Ranking every set in the LEGO Modular Buildings Collection

The LEGO Modular Buildings Assortment has a model new addition in 10278 Police Station – however how does it examine to the remainder of the line-up?

10278 Police Station is now out there by way of LEGO.com and in LEGO Shops (the place they’re open), bringing the full variety of modular buildings as much as 16. We’ve already reviewed the set here, and it’s no secret that we actually love what it brings to the 18+ vary.

Now that we’ve acquired the brand new modular constructing in hand, although, we couldn’t move up the chance to supply our definitive – however extremely subjective – rating of each single entry to this point. Dive in beneath, and be at liberty to disagree with us within the feedback, on social media, or simply by shouting angrily into the void.

16. 10190 Market Road

10190 Market Street

You may argue till your voice is hoarse over whether or not 10190 Market Road is genuinely a part of the Modular Buildings Assortment, however it’s a poor hill to die on. Sure, it might have launched beneath the LEGO Manufacturing unit theme again in 2007, however the LEGO Group says it counts – 10278 Police Station’s press launch refers to 15 earlier buildings – so we are saying it counts.

After all, one more reason you would possibly wish to low cost it’s as a result of it simply can’t match as much as the opposite buildings. There’s no inside to talk of, the outside is crude, and the conflict of blues and tan isn’t enjoyable to have a look at. However there are a few cool half usages to level to, together with the whips and horns over the alleyway, and the method for the steps is admirable. It’s only a disgrace the remainder of the set can’t stay as much as these moments of promise.

15. 10182 Café Nook

10182 Cafe Corner

The very first modular constructing might have laid the foundations for one of many LEGO Group’s strongest subthemes, however it’s wanting a bit of shaky by at the moment’s requirements. It’s fully empty, makes use of a reasonably uninteresting color scheme, and every ground is just held on by a single stud.

All that mentioned, these are actually minor criticisms for a set that broke new floor in 2007, and nonetheless boasts an unbelievable construct with consideration to the extra restricted half palette of its time. (The arching ski parts over the principle entrance are a selected spotlight.) 10182 Café Nook isn’t a foul set, by any means – it’s simply been surpassed by even higher buildings since.

14. 10218 Pet Store

10218 Pet Shop

The primary modular constructing to encompass a pair of 16×32 constructions, 10218 Pet Store ought to positively be applauded for attempting one thing totally different. And in doing so, it introduced us each residential and industrial buildings on the identical time, with a terrific city home and fairly good pet store. Sand blue was an excellent color selection, and the inverted building on the base of the city home’s bay home windows can be simply as spectacular in a set launched at the moment.

Sadly, 10218 additionally launched the difficulty with doubling up on buildings: extra partitions. The bricks consumed by permitting the constructions to face alone meant they had been each fairly diminutive, significantly subsequent to the enormities of 10211 Grand Emporium and 10185 Inexperienced Grocer – with out the super-detailed inside to match later fashions.

13. 10211 Grand Emporium

10211 Grand Emporium

The inside of 10211 Grand Emporium might not stay as much as the ‘grand’ moniker, however its exterior actually does. It is a basic division retailer from prime to backside, evoking the kind of buildings you would possibly discover lining London’s Regent Road.

Certain, the simplicity of the façade is beginning to betray the set’s age. (It turns a decade previous in 2021.) And assembling these exterior columns alongside its floor ground would possibly simply be probably the most tedious a part of any modular constructing, ever. However from its escalators and chandelier to its ‘store’ signage and rooftop billboard, 10211 Grand Emporium stays a really worthy entry within the Modular Buildings Assortment.

12. 10224 City Corridor

10224 Town Hall

If you happen to subscribe to the mantra ‘greater is healthier’, then 10224 City Corridor might be a lot increased up your private rankings of the modular buildings. For us, although, it sacrifices just a bit an excessive amount of element whereas chasing that elevated dimension, resulting in a relatively bland exterior.

That’s maybe applicable for what ought to actually be the focus of any LEGO city structure, although. And the ambition of the City Corridor is obvious from the off – not simply in its imposing dimension, but in addition in its eye-catching darkish orange hue, and even the addition of a working elevator. There’s quite a bit to like about this set. It simply can’t compete with its successors (or in a single or two instances, its predecessors).

11. 10232 Palace Cinema

10232 Palace Cinema

When was the final time you went to a cinema with only one display? Okay, so 10232 Palace Cinema’s inside perhaps isn’t probably the most correct rendition of a film theatre we’ve ever seen. However throughout the scale and constraints of the modular buildings, it’s principally nearly as good because it will get.

The exterior architecture is a transparent and really welcome nod to Grauman’s Chinese language Theatre on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame, and the film posters that adorn the bottom ground – whereas stickered – are an absolute hoot. (The brick separator included within the set is inexperienced for a cause.) Plus, that purple 32×32 baseplate is a factor of magnificence, having solely ever appeared in a single different set: 1978’s 231 Hospital. Speak about uncommon.

10. 10270 Bookshop

LEGO Creator Expert 10270 Bookshop Review Final

2020’s modular constructing aped 10218 Pet Store’s method – for higher and worse. The distinct pair of 16×32 constructions undeniably provide extra versatility in your wider modular road, and their exteriors ship each chic half utilization and critically cool color schemes.

So, what’s holding 10270 Bookshop again? Nicely, the interiors really feel oddly missing in locations, not least as a result of severe inventory scarcity Birch Books is seemingly experiencing. And there’s one thing unusual concerning the townhouse’s proportions: its raised floor ground and stunted first ground simply don’t sit proper with the remainder of the road. It’s an exquisite constructing by itself, however we’re not offered on its modular method.

9. 10264 Nook Storage

LEGO Creator Expert 10264 Corner Garage 16 1024x871

In persevering with the earlier yr’s change to ’50s-style art deco architecture in 10260 Downtown Diner, the designers of 10264 Corner Garage opted for a extra muted color scheme than the daring hues of its predecessor.

However, the darkish orange constructing stays true to the design ideas of the broader road, with eye-catching architecture, enjoyable references (together with a nod to Indiana Jones within the vet’s clinic) and loads of alternative for storytelling. Its subject material won’t be as instantly fascinating as a restaurant or cake store, significantly given the litany of LEGO CITY garages, however it’s nonetheless one of many best examples we’ve ever had in bricks.

eight. 10197 Fireplace Brigade

10197 Fire Brigade 1

The fifth-most-expensive modular building (based mostly on aftermarket costs) was the primary within the sequence to adapt a central tenet of the common LEGO CITY theme: hearth stations. Fortunately, 10197 Fireplace Brigade’s subtle 1930s architecture ensures it stands distinct from the usually junior CITY buildings, with an exquisite exterior, detailed inside, and even an fascinating roof – one thing not all modular buildings can boast – because of its bell.

It does really feel a contact spartan with simply two flooring, however that’s additionally a mandatory compromise to slot in every little thing you want from a fireplace station: house for the firetruck, a fire-pole, fire-fighting instruments, a ping pong table, a fully-stocked fridge, a sofa and a bookshelf. (Hey, firefighters are allowed some downtime too.)

7. 10260 Downtown Diner

LEGO Creator Expert 10260 Downtown Diner

2018’s modular constructing represented an actual shift for the Modular Buildings Assortment, and in doing so cut up opinion amongst veteran followers. Some embraced its vivid pink and teal color scheme, ’50s-style architecture and vibrant pink automobile. Others disavowed its transfer away from basic smiley-faced minifigures, its clashing hues and bricks seemingly wasted on an additional automobile.

For our cash, although, 10260 Downtown Diner’s daring method positively deserves applause, and we fall firmly into the camp of loving its neon color scheme. The architecture of its higher flooring could also be a bit of flat, however the design of its floor ground and jukebox-style frontage is sufficient to make this essential entry within the sequence. (Who’re we kidding – they’re principally all must-haves.)

6. 10185 Inexperienced Grocer

10185 Green Grocer

Proving definitively that age issues not, the third-ever modular constructing (behind 10182 Café Nook and 10190 Market Road) continues to be one of many best. Certain, its inside can’t fairly match as much as the detailed furnishings of recent modular buildings, however 10185 Inexperienced Grocer’s exterior nonetheless suits in completely with every little thing that’s adopted – proper as much as 10278 Police Station.

And it does have some inside, not least on the bottom ground, which is totally tiled (and boasts some well-stocked fridges). It’s additionally a critically beefy constructing, including some much-needed visible selection to the gathering – significantly on reflection, as many more moderen buildings have shrunk in dimension – and isn’t brief on notable strategies, from its first-floor curtains to its rooftop skeleton leg/hammer combo. We are able to’t ignore its lovely sand inexperienced color scheme, both – even when it does make it a complete ache to assemble via BrickLink.

5. 10251 Brick Financial institution

10251 Brick Bank

Mixing ideas of each nook and 2-in-1 modular buildings and arising with one thing completely distinctive, 10251 Brick Financial institution actually is one for the ages. It’s a reasonably squat constructing in comparison with a few of its contemporaries, however it does quite a bit with that restricted dimension to essentially mirror the grand nature of a basic banking institution.

The inside options every little thing you’d count on, from financial institution tellers to a working vault, whereas this was additionally one of many first modulars to essentially lean into the storytelling facet: the tiny laundrette subsequent door set the scene for an on-the-nose cash laundering pun, and the large competition-winner cheque is good.

four. 10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant

10243 Parisian Restaurant is broadly considered one of many biggest modular buildings ever launched, and with good cause. Regardless of sticking to the set proportions and – for probably the most half – the aesthetics of its predecessors, the gorgeous constructing nonetheless managed to principally reinvent the wheel for the sequence in 2014.

All the things that’s come since has adopted in its footsteps, paring again exterior dimension in favour of element, each inside and outside. From the ornate architecture and outdoor seating space to the fully-stocked kitchen and loft art studio, there’s a lot to get pleasure from that there’s no surprise the Parisian Restaurant is held in such esteem. For our cash, although, it’s been surpassed by three different buildings since its launch…

three. 10246 Detective’s Workplace

LEGO Creator Expert 10246 Detectives Office

Six years earlier than the LEGO Group legitimised the Modular Constructing Assortment’s legislation enforcement with 10278 Police Station, it tipped its brick-built hat to the crime noir movies of previous with 10246 Detective’s Workplace. Ace Brickman’s office is technically just one small a part of a massively spectacular mannequin, although, which additionally incorporates a pool corridor, barbershop and condominium.

The masonry bricks do plenty of the heavy lifting for the outside partitions, however the color scheme throughout your complete mannequin is magnificent, and the ‘pool’ lettering is ingeniously devised. Nonetheless, it’s the inside the place 10246 Detective’s Workplace actually shines – most notably within the pool table, barbershop mirror, detailed workplace and the cookie-smuggling narrative that brings all of it collectively.

2. 10278 Police Station

10278 Police Station 2

It’s possible you’ll say we’ve fallen sufferer to recency bias, however we reckon the most recent modular constructing actually is the second-greatest of all of them. Like each set on this checklist, 10278 Police Station is filled with interesting techniques, appears to be like unbelievable on display, and is an absolute pleasure to put together.

It’s actually the little touches that elevate it to second place on this rating, although, from the spectacular color blocking that retains it wanting good from any angle, to the hidden surprises and references that course by way of its plastic veins (and thereby lay the foundations for its impressed narrative). Better of all, 10278 Police Station is proof – if ever it had been wanted – that the LEGO Group is nowhere close to near working out of ideas, and that the Modular Buildings Assortment has loads of life left in it but.

1. 10255 Meeting Sq.

10255 Front 01 1024x913

As a common rule, you in all probability shouldn’t stay your life by the mantra that ‘extra’ routinely equals ‘higher’. However the place the Modular Buildings Assortment is worried, it’s onerous to disclaim that that actually is the case. It’s not for nought, although: the unbelievable design work and keenness that’s been poured into 10255 Assembly Square, launched to rejoice the subtheme’s 10th anniversary, is totally palpable in each the construct and completed mannequin.

Certainly, spanning a wider footprint of 32×48 studs – that’s 16 studs greater than each different set on this checklist – doesn’t routinely push 10255 Assembly Square to pole place; as a substitute, it’s how that additional house is used, and never a single stud is wasted throughout its four,002 items. It’s not simply one of many best worth modular buildings to this point, however the best one all spherical, from its diversified and detailed architecture and interiors to the way in which it crams in well-placed and refined references to your complete subtheme.

Like a number of of the LEGO Group’s largest and best units, 10255 Assembly Square is at present affected by stock points at LEGO.com, however for those who see it in inventory, be sure you snag it earlier than it’s too late. (We are able to make the job of checking far simpler with our personalised stock alerts.)

And for those who’re in any other case updated in your assortment, it’s best to as a substitute make a direct beeline for 10278 Police Station, which you’ll be able to order proper now. For extra on the most recent addition to the Modular Buildings Assortment, take a look at our full review, five of its best techniques, how to display it in your wider structure, and where it ranks among the many largest entries within the sequence up to now.

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