Thomas Jefferson once said, “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” For those unable to stroll through the famous French city, LEGO set 21044 Paris allows you to bring a piece of the Parisian skyline home. It consists of six famous landmarks, three of which have previously received their own Architecture series sets (Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre). They are now joined by the Champs-Elysées, Tour Montparnasse, and Grand Palais. Set 21044 consists of 694 pieces and is slated for release on January 1, 2019. It is priced at €49.99 in the EU, but LEGO has declined our inquiry to confirm its US price.
The build & parts
If you’ve bought Architecture skyline sets before, the building experience of Paris will be familiar territory. Fine detailing is accomplished by utilizing tiny pieces, and plate/brick stacking is used throughout the build. In fact, pure vertical stacking is fundamental in assembling the base, Arc de Triomphe, and Champs-Elysées.
Fortunately, the rest of the structures include a mix of studs-not-on-top (SNOT) building techniques, which help keep the build fresh and enjoyable. With the Grand Palais, the left and right wings snap into the central structure. Similarly, the Louvre’s windows are mounted sideways. The Tour Montparnasse is made up of alternating layers of plates and 1×1 bricks with studs on 2 sides, strengthening the completed micro skyscraper.
Montparnasse is firmly connected to the base with a combination of plates with clips and plates with bars.
The Eiffel Tower is likely to be set 21044’s strongest selling point, and it is also its best build. The overall structure is broken up into subsections, which are assembled layer-by-layer. Curved and printed windscreens, exclusive to this set, are used to represent the structure’s lower arches and look great.
Meanwhile, clips and hinges are used to form the tower’s upward curve. I found myself enjoying the assembly of each layer, right down to the tiny French flag!
For those interested in buying the set for parts, you will find a nice mix of useful elements. The bulk of the parts come in light gray and tan, though you will also find a sprinkling of colors like dark green, dark red, and even dark orange. Fun parts include tan telescopes, a trans clear 2×2 dome top, printed 1×1 plates with black squares, and a handful of tan and medium blue modified 1×1 bricks with studs on 2 sides (first introduced last year). There are even new twists on existing elements, such as the printed 3x6x1 curved windscreens and 1×1 quadruple convex pyramids in trans clear.
The finished model
In terms of presentation, Paris makes for a great display piece. The finished model is visually pleasing, with your eye being drawn to the Eiffel Tower as the main focal point. Smaller buildings are in the foreground, adding a layer of depth to the model.
Each structure looks faithful to the original architecture, right down to the Champs-Elysées overlooking the Arc de Triomphe. However, the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais stand out as its best-looking buildings. By comparison, the Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe are the weakest entries, though they look good enough when placed within the context of the skyline.
Conclusion & recommendation
The beauty of LEGO Architecture is that it bridges the gap between ardent LEGO fans and people who might build casually, as they make excellent display pieces, even in a professional office environment. Diversity in building techniques makes the Paris skyline a great addition to the series, and its subject matter makes it a great gift for your Parisian-loving family and friends. It also contains a nice assortment of parts for building custom models, made all the more enticing thanks to the inclusion of some unique elements.
LEGO Architecture 21044 Paris includes 694 pieces and will be on sale January 1st from the LEGO Shop Online and elsewhere.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
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