Review: 21044 Paris

Posted by ,
View image at flickr

21044 Paris is one of two Skylines that have just been released and is perhaps the least interesting of the pair given that many of the structures in it have been the subject of Architecture sets already, albeit at larger scales.

Nevertheless, it's an attractive model and worthy of a closer look.


Box and contents

Parts are packed in numbered bags which, until this year, was not the case for Architecture sets. Even for relatively small sets like this it makes building so much easier.

View image at flickr

As usual, the manual provides information about the buildings as well as the instructions.

View image at flickr


Construction

The 36-wide base is constructed from three layers of plates and tiles, and accounts for the lion's share of the plastic in the box.

View image at flickr

Construction begins with the Grand Palais in the centre, then the Champs Elysees to the left, followed by the Tour Montparnasse -- once the tallest skyscraper in France -- behind.

View image at flickr

The Louvre museum and Arc De Triomphe complete the low-level buildings. Each one is a miniature masterpiece, as you'll see in more detail below.

View image at flickr

Last, but certainly not least, attention turns to the Eiffel Tower. Creating the distinctive steel arches at the base of the structure has always been challenging in LEGO and this version takes a very novel and new approach of utilising four printed 'speed racer' windshields.

View image at flickr

I'm not entirely convinced with the finished look but you have to give the designers credit for thinking outside the box!

The remainder of the tower is constructed using plate hinges clad with 1x12 grille tiles. Overall is stands about 21 cm tall.

View image at flickr

What do you think?

View image at flickr

I don't believe it is normal for the Tricolore to be flying from the mast at the top but it looks great nevertheless,.

View image at flickr

Here it is standing next to 2014's 21019 The Eiffel Tower, which stands about 30cm tall. Other than the arches it's pretty much just a scaled-down version.

View image at flickr


The completed model

Once the tower has been clipped to the base the skyline is complete.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The way the Grand Palace has been constructed is particularly impressive, making good use of the new 1/4 circle tiles, telescopes for pillars, and a transparent R2-unit head for the dome.

View image at flickr

Much of the Louvre is built on its side, with transparent plates used for the vertical windows. The Pyramid Ridged Tile 1X1X2/3 in transparent clear at the top of the pyramid is new in this set.

View image at flickr

The buildings of the Champs Elysees have made good use of the 1x1 plate with square printed on the side, that first appeared in 70620 NINJAGO City, for the windows.

View image at flickr

As usual, the back is not display-worthy!

View image at flickr


Verdict

It's a very competent rendition of the City of Lights, and all of the structures, with the possible exception of the skyscraper, are immediately recognisable. Parts have been used in unusual ways using sophisticated techniques to form their details at a small scale. There's a good balance of building heights and styles and the overall appearance is attractive.

Yet, I don't really find it very exciting. It's probably because three of the buildings have already been rendered in Architecture sets and it seems just like yesterday that I last built an Eiffel Tower (although it was in fact 5 years ago!)

There are many Skylines I would buy before this one (21043 San Francisco in particular) but if you love the city (and who doesn't...) or have collected them all, you'll want to add it to your collection.

View image at flickr


The set is currently available from shop.LEGO.com:
USA ($49.99) | Canada ($69.99) | UK (£44.99) | Germany (€49.99) | France (€49.99)


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

29 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I’m a few behind on them but will pick this up at some point as I have to have them all

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I was never aware the Louvre had a dome...

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

I still can't believe they choose the eyesore that is the Tour Montparnasse as the sets modern building when the Grande Arche exists. Now thát would have been interesting to see.

Gravatar
By in United States,

That bottom of the tower is pretty genius...

Gravatar
By in United States,

“That our flag was still there...”

My favorite part is the flag on top of the tower. Yes. I’m going to buy this whole set just for the flag and scrap everything else.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Because I always buy skylines of cities I’ve actually visited I’ll be getting this one for sure - San Fran might be more interesting as a build, but it holds no value for me in my skylines display as a talking point because I’ve never been there. Don’t know whether other people do the same with architecture sets. I really love all the Paris buildings except the skyscraper”. In Lego terms it’s really similar to the DB tower for the Berlin skyline.

Gravatar
By in United States,

While I don’t own this set, I must say it looks quite excellent. (The Architecture theme, at least IMO, has been getting better and better lately.) I must agree with @Huw that it might seem a bit boring for some people, compared to other skylines, since we’ve already had sets based on the buildings depicted here. However, I also have to say that I personally like this just as much, if not better than the San Francisco one. Again, while I don’t own this, I think it looks absolutely marvelous on display (at least in pictures)
Also I do think the Eiffel Tower in this version looks excellent considering they’re mostly using fairly basic pieces, and the new prints on that windscreen piece certainly help it!
I’m just hoping that TLG will re-release the original Eiffel Tower (it was one of the “Advanced Models”), as that would make a massive statement on display, being over 3 1/2 feet tall....

Gravatar
By in United States,

The grand palace really stands out to me!

Gravatar
By in Sweden,

Pretty nice set, but I can't help but to feel like omitting the Grande Arche in favour of something as soulless as the Tour Montparnasse is a dealbreaker personally. Grande Arche would've been far more interesting build-wise, and looks-wise.

Gravatar
By in United States,

The windshield arches used on the Eiffel Tower is pretty clever. Nice.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

It's quite a nice set overall, but I have two main gripes.
For one, the finished product doesn't look like 50 Euro worth of "stuff" as Jang likes to call it.
And secondly, why are all LEGO renditions of the Eiffel Tower in the wrong colour? They always use grey, when in reality it is something like dark tan, sometimes with a reddish hue to it. Certainly not grey!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Huw, typo regarding the 1x2 grille tiles - you've got then as 1x12 grille tiles. And what's the piece count on this set?

Is it just me or does the Eiffel Tower for this set look like it's using old light grey parts when compared to the 21019 version shown in the comparison picture above?

Gravatar
By in United States,

^ I couldn't find it anywhere on Brickset either, but according to Rebrickable, it has 649 pieces. I don't know if that is exact but seems quite reasonable.

Edit: Just checked Lego.com. It is 649.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Looks nicer than it's real life counterpart

Gravatar
By in Germany,

That big black building looks almost the same as the DB tower from the Berlin skyline, and just as boring. Does anyone really think of those buildings when they think of those skylines? The Sacre Coeur is far more iconic imo.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@darkstonegrey: well spotted. Now that you mentioned it and that I rechecked the image, it certainly looks like it. Even though it is highly unlikely, it is hard to "un-see" now.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I don't have a problem with Tour Montparnasse being included. It's worth noting that Paris has strict guidelines on building heights - largely in order to protect views of its iconic buildings - and as a result the Montparnasse skyscraper is the skyline's dominant building, particularly noticeable when you're on the Eiffel Tower and looking South East.

But as mentioned by others above, missing out La Grande Arche (indeed, the whole area of La Défense) seems like a missed opportunity. I guess I'm not the only one who'll be adding something from that area to beef up the view!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Love the Architecture series but this might be my least favourite of the skylines, I think for the same reason you say - they've nearly all been done before and better. Since they were doing the tower, I probably would have preferred Tokyo Tower (similar looking but much more colourful in red and white) and I can think of a few other buildings that would make for a good Tokyo skyline - maybe I can hope for one in the future.
I think I will just let someone get me this for my birthday.

Gravatar
By in Austria,

Notre-Dame de Paris?

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who calls those things "Speed Racer windshields". :)

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Notre Dame for a future stand alone set please.

Gravatar
By in France,

Paris is blessed with amazing buildings so it would have been impossible to include all of them. The Tour Montparnasse is probably included to give the model some height and variety but as you say Huw and I agree the overall model doesn’t really do Paris justice.
I love the Grand Palais but prefer the original version of the Tour Eiffel. Personally i think they could have included the Sacré Cœur on its hill and given the model some more dimension a bit like they have done with the San Fran set.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Wait for a certain youtuber to tell us the buildings aren’t in the correct location to each other ????
I like it but I won’t be getting it. I will try to pick up the San Francisco though

Gravatar
By in France,

As a French AFOL who lived in Paris for 10 years, I can say without hesitation that this set... sucks. The worst part is for sure the Montparnasse Tower, which is ugly and hated by most of the Parisians. It would have been great to see instead other iconic parts of Paris, such as the Notre-Dame cathedral or the Sacre-Coeur church - but sometimes Lego just makes very wrong choices... And why the hell put a French flag on the Eiffel tower, which has never been done in reality?? My advice: don't buy this set, or modify it.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@Davejack82: I know what you mean.
I usually love Jangbricks' reviews, but the one about the SF set really annoyed me, the way he went on and on about how the buildings were not correctly depicted in relation to their real life positions.
I mean, isn't that always the case with these skyline sets? Since when do any of them show the depicted buildings in their correct placement? And why should they? These sets are kind of "best of" sets in terms of noteworthy buildings of a certain city, nothing more.

Gravatar
By in United States,

LEGO should release a Pompidou Centre set.

Gravatar
By in Italy,

Great review. But Tricolore is the Italian flag. Not the French one, it’s three colors but they call it in French not Italian. There are no churches because lego doesn’t want to make them... Venice was a mistake

Gravatar
By in Italy,

You know Matteo, you're making me realize that because of this "church" thing Lego will probably never release a Rome skyline set...

Gravatar
By in United States,

Venice was a cool set, the drawn-and-quartered Bridge of Sighs notwithstanding. But thanks to the semi-official Copenhagen skyline, we've got a second set with a basilica. (Thanks Rocco and BrickWorld!)

View more reviews »
Return to home page »