious what this 2x2 tile with hole is for because the hole's dimensions are non standard. It's too big for a stud and marginally too small for the base of a 1x1 round brick to fit in.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

It becomes apparent later during construction: it fits on to the underneath of a 4x4 round plate so is effectively a turntable bottom. It's used under the petrol pump island.

View image at flickr

This 2x2 tile with 1x2 plate bracket looks to be exceedingly useful. It's used in the back of the pick-up truck.

View image at flickr

You can read more about these new parts over at New Elementary.


Minifigures

Six minifigures are provided to bring the set to life.

There are two mechanics and a dog who work in Jo's Garage on the ground floor. Maybe it's old man Jo who it's named after or maybe young Jo. If the latter, the boss is not afraid to get her hands -- and face -- dirty by the looks of it.

View image at flickr

This cool figure rides the moped which is almost the colour of many Vespas. I'm not familiar with the torso but it was introduced this year in 60202 People Pack - Outdoor Adventures, which I haven't opened yet.

View image at flickr

The veterinarian operates a practice above the garage and the small girl is a customer.

View image at flickr

Finally, we have a man in knitwear who lives in the studio flat at the top.

View image at flickr


Pick up truck

The ground floor of the building is constructed before this truck but I'll deal with it first. It's a typical mid-20th century American design and looks splendid in two-tone blue.

View image at flickr

The hook at the back can be raised and lowered by turning the Technic gear on the top.

View image at flickr


Ground floor Garage and filling station

Remember I said I'd built the set away from home? The first two photos, taken during construction, were done in a makeshift studio in my daughter's kitchen but hopefully serve to show progress of building the ground floor adequately.

As is always the case with modular buildings there are a lot of tiles to lay on the baseplate. However, it's not quite as intricate as on some. By the time parts in bags #1 have been exhausted the first few layers of the walls have been laid, along with the car elevator, which you'll see in action below.

View image at flickr

Parts in bags #2 complete the building.

View image at flickr

(Photos taken back at home now)

Bags #3 provide the remainder of the parts for the ground floor structure, the petrol pump and the awning above.

View image at flickr

Just inside the door is a small counter with cash register, and on display in the windows, a wheel and cans of something.

View image at flickr

A tool for removing and replacing tyres and a very neat toolbox occupy the back wall.

View image at flickr

Vehicles placed on the elevator can be raised...

View image at flickr

...by pushing the black box behind the building in. It's an ingenuous mechanism that works well.

View image at flickr

The roll-up door works works very well, too.

View image at flickr

A small wheel on the outside rolls it up and around the circular mechanism behind.

View image at flickr

The old-style petrol (gas) pump looks great with the printed Octan 2x2 round tiles on the top.

View image at flickr

Looking into the garage from the street.

View image at flickr

The handle on the door on the left side of the building gives a clue as to what's upstairs. Dark Grey 1x2 rounded plates have been used to provide texture to the surrounding brickwork.

The tree outside it is built using the new plant leaf element and two 'combi hub w/stick'.

View image at flickr

The sign above on the roof is, along with all decorated elements, printed.

View image at flickr

The ground floor from above.

View image at flickr


First floor veterinarians

The colour palette changes now to dark orange and sand blue for construction of the first and second floors.

A small balcony on the left is accessible via a door by the stairs. The bay window is the work of a genius. More about it below.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

There are some interesting angles used in the building and on this floor in particular. Normally angled walls are connected using plate- or brick- hinges but in this set they are attached using the new 1x2 rounded plates which provide much more flexibility.

View image at flickr

The floor is divided into two: a waiting room on the left and the vet's room on the right. A fish tank, which you can't see very well at all in these pictures, is mounted in the wall above the single-seat chair in the waiting room.

View image at flickr

Here's all the equipment and furniture from the vet's room: An instrument table with microscope, an amphibian tank (there's supposed to be a frog in it but he hopped out when I removed it to photograph!), a desk with very cool lamp, and a operating/inspection table.

View image at flickr

The printed window sign reveals the vet's phobia.

View image at flickr

The bay window is built using two sand blue train windows on their side. There's a view of the second floor, below, that shows how they are connected. I don't think I've seen them used in this way before. It looks excellent.

View image at flickr


Second floor studio flat

There's a well appointed living area on the top floor, occupied by the gent in the tan sweater.

View image at flickr

There's a lot of intricate greebling below the windows which is a bit fiddly to line up.

View image at flickr

It's an open plan space, with bed, kitchenette, toilet, sofa and an early television in a wooden cabinet. However the designer of the set is presumably too young to remember that CRT TVs have a huge great protrusion on the back to house the neck of the tube, because this one doesn't have it.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The main has a single bed with a very large headboard/frame at both ends.

Here you can see the inside the bay window. The train window assemblies are held in place by the grey telescope pieces at the side.

View image at flickr

The kitchen area is fairly well appointed, with sink, worktop, cooker and hob. The door on the right leads to...

View image at flickr

... the toilet, of course, which has a old-fashioned high wall-mounted cistern. Presumably the man washes himself in the kitchen sink given there's no shower.

View image at flickr


The roof

The roof section repeats the greebling of the second floor and finishes it off with decorative finials.

View image at flickr

Stairs on the second floor lead to a hatch to provide access to the roof for sunbathing and gardening.

View image at flickr


The completed model

The building stands about 28cm tall to the top of the finials, so is a good height. The exterior is packed with small details that make it look interesting, in particular the pattern above the windows formed using 1x1 quarter circle tiles and 1x1 double-slopes.

View image at flickr

Sand blue is a colour that doesn't get used as much as it should be. It complements the dark orange perfectly.

View image at flickr

I also particularly like the muted Octan colours of green and red used for the garage which gives it an old-school feel.

View image at flickr

The back is very plain, but then it's designed to butt up to other modular buildings on both sides.

View image at flickr


Verdict

Like all modulars, it's a thing of beauty, packed with interesting building techniques and parts usage both inside and out.

The fact it's a corner building, with a garage forecourt in front, has reduced the surface area of the actual building considerably but nevertheless I feel that what space there is has been put to good use. Perhaps the interior is not as detailed as in other modulars but I think what's been provided is adequate.

There is, however, one inexcusable omission: There's no car! The garage has a neat lifting mechanism, and a sizable forecourt, but the set is not provided with a vehicle to make use of them, other than the moped. The reasoning behind this is probably that last year's modular provides a perfectly acceptable vehicle that can be used, but of course not everyone will have that, and those that do might not have built it yet (ahem...)

Nevertheless, it's an outstanding model and one that fans of the modular buildings will want to add to their street.

The price of £160 / $200 feels about right for a model of this size with over 2,500 pieces and it refreshing to see a realistic £:$ ratio being applied for a change. In fact it reflects today's market exchange rate of 1:1.27 almost exactly.

View image at flickr


Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

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126 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Excellent review! And of such a great set. I don't know if I prefer these to have the classic two dots and a smile or more variation in the faces in these modular sets.

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By in United States,

Well that was fast

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By in United States,

YAY!!! looks awesome!

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review and a really nice set.

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By in United States,

Someone's description of "a Creator 3-in-1" sums up my thoughts on this Modular pretty well. Unfortunately not too impressed. Good review though!

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By in United States,

I really like this set. The design has a classic early 20th century American feel; so it can fit in nice with the Brick Bank, Detective's Office, and the Dinner can look like a 'later' addition to the block. I think the Assembly Square and Parisian Restaurant lean more towards a European style (I guess the Gregorian style of the Bank is a transatlantic style so it fits with both genres).

I honestly think it's that simple gas pump that sells the garage to me. Those look like they crawled out of some old O'Winston Link photo!

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By in United States,

I loved it, I take it you had to sign a NDA with LEGO, wonder what other suprises you are holding out on us with a lot of work ;) Keep doing so and I enjoy surprise reveals as much as I want information on sets I may be potentially buying.

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By in United Kingdom,

I, ll not be buying this set Marvel, Dc comics and lego friends have taken care of that but WOW... This made my day i once worked for Mercedes then Daewoo so seeing this brought back some memories.

10/10 love the Azzure blue vespa and pick up truck too:

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By in United States,

Really nice review and really nice set.

What do you mean when you say "there's no car"? There's the blue tow truck you could use, although ironic that the garage owner would be doing maitenence on their own car (unless it's not theirs. )

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By in United Kingdom,

'Dr. Jones' 'No snakes!'

Meanwhile, in an alternate universe where IJ gave up archaeology for being a vet...

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By in United States,

Pretty sure the "cool dude" riding the moped is actually a cool lady, at least based on the lipstick on the head print.

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By in United Kingdom,

Fantastic review thanks Huw, you have managed to allay some of my earlier misgivings. about the set.

Interesting you mention a 50s American vibe. To me this building shows strong influences of the old Total petrol station in Bloomsbury, London, so has a 30s British/European vibe. However as with all big cities examples from all over the architectural world can be found in one place so the modular line continues to reflect this variety.

Still don't like the TV though, never seen a Bakelite telly up on a stick like that, they usually came built into cabinets.

Question does anyone know which set the truck above the bed is meant to represent? I love the fact the models in the Modulars are usually mini builds of full size sets.

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By in United States,

I thought the set used dark orange parts. Are the pics a bit too bright?

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By in United States,

I'm sold. It's not as flashy or jam packed as say 10255 but I love anything motor related so it looks like a great edition to the modular line.

On a side funny note, the pink caddy from the diner needs a tow truck from just next door? LMAO.

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By in Poland,

Not impressed by it, really.

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By in Canada,

I like it and will certainly get it. It certainly doesn't use much of the base plate space for the building but I think its still has good detail and interest included.

Thanks for the effort in getting the review out so soon!

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By in United States,

Question, is the set mainly brown or orange on the exterior? Here it looks orange and in other press packs it looks brown.

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By in Germany,

I like the overall design and that it's a Garage at all. I do not like the orange color (but that's just my taste). And I do not like that they did not tile the ground floor inside. It looks unfinished. I'll add tiles on my own later. I love that there a no stickers!!

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By in Portugal,

The burnt orange seems a touch too garish in mass—as much as I otherwise like the color—but that could be the image processing makes it look harsher. I hope to see this in person first before buying. But what a general huge improvement architecturally over last year's extremely odd-duck Streamline Moderne integration.

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By in United Kingdom,

It's all dark orange. My white balance is spot-on :-)

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By in France,

Would it be possible to have pictures of the inventory pages ?

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By in United States,

The garage doors don't fit the pick up truck? Not even with the garage door rolled up and the pick up truck's arm lowered? That seems really strange.

Edit: I just saw a video from zusammengebaut of the tow truck perfectly fitting into the garage.

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By in United States,

Okay, but definitely not my favorite. They need the classic smiley heads back! Great Review!

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By in United States,

I love the color scheming here.

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By in United States,

@18000pieces
It's a man's torso and a head with lipstick.
I'm confused....

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By in Canada,

Looks like this is a $269.99 set in Canada. That's a bit more than the regular difference in USD to CAD for modular buildings.

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By in United States,

@TheTeenageBrickster yes they do. I'm wondering if they are following the evolution of lego with these modular buildings, because of the cars, more realistic heads, etc.

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By in United Kingdom,

I wonder if the Vet's name is also a reference to the Danish pop group Aqua's single 'Doctor Jones'.
Fab review as usual.
Fab modular as hoped for.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review.

Having built the Fire Brigade to the Palace Cinema I ran out out room to display them, so ended up with the Parisian Restaurant and Detectives Office left unopened in the boxes and never bought the next three. However, this has made me want to start again which may be an expensive desire!

Just checked on the Lego site the Brick Bank is out of stock. Has it been retired?

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By in United States,

Love the Indiana Jones reference on the Vet's office. "Why did it have to be snakes?"

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By in United States,

@ewokswithbricks: Maybe she’s just not very curvy, or her outfit isn’t very form-fitting, or she’s a transgender woman who hasn’t been through the whole medical transition process?

Honestly, the way people are getting so confused over this is practically as bad as the people who complain about the rebooted She-Ra looking mannish… feels like if a character doesn’t have that perfect trifecta of head with lipstick/eyelashes, torso with hourglass waist/cleavage, and hair expressly designed for female characters, the idea of her being female is called into question… you’d think if her lipstick weren’t a satisfactory tell, her being identified as a woman in the press release surely would…

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By in Italy,


@18000 pieces and @ewokswithbricks
Gentlemen, we're in the 3rd millennium! ^__^

@Huw
Thanks for your time to review the set and for some splendid photography.

I love this modular: my thought immediately goes to the 1950's town plan. They've come a long way!

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By in United Kingdom,

The brick is being retired along with the detectives office.

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By in United Kingdom,

Excellent review. More excited about this than any since the detectives office. Love the unusual shaping.

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By in United States,

Haden't even noticed the bay windows prior to the review. They really do look fantastic!

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By in United States,

"In accident we meet"
Best slogan ever.

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By in United States,

I definitely have some mixed feeling about this set. At first, it looks more of a city, particularly because the truck. I knew it was a corner building, and one of my hopes was that it would be three floors. While the model does, it’s so small. There’s barely any interior space. While the exterior looks pretty good (even though burnt orange has already been used by town hall) I’m very disappointed with the interior. I mean seriously, no tiles? I would rather pay an extra $10 to have it tiled. There’s not a lot on the ground floor. I do really like the layout of the next two floors, although they could’ve done something different with the top floor.

Overall I don’t like the direction the modular line continues to take.

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By in United States,

@yuffie, yes the Brick Bank was just retired and is Sold Out, as is the Detective's Office, which is odd since they both came out after Parisian Restaurant (which sold better though). This is a great modular, although steals a great deal of thunder for one of my next MOC's, which was going to be a garage/gas station w/apt.'s above. Hadn't planned on a vet's office though, that is an interesting inclusion I'd never thought to incorporate. The architectural details look amazing and I can't wait to add this to my city... I guess that second 6 ft. folding table will need to be brought out. On a related note, does anyone need a couch? Who needs a couch in a rec room anyways?!

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By in United States,

Thanks for the review!

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By in Netherlands,

@ yuffie

I have long run out of space. So I have implemented a rotational system. I guess that is the hazard of being a Ninjago, big sets and somewhat Star Wars and City afficionado.

Basically has me enjoy building the sets multiple times.

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By in Canada,

Great review. I like the model, but not thrilled about the price increase.

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By in United States,

I really like the architecture that goes into these

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By in United States,

^ Arpie, part of the reason I personally thought it had an American vibe has to do with the bottom gas station floor. The colors and style really remind me of a lot of vintage US gas stations such as this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/36555996850

But... the multi story building does suggest a more urban environment, so I am not totally ruling out any European influences. Maybe that is how modulars do so well, they combine enough stylistic flairs of both continents to attract as much of an audience as possible?

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By in United Kingdom,

I feel pretty disappointed by this. Assembly Square is one of the best sets I've ever built, and I'm pretty keen to get hold of the Restaurant, the Detective's Office, the Bank and the Diner. This doesn't look like it lives up to any of those, IMO.

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By in United States,

$ 200.00 sounds a lot better than $ 260.00 or $ 350.00.

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By in United States,

@Aanchir I wish LEGO wouldn't print the narrow waists on female minifigures... it just looks weird. The minifig shape isn't realistic in the first place, so why limit our use of torsos in this way? Let us choose by our choice of head or hat or hair... or use a classic smiley face! Is that male or female? ...Does it matter?

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By in United States,

Are fish new?

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By in Belgium,

Woohoo, garage!! Love it!

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By in United States,

Too many corner builds! How many corner buildings can one city need? Still, I like the colors and the interesting shape. Kinda reminds me of an apartment build JANGBRICKS just did.

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By in United States,

A minor quibble on the subject of "realistic £:$ ratios", don't forget that--at least as I understand it--UK and EU pricing includes VAT, but in the US it excludes sales tax. So whereas £160 is the price you pay (right?), in the US, the price you pay could be 5-10% higher than the $199.99 list price. A lot of the times I see people commenting about UK/EU/US pricing, they aren't comparing apples to apples, and whether or not taxes are included seems to be the largest factor (though admittedly not always).

Otherwise a great review!

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By in United States,

@560heliport: I think waist printing is suitable for many types of clothes specifically fitted for an hourglass look, particularly the original forms of clothing that introduced that type of printing (bodices/corsets). But it can definitely be overdone as well, particularly when used for articles of clothing like clothes that might not look any different from one wearer to the next, like a loose cloak or a bulky mascot costume.

I also think more detailed minifigure faces are a big improvement on generic ones, because it gives buyers more characteristics to relate to themselves and the people they see in the world around them, not to mention gives the characters a sense of life, emotion, and motivation. Sure, you can pretend a generic smiling figure is sad or angry, but at that point you might as well use a stack of square, unprinted bricks and pretend it's a person.

Also, having more variety in any body part gives kids more incentive to mix and match figure parts as another form of creativity. More featureless parts reduce those creative choices far more than stuff like makeup, facial hair, or gendered clothing styles that are a genuine part of how real-life people express themselves.

@night13flyer: Nope, they'll be 10 years old as of next year.

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By in Norway,

Thanks for a quick and excellent review :)

But why do the orange look so much better on your pictures than on the press release?!
Have a look at the frontpage, seems like to completely different colours :O

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By in Germany,

It's bordering on absurd how little actual building there is. When you look at it from above, it's just ridiculous how much was sacrificed for that gas pump. It's a glorified road plate! Where did they hide those 2569 pieces? In the toolbox?

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By in United Kingdom,

It is much more vivid in mine, isn't it. It's probably down to the different camera sensors and lighting.

I think it looks closer to the colour of the brick in mine.

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By in Switzerland,

I’ll be buying this to keep my collection complete however I’m well disappointed. AS really brought me joy. Almost as much as Parisian Restaurant. But the last two modulars are total miss for me... but I guess it’s a matter of taste...

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By in Germany,

Excellent review, boring set. You simply don't sell modulars relying on no-snake-jokes...

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By in United States,

Is that a Harry Potter wand on the tire-removal equipment?

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By in United States,

@ewokswithbricks that looks a lot like another collared shirt torso that they often use for both men and women.

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By in Australia,

Love the Ellen DeGeneres minifig!

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By in United States,

Awesome review! Looking forward to this set, even just from the perspective of parts it is a great collection of parts for architecture MOCs. Agree with Arpie that this set doesn't feel USA-specific to me; if anything, a three story mixed use building is far more typical to Europe than here.

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By in United Kingdom,

Well I'm underwhelmed by this set it just looked like a large City set in the picture not a Creator Expert set. Putting grey tiles down is the most tedious part of any modular build but this has 3 times as many, the building is dull and hasn't WOWed me like previous modular reveals. I have the money put aside for the new MB but I will be waiting to see other reviews or see it in person and even then I will wait for a discount, I'm disappointed.

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By in United States,

My first impression of this set is that with a few color changes and getting rid of the gas pump, this could be turned into a hospital. I started working on a MOC a few months that was actually built on a curved road plate that is very similar to this footprint, but was based on 60204 - City Hospital. The covered canopy was part of the emergency room and the ambulance fit underneath. Maybe I'll finish it one of these days.

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By in Poland,

No exclusive minifigs? What a bummer.

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By in New Zealand,

20% screwcharge ... sorry, surcharge ... for New Zealand. The price-gouging market manipulation continues.

Easy pass for me until TLG cease their illegal stranglehold on what should be a free market economy and allow us to buy/import openly and without restriction. So that'll be an easy pass forever (or until they hit financial difficulties again).

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By in Germany,

While I appreciate the effort Huw has put into this excellent review, I still don't like this set at all.

It appears this Modular turns out to be the BrickHeadz of Modulars: you either love it or hate it. Not a lot of room in the middle.

For me the combination of the price hike, tiny footprint in relation to the size of the baseplate, bland design, meh minifigs and idiotic choices (open staircase from a garage and vet's right up to an appartment, toilet in the kitchen) make this set a pass. Not an easy one because I hate to lose a Modular, but I will try to get the instructions for the Post Office MOC from the guy who designed it and Bricklink and build that one instead. So much better than the official one in every aspect.

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By in United States,

I think I like the set overall, it gives off a good atmosphere.

Though I question the vet's decision to get an upstairs space for his clinic... I'm not hauling my Pyrenees with a broken leg up those stairs!

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By in United States,

There's a very similar building near my house actually, it was built in the 50s and has barely been changed since, it's no longer a functional gas station, but the building is entirely intact and unchanged from it's original construction. Seeing a building that looks so similar from the Modular series is super interesting considering that most of the modular buildings are based on buildings older than the town I live in.

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By in United States,

However! I would like to state I am mildly disappointed in the lack of zany parts usage I'm so used to in the modular series up to this point, seeing things like light grey recolorings of Unikitty's tail or croissants or snowshoes built into the facades of these buildings has always been one of my favorite parts of their overall stunning designs. The last 2 have been slightly disappointing on that front, although the rest of model is fairly stunning and I'm a huge fan of the new pieces used in it

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By in Germany,

^ That occurred to my little daughter as well. Also, she was very concerned about the fumes the sick animals would have to breathe on their way to the vet's which would potentially make them even sicker. :(
Perhaps she should apply for Lego designer ...

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By in Belgium,

I don't understand all the complaints here. I love the new Modular. Choice of building, colors, look and feel. It also fits more in-line than the Diner.

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By in United States,

@Block-n-Roll: Uh, you realize that a free market economy generally means companies get to set whatever prices they want for their products, and AREN'T legally forced by governments to charge a particular amount on the basis of fairness?

I also don't understand your statement about TLG not letting you buy/import openly and without restriction. TLG doesn't have any control over your country's imports whatsoever. If you want to purchase a LEGO set from a foreign site that ships to your country there's nothing stopping you, least of all TLG. But they're no required to sell sets from their own site at the same prices than McDonalds is to sell Big Macs at the same prices everywhere in the world.

Also, keep in mind: most of the time LEGO sets each country's RRP according to what local retailers tell them local customers are willing to pay, as explained in this Reddit comment from LEGO designer Mark Stafford 4 years ago: https://www.reddit.com/r/lego/comments/2gzkhs/bennys_spaceship_compared_to_my_childhood/ckp780e/ So it's not accurate to place the blame for prices of imported goods entirely on the manufacturers. If local retailers wanted to charge less in order to boost sales, it'd be in their power to do so.

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By in Canada,

Great review!
@270$ canadian plus 15% tax (vat) where i live ($310.50 canadian total)...I will wait to purchase this when i visit London. Too much money for the footprint in my view.

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By in United States,

I have to admit I too thought this was a 3-in-1 set when I first saw the photo. The massive, blocky windows and plain facade do it in. I'm really not interested in the auto theme either but perhaps a conversion into a bakery or some such thing could salvage it.

Plus, that hospital bed is depressing.

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By in United States,

@Aanchir, To understand price points for Lego sets one must first understand the prices that Lego sells these sets to retailers for. For example, Lego sells all unlicensed sets to places like Walmart, Target, etc. for 40% less than what they sell to consumers for. Licensed sets are distributed for 30% less. So if a set is $100 from Lego directly, then they’re letting that same set go to Walmart for $60 (or $70 for licensed sets) and are still able to extract a reasonable profit. This is how retailers are able to undercut Lego’s own prices. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, by cutting out the middleman Lego charges consumers more than if they go to a secondary retailer. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not some Lego hating troll that likes to pick fights. I love Lego and have spent thousands of dollars on my hobby, but one needs to understand the reality behind things to be able to judge the worthiness of a product.

One last thing, your analogy between McDonalds and Lego couldn’t be further off from reality. Understand that McDonalds is franchised worldwide which makes pricing restrictions non-existent, Lego however is not franchised at all thereby making different and inconsistent pricing all the more questionable. A person only needs to look to the automotive market to see how a fair and consistent pricing model works (taking into consideration real world issues like exchange rates, trade policies, etc. that doubtfully apply to Lego products minus exchange rates).

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By in Australia,

I think, I like the *idea* of the building, but the execution is a bit off. A vet's surgery on the second floor seems odd (imagine carrying a fish tank through those doors and up the stairs), particularly when there's no wall between the staircase and the mechanic's shed.

Also, unless the vet lives in the apartment (possibly the Man In The Knitted Vest is his son, or possibly younger partner?), to get home every day, you have to make your way through the vet's slightly-cramped reception area. Too bad if you're not an animal person.

Having said that, the Indiana Jones joke makes it all worth it, really.

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By in United States,

This looks weird to me personally because I've been all over the US and can't recall ever seeing a gas station with anything above it. I'm not suggesting they don't exist because I did see the map link that @legoboyUK posted up there, but also found this for what it's worth:

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-gas-stations-never-the-bottom-floors-of-multi-floor-buildings

Anyway, I realize it's Lego world not the real world, but I'll probably just add a roof to the service station and change the top 2 floors into a separate tall, skinny 3 story row house or something.

Which I gotta say is a first for me because I've never wanted to change anything about the other modulars before. I will be buying it regardless though.

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By in United States,

^^Also, tariffs etc placed on imports into a country can effect the price in each individual country.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ I suspect there were different, or nonexistent, rules in the 1950s!

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By in New Zealand,

@Aanchir : A free market economy means that a company can set a retail price for whatever the hell they like, but that doesn't mean that gives them the right to dictate that it gets sold at that price, or who it gets sold to. Amazon *used* to sell LEGO shipped from anywhere to anywhere, until TLG's legal department stepped in and crushed the free market. TLG have prevented Amazon from on-selling outside their local market, something that doesn't affect anything else that I choose to buy through Amazon's US or UK sites. It's effectively price-fixing and protectionism by market manipulation and restrictive trade practices, all resulting in NZ prices being kept artificially high because potentially cheaper sources have been illegally shut down. I'm sure it's not just the NZ consumer market that this affects. LEGO products are generally 25-50% more expensive in NZ than in the US, and please don't trot out the tired old argument of it being regional tax variations, import costs, blah, blah, blah. Heard it all before and it's all but shot down in flames before.

Huw - can I please ask that Brickset does an article that investigates TLG's market manipulation and pricing strategies? You've often said that Brickset is independent and has integrity, but how about backing that up with some honest criticism/exposure of TLG's restrictive practices in supplying certain consumer markets? Or do TLG's restrictive practices extend to fansites, such that if you're critical of them then you'll be punished with sanctions?

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By in Sweden,

Many thanks for the review and the colourful photos, but I'm still as underwhelmed. No tiling inside the garage, not even a hint of a wall between that and the stairs to the vet, and no door to the apartment (!), which I find very uninspired... The exterior is quite nice though, especially the gas station.

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By in Australia,

@Phathead ... I've never understood that, myself. It is far, far cheaper for me to buy a set from the local department (here in Australia) than it is to purchase the set from Lego's shop-at-home site. Even a lot of the exclusive stuff winds up in shop eventually (but it's a time thing. I could pay an extra ten or twenty dollars for the Winter Village Fire Station *now*, or I could wait 12 months and pick it up from Mr Toys).

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By in Canada,

Too bad for the Canadian pricing. Guess the weak exchange rater to the USD has finally caught up to us. Oh well, will buy anyways. Hopefully there's a good free VIP release promo, such as a car or similar (such as the Flower Cart that was offered with the Detective's Office)!

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By in United States,

Great review, and nice to have it so quickly! I really like the shape, color scheme, and windows on this set, also the small architectural details. The theme of a garage leaves me a bit meh - just doesn't have the romanticism of other modulars for me, although i do like the idea of the vet on the middle floor. I'm not a modular collector anyway, but this one doesn't really tempt me particularly (unlike some other modulars, which have almost pulled me down that very expensive road...), despite its structural charms.

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By in United States,

I just started getting into modulars, picked up Detective's Office as my first one, waiting on Lego to ship Brick Bank, and Palace Cinema arrived today via ebay. Have my eye on 3 more. I think this set looks like a worthy addition to the lineup! Even if the theme is "meh" to some of you, the design of the building and all the details looks really good. Guess some people are pickier than I.

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By in Australia,

Thanks for the review Huw, well worth it in my opinion. I think the set is wonderful and honestly can't believe not everyone thinks this, but we do all have very different likes and dislikes.
This is defiantly being added to my little collection, I love the old style buildings. Love it.
Well done Lego, you've done it again.

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By in Netherlands,

I don't know why anyone thinks the blonde woman is in any way out of the ordinary (be it that you think she's out of place, or that you think she somehow represents any kind of "modern values").

She looks like a typical retro tough chick/biker chick to me. She could star in an oldschool Terminator movie! I like her.

Oh BTW @Huw: "cant's"

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By in United States,

I really don't like the hodgepodge nature of this set. Honestly, I like the service station area, but I'd prefer it as its own Lego City set without the rest of the modular. I also like the building... but not with the service station. This is the first time I will be passing on a lego modular.

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By in Germany,

There's a gas station under a building in Hamburg, Germany: https://goo.gl/maps/Y1d9QGsoWH72

Looking at the building a night later, does somehow make it less attractive. I'll wait to see it in real life before buying it. May be the first modular I skip. I started with the Parisian Restaurant.

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By in Austria,

Meh. I'm disappointed.

The gas pump and the cut-out section in the back take away a lot of interior space. And the interior itself is a poor rehash of things we've seen done better before (Dentist's office & AFOL flat in AS).

Staircase to the vet should be walled off from the garage.

Price hike not justified IMO.

I was no big fan of the DD either but at least it had decent interiors and interesting curves to build.

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By in Australia,

This modular is simply stunning.

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By in United Kingdom,

@xboxtravis7992 I agree with you the strength in the range is the variety of ques they use which allows it to appeal world wide. Just as it invoked American styling ques for you, for me the moment I saw it, it screamed this building https://goo.gl/images/wV1dUL which I used to live down the road from. Even the tow truck has the look of one of the old Morris WDs. Shows how talented the designers are that they can create something which can invoke such different vibes for different people. The more I study this set the more it grows on me.

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By in Norway,

i feel like this modular could go from good/decent to great with a couple modifications, like a wall in the garage section and a door to the appartment, so they feel more sectioned off, as it stands now i feel like the entire building is a bit too connected with the lack of doors inbetween floors and such.

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By in Hungary,

The interior is very large, and the house's color is very beautiful orange.... It's a worthy continuation of the Diner. It's a pity that the Diner does not fit anywhere...

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By in Poland,

1. Why there are no tiles on 0 floor, since PArisian Restaurant they've been makin tiled floor in all modulars.
2 Why they insist on using this old fashioned doors? Even in the toilet- it looks ridiculous.
3. Why they dont cover the stairs with tiles Come on. Is it so difficult?
4. The garage and the roof should be better equipped. Teyre just empty
5. The dog should be some special one, not the basic one from the police sets. THey could use terrier or bulldog from the CMF.

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By in United States,

@Lukasz64: I suspect for the same reason there were no tiles on the ground floor of Fire Brigade: it’s supposed to resemble rough concrete, and tiles would look too fancy for that purpose.

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By in United States,

So they didn't follow the tradition of only using plain yellow smiling heads for the minifigs in the modular lineup.

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By in Canada,

The price in Canada has jumped up a bit too much! The Diner was 220CAD+tx last year. Now this one is 50$ more expensive for not even 100 added pieces. Ouch! Better to get Assembly Square at 340$ if you don't have it yet. I'm a bit pissed off because I'll probably buy it anyway, and it bleeds my Lego budget... :(

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By in United Kingdom,

@vader11 that tradition was abolished with the Downtown Diner last year.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review, thanks Huw. I'm not sure about the set, probably like most people there are bits I like and others I'm not sure about. The lack of a car to be serviced is unbelievable and could have surely been squeezed in at this price point. The modular buildings generally need more vehicles with them and this one feels like a missed opportunity.

The Indiana Jones gag on the vet's window is really swaying me though, got a good chuckle out of that.

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By in Netherlands,

I like it! It would go very nicely with two T-junctions and road crossing, plus a classic Speed Champions, like a Ford GT, or the 1968 Mustang, Ferrari 250 GTO.

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By in Canada,

I love the concept of this modular. I always hoped they would do a service/gas station style set and this fits the bill.

There are some issues with the set as a few others have pointed out but I think there is way more to like about this set than dislike. Definitely one of my favourite modular designs! Happily looking forward to it.

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By in United States,

I kinda like the nonsensical combinations we get with modulars and this set doesn't disappoint in that regard.
I was hoping for something more interesting but this is still a good modular nonetheless.

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By in United States,

where can I get some pics of this lined up with all the other modulars?

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By in United States,

Not a fan of the new modular. Personally, in my opinion, lego has strayed to far from the original idea of the series. The modulars were supposed to show off the architecture of the buildings but now it is more geared towards play. Again in my opinion, this resembles nothing I’ve seen in real life and doesn’t fit with the series.

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By in United States,

@Huw
Not sure if this has already been asked, but do you think that with the driveway awning connected to the front corner of the baseplate, this modular won’t suffer from the upward curving of those that came before it? (I’m referring to the issue stemming from the uneven weight distribution). Thanks!

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By in United Kingdom,

^ I've not noticed any curving yet.

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By in Belgium,

These kind of set-ups , ground floor garage and / or petrol station, and living areas on higher floors were not that uncommon in Belgium, at least in the Antwerp area there are /were like that.. Like this one e.g. though the petrol station is now decommissioned, it bears a big resemblance ( note the apartment entrance door on the left, garage door on the right..)

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.2090578,4.4488105,3a,75y,220.43h,92.7t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sWKl9yb1HJ9IPIVLXfLo41w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

At first sight the looks of this new modular are a bit bland compared to previous ones, but for the kind of utilitarian building it is supposed to be, I find it OK. It might not blend well with all the MB's, but i.m.o it will go fine with e.g. DO, PS, BB, FB and the likes who also have a bit a rougher look.
What strikes me as funny is the amount of people now complaining about the rather basic interior, while with previous MB there were comments about the fact that to much focus and pieces were going to the interior...
Personally I don't mind the interiors that much, because usually when I display my MBs, they serve at the same time as backdrop for CMF, superheroes or SC displays.
My main worry is the price increase, though it somehow was to be expected... price per piece the MB have bean "cheap" so far, at least compared with other ranges

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By in Malaysia,

Woah so many comments... :D Thank you for the review, very nicely written and with great photos. When I first saw this I thought it was from Pixar's Cars... the garage... haha. It's a nice modular, goes well with the diner 50s theme. If I could afford it I would definitely buy these modulars. Have a good day ahead everyone!

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By in Germany,

Hi,
I build some own Lego Modular Buildings sets by myself this and last year . I decided that i will build a Modular Building Diner. I started around the summer time and finished it in fall. I had to finish School and had 2 big Holidays in between. So thats why i finished the building soo late. I also thought about to put it in Lego ideas just for the criticism, to see what i could made better. As i mentioned it i finished it in fall and i was very happy about what i did and a few days later i saw that the modular building for 2018 is gonna be a Diner. *_*
I was like "yeah ist from lego so it has to be good".
I am very distinct about building the Modular Buildings I asumed that it will be the same as the years befor ( high expectations). I didnt read any Reviews (on this side) or watched at any photos untill i had the set at home. I watched at it and i totaly cried. They Changed the facese and this is defenetlly not how i expect a/the Diner should be (big dissapointmend).
I won´t start to write down what i thinks is wrong with this set.
I rather asking you (after this Long Story...sorry) should i buy the new modular building or not.
Side note i have every house from the line, this would be the first one i woud miss.
Fun fact i build another building early this year. A Gas Station... Jup thats right!
I although build an record store and an Cuban style house and i planed to build an Irish Pub (i have to tell you that just in case that i dont sit here in 365 days again and tell you the same Story.)

If someone has reading the full Story, i appriciate that

thnx.

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By in Germany,

^ Like you, I own all of the prevoius Modulars, and I'm in the same boat as you as this is the first one that I don't really have any desire to own nor build. It just leaves me stone cold. However, I can't tell you if you should buy it or not; that's up to you to decide. Do I personally think it's worth 180,- bucks? Hell, no. I might buy it grudgingly sometime down the road because I'm a completist, but if I do, I'll wait for a hefty discount or buy a used one in good condition. Never thought it would come to this point, the yearly Modular always seemed like a staple.
Oh, and I adore the Diner! It was love at first sight for me.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Arpie i think that it's supposed to represent set 3221: LEGO City Truck

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By in Hungary,

This a beautiful, well-built set, a lot of small details that we love. Six stars design and built, the next set from"back to the U.S. '60-ies" series :D
Personally I do not like "car repair shop" idea (the truck is awful...), but all my appreciation for the designers. I love the studio flat as well, but I thint the WC and the kitchen is too close to each other :D

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By in United States,

@mrforcepower: That would be kind of unusual given the Medium Blue cab… I'm pretty puzzled about what the truck could represent unless it's either a MOC of a real-life truck with some significance to the designer, or a teaser for a future set.

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By in United States,

Well, I want to like it. I love modulars, but I’m torn.

The colors as a parts pack is great. As a building, they don’t work as well to me. The bay window is clever, but then you have to have the gray poles inside to connect them, so it ruins it for me.

The front is too gappy, not like a modular. It is very creator 3-in-1. Too bad. I’ll have to watch the video to see if Jamie was responsible or that other guy. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Diner either. I guess the new generation of modulars will be lost on me.

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By in Austria,

All I see is the high price, thank you Lego.
The review is excelent!

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By in United Kingdom,

The truck is an oddity. Previous vehicles in this line have been all over the place in terms of quality but at least weren’t City-like single-seaters. This one feels like it’s driven in from another range.

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By in Norway,

I guess you can't satisfy everyone - if you try something different people will go "it doesn't fit with the others" and "this is the first modular I'm going to skip", if you go more traditional people will complain that "it looks bland and samey" or "it looks just like 10xxx in a different color". I also suspect those who complain the loudest are the ones who keeps their modulars in pristine condition, I usually modify mine so any issues can generally be sorted out.

The things I don't like is that it's a bit many off-color pieces in the gaps by the diagonal part and lack of windows and detailing on the back. While the back of the straight buildings has nice details, the corner ones are rather sloppy - at best you get a simple back door and at worst just an ugly protruding corner without any detailing at all (PC and BB). Given how small the back of a corner building is, it shouldn't cost that much to make it a bit nicer. And even if the modulars are generally sticker-free, I wouldn't mind a sheet of car-related advertising signs to decorate the garage (maybe I can get some from the Speed Champions sets).

I appreciate that the scooter girl doesn't have those needless waistlines, it unnecessarily limits the use of otherwise gender-neutral outfits like the S5 Zookeeper, the S13 Archeologist and the S15 Animal Catcher.

I think it's an interesting design - it reminds me of an early 1900s factory building (with a 30s-50s garage) - the kind making semi-handmade items like shoes, clothes or musical instruments. I've long thought the modular series needs more industrial buildings to break up the overly gentrified look it has now, so I might add a chimney and some machinery. OTOH my city could use a better vet - the only option right now is Dr. Frankenstein ("Painful experiments while you wait!") above the pet store.

BTW, how come there's been no polls lately?

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By in Austria,

I really like the style (or the combination of styles) of this set. The ground floor looks like a typical garage and modern. The middle and upper floor shows the classical and somewhat renewed classical style. And this fits to a city that is traditionally built from a classical architecture, but renewed to include facilities (i.e. garage, businesses, etc.) into such building styles.

Reasonably good price and color scheme too. A well made set.

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By in Canada,

It looks very nice. But like more people say small floor space. There should have been at least 2 bays, one for the tow truck and one for repairs. I will probably get it.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Huw what colour is the door used for the vet's office on the ground floor and the toilet on the second floor? Medium Azure or Medium Blue?

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By in Australia,

This set feels like the older buildings with the ground floor not being completely tiled, this along with the lacking furnishings makes it feel empty, unlike other sets. I do understand that if ther was more interior builds it would be too cramped. In the end many people will get it even if it is nit the best building. I think they tried to hard to make it different and have a unique shape, unfortunately it turned out for the worst.

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By in Australia,

I do wish reviews like this shows the set next to the others to show height and how it look with the others. This may determine if someone buys the set or not if they are only collecting a specific style of building (1950 American)

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By in United Kingdom,

Well, it's certain older looking, but current in some aspects. A $100 bill on the counter, and that's still not a full tank of gas! :)

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