Review: 21045 Trafalgar Square

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View image at flickr

London has inspired numerous Architecture sets and 21045 Trafalgar Square is the biggest model to date, containing 1197 pieces. It looks excellent in official images, featuring some great colourful highlights which contrast with the primary white structures. Furthermore, an impressive range of building techniques are exhibited here.

This should therefore prove to be an interesting set, especially since its focus upon the environment around a building represents a departure from the majority of Architecture products. Its design certainly elicited some discussion when the set was announced and I have therefore been looking forward to building this model.

Box and Contents

Architecture sets are always beautifully packaged and this example maintains that excellent standard. The box includes a flap so it may be opened easily without causing damage and ten bags, numbered between one and four, are found inside alongside the instruction manual. Numerous interesting facts about both Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery are distributed throughout its 192 pages.

View image at flickr

Construction

Landscaping has become increasingly important within Architecture sets and forms an integral part of 21045 Trafalgar Square, as one might expect since buildings occupy a limited area here. Construction of the base is therefore more complicated than many comparable models, including inset sections and several 1x2 jumper plates. The role of these unusual features will become apparent later.

View image at flickr

Tiles dominate the next phase of construction, forming some interesting patterns that frame the central aspects of the model. Placing these tiles is an enjoyable process but I also appreciate the interspersed building of elevated sections towards the rear of Trafalgar Square and along each side. Varied building experiences like this one are often the most appealing.

View image at flickr

Discussion focused upon the unusual steps which connect Trafalgar Square with the National Gallery when this set was revealed. As several Brickset members suggested, they are ingeniously assembled using layered 1x2 and 1x4 panels. Such techniques appear slightly fragile but the steps are supported between jumper plates and Technic bricks so they slot into position reasonably firmly.

View image at flickr

Attention subsequently turns to the National Gallery itself. The whole façade is constructed sideways, forming rows of narrow windows which seem reminiscent of 21029 Buckingham Palace. Furthermore, the string course is formed using a series of neck brackets which nestle between the windows. This is probably my favourite building technique across the entire set, surpassing even the excellent flights of steps!

View image at flickr

More traditional building techniques form the upper levels, including sixteen 1x1 clips which represent the balustrade along the edge of the roof. The central dome is quite unusual though, incorporating two weapon barrel elements and the new 3x3 dome which has not appeared in light bluish grey previously. This will presumably appear in many subsequent Architecture sets.

View image at flickr

Trafalgar Square itself is the last section to be completed. Assembling the miniature trees is somewhat repetitive and they are quite difficult to position as each trunk is attached to a single stud. Nevertheless, the result looks outstanding, demonstrating how effective a small splash of colour can be in creating an attractive display model.

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

Neoclassical architecture is relatively common across the LEGO Architecture theme but this example appears distinctive, due primarily to its detailed environment and intricate construction methods which surpass previous sets in my opinion. This model looks marvellous, featuring some striking colours and occupying a reasonably large footprint as the structure measures 24cm wide and 20cm deep.

View image at flickr

Trafalgar Square is partially encircled by roads and they are represented by dark bluish grey tiles that contrast with the central light bluish grey square. Curved corner tiles are used to wonderful effect here and the roads are populated by red double-decker buses and black taxis which have become icons of London. The same recognisable vehicles appear in 21029 Buckingham Palace.

View image at flickr

Roads are found in numerous Architecture sets but 21045 Trafalgar Square further distinguishes itself by the presence of two angled stretches. These are simply attached using hinges but can sink into the base as 6x8 trapdoor frames are cleverly situated beneath the road. I love the trees planted along this thoroughfare, although they feel rather fragile as each trunk is only connected to a single stud.

View image at flickr

Black lampposts also surround Trafalgar Square and they look superb. However, there is an unsightly gap between the lampposts at each corner where the studs underneath become visible. Unfortunately, an appropriate piece to occupy this area is not currently available and the colour scheme is consistent so I think this design looks reasonable.

View image at flickr

Nelson's Column occupies the centre of Trafalgar Square and commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson who perished during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The column stands on a wonderful pedestal which features four dark bluish grey 1x1 tiles, depicting bronze reliefs which decorate the actual column. The surrounding lions are fairly rudimentary but I think it would be difficult to capture any more detail at this tiny scale.

View image at flickr

Admiral Nelson himself is represented by a white nanofigure atop the column. This looks superb and I think white was an appropriate colour choice for this structure, although the stone looks slightly darker in reality. Tan may therefore have been a reasonable alternative but I like the white design, particularly as a contrast against 21029 Buckingham Palace which could be displayed beside this set.

View image at flickr

Three other statues populate the square, depicting General Sir Charles James Napier, Major General Sir Henry Havelock and King George IV. The fourth plinth displays an egg, representing the temporary artworks which are installed here and perhaps making reference to its next occupant during 2020. Two decorative fountains are situated in the square as well and their shape has been captured nicely.

View image at flickr

However, the outstanding feature of this set is probably the National Gallery. This elegant building was opened in 1824 and stands on the northern side of Trafalgar Square beside a decorative terrace. I love the dark orange and medium nougat tiles in this vicinity and the dark green lawns flanking the entrance look brilliant, separating the white gallery from the light bluish grey pavement outside.

View image at flickr

The central portico looks spectacular, including ten columns which are created using 3L bars. Similar techniques have been employed in past sets but I think this example is particularly attractive because the roof has been integrated beautifully, improving upon the colonnade in 21030 United States Capitol Building. The red banners inside are equally authentic and I like the dome on top, despite its imperfect shape.

View image at flickr

Numerous tiny windows line the exterior of the National Gallery while six larger skylights are found on the roof. I am particularly impressed that the correct number of windows are included, exhibiting great attention to detail. However, this has impacted the proportions of the building and either end has been truncated. That is unfortunate but would probably be difficult to avoid without compromising the centre of the gallery or expanding Trafalgar Square, potentially spoiling its accurate proportions.

View image at flickr

While the front of the model is highly detailed, the reverse appears entirely bland. That is unsurprising as the original building is fairly deep, exhibiting some 2300 different artworks inside. Three panels can be removed to access that interior. Similar functions have appeared in other Architecture sets and this example is excellent as it has no impact upon the external appearance of this building.

View image at flickr

Dark tan floors and several interesting artworks are found within this model, including a golden statue and several printed tiles. These are not overtly inspired by any real artworks displayed at the National Gallery which is slightly disappointing, although one 2x2 tile featuring a ship bears some resemblance to J. M. W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire.

View image at flickr

The other decorated tiles are quite interesting too. Some have appeared before while others are new and their designs are unusual, featuring series of colourful stripes and sections of a unicorn. Perhaps these elements were produced for another set which has yet to be released as it seems unlikely they were created specifically for 21045 Trafalgar Square.

View image at flickr

Overall

Architecture sets have become increasingly impressive and 21045 Trafalgar Square looks absolutely wonderful. I love its bright colour scheme which stands out on display and the detailing is exceptional, employing some innovative building techniques and exciting pieces. Furthermore, this is probably the greatest example of integration between a building and its environment within the Architecture theme.

View image at flickr

That might also disappoint some collectors as the series was created to focus upon architectural detail and only a quarter of this model is actually occupied by a building. Nevertheless, I think it looks superb on display and the US price of $79.99 seems very reasonable so I would certainly recommend this set. Its price of £79.99 in the UK is less appealing by comparison, although that still represents acceptable value in my opinion.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your opinion of the set in the comments below.

72 comments on this article

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By in United States,

So, an element containing a "series of colourful stripes", huh, or is this LEGO interjecting their socio-political views into their sets...again?

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By in United Kingdom,

good review

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By in Netherlands,

I am also very upset about a 1x1 printed tile.

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By in United States,

Unicorn and rainbow tiles are for LEGO DOTs

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By in United States,

@Harken_X: That’s a very strange way of describing the possibility of these parts representing LEGO’s support for diversity and acceptance. After all, lots of esteemed LEGO designers fall within the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and it’d be a shame if TLG kept mum about their values just to appease homophobes, transphobes, and others with hateful and regressive views. I’d like to think this is an intentional show of support, but these colorful decorated tiles are nice one way or the other!

My understanding is that these tiles were originally designed for the snap bracelets in the Dots theme, which was intended for release this year but has been either cancelled or postponed after the new material intended for the bracelet bands ended up falling short of LEGO’s quality standards.

I hope those sets or similar ones do end up coming out at some point, because I could use some wearable, customizable LEGO accessories to express my individuality and fashion sense!

This is definitely a neat set, and I’d be interested to see similar outdoor architectural spaces in the theme’s future! I love the stair construction!

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By in United States,

@Harken_X: Maybe, maybe not—it could be taken either way. But I for one hope so! The world is slowly but surely becoming a more positive and accepting place and it would be wonderful to see that reflected in Lego sets in the future!

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By in United States,

@Aanchir: Okay, say this tile does represent the gay pride flag, and if LEGO is about "inclusivity" and "diversity", where's the straight pride flag?? Yes it does exist. Otherwise, their "statement" could be deemed as hypocritical, something that the leftists (especially in the states) are masters of.

@Lyichir: How can you say that the world is becoming a more "positive and accepting place"? Anyone who may not agree with every facet of the LGBT community is demonized for it (ie. the gay wedding cake incident).

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By in Costa Rica,

Really? Socio-political views? What's wrong with LEGO giving their support? Even if that were the reason... -.-

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By in Netherlands,

I bet Harken_X has a lot of First Order minifigs but threw away the Rose one.

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By in United States,

@Gustavo2809: Because inserting topics that can be a hot button subject is on some level alienating their audience. Not everyone is going to agree with the views/lifestyle of the LGBT community, and they should be targeted as being *phobic for it.

LEGO has operated for decades by the belief that they would not produce sets that revolve around sensitive subjects, such as war or religion, yet they have no issue with producing a propaganda video on their YouTube channel called "Imagination has no Gender", featuring all muslim women wearing burkas and/or hijabs.

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By in United States,

@Mechahamster: Now who's operating under false pretense? Just because I ask a question I'm immediately a homophobe/transphobe? For someone from the Netherlands, you sure think a lot like the radical leftists that are destroying my country.

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By in Netherlands,

@Harken_X You're picking a weird hill to die on then, my friend.

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By in United States,

@Mechahamster: Once again, you're no different than the radical left in the U.S. Conversation is only one way with you people. When someone has a opposing viewpoint, you want to immediately accuse them of "hate speech" or to a more extreme, try to ban/block/censor them.

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By in Netherlands,

@Harken_X : So you do still have that Rose Tico minifig then? Good for you.

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By in United Kingdom,

Stunning set, and very thorough review! Thanks, Brickset.

It is a shame, however, that the comments section was immediately hijacked within the first post. Don't forget, harken_X, how the fear-anger-hate proverb plays out; try to be less scared of that which is different to your world view.

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By in United Kingdom,

Perhaps we could refocus discussion upon this set as a whole rather than a small quantity of the pieces included.

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By in United States,

@bananaworld: Asking a question doesn't immediately imply fear and/or hate. Typical left viewpoint.

@Mechahamster: You want to continue this "conversation" some more smart guy? We can offline.

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By in United Kingdom,

Trafalgar Square is such a beautiful part of London. And this set looks fantastic. I'll definitely be getting it eventually.

On the above hoo-ha, It's funny how some of the statutes in Trafalgar Square are discussed as problematic due to their celebration of British Imperialism in India and Pakistan but it's a printed 1x1 tile which is causing the pearl-clutching. And I thought the lefties were supposed to be the delicate snowflakes.

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By in Netherlands,

Yikes, real life threats over a printed tile and a minifig. Lego is serious business.

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By in United Kingdom,

The stripes are odd- I wouldn't have expected to see a Colour Field painting at the National Gallery

It's the Architecture set I've most liked. The theme isn't one I particularly go for but i can see myself getting this one. - It might help that I know the area very well owing to both work & pleasure visits

For myself, the ship picture looks like the box cover to the Cape Horn boardgame

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By in United Kingdom,

Excellent point, Toc13! It is a bit more Tate or Saatchi, isn't it.

Until this great review, I had no idea that there even was an interior! Amazing work.

I for one would love to "offline" with you, HarkenX; you do sound like you could do with a hug to protect you from the fear of what a 1x1 tile 'might' represent.

Edit: I can't resist; time for a bit of schoolin' for Harken-x. The reason there is a gay pride movement & flag (and the reason the "straight pride" movement is largely ridiculed) is because there as never been a need for straight people to stand up & say that they're proud to be straight. For most of history, LGBTQ+ individuals have had to hide their orientation for fear of stigma, ridicule, sanction, and even violence; THANKFULLY, the world is changing for the better and such views are diminishing, retreating to the echo chambers of the internet.

Please at least try to understand, harkenx, that standing up for what is right in the world (by being proud to be anything other than a straight, white male) doesn't diminish the rights of said straight, white males. Everyone gets the same rights, which is progress.

Thanks for reading.
A straight, white male (who knows how lucky his position is in the world).

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By in United States,

..Anyway

I've seen some listings for DOTs included in the late summer range of sets on sites so I think it was just delayed

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By in United States,

Based on his comments culminating in an offer to ‘take it offline’ I’m of the view Harken would find himself drawn to an Architecture closet set.

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By in Portugal,

It's not even the gay pride flag, it's missing the orange stripe. It's literally just a rainbow, I figured the unicorn would have given that away.

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By in Venezuela,

Can't a rainbow-stripes pattern just be a rainbow-stripes pattern and nothing else? If anything it's an amusing coincidence that we're talking about this just starting Pride Month.

Anyway, thanks for the review, Cap. The link about the Fourth Plinth was very enjoyable. The set's out of my interests and price range, but the technique displayed in it is nothing short of applaudable.

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By in Finland,

I've never seen so much discussion over a single tiny 1x1 tile. I guess that's how things work today.

The set is really well done. The surrounding environment truly makes it worth everything.

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By in United States,

This is so sad, when something as innocent as a Lego review becomes a big political discussion. What sort of a world do we live in people? It is just a toy. Enjoy it for that.

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By in United States,

It's just foolish to put that 1x1 tile in the set. It's really just something that doesn't need to be put in a toy. I do not agree with TLG's stance on this issue, but whatever, they can have that opinion and keep it to themselves. However, such an issue absolutely does not have to be featured in a kids' toy. It's just another example of a disturbingly ever-growing tactic from businesses, media, etc. to brainwash people at as young an age as possible. Why does TLG need to make a statement about "inclusion" when they had never previously done anything that showed any sense of exclusion. I obviously have my political/social views (and I can certainly be entitled to them without being called a hater or a homophobe), but LEGO or any other toy is not a way in which I or anyone else (including TLG) should express them. If TLG wouldn't be so stupid as to shove their views (any views, both ones I agree with and disagree with) down people's throats then no one is excluded, included, hated, loved, discriminated, offended, etc. The point is not that Harken_X is a homophobe or a hater, but rather that a rainbow flag has absolutely no place in a toy! If you want to argue with me about rainbow flags in real life, well then that's a whole different matter entirely.

Regardless of anything, however, I thinks it's terrible that Harken_X merely expressed dissatisfaction with TLG injecting their political/social views and then was immediately attacked for being hateful or homophobic. Harken_X has not said anything to attack gays as people but only that he doesn't want these views put in a LEGO set. I understand that you all may not agree with Harken_X, but that doesn't mean you have the right to call him names and judge his character.

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By in United Kingdom,

Woah woah woah, legoelio, it's just a rainbow.

Who suggested it represented anything other than a colour spectrum: LEGO or the first commenter here?

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By in Portugal,

Again, the gay pride flag has six stripes, this one has five. It's just a rainbow, no gayer than a box of Lucky Charms. Grow up.

Additionally, there are plenty of kids who have gay parents, or who are themselves questioning their identities, and Architecture sets are at aimed at an older audience - lots of teenagers are gay. If it *were* a pride flag, there is zero issue with LEGO winking at these kids and saying "hey, it's okay". I wish I had some of that when I was growing up.

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By in United States,

People are getting all upset about a 1x1 tile and crying foul that it is pushing a political agenda, while their narrow definition of “family” has been adhered to in hundreds of city and creator home sets over the years? I look forward to more diversity and representation in LEGO sets, and feel the bigger issue (if one must complain) may be that this is a very small piece tucked away in a set that is targeted for a small, niche market share.
As for the set in general, it looks lovely and detailed, but I usually reserve my Architecture purchases to places that I have seen in real life. Maybe someday....

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By in United Kingdom,

A really nice set, a masterclass in squeezing every little bit of detail possible into a nano-scale set. Loving the techniques employed, especially in something as potentially mundane as steps.

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By in Netherlands,

I, for one, can't wait for the next interpretation of 'people who are critical of intolerance are the real bigots'

Over a printed lego tile that may or not be a rainbow. I feel that needs repeating.

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By in Netherlands,

First of all, great review for an awesome looking set.

Second, this discussion is just nonsense. People get the context of a museum right? And with the collection of the National Gallery they won't put a pride flag up for display, it's at least ignorant to think otherwise, at least in a modern art museum it would make more sense ;-).

So I think it's sad the review gets hijacked to push a political agenda where there clearly is none from LEGO. I mean, rainbows got used from Cloud Cuckooland in TLM and on stickers in Sweet Mayhem's spaceship to name a few examples. Was there a problem then?

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By in Germany,

Left, right, center, straight, gay... Is this still Trafalgar Square in LEGO form we are talking about?

Some wise philosopher once said:

Have a yabba dabba doo time, a dabba doo time
We'll have a gay old time

Building LEGO makes me have a "gay old time". Remember when gay was just another word for happy?
Fond memories indeed...

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By in United Kingdom,

This is the first time that I've (to my knowledge) posted something on a Lego comment board. That being said, I think two things should be acknowledged here: freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Limited as my understanding is on the vast philosophical works written on both concepts, I would say that the original comment should be accepted as what it is (i.e. a view that may or may not be sincerely held by someone or some people) and that all the successive comments challenging that should be accepted for the same reason. Both should be held in high esteem in any liberal democracy for the point of freedom needs to be the freedom to dissent as well as to agree with any controversial (or relatively minor issue). Equally, on the point of what this article is about, I would say that as Architecture sets are marketed by Lego to an older clientele (AFOLs mainly but not exclusively), this set is bound to be representative of more than a scaled model of a physical building due to symbolism, history etc. To that, I would agree that the issue over the tile and the previous commentator's valid point about the column's history would fit into this. And isn't that the beauty of Lego as a medium for expression? While, yes, it is a commerical toy marketed to children and like all brands subjected to the same mult-faceted view of corporate responsibility, because it has long attracted enthusiasm from AFOLs, it is bound to elicit interest in other things besides the actual building represented (which as this article mentions, is only part of the set). From my own takeway, I think that while nice in its own way, Lego perhaps should have presented a set that was not another Neoclassical design from London. The UK does have something like 50+ other cities, many of note, with other architectural feats that arguably, could have been replicated in an official set. As for the first part of my (admittedly, rambling comment), perhaps we can all strive to agree that we have views on things that others are not going to agree with and that it should be fine to air them and to engage in debate. Perhaps remembering too, what the purpose of this Lego site is all about? Namely, Lego.

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By in United Kingdom,

What a shame the comments to this great set have been littered with pathetic talk. It’s a colourful tile. That’s it. Get over it without reading so much into it.

Well done Lego. Excellent set. Can’t wait to add it to my Collection.

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By in Netherlands,

It's just rainbow stripes! How do I know for certain? In the same image, in the other wing, there's two different tiles with the same stripes... coming from clouds. These are obviously supposed to go together to extend the rainbow.

Lego obviously tried to look for whatever print they could use at that scale. Case in point: another 'painting' is just a control panel.

Anyway, this model is amazingly designed! I've been to the square recently and it's crazy how well they've captured the general outline of the entire square despite this tiny scale. Those steps make me want to look up this set's instructions just to see how it's done. Amazing work, whoever designed this!

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By in United States,

@lego4elio: For somebody who claims to not be a homophobe you seem to be awfully scared of kids learning that it’s okay to love who they want.

The fact that it may or may not be meant to represent a rainbow flag doesn’t take the sting out of seeing that kind of bigotry in a Lego community. News flash—gay people exist, and there’s literally nothing wrong with that (let alone inappropriate for kids). That’s not a “political” statement, it’s one grounded in facts and a respect for basic human rights.

If it upsets you that Lego’s corporate culture is more accepting of that than you are... I dunno, stop buying Lego? The fan community is certainly better off without people whose hate for people who are different from them overrides their basic human decency.

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By in United Kingdom,

Lego4elio “when they had never previously done anything that showed any sense of exclusion”

Lack of representation is a form of exclusion. Disabled people got their first representation in a LEGO set only 3 years ago. Women are still massively underrepresented in LEGO. Whilst there have been many straight couples in minifig form including wedding couples there has never been a gay LEGO mini figure.

LEGO is making some steps to redress this, they have a way to go though.

As for appropriateness in a toy. Absolutely this stuff is appropriate. Kids playing with LEGO will know disabled people, women, gay people in real life, why shouldn’t they see that in their toys? My son would love to have a set that featured a child with two dads, he’d see himself in it and love it.

Final thought if you and Harken_x don’t want to be called homophobes try not being homophobic. It’s not difficult.

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By in United States,

@Harken_X: Yeesh, ranting about commercials acknowledging varied cultures and making empty threats to pick fights with online strangers is certainly not setting a great example for straight dudes…

If you’re really not afraid of people and cultures different than yours, it might do well for you to act like it, instead of throwing temper tantrums and politically-charged outbursts over a few occasional blips of representation for people who don’t look or live the same way you do.

I’m also amused that you are SURPRISED that people from the Netherlands skew further left than America. The Netherlands has been more progressive than our country for a LONG time!

@Lyonel McBaseplate: It could be a coincidence, yeah (particularly since it uses printed elements already designed for another theme)! But including them in this set could also be an intentional shout-out to something with special importance/relevance to the designer, similar to how Marcos Bessa hid a Portuguese flag inside the Helicarrier set.

@lego4elio: I had to suppress a chuckle reading this comment. Why WOULDN’T it belong in a kids’ toy? After all, plenty of kids are LGBT or have LGBT family members. It’s not as though the existence of a supportive community out there for people like them is something scandalous.

And it’s not as though LEGO doesn’t have a long track record of making toys that promote what they perceive as positive values, so your claim that you’d be just as bothered by them promoting values you agree with doesn’t really track.

@patrizio84: Well, no, but there were Brickset news commenters expressing paranoid concerns that Sweet Mayhem and other LEGO Movie 2 characters were part of a leftist scheme to “brainwash” kids with a radical anti-male agenda.

It’s funny how little it takes for people used to overwhelming amounts of representation in toys and media to feel threatened or persecuted…

EDIT: Sorry @CapnRex101, refreshed after I posted and saw your comment. You may ignore or delete this if you think it’s appropriate to do so.

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By in United Kingdom,

Further discussion of this topic will only elicit arguments so I would request that subsequent comments discuss the merits and demerits of the whole set, rather than focusing exclusively upon three colourful tiles. Otherwise, this comments section will be closed.

Thank you.

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By in United States,

Wow got some world travelers in these comments. Re: “offline” :P
I’m imagining the Indiana Jones flight map sequence from USA to Netherlands

HarkenX pick up one of these sets for me when you’re there. Think it’s a couple more months for the US release

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By in Australia,

Great review as always CapnRex101 - love all the photo's, really gives a good scope of what the finished set looks like and a better idea of it's overall size. Really looking forward to adding this to my collection, love the Architecture sets overall and especially the larger ones. I'm hoping they do a larger size one of the iconic Eureka Tower in Melbourne. At the time it opened in 2006 it was the worlds largest residential building and has an observation box then moves out from the side of the building with a glass bottom floor. That would be amazing to see in brick!!

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By in United States,

@CapnRex101 typo here: Three other statues populate the square, depicting General Sit Charles James Napier, ...

Think you meant *Sir* Charles Jame Napier

.

Really liking the building techniques in this set and the presentation as a whole is outstanding. I don't buy a lot of architecture sets, but this one is a must have!

I'll remind everyone once again that you have always had the ability to build any set however you wish - LEGO allows you to build whatever you can imagine. Stop fixating on limiting yourself to one combination of the parts, nothing stopping you from swapping around parts to improve the set to your liking or mixing up the minifigs to better represent your lifestyle. And remember this: in the absent of adult-induced context from a kid's point-of-view, a rainbow's just a rainbow, a statue just an amazing work of art.

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By in Bosnia And Herzegovina,

The set looks good. I especially like the miniature builds and the indoor space.

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By in United States,

Superior set! The building techniques of the panels alone make it worth the challenge. The tile is the cherry on top.

Something not yet mentioned is that London Pride takes place in Trafalgar Square every year, so it bears relevance to this set. As for the missing orange stripe, my take on it is this: it’s a pride flag to those who want to see it as such. It’s wall art to those who don’t identify with the flag. My guess is that this is LEGO’s wink at the LGBTQ+ community, to say “We see you”.

In response to the unfortunate amount of homophobia here, I want to say this to the LGBTQ+ AFOLs reading the hateful comments: Believe none of it. You are seen. You are safe. You are not alone. You have a community waiting to welcome you. Look for a group called “GayFOLs” on Facebook. It’s a safe place to commune with others who feel your pride. You’ll have to answer some questions to get in. That’s our way of keeping our trolls.

And with that I wanna thank Brickset for enduring the above trollfest as long as you have. I love this site. Keep it up.

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By in Spain,

A great set, really beautiful; architecture, urban planning and landscaping are closely related.
Love, "Piece" and Lego. ;-)

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By in United States,

I also disapprove of the gay pride 1x1 tiles! How dare LEGO make these 1x1 tiles.

They clearly should have been 2x2 tiles at the very least!

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By in Canada,

Gorgeous-looking set and great review! Now, if LEGO could just provide us Canadian fans with a Toronto skyline, or CN Tower set, that would be awesome... :) (Pretty please?!)

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By in United States,

I think the Architecture theme gets the superlative for “Most Improved.” It has come so far since the blocky skyscrapers it started off with. Even comparing this set to the similar US Capitol Building from 2016, they have introduced so many new building techniques that make these sets almost perfect.

I just wish they were a little cheaper. It also seems unfair that this set is cheaper in the US than in the UK, even though it’s an English landmark.

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By in United States,

Gay pride tile? The miscolored rainbow was used on Rainbow's "Rising" album two years before the pride flag was created. Rising was a landmark in rock and was the first power metal (the best subgenre) album, so that's probably why it was included.

I also would now like a LEGO rendition of WW2 tanks so I don't have to buy Cobi. The Primo Victoria was cool, but the bricks are much harder to separate than real LEGO. A Jagdtiger would great.

Also, Trafalgar is a cool name.

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By in United States,

This set is even nicer and more advanced than I expected! Thanks for the great coverage of the build techniques and points of accuracy. I didn't even know there'd be an interior at all! I live in the Western Hemisphere, so I won't be able to get my hands on any of this season's sets for weeks to months to come, depending upon theme.

I like the rainbow tile designs, though the one with the cloud feels somehow a little rigid. What they *really* need now is a 2x2 curved/macaroni rainbow tile so you can create a full arch or even some elaborate curvy patterns. I can see them being used on custom signs, ringing the interior walls of nursery rooms, etc.

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By in United States,

The techniques here are so awesome and advanced!

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By in United States,

The techniques in these architecture sets keep improving. I am thoroughly impressed by these designers.

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By in Latvia,

Wow, this is the first Architecture set that I actually like! And the review is great, you can use parts of it to describe the real place!

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By in Norway,

This is a very nice set, much more vibrant and colorful than the rather bleak and barren Buckingham Palace one. My first thought upon seeing the rainbow pieces was if I could use them to make a "Nyan Cloud" moving sculpture - with the cloud piece having a waving rainbow tail and white stars on a dark blue scrolling background.

And while I do agree we're making a lot of fuss about a tiny piece, I have to agree a little bit with Harken_X even if it's for different reasons - my gripe with today's "tolerance culture" is that it feels fake and shallow. Like how it's excessively used in advertising (particularly around pride parade season) by banks and similar irrelevant businesses just because it's "trendy", or how it's based on an implied "but not too gay" condition - it's OK to be gay but only as long as it doesn't show and you adapt to an "A4" normcore/conformist lifestyle and appearance.

Also it too often seems to be about (sometimes unfairly) attacking people for not being "tolerant enough", which may actually lead to more negative attitudes 'cause people associate minorities with walking on eggshells to avoid the constant accusations (a bit like how placing a rat in a cage with a red button that gives electric shocks will make the rat develop a negative attitude towards red buttons).

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By in Germany,

I used to be totally indifferent to the Architecture line of sets, mainly because the first ones were hideously overpriced and not really interesting in terms of building techniques and overall design.

Fast forward to today and Architecture is now one of my favorite LEGO themes, thanks to sets like this one. There is so much to learn about ingenious building techniques at such a small scale. Just great.

One building I would like to see as a set, preferably at a similar scale to the new Empire State Building set, is the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool - or at least a Liverpool skyline set including the so-called "Three Graces" along the waterfront.

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By in United Kingdom,

...or, the tile may just represent a picture by Mark Rothko...

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By in United States,

Regarding the set as a whole, it's a great example of how far the Architecture line has come since its origins. Gone is the mostly studs-up building relying almost solely on basic brick types. In its place are complex techniques almost unheard of in other sets—tiny stairs made of panels, sideways built windows, brackets used to achieve tiny details and spacing... there's certainly a lot to appreciate. The inclusion of some minor interior detailing is also great, helping to add interest to a model that otherwise would consist of little more than a building facade.

The fact that so much of this set deals with exterior landscaping also sets it apart from many other Architecture sets, and is something I'd love to see more of. Just imagine how much better Lego could do at a subject like Fallingwater with this level of detail and techniques!

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By in Germany,

@Lyichir: absolutely true. I was thinking the same thing the other day, how a new version of Fallingwater could take the theme to a new level, just like the new version of the Guggenheim Museum was such a vast improvement over the first iteration.
To be fair, the first version of Fallingwater was great for what was possible back then, but with current pieces and techniques, this could be a real gem.

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By in United States,

Thanks for the review Chris. I love how Architecture, especially this set, demonstrates using pieces in different ways shows how much fun "scale" is in depicting a scene.

It's fun to see Emma's drawing of her cat Chico for his birthday party https://brickset.com/parts/design-36175 on the right wall in the center hall with the golden mircofig :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

I think the set is great. It is nice for a change to have more landscape than just architecture too.

Those lions are a bit naff though. And the fourth plinth ! ... maybe they should have included a few different extras that could make different statues for the guest one.

PS. A rainow flag has long been used as a PEACE (PACE) flag. Although as pointed out, its inclusion as artwork is a bit odd for the National Gallery.

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By in Finland,

This comment section really says a lot about society

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By in United Kingdom,

"Stop injecting politics into things" says guy who, completely unasked for, started injecting his political view into the comments section. Oh the irony. But anyway

"That might also disappoint some collectors as the series was created to focus upon architectural detail and only a quarter of this model is actually occupied by a building"
Is that not doing a bit of a disservice to the plinth and surrounding statuary? Do they not count as architecture? I get that a slightly larger scaled National Gallery might have been interesting but when people think of Trafalgar Square they're going to think of Nelson's Column first

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By in Canada,

I was lucky enough to visit London from the States and this set reminds me sitting in the sunny square after looking at amazing pieces of art. Lovely set of a beautiful place. The Architecture theme lets me dream of all the other places I haven’t been while I build them.

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By in Romania,

Nice and an almost complete review.

I don't care about the printed tiles, except ...I would love to see the designer and TLC using the 2 printed 1X1 tiles of the unicorn correctly.
The only way to use them is horizontally (hair first and the head second) and not vertically how they did it in this set.
The result is that the colors of the pattern don't match at all, as anyone can see in the instructions page 137.
As a guy in love of replicating real buildings, I hope no one will ever mention "legal" and "illegal" connections anymore. Some people turned our passion in a religion, and now they see this techniques.

If LEGO introduced with this set some clever techniques (7 parts not connected to each other, but "kept in place" by another part) and a crazy "friction" connection at the page 101, I think just throwing some parts on a base plate would be OK from now on.
In the new Empire State Building some tiles are just fixed perpendicular between the studs of a plate.

Trafalgar has also a wrong picture for the step 112 at the page 100.

Mentioning the 10+ plus mistakes found in the Statue of Liberty....

In the past the Architecture theme was the best in terms of care and attention.

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By in United Kingdom,

I was thinking I didn’t need to add this to my Architecture collection but after this review I can’t wait to get it. Looks like a great and interesting build.

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By in United States,

@Felix Mezei: "Illegal connections" are a real thing, but they are specifically connections that will risk damaging the parts and/or making them obnoxiously difficult to take apart and reuse elsewhere. Designers are instructed to avoid these connections in official set designs. For example, if you use a Technic pin to connect two 1x1 round brick, it will squeeze the ends together, warping them and preventing them from snapping securely to pin holes in the future. Nothing in this set falls under that definition.

Somewhere along the line, a lot of AFOLs seem to have learned the term, but misinterpreted its meaning as "any unusual/unintended/fiddly connection between parts", and also made the bizarre determination that it was somehow intended as a rule for MOCists to abide by. When in reality, it's nobody's business but your own what you do with parts once you own them, up to and including intentional cutting or bending of parts to suit your purposes.

LEGO's only reason for holding their designers to this stricter standard is so that they aren't creating products that will be permanently damaged just by using them as instructed (as with the Technic pins in the Audi model from this slide show: http://bramlambrecht.com/tmp/jamieberard-brickstress-bf06.pdf) Putting connections like that in an official set would make the damage to those parts the fault of the designer, not a conscious decision on the part of the end user.

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By in Romania,

@Aanchir: Thank you for clarifying 15% of what I wrote above.

If the rest of 85% is not so important, I can tell you that respecting your opinion about damaging parts, I am waiting for the review of the Empire State Building to find out if the fine surfaces of a 2X4 Flat Tile is damaged, or not, by squeezing it vertically between the studs of a plate. @Huw already asked the Billund-Vatican and it is "legal".

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By in United States,

@Felix Mezei: Regarding the tile between studs, New Elementary looked at the issue when the technique was used to position the flag in the Saturn V set and noted that tiles are actually incrementally thinner than plates, to the effect that they would not be stressed by positioning them upright between studs. Using a plate between the studs of a plate or brick, on the other hand (as in the old USS Constellation set), will have a greater risk of damaging the parts since the height of a plate is greater than the distance between studs.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great looking set. Looks like a fine rendition of a truly iconic (and, dare I say, historic) landmark. A strange choice, perhaps, for the theme as it is, by definition, an outdoor scene but certainly an architecturally valid one. Love how it's been translated into Lego and especially how the buses are depicted.
Can appreciate also, that as an art form, as I consider this theme to be, review and debate are inseparable from interpretation and will be as thought provoking, or inspiring - don't want to upset anyone - in proportion to our imaginations. Great review, as always.

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